A Tallahassee, Florida circuit court judge sided with a union today in ruling that a prison privatization scheme lawmakers included in the state budget violates Florida’s constitution. The Florida Police Benevolent Association, which represents correctional workers in the state, filed a lawsuit saying the method in the which lawmakers planned to privatize 29 prisons in southern Florida violated state law, arguing that it should have been done via a separate law, not through the budget. Tallahassee Judge Jackie Fulford agreed, adding that lawmakers rushed the process:
“From the record, it appears that the rush to meet the deadlines in the proviso has resulted in many shortcomings in the evaluation of whether privatization is in the best public interest as it relates to cost savings and effective service,” Fulford wrote.
The plan was is one of the largest prison privatization schemes in the country and would have benefited campaign donors to Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R). Even some Republicans have spoken out against it.