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Proos and MDOC continue to spar over prison budget

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flickr user: Owen byrne
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A Republican Senator is sparring with the Michigan Department of Corrections over privatizing prison services. 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?”

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.