Mike Fasano's Badge of Honor
There has been much criticism about SB 2036. The bill would forbid the Florida government from collecting data on whether or not private prisons would save the state money. Under current law, an evaluation of all private contracts for five fiscal years of any outsourced contract of $10 million. SB 2036 would make private prisons exempt. J.D. Alexander claims he backs privatization of state prisons to save tax dollars. However, Alexander would not open the floor to prison workers or answer Sen. Mike Fasano's questions about cost. Alexander is doing his best to not to find out what the cost of prison privatization would cost taxpayers.
Alexander, John Thrasher, and Don Gaetz are the sponsors of SB 2036. State prisons are overseen by the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Committee. Senate President Mike Haridopolos would not allow the CCJAC to hold a hearing on SB 2036 and its companion bill. That did not stop the committee's chairman, Sen. Mike Fasano, from asking about the cost of prison privatization. Haridopolos removed Fasano from the chair today.
"As President of the Senate, I just felt I had lost confidence in him to fulfill that mission," he told reporters.
Translation: Haridopolos punished Fasano for not playing ball. Fasano told reporter Gary Fineout that getting the boot from Haridopolos is a "badge of honor."
Haridopolos, Alexander, Thrasher, and Gaetz desperately want privatization to go through because of the campaign contributions from Corrections Corp. of America and the Geo Group. Both companies would be awarded contracts if the legislature and Gov. Rick Scott pass and sign the privatization prison proposal. The fact that elected officials are fighting not to have oversight over CCA and the Geo Group reeks of corruption.