HB 1009: Department of Human Services; may contract with vendors to improve performance and efficiency of its services
On Tuesday, April 2, 2013, HB 1009 was debated on the House floor. Rep. Carolyn Crawford, District 121, misrepresenting a large constituency of state workers in HarrisonCounty, initially handled the bill. When she became so confused with questions from the floor, Rep. Jerry Turner, District 18 had to come to her rescue. Turner, who represents Lee and Prentiss Counties and Chairs the Committee on Accountability, Efficiency, and Transparency, took on the task of defending the indefensible bill, of putting private for-profits over public service. Among some of the concerns raised, was the authority being given Executive Director, Ricky Berry to contract out ANY office, division or bureau of the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
HB 1009 was peppered with two (2) failed amendments. The first amendment was to recommit the bill for further conferencing and the other was to recommit the bill with instructions. Both failed with a vote of 58 Yeas and 60 Nays. After much debate the Conference report on HB 1009 passed with a vote of 62 Yeas and 56 nays. (See how YOUR representative voted below). Rep. Jim Evans, District 70, Hinds County held HB 1009 on a Motion to Reconsider. On Wednesday, that motion went down in defeat in the House and therefore, the bill is headed to the Governor’s office for his signature.
In speaking with the Executive Director of MDHS and according to
the debate on the House floor, this bill is not meant to result in the massive laying off of state workers, but allows for more flexibility of management to reorganize. Executive Directors come and go as a result of being appointed by the Governor. It is often said that the devil is always in the details; therefore, workers should watch out and notify the union of when suspicious activities occur. We will have to win this battle in the courts of public opinion because when you put private for-profit between the people and the services they need, it usually results in a call to action by the masses.
Finally, let us intensify our efforts to sign up our co-workers and prepare for what is to come. Call the MASE/CWA office and find out what you can do to help!!! We want to come to your area for a meeting to update workers on what to expect, so please, call and help us arrange a meeting. We would like to have the opportunity to explain how this bill is poised to hurt you and your co-workers and the Mississippi citizens served by the agency.
2013 Regular Session
YEA is a BAD vote:
Absent and those not voting--Clarke, Lee. Total--2.
2013 Regular Session
The conference report on H. B. No. 1009 was adopted by the following vote