May 20, 2010 5:01 PM by Melissa Canone

Lawmakers Could Slow Down Plans to Hire Outside Contractors

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State lawmakers could slow down Gov.
Bobby Jindal's plans to hire outside contractors to run some of
Louisiana's inpatient psychiatric treatment facilities - if the
Senate agrees to a proposal that has won House backing.
The House voted 64-27 Thursday for a bill that would give
lawmakers the ability to reject any privatization contracts
involving the state's mental hospitals. That includes two such
facilities the Jindal administration proposes to privatize in the
upcoming budget year.
Rep. John Bel Edwards, the sponsor of the bill, says lawmakers
should have a say in contracts that could obligate the state for
more than 20 years, cost millions of dollars and change the way the
state delivers mental health care.
Opponents say the bill is improper meddling in the state's
contracting process and would slow down plans that could save the
state millions.


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