Bills set to be heard this afternoon in a state Senate rules committee are being called “union busting” efforts by the AFL-CIO. One bill would privatize correctional facilities and the other would allow the privatization of state functions to go through secretively.

According to the AFL-CIO press release (.pdf), Senate Bills 7170 and 7172, which would give legislators the power to privatize or outsource state agency functions away from the public, “are being rushed through by Governor Rick Scott and the Legislative leadership in an attempt to silence Floridians’ right to participate in Democracy.”

The group writes that the bills will:

  • Eliminate thousands of jobs,
  • Risk public safety by turning over prison security to the lowest bidder,
  • Eliminate accountability for prison administration,
  • Allow the Legislature to privatize any state service with no substantive review, and
  • Eliminate any transparency from the process, allowing Legislative leaders to auction off Florida with no deliberation, cost benefit analysis or public input.

The Associated Press reports that  S.B. 7170 “essentially means that an agency would not have to report its privatization of a program or service until after the contract is signed.”

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