Fasano says Haridolopos and Cannon will figure out prison privatization

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The House-Senate conference committee dealing with the state’s justice budget won’t resolve the differences between a House plan to privatize prisons in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and the Senate blueprint, which calls for allowing private corporations to run prisons in roughly the southern third of the state, the Senate chairman said Thursday according to the News Service of Florida. “There’s no question that will get bumped,” said Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, suggesting it would ultimately be decided by Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park. The two sides also continue to butt heads over whether to privatize inmate health-care statewide. The Senate brought its projected savings from that change to $31.1 million, down from around $75 million earlier in the process, but the House still hasn’t budged. “If the [House] chairman is not able to get perimission to privatize those services, that will probably get bumped as well,” Fasano said. Those issues could pull several others up the chain, Fasano said, because the House hasn’t recognized the savings either from its privatization plan or the Senate’s more sweeping proposal, meaning the two sides can’t settle on the final terms of a balanced deal.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.