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Privatization of TANF in Florida

A Cautionary Tale

By Cindy Huddleston & Valory Greenfield

The Florida legislature yielded to the private sector not only service delivery of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families but also sweeping policy-making authority over work-related welfare issues. Although nontraditional entities administering governmental social service programs usually are bound by the same procedural protections as the government, those entities frequently misunderstand their due process obligations or dispute altogether the applicability of constitutional and administrative procedure act protections. If Florida's experience is indicative of a new trend in privatization, advocates must be ready to preserve the procedural protections that state agencies historically have provided to welfare recipients.

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