Campbell calls for investigation of $900K
private prison giveaway request
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), called for an emergency meeting of the Arizona House Appropriations Committee to investigate a last-minute appropriation for private prisons in Arizona, offered during last week’s budget debate.
“There is something suspicious about this request and we need to know more about the circumstances surrounding it,” Campbell said. “It is clear from news coverage that the Department of Corrections did not ask for or need the $900,000 that Rep. Kavanagh requested during our budget debate. On top of that, there was no testimony in the House Appropriations Committee about this topic. This raises some serious questions and has created a great deal of public concern.”
Campbell sent a letter to Speaker of the House Andy Tobin, R-Paulden (District 1), requesting an immediate investigation that would include testimony from the Department of Corrections and GEO Group, a private prisons corporation.
Campbell added that, although this appropriation has been removed from the current budget being heard in the Senate, questions of accountability and transparency remain.
“These kinds of behind-closed-doors deals are exactly what Arizonans are tired of,” Campbell said. “The taxpayers have a right to know how a giveaway like this is negotiated. Why are some members of the Legislature more concerned with lining the pockets of private prisons than they are with making sure schools have adequate funding and child safety services have enough resources? We have an obligation to get to the bottom of this.”
A copy of the letter Campbell sent to Tobin is available at www.azhousedemocrats.com.