Louisiana has billions of taxpayer dollars tied up in thousands of contracts—for goods and services, consulting, privatization and more. Lawmakers, frustrated by the continuing battles to balance the state budget, are pushing to take a closer look at those contracts.

A new study by a UC-Berkeley graduate student has surprised a number of experts in the criminology field. Its main finding: Private prisons are packed with young people of color.

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The state Department of Health and Hospitals is taking preliminary steps to further privatize Medicaid in Louisiana. In August, DHH released a concept paper about reforms to long-term care for the developmentally disabled and low-income elderly.

Governor Jindal’s administration has said privatizing state services saves money, but some legislators are wary about the quality of those those services and whether they help the budget.

A measure that would have provided more oversight for contracts died in a Senate committee yesterday, as those that work at the Capitol hunkered down on the holiday to get everything done before the session ends on June 6.

Lawmakers that have fought the Administration for more power in the process of privatizing the state’s charity hospitals may get their wish as they consider funding for the cost of laying off hospital workers.

According to a report by the state auditor’s office, the privatization will cost the state 42 million dollar in leave payouts and unemployment payments.