WUFT News

Judge rules on Scott’s prison health care privatization plan, sends to Legislature

By and on December 5th, 2012

A Tallahassee judge ruled Tuesday that a legislative committee did not have the authority to approve a contract regarding prison health care services.

According to Businessweek, the plan would privatize health care services in three of Florida’s four prison system regions. Circuit Judge John Cooper, who made the decision, said the policy changes must be approved by the full Legislature, rather than just a panel of 14 select legislators.

Alma Gonzalez, special council for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), said this ruling allows more politicians to voice their opinions on the matter because the public has the right to know how the private prison industry works.

“What’s important is that the court order underlines that principle that the governor cannot play fast and loose with Florida’s constitution,” she said. “If he wants to let privateers make profit from prisoners he’s going to have to play by the rules.”

The plan will amend the general appropriations bill and move over $200 million into a private contract, Gonzalez said. Her main complaint is that the change would destabilize families and affect lives.

“Hundreds of thousands of public employees, their lives hang in the balance and we would like for the governor to stop now and stabilize this system with regard to healthcare providers in the prison,” she said.

According to the Associated Press, privatization plans were challenged by three unions representing about 2,600 state employees who feared for their jobs after prison officials were given permission to outsource from the Legislative Budget Commission.

Though, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration said it plans on appealing the decision.

“This ruling is wrong and puts in jeopardy nearly $90 million over the next two years that could be used to fund critical priorities – including increasing K-12 education funding,” Scott spokeswoman Melissa Sellers said, according to the Associated Press. “We are working with the Department of Corrections to appeal the decision and protect hundreds of other state jobs that the department could be forced to eliminate if they lose nearly $90 million in expected savings.”

 


This entry was posted in Florida, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

Cassidy, an 18-month-old Lab/American Bulldog mix who was part of Academy 14 and his inmate trainer.

Paws On Parole Looking To Continue Perfect Adoption Rate

The Alachua County Animal Services and Florida Department of Corrections Work Camp is working together with this year’s “Hairy Pawter” dog academy to prepare a new group of house-trained dogs for homes.


A wild hog mills around outside the runway enclosure of Williston Municipal Airport. The hogs often explore around a water source by the neighboring rock quarry, Barry said.

Hog Infestation Halts Historic Airport Runway

A hog infestation at Williston Municipal Airport’s grass runway is causing delays in the approval of the runway by the Federal Aviation Administration.


Photos of the "Incredible Flying Cars," made by ITEC.

The Men Behind the Flying Car That Crashed in Marion County

A flying car crashed on Tuesday in Marion County after going on an orientation flight. Two passengers suffered minor injuries but are currently safe.


Gov. Scott Announced Funding For Final Phase Of Restoration Projects

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced funding for the third and largest phase of early restoration projects to combat the Deepwater Horizon (BP) Oil Spill of 2010 on Oct. 7. Although $100 million was allocated to Florida by the Deepwater Horizon [...]


Florida bay scallops typically reach a shell height of three inches and have a life expectancy of one year. They have tiny blue eyes that help detect movement, and they can swim backward by opening and closing the two shells.

Scallop Researchers to Start Underwater Surveying

Now that the harvesting season is over, researchers are starting underwater studies to determine the state of scallop populations at 10 sites along the west coast of Florida.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments