Georgia Governor Nathan Deal stated Tuesday that he intends to veto a bill (House Bill 837) that would have allowed private probation companies to hide information about their business practices from auditors. In response to publicity from a recent audit of these private probation companies, our Governor has bowed to the apparent pressure.
Most Politicians show little concern for those accused and convicted of misdemeanor offenses, however a state audit of private probation companies showed obvious abuses that could not be ignored. The state audit, the AJC's excellent investigative reporting, and interested attorneys (such as myself), have identified clear and convincing evidence that these companies should be investigated and reined in accordingly. House Bill 837 would have helped to further shield these companies from public scrutiny. Thankfully it will not become law.
As Georgia citizens we should pay close attention to the legislators who voted for House Bill 837. It should never been passed in the first place. Why any member of the Georgia General Assembly would vote for a bill that would further de-regulate an industry already completely out of control is a travesty. The only possible reason is political donations and extensive lobbying by the industry. Nothing else could possibly make any sense.
I am pleased with the Governor's decision but am pessimistic that the General Assembly will do a 180 degree turn and pass legislation to either regulate or eliminate this highly profitable industry.