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Ohio to court: Privatizing prisons in budget is legal

•  Court News     updated  2014/09/08 16:02

State lawyers tell the Ohio Supreme Court that using a budget bill to privatize state prisons didn’t violate a constitutional provision holding bills to a single subject.In a brief filed today, Ohio said the state’s budget, like any family’s, involves both revenues and expenses — not just appropriations.

The filing comes in a legal dispute with the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association. The prison workers’ union filed suit over privatization in 2012, contending that lawmakers extended beyond the single-subject rule when they used the budget to sell a state prison and turn others over to private operators.

An appellate court agreed, finding in October there was no “rational relationship” between the privatization plan and state spending.The state says privatization saved Ohio money and so had “obvious budget connections.”

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