Prison service privatization bills introduced

LANSING — The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee recently heard testimony on Senate Bill 476, which would require the Department of Corrections to competitively bid out services including food, transportation and more.

Critics of the plan include the Michigan Corrections Organization, the union that represents prison employees.

Bill supporters, however, argue that the state could save $100 million by contracting, according to the Michigan Information & Research Service. Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland, stated, "Until we figure out why our costs are out of line with other states, we need to explore everything," according to MIRS.

Reference: "DOC Competitive Bid Bill Debated," Michigan Information & Research Service, June 9, 2009