By Christina Bullins (Contact)
To be delivered to: The Florida State House, The Florida State Senate, and Governor Rick Scott
Gov. Rick Scott and some Florida legislators are rushing full steam ahead to enact legislation, specifically SB 2036 and SB 2038, that would privatize governmental services and agencies without public input. They are trying to pass these bills as early as THIS WEEK.
These bills will compromise public safety, cause unemployment, and hurt communities and small businesses across Florida.
This scheme starts with immediate plans to privatize 29 prisons in 18 counties in south and central Florida with NO EXIT STRATEGY should things go wrong. No other state in our nation has given contracts to private prisons at even close to this level.
As a correctional officer, I know firsthand that if this bill passes, many of my fellow officers will be out of a job. Families and children of my fellow officers will be uprooted. In some communities, this will significantly alter public school funding. There are literally thousands of public servants whose families will be impacted if this bill becomes law!
These bills are physically and economically dangerous, and the effects irreversible. Here’s just some of what they’d do:
• Squander taxpayer money to reward political donors. Florida is already riddled with past and present issues of corruption, over-billing, mismanagement and failure to maintain our public facilities by privately-run correctional corporations. Enough is enough!
• Hurt small businesses across Florida. Unemployment will rise. The officers that will be hired will be paid less. This means less money spent in our communities.
• Put your family’s safety on the line. Did you know that private prisons do not chase escaped inmates past the perimeter like the public prisons do, which means more escaped prisoners in our communities? And private prison corporations have often failed to live up to legal requirements in the past. This bill will just make the problem worse.
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