Attorney General Pam Bondi is appealing a court ruling that struck down a Florida prison privatization plan.
Bondi's filing on Monday came just hours after Gov. Rick Scott's office said the state would not appeal.
Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford ruled last month in Tallahassee that the plan to privatize nearly 30 prison facilities in South Florida violated the Florida Constitution.
Fulford said lawmakers erred by putting the provision in the state budget instead of passing it as a stand-alone law.
The Police Benevolent Association, which represents prison guards, had challenged the budget provision.
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The state will not appeal a court decision that struck down a budget provision calling for the privatization of nearly 30 South Florida prison facilities as a cost-cutting measure, Gov. Rick Scott's office confirmed Monday.
Lawmakers, though, can try next year to pass the plan as a substantive bill separate from the budget. The 2012 legislative session begins Jan. 10.
Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said in an email that the ruling will not be appealed, but she did not elaborate. Monday was the deadline for filing such an appeal.
Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford cited two prior Florida Supreme Court rulings in similar cases when she ruled last month in Tallahassee.
The privatization plan violated provisions in the Florida Constitution that limit all laws to a single subject and the state budget to the subject of appropriating money for current expenses, Fulford wrote.
"We're not breaking any new ground here," said Hal Johnson, a lawyer for the Florida Police Benevolent Association, which filed the court challenge.
The PBA represents prison guards. Nearly 4,000 of the union's members would have lost their jobs under the Republican-controlled Legislature's plan.
"I am pleased that the governor has decided to let the process work," said Sen. Mike Fasano, a New Port Richey Republican who is against prison privatization. "In my opinion, as a stand-alone bill you will probably see more members oppose it."
Such a bill likely would be heard by several legislative panels, including a budget subcommittee chaired by Fasano that oversees prison spending.
During the last legislative session, Senate Budget Committee Chairman JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, put the privatization plan in the budget bill without submitting the proposal to Fasano's subcommittee. Alexander said Fasano had a closed mind on the issue and had been co-opted by the PBA.
As a result, the issue didn't come to a floor vote on its own but as part of the $69.1 billion budget.
The House initially did not have a prison privatization plan in its version of the budget but later added a provision limited to Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The House, though, accepted the Senate's more expansive version in budget negotiations.
Alexander did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment Monday.
A privatization contract would have been contingent on cutting costs by 7 percent at 29 prison facilities in 18 South Florida counties. Legislative leaders estimated an annual savings of $22 billion.
The current-year savings would have been less. That's because the contract would not have begun until the middle of the budget year, which began July 1.
The PBA had disputed the accuracy of the estimate.
"Now we need to educate the public and the Legislature on the significant public safety issues and lack of significant savings associated with the privatization issue," Florida PBA executive director Matt Johnson said in a statement.
Multiple committee hearings in both chambers, a process bypassed last session, will give the union more opportunities to make its case.