Prison privatization critics say they will kill the bill on tie vote in Senate Tuesdayby Dara Kam | February 13th, 2012
A key senator who helped kill an amendment that would have stripped a controversial prison privatization measure and replaced it with a study said he will vote against the measure on Tuesday in what opponents predict will be a tie vote.
“I liked the concept of the study. But I like the idea of just killing the bill better,” said Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole, one of a gang of nine Republicans who have joined with all but one Democrat whose coalition would kill the measure on a 20-20 vote.
Sen. Paula Dockery, one of the leading GOP senators opposed to the privatization plan (SB 2038), insisted after the 21-19 vote on the amendment late Monday that her coalition will put the issue to rest on the Senate floor on Tuesday.
“We do not lose anybody who’s going to be here to vote. My only concern is does somebody get sick, does somebody whatever. But our 20 are solid, 100 percent, anti-, don’t want this to happen. Twenty very solid votes,” Dockery, R-Lakeland said.
The Senate was originally scheduled to be in session in the morning, but late Monday Senate Rules Chairman John Thrasher announced on the floor the session had been postponed until later in the afternoon. Sen. Jeremy Ring, a Margate Democrat, was originally slated to be out of town tomorrow afternoon.
Later Monday evening, Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich said Ring’s travel plans were changed so he could be in the Capitol for the vote.
“He’ll be here,” Rich, D-Weston, said.