The state Department of Human Services says it will re-evaluate bids to operate Youth Services facilities after complaints from current operators who stood to lose the work to an out-of-state bidder with a higher price. Report from Arkansas News Bureau.
DHS had chosen Youth Opportunities Investments of Carmel, Ind., based on a variety of criteria, not just price. Protests were filed by South Arkansas Youth Services of Magnolia, which operates facilities in Mansfield, and by Consolidated Youth Services of Jonesboro, which has facilities in Colt and Harrisburg.
I have been remiss in not noting earlier in this process the off-smell of Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson being hired as a private lawyer for South Arkansas Youth Services and negotiating “settlements.” He can call this lawyering. I call it lobbying a state agency that needs the senator’s votes in many other issues.
Hutchinson tends to leave an aroma. Keep a lookout for gambling enterprises whose interests Hutchinson represents. It starts, but does not end, with his successful advocacy of a junior casino license for Dave and Buster’s, where you can win expensive prizes if you pump enough coins into their machines. It might be time to bring back the Batman photo.