First Amendment Foundation: Proposed Committee Bill 7170

FIRST AMENDMENT FOUNDATION
336 E. College Avenue, Suite 101 Tallahassee, FL  32301-1554
(800) 337-3518 or (850) 222-3518

LEGISLATIVE ALERT

18 January 2012

Were you – like some of our local county commissioners – surprised when DOC announced the closing of prisons around the state?

JUST WAIT!

Proposed Committee Bill 7170 from the Senate Rules Committee amends various section of s. 216.023, F.S., relating to legislative budget requests that must be furnished to the Legislature by each agency regarding agency programs, stipulating what information must be included in every budget request by every agency – a justification for the program, expenditure information, the number of positions – basic stuff, really.

PCB 7170 specifically excludes information concerning the privatization of agency programs from the required report until after the contract for outsourcing and privatization has been executed.

RUB YOUR EYES AND READ THAT AGAIN  . . .

An agency does NOT have to report on the privatization of its programs until AFTER the contract is SIGNED?

YEP – we get to know what they’ve done after the deal has been cut.

SO: the public can be kept in the dark about the business case – and cost – of privatizing government services until such time as it’s too late to do anything about it?  It’s hard to know who’s behind this – it’s a proposed committee bill, after all – and because it’s not a public record exemption, the bill doesn’t include a statement of public necessity (which might give us some clue as to why).  In addition, even though the bill is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, January 18, a staff analysis has yet to be posted.

ACCOUNTABILITY?

TRANSPARENCY?

I’ll do my very best to keep you informed but it’s a very hectic week, unfortunately.  Here’s a link to the text:  http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2012/7170/BillText/Filed/PDF.  And a link to the bill page:  http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2012/7170.
Senate PCB 7170 is scheduled for consideration by the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday, January 18 at 1:15 pm in Room 110, Senate Office Building.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Barbara Petersen at 800/337-3518 or sunshine@floridafaf.org.

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