LITTLE ROCK —
State Republican lawmakers have picked a Rhode Island consultant known for reforming social programs to suggest some changes for the Natural State.
Four months of review and recommendations come with a price tag of $220,000.00.
Gary Alexander left a $143,000.00 a year job as Pennsylvania's Secretary of Welfare less than three months ago.
Thanks to Arkansas, four months of work will replace that lost annual income...and then some.
Alexander left public service to pursue more private sector opportunities and to spend more time with his young family in Rhode Island. Arkansas is helping make that happen.
On March 5th the Bureau of Legislative Research, after a recommendation from State Representative Bruce Westerman, entered into this contract with The Alexander Group. It requires Alexander to review the state's public welfare system in an effort to increase savings and efficiency.
Particular attention is to be paid to Medicaid, but also getting a look: TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Child Care Assistance and Operations and Administration.
Some lawmakers consider these social programs untouchable. Others see them as unsustainable.
Alexander's history of reform in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania has eliminated waste and lowered costs through consolidation of state agencies, elimination of state employees, reductions in state services and out sourcing of state duties.
It is too soon to tell what The Alexander Group will recommended to Arkansas lawmakers or if this $220,000.00 will be money well spent.
In less than a month Alexander will collect his fourth and final $55,000 payment but as of today there have not been any reports filed or any recommendations made.
Air date: May 13th, 2013