Privatizing Florida’s Public Services, Via SPB 7170

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SPB 7170

Privatizing Florida’s Public Services, Via SPB 7170:

January 20, 2012

By: Robert Asencio

Clearing the way for the privatizing of 9 Florida Department of Corrections prisons the Senate Rules Committee passes a Bill that opens the door for the outsourcing and/or privatization of any other government service(s).

In summary: On Wednesday January 18, 2012, the Senate Rules Committee passed SPB 7170, titled Outsourcing or Privatization of Agency Function:

“Outsourcing or Privatization of Agency Functions; Providing that certain information relating to the   outsourcing or privatization of an agency function that is expressly required by law is not required to be included in the agency’s legislative budget request until after the contract for such functions is executed; providing that procurements for outsourcing or privatizing agency functions that are expressly required by law are exempt from the requirement that they be evaluated for feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency, etc.”

In passing this Bill the Senate sets into motion a measure that will extend beyond prisons to any Florida government public service, department and/or agency. If passed into law, it will eliminate the requirement for the public to be informed prior to deals being made and contracts signed. The Bill will further eliminate the current requirement of having to make a case of justification the contractor will operate the service more effectively than the State or governing agency.

With nearly 4,000 Florida Department of Corrections jobs in jeopardy to privatization, how many more public employees jobs will be lost? How much more will local economies have to suffer, due to cuts in benefits, pay, and jobs of Florida Public Employees? Therefor, impacting a workforce who not only benefit, but in many parts of Florida sustain local economies.

Are we to assume private corporations will forgo profits over meeting public needs currently delivered by agencies at cost? Will quality and quantity of services to taxpayers be compromised for the benefit of profit margins?

In the end, how much more will taxpayers have to pay to either ensure adequate delivery of public services or reverse the lasting damage outsourcing and privatization will cause?

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