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Republican Senator And MDOC Spar Over Prison Budget

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WKAR file photo
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A Republican Senator is sparring with the Michigan Department of Corrections over privatizing prison services.

Capital correspondent Cheyna Roth reports the department is already trying to end one type of privatization – and they don’t want a new one.

This year, the department asked the Legislature to give them enough money to stop outsourcing food services to a private contractor.

The Legislature appears to be on board. But now Senator John Proos wants to have a private contractor put in charge of employing the prisons’ nurses.

“Do we really need to be funding bonuses and additional pay for those particular positions when the private contractor’s not asked for any?” Said Proos.

The Department of Corrections says they’re already having a hard time filling open nurse positions. Paying them less and without state benefits – which they say would happen with a private contractor – would make filing positions even more difficult.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County.
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