Featured Images

Officials say state outsourcing is working, but plenty of skepticism remains

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYPro-choice supporters congratulate Rep. John Ray Clemmons after abortion bill halted | 0:18

Pro-choice supporters congratulate Rep. John Ray Clemmons after abortion bill halted.
Jake Lowary/The Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYMaisy Stella plays before state Senate | 0:39

Maisy Stella plays before state Senate. She stars on the CMT show Nashville.

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYSenate pays tribute to Sen. Doug Henry | 4:14

The Nashville delegation leads tribute to the late Sen. Doug Henry.

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYLt. Gov. Randy McNally remarks on the late Sen. Doug Henry | 1:23

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally remarks on the late Sen. Doug Henry.

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY5 things at the legislature this week | 0:35

A look at 5 topics coming up this week in Nashville.
Jake Lowary/Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYDemocrats tout delay in privatization of state parks | 3:48

Democrats tout delay in privatization of state parks at weekly press conference.

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYRandy McNally on future of public records | 1:10

Randy McNally on future of public records.

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYProtestors flank Democrats at news conference | 1:15

Protestors flank Democrats at news conference about their Peoples Bill of Rights package of legislation.
Jake Lowary/Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYLawmakers aim to increase penalties for elder abuse | 1:26

Lawmakers aim to increase penalties for elder abuse.
Jake Lowary/Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY5 things to watch in the Tennessee legislature (Feb. 27) | 0:35

Here’s 5 things that are happening this week in the state legislature. Week of Feb. 27-March 2.
Wochit

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY5 things to Watch this week in the state legislature | 0:40

Week of Feb. 20
Kirk A. Bado

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYDavid Hawk talks transportation legislation | 0:28

David Haw, R-Greeneville, discusses transportation legislation.
Joel Ebert / The Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYDavid Hawk discusses transportation legislation | 0:51

David Hawk, R-Greenevill discusses transportation legislation.
Joel Ebert / The Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYProtestors bring end to news conference about bathroom bill | 2:34

Protestors brought a swift end to a news conference Wednesday about controversial legislation in Tennessee.
Jake Lowary/USA Today Network Tennessee

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYProtestors follow lawmakers sponsoring controversial bills | 0:42

Protestors followed lawmakers who are sponsoring controversial legislation in Tennessee’s legislature.
Jake Lowary

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYArthur Laffer testifies about gas tax | 1:30

Supply side economist Arthur Laffer testifies about the gas tax plan before the legislature. Laffer is popular economist in conservative circles for his emphasis on keeping taxes low and applied to the broadest base.
Jake Lowary

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYTennessee lawmaker resigns amid allegations | 0:39

Freshman state House Rep. Mark Lovell has submitted his letter of resignation amid allegations he had inappropriate contact with a woman last week, several sources, including a Tennessee Republican lawmaker, told The Tennessean.
Kyleah Starling / Tennessean / Wochit

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYRep. Bo Mitchell calls for ‘Jeremy’s Law’ repeal in wake of scandals | 17:28

Democratic Rep. Bo Mitchell calls for ‘Jeremy’s Law’ repeal in wake of scandals involving Republican lawmakers Jeremy Durham and Mark Lovell

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYDemocrats unveil alternative transportation plan | 0:56

Rep. John Ray Clemmons and Sen. Sara Kyle share their alternative to address Tennessee transportation backlogs.
Jake Lowary/USA Today Network

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY5 things to watch at the capitol this week (Feb. 13) | 0:35

Here’s a quick look at 5 things to watch for this week at the capitol in Nashville.
Jake Lowary, Joel Ebert/Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY5 things to watch in the Tennessee legislature (Feb. 5) | 1:05

Tennessee lawmakers are back in session. Here are five things to watch for the week of Feb. 5.
Joel Ebert and Duane W. Gang / The Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY3 takeaways from Gov. Bill Haslam’s State of the State address | 1:00

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam on Jan. 30, 2017 gave his annual State of the State address before the General Assembly. Here are three takeways from his speech, the next to last before leaving office.
Joel Ebert and Duane W. Gang / The Tennessean / Wochit

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYGov. Haslam’s 2017-18 education budget | 1:02

Gov. Bill Haslam’s 2017-18 budget includes $100 million for teacher pay raises and $22.2 million for English-language learning students.
Jason Gonzales / The Tennessean / Wochit

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYSen. Doug Overbey discusses wildfire recovery | 2:27

Sen. Doug Overbey discussed wilfire recovery efforts Tuesday in the Senate finance committee meeting in Nashville.
Jake Lowary/Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYRep. David Hawk reacts to State of the State | 2:43

Rep. David Hawk, R-Greeneville, reacts to Gov. Bill Haslam’s State of the State address Jan. 30 at the capitol.
Jake Lowary/Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYSen. Jim Tracy reacts to State of the State | 1:56

Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, reacts to Gov. Bill Haslam’s State of the State address Jan. 30 at the capitol.
Jake Lowary/Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYNashville Democrats react to State of the State | 1:15

Democrats Rep. Mike Stewart and Sen. Jeff Yarbro, both of Nashville, react to State of the State address Jan. 30 at the capitol.
Jake Lowary/Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYRaw video: Haslam discusses 2018 budget proposal | 5:51

Gov. Bill Haslam outlined his 2018 budget with reporters on Jan. 30 at the capitol.
Jake Lowary/Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYSenator Mark Norris reacts to State of the State pt. 2 | 0:00

State of the State
Kirk Bado / The Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYSenator Mark Norris reacts to State of the State pt. 1 | 0:00

Norris reacts to State of the State.

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY5 things to watch in the Tennessee legislature (Week of Feb. 1) | 0:35

Here are 5 big topics coming up to watch for this week in the 110th General Assembly.
Jake Lowary / The Tennessean / Wochit

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYGov. Haslam wants to expand broadband access to Tennesseans | 3:36

Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 announced efforts to expand broadband access.
Adam Tamburin/The Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYGov. Haslam outlines broadband initiative | 1:03

Gov. Bill Haslam announced the latest plank of his legislative agenda — a broadband initiative — Thursday morning at Cane Ridge High School in Antioch. Haslam’s plan will provide $45 million over 3 years in grants and tax credits for service providers. The governor said the plan focuses on three broad issues: funding, cutting regulation and education — “digital literacy.”
Karen Kraft / The Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY5 things to know about Gov. Haslam’s IMPROVE Act proposal | 1:11

The plan, which is officially known as the Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy or IMPROVE ACT was unveiled on Wednesday.
Karen Kraft / The Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYSen. Doug Overbey discusses Gatlinburg recovery | 1:06

Sen. Doug Overbey discusses Gatlinburg recovery after a meeting Thursday at the legislature in Nashville.
Jake Lowary / The Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYKey legislative issues to watch | 1:42

With lawmakers set to return to Nashville on Tuesday to officially convene the 110th General Assembly, the session is expected to cover a multitude of issues ranging from a potential gas tax increase to how to spend the state’s budget surplus.
Kyleah Starling/The Tennessean

CLOSEx

Embed

x

Share

110TH TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLYRon Ramsey readies to leave Lt. Governor post | 0:47

Outgoing Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey talks about retiring from the leadership position in the Tennessee legislature.
Lacey Atkins / Tennessean

Despite $26 million in savings reported by state administration officials, some lawmakers and state employees remain skeptical or outright opposed to Gov. Bill Haslam’s effort to privatize many state agencies or operations within state government.

Privatization of facility management, especially at public colleges and universities, has been a sort of sidecar initiative of Haslam for the past three years, in an effort to make state government more efficient and reduce costs. But many state workers still fear they will either lose their job or the areas that some have committed their lives to will suffer in quality.

Larry Martin, state finance commissioner, was flanked by several officials from his department and told a Senate Oversight and Investigations Committee on Wednesday that the governor’s plan is working. Over the last three fiscal years, the state has saved $26 million, they said, and the plan laid out by Haslam, in fact, keeps jobs in Tennessee.

He’s also testified about outsourcing and privatization more than a dozen times.

John Hull, deputy commissioner of the State of Tennessee’s Real Estate Asset Management (STREAM), said the savings “are real hard facts for us.”

Hull said survey results over the past two years are clear that the work performed by private employees at state facilities is above national trends, though opponents say quality of service by private contractors is or will diminish as the state farms out more of that work. He said industry standards for satisfactory work are about 85 percent and survey results that ask if the work was satisfactory from the past two years have been in the “high 90s.”

“What we do know is we’re getting a lot of it better than what we used to and a better price than what we used to,” Hull said.

It’s a familiar talking point for Hull, who’s argued for at least two years that the state is saving money by contracting with companies such as JLL, even though an initial $1 million contract to survey state buildings ballooned to more than $10 million.

Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, said he’s not been able to fully ascertain how the state arrives at the data it does regarding its overall savings, and requested that information from Martin and Hull. He questioned the data, specifically as it relates to the labor force, where the savings have not come.

“If the savings have not come on the labor side, why are we replacing the labor force?” he said.

Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, also questioned the notion of privatization, saying that it’s almost impossible for the state to restart or regain the management of those services once they’ve been outsourced to private companies.

Representatives from the United Campus Workers offered some of the sharpest criticism to the privatization proposal from Haslam’s office, which has yet to be finalized and was indefinitely delayed last week.

Melanie Barron, an organizer with UCW, said the request for proposal laid out by Haslam is “rife with loopholes” and despite promises from Haslam and other state leaders that agencies will be able to opt out of the RFP, little clarity about how to opt out has been provided.

“Until we see a process laid out before the public, we hold deep skepticism about what that opt-out actually is,” Barron said.

Michelle Martin, communications director for Finance and Administration, described the involvement of colleges and universities as “more of an opt-in.”

The RFP for public facility management, which is separate from a different RFP to manage Fall Creek Falls State Park facilities, closed at the end of February. The state intends to issue a letter of intent to award at the end of March, Martin said.

The state has reduced its office space footprint over the past few years in locations such as the Tennessee Tower and reduced the number of employees on state payrolls. But many lawmakers have been united in their opposition to the plan, specifically around issues related to state workers.

Jake Lowary covers Tennessee politics and state government for the USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee. Reach him at 615-881-7039 and on Twitter @JakeLowary.

MOST POPULAR STORIES


Porn resolution passes Tennessee Senate

How Obamacare replacement plan could impact Tennessee

Middle Tennessee could see snow this weekend

Hattie B’s ditches Germantown for The Hook

Rexrode: Vanderbilt’s Luke Kornet — 7-foot-1 and far from done

Article source: http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/08/officials-say-state-outsourcing-working-but-plenty-skepticism-remains/98911604/

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>