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UPDATE: Senate defeats prison privatization bill

by Dara Kam | February 14th, 2012

_ In a rebuke to Senate President Mike Haridopolos and his lieutenants, a bipartisan coalition defeated a plan that would have privatized two dozen prisons and other corrections facilities, putting an end to the controversial proposal with three weeks left in the legislative session.

The plan, a priority of Haridopolos and Senate budget chief JD Alexander, would have moved more than 14,000 inmates in 24 state-run prisons and work camps and put more than 3,500 state workers out of a job.

Nine Republicans joined with a united Democratic caucus of 12 to kill the measure (SB 2038) on a 21-19 vote after weeks of intense lobbying by proponents, including Gov. Rick Scott, handing a victory to labor unions and a blow to Boca Raton-based GEO Group, a potential vendor.

“I accept the verdict of the Senate,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, told reporters after the vote Tuesday evening. “Tomorrow’s a new day.”

The proposal, the brainchild of Senate budget chief JD Alexander, would have been the largest single prison privatization effort in the nation.

But questionable savings, concerns about public safety and the role of government dragged down the undertaking and created a rift within the GOP caucus as the chamber prepares to vote on its $70.6 billion spending plan.

“We can’t have it both ways. If everybody’s lock-step, they complain that everybody’s lock-step. If Republicans vote their conscience, then supposedly there’s a rift. I don’t think there’s any of that,” said Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, who at midday appeared resigned that the bill was going to die. “This is not uncommon…The Senate’s always been very independent. It doesn’t concern me a bit.”

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10 Responses to “UPDATE: Senate defeats prison privatization bill”

  1. ALLEN WEST MUST GO Says:

    HAHA GOVERNOR IMBECILE!

    HOW’S IT TASTE, FASCIST!!!!!

    A hearty round of applause is due to the DEMOCRATS for leading the way to stopping this pathetic piece of fascist tripe.

    Good on the 9 Republicans who voted against, but the VICTORY belongs to the DEMOCRATS.

  2. Peter Schorsch Says:

    Analysis and reaction to defeat of prison privatization bill.

    bit.ly/wJWvXu

  3. ALLEN WEST MUST GO Says:

    Thanks for the link Peter… from the link:

    Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith issued the following statement in response to the failed attempt to privatize Florida prisons:

    “Today, Republicans and Democrats came together to stop Governor Rick Scott and Senate President Mike Haridopolos from awarding a large taxpayer contract to one of the GOP’s top political donors. In doing so, they averted the loss of thousands of jobs, the devastation of communities in rural Florida and avoided putting our state’s hardworking correctional officers at risk. In a win for Florida’s families, this bill was rightly defeated.”

    Thank you FL DEMOCRATS!

  4. ALLEN WEST MUST GO Says:

    Another great point from the ACLU of Florida:

    “The bottom line is that private prisons make money by keeping people in prison when we should be looking for ways to keep them out in the first place.”

    Bingo.

  5. ALLEN WEST MUST GO Says:

    My Senator, Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff, voted YES.

    BIG MISTAKE!

    We need to make sure she gets replaced with a Democrat in the next election.

    In fact, ANY Senator or Representative who supports ANY bill forwarded by Governor Imbecile should be removed post haste in the next election.

    The state hates Rick Scott. So why on Earth would anyone support his lackeys in the legislature? NO WAY. THEY ALL GO. EVERY SINGLE ONE who supports the criminal Rick Scott.

  6. CarlosJ Says:

    I think Senator Portilla did a great job. I would rather see him as Senate president next year than Gaetz. Gaetz was awful, obviously in the back pocket of lobbyist.

  7. Wrong footed Says:

    Poor politicking by republicans.

    Palm Beach County, Florida, and our Federal government have gone beyond the point of no return.

    Our governments are fractured and it is the average American who is suffering by expansive government.

    We have reached the point of no return.

    Sadly, America will never flourish again.

    Both parties are to be blamed.

  8. ALLEN WEST MUST GO Says:

    “”"Both parties are to be blamed.”"”

    Wrong.

    Republicans are to blame across the board.

    Both the federal and state governments were completely screwed up (ON PURPOSE) by the Republican fascists.

  9. Good Move by all who opposed Says:

    Governor Scott and joined right in with the Jeb Bush, Haridope, Cannon and so on culture of corruption to feed his friends all the steak and lobster of tax dollars he can give them. While GEO was from hometown corruption many others were standing at the door of prison privatazation juust praying for a crack at those MILLIONS, Bridges of America a FDOC vendor who collections MILLIONS of our tax dollars per year for their prision programs and bible thumping techniques was right there waiting for the additional share too! Shame on Rick Scott he is everything that Martin county RINO sheriff said he was and that’s hard to swallow!
    Bridges of America Website SAID “Leaders in Prison Privatation!” Man that disappeared fast!

    http://www.bridgesofamerica.com/

  10. privatize millions Says:

    Bridges of America Can’t even run a boys ranch and keep the boys safe from the sheriff and his people, how can they runa prisions with real bad people in them.

    http://www.lakexposed.com/?page_id=109

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