The union that represents Florida correctional officers is suing Gov. Rick Scott's administration, seeking to derail a massive privatization of state prison operations in 18 South Florida counties, the Miami Herald reports. The suit, filed by the Florida Police Benevolent Association against Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss, hopes to block a plan to privatize 30 prisons. Those prisons house 20 percent of the state's 102,000-inmate population.
Buss said, “I'm not sure what the legal argument is, given that this was a legislative mandate. To us, it's like a bell that's already been rung. We're working under a very aggressive timeline and we need to get started on it right away.” The legislature required the state to have vendors in place to run the prisons by Jan. 1, 2012. The union maintains that privatization will result in the loss of jobs by its members. The lawsuit claims the language in the budget mandating the outsourcing is unconstitutionally broad. It says the state failed to comply with a law requiring an agency to conduct a “business case” to justify any outsourcing in excess of $10 million