Democrats criticize Haslam for exploring more outsourcing

Democrats say Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is displaying what they call “hostility” toward state workers by looking to outsource the management of more government functions to the private sector.

Haslam on Tuesday retorted that his first responsibility is to 6.5 million Tennesseans and not toward “creating more government jobs.”

The Haslam administration last week posted a request for information from private companies about how they would operate a wide range of state government facilities, including state colleges and universities, prisons, hospitals and state parks.

The governor told reporters his administration is only in the information-gathering phase and has not yet decided whether to proceed with more outsourcing.

Senate Democratic Leader Lee Harris of Memphis said the state shouldn’t only focus on cost savings when it comes to armories and prisons.