Two unions are challenging Florida Gov. Rick Scott's plan to save money by privatizing health care to the state's 100,000 inmates, reports the Miami Herald. The state has already hired two out-of-state firms to do the work at a minimum cost savings of 7 percent a year. But with hundreds of union jobs at stake, the Florida Nurses Association and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees say the privatization plan is unconstitutional and want Circuit Judge Kevin Carroll to block its implementation.
The 2011 Legislature mandated the privatization through the use of budget language known as proviso.The unions say that's a violation of the state Constitution, and that a policy change must be enacted through a separate piece of legislation. Scott's administration lost a similar case last summer, when a union for correctional officers successfully challenged another proviso that ordered the privatization of nearly 30 prisons in 18 South Florida counties.