Florida's massive prison privatization plan was defeated in the state Senate after nine Republican senators joined all 12 Democratic senators in voting against it, producing a 21-19 vote against privatization.
You know you've gone too far when Florida Republicans object to a bill on this range of grounds. They raised questions about whether the projected cost savings were reliable, given:
[...] things like the $16.5 million in benefits that would have to be paid out to displaced state workers, the lack of accountability for long term savings guarantees, and studies that demonstrated how little savings had been realized from facilities already managed by private companies.Some Republicans were concerned about the effect on public workers:
Rather than talk about numbers, they talked about people, such as the treatment of correctional officers, whose starting salary is $34,000 a year and who have not received an across-the-board pay raise for the past six years.Some—including two "conservative former sheriffs"—were even concerned about the general idea of privatizing prisons, one saying "I’m scared about the whole idea of private companies being responsible for taking away someone’s freedom and keeping them there."
“What’s wrong with state employees?” said Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole. “We should be taking care of them, rather than kicking them under the bus.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has the executive power to expand prison privatization on his own, but it's not clear if he'll use it; meanwhile, privatization of all prison health care is moving forward.