Under GOP plan, government would pay to lease back most of the sites
by Matthew Benson and JJ Hensley - Jul. 29, 2009
“Call it a sign of desperate times: Legislators are considering selling the House and Senate buildings where they've conducted state business for more than 50 years.
Dozens of other state properties also may be sold as the state government faces its worst financial crisis in a generation, if not ever. The plan isn't to liquidate state assets, though.
Instead, officials hope to sell the properties and then lease them back over several years before assuming ownership again. The complex financial transaction would allow government services to continue without interruption while giving the state a fast infusion of as much as $735 million, according to Capitol projections…”
“While the state is looking to sell and lease back selected properties, it also may try to contract out the operations of some prisons. The concessions provision is expected to be included within the new budget proposal, and legislative analysts believe it could generate as much as $100 million (on top of the sale/leaseback revenue) for state coffers. Private, for-profit prison operators would bid for the right to manage selected facilities, but the state would maintain ownership.
The concept concerns prison officials, who worry whether a private operator would be equipped and trained to handle the state's most hardened criminals. In a letter to Brewer last month, Corrections Director Charles Ryan wrote that a private operator would pay lower wages and provide less training.”