I have been a state employee for 22 years and have watched the legislative process on a daily basis for several years now. I thought I had seen everything in politics until this legislative session.
I will be affected by the recent pay cut for state employees passed by the Legislature. Although I am concerned about my family making ends meet, I am more upset about what took priority over the hard-working people of Florida.
I find it unconscionable that during these tough times of cutting the pay of state workers and the budgets of state agencies providing safety, security, education and healthcare to Floridians that this Legislature would give a corporate bailout to one group -- the private-prison industry.
With what was called a cost-of-living increase in a Senate hearing, billion-dollar private-prison companies will share a windfall of $9 million while programs for our elderly and children were cut.
At a time when every sector of Florida's economy is struggling to do more with less or even stay afloat, this process just gave away $9 million to corporate giants for one reason: corporate greed.
I call on Gov. Crist to veto this bad legislation.
JAMES T. BAIARDI, Miami