Monday, February 01, 2010

JLBC agenda for Tuesday

Lost in the hubbub over the special session and the regular session's committee schedule is a meeting of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee at 8 a.m. on Tuesday in SHR109.

The agenda looks interesting, but don't rush to the lege on Tuesday expecting to witness governance in action - the agenda is split between an executive session and a public session.

The 11 items on the public agenda are all reports from various relating to revenue matters and will be considered as one motion (meaning the relevent agencies will submit written reports and the members of the JLBC will accept them for later reading/ignoring.

Nope, the really interesting stuff is the stuff they are hiding behind "executive session."

The "fun, but not-to-be-witnessed-by-the-taxpayers" part of the agenda -


A. Arizona Department of Administration, Risk Management Services - Consideration of Proposed Settlements under Rule 14.

B. State Department of Corrections - Review of Request for Proposals for 5,000 Private Prison Beds per A.R.S. § 38-431.03A2.

C. State Department of Corrections - Review of Request for Proposals for Privatization of Correctional Health Services per A.R.S. § 38-431.03A2.

D. Annual Performance Review per Rule 7.

I can't even make a guess about items A and D, but items B and C sparked a couple of memories, and a little research was all it took to bring things into focus.

On November 9, 2009, the Prison Health Services Inc. Political Action Committee was formed (filer ID 201000299). This committee hasn't filed its January 31 financial report yet.

On June 9, 2009, the GEO Group Inc. Political Action Committee was formed (filer ID 201000125). This committee has filed a report, one showing no activity through the end of 2009.

Prison Health Services Inc., based in Tennessee, is a subsidiary of America Service Group, Inc. What they do is pretty much self-evident from the name.

The Geo Group of Florida is an operator of private prison facilities, including three in Arizona.

It's rather interesting that the state is looking to privatize operations in the bailiwicks of two out of state corporations that just happened to recently form PACs in Arizona.

Let me be clear - I am not yet accusing anyone of wrongdoing.

At the same time, I don't believe in coincidence, either.


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