More Budget Whispers: DDN reveals massive prison privatization in the works

The Dayton Daily News breaks the big story today – a number of proposals, direct from the Kasich administration, for cost-cutting that may appear in the Governor’s budget when it is introduced next week. As we told you over the weekend, there are plenty of rumors circulating about how the administration will address the shortfall. The DDN story furthers our work and adds to the list of potential cuts: subsidized child care and food assistance for the poor, reductions in funding for drug courts and drug treatment, closing taxpayer assistance centers and a juvenile detention facility.

The article also indicates that the state will propose selling five state prisons to the private sector (we had heard the number was 4). Such a move is, as far as we can tell, unprecedented among states. One would assume that a private operator would make a one-time, up-front payment, then enter into a contract with the state to manage all aspects of incarceration. It is unclear whether the State would save any money long-term from a shift to lower-paid private sector workers, but any up-front payments are no doubt attractive to the Governor as he attempts to fill a $8 billion hole (or will it be $5 billion? That is another rumor we are hearing).

More info is swirling… we’ll be back with more soon!

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  1. Friendly reminder: Read our sibling site, Ohio Budget Watch

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