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Editorial: Florida privatization runs off rails with Blind Services

Another state agency, another privatization scheme off the rails.

The account of how the Florida Division of Blind Services has failed to monitor the agency's private vendors is just one more example for Republican Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who has been trying to bring sensible reform to the state's privatization spree.

Privatization only works well when the agency doing the hiring writes strong, service-oriented contracts and state employees provide effective oversight. Anything less is just government misfeasance.

Ever since then-Gov. Jeb Bush took office in 1999, state government has been moving more toward hiring private vendors to do state business — from handling state park reservations to opening private prisons.

And Gov. Rick Scott, a former health care executive, has only accelerated that push, for instance by making it easier for charter school companies to qualify for money that used to be dedicated to public schools. Nearly 60 percent of the state's budget now flows to private coffers.

The editorial is here and the original story is here.