Editorials: Prison privatization should be public

The Gainesville Sun: ‘It stinks’

In an editorial just a few days ago we noted the tendency of state lawmakers to impose Government-in-the-Sunshine mandates on city and county commissions that they wouldn’t dream of following themselves.

Since we made that observation, Tallahassee’s “do as we say, not as we do” contempt for the principles of open government has attained truly breathtaking proportions.

Last year lawmakers tried to slip an attempt to privatize several state prisons past the public by hiding it in the minutia of the state budget bill. But their efforts were undone when a circuit court judge ruled that the privatization measure needed to be in a stand-alone bill.

Read more here.

The Tallahassee Democrat: No secrets

Trust us.

That’s what Florida’s legislators are saying with the introduction of the outrageous Senate Proposed Committee Bill 7170.

Simply put, under SPB 7170, information now required that pertains to the privatization of government functions would not have to be released to the public until after the contract for the privatization has been signed.

Who on Earth would propose such a bill? Well, as a committee bill in the Senate Committee on Rules, it has no listed sponsor. But why? Well, let’s just take a look back a year.

Read more here.

The Tampa Tribune: Slamming door on the public

Voters would be rightly outraged if lawmakers approved a government program without letting the public know the costs or the details.

Citizens should be equally outraged that the Legislature wants to give tax dollars to private vendors without any public oversight.

Senate Bill 7170 would keep secret any information about outsourcing a government function until after the contract has been approved. In
other words, the public would not know what was going on until it was already done.

Read more here.

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