The state o' Indiana has opted to privatize parts of the its food stamp, Medicaid and welfare programs. Mitch Roob, secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration, put the deal in place: $1.16 billion will be paid over 10 years to outside vendors who will handle jobs previously handled by state employees. Roob says he got plenty of public and private input concerning the deal; Indiana lawmakers are saying, Uh, dude, no you didn't. (Looks like there was actually only one.) Governor Mitch Daniels signed the 180-page contract two weeks ago, claiming he didn't need anyone's OK to do so. Not so fast, say the Democrats who now make up a majority of the Indiana legislature and, specifically, its House Ways and Means Committee, which is investigating the granting of the contract.
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Well, you're probably asking, what does this have to do with Dallas? Only this: Among the vendors snapping off a big ol' piece of that 10-year, $1.16-billion deal is none other than Dallas' own Affiliated Computer Services, which gets deals like this all the time all over the country. Only this time, there's a fairly major conflict-of-issue concern. Reports the Evansville Courier & Press this morning, Mitch Roob was a vice president at ACS before he became secretary of Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration two years ago. Dems say they'll bring Roob before the committee again before all's said and done. --Robert Wilonsky