Senate Keeps Prison Privatization Alive
There were more protests at the state capitol today over plans to privatize more than two dozen South Florida prisons. But the plan is still alive inside the Statehouse.
After two hours of debate Monday afternoon, the State Senate kept the bill alive by voting down an amendment that would have killed the plan in favor of more legislative study.
Sen. Dennis Jones had previously opposed privatization but switched his vote. The Seminole Republican did not debate the amendment on the floor.
Lawmakers in support of privatization say it could save at least $16.5 million a year. They're looking to plug a more than one-billion-dollar hole in this year's state budget. Opponents say savings aren't guaranteed.
Critics also say the plan is a giveaway to private prison companies that have donated a million dollars to state leaders this election cycle.
Nearly 4,000 prison employees' jobs in at least 26 facilities could be affected.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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