TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – A state task force has found that Florida could save more than $2 billion annually if it would spend taxpayer money more prudently.
The 15-member Florida Government Efficiency Task Force outlined some of its recommendations Thursday during a news conference in Tallahassee. The recommendations will go to Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers, who will draw up a new budget in the coming months.
The recommendations include calling for changes in the corrections and criminal-justice system, such as releasing non-violent elderly inmates earlier, giving judges more flexibility in sentencing decisions and increasing access to work-release programs.
“We’re trying to say, ‘Look, let’s make sure that the sentence fits the crime and that it will actually be beneficial to the victims,” said Florida TaxWatch President Dominic Calabro, a member of the task force. “We’ve discovered that a lot of our prisons are nothing short of crime colleges.”
The task force also recommended moves such as consolidating state agencies into fewer physical locations, while sharing things such as vehicles between departments.
Another recommendation would require new public employees to join a 401(k)-style retirement plan like at many private companies, rather than enrolling in the traditional state pension system.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.