Bill description: HB 711 would protect private businesses from unfair competition with the goods sold by the state-run Correctional Industries.

Rating: +1

Does it transfer a function of the private sector to the government? Examples include government ownership or control of any providers of goods or services such as the Land Board’s purchase of a self-storage facility, mandatory emissions testing, or pre-kindergarten. Conversely, does it eliminate a function of government or return a function of government to the private sector? 

The state Correctional Industries program was established to provide prison inmates with job training and work experience in a handful of fields. The program is self-sufficient as inmates create products and offer services that are sold to the public, which generates the revenue that covers program operating expenses.

Because much of the labor for the Correctional Industries products is performed at minimal cost, it is easy for this state-run business to unfairly compete with local private businesses. HB 711 would add language to Idaho Code that states “the board shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that non-inmate workers are not displaced” when their products are sold to the public. Thus, HB 711 would help protect private businesses from unfair competition with Correctional Industries.