AP News

Union plans to challenge Fla. privatization plan

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The administration of Florida Gov. Rick Scott is pushing ahead with a controversial prison privatization plan despite lingering legal questions.

Florida's prison agency is asking a legislative panel to approve spending nearly $58 million in order to privatize prison health care operations by January. The move could affect up to nearly 3,000 employees statewide.

But the union that represents state workers says that the Legislative Budget Commission cannot legally make a major adjustment to the state budget.

A lawyer for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says that decision must be made by the entire Florida Legislature. The union will sue if the budget panel approves the privatization plan at its Wednesday meeting.

The Department of Corrections says privatizing health care operations will save money.

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