Sunday, July 12, 2009
With the current State of Arizona government budget is acknowledged to be in a state of deficit spending there are many plans being proposed on how to make Arizona government operation more efficient. One of those plans involves contracting out (privatizing) the operation of incarceration with private business, thereby replacing Arizona Department of Corrections staff with private employees. Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce (LD-18) is often mentioned as the originator of this plan.
Voters and citizens would do well to keep in mind another recent Arizona "innovation" when it comes to contracted out government services. Photo radar enforcement is no more popular than when it was introduced and now that several levels of government are considering abolishing it, the private operators are bringing up financial penalties that the public was never briefed on.
Contracted out government operations are an option to be considered after full review and public disclosure of the terms. Arizona voters should also keep in mind the poor contract terms that government has negotiated in the past when considering the actions of their elected officials.