After being stopped from privatizing the state prison in Cottonport last year, Gov. Bobby Jindal is trying again.
Jindal announced Thursday that he will once again try to sell the AVC during the upcoming legislative session to help balance the state’s budget.
The news came as a shock to some, but to others it was expected.
Last year, the governor tried to sell the AVC to a private company, along with prisons in Winn and Allen parishes for $90 million to balance the state’s budget. A huge outcry from the citizens and legislature, especially from Avoyelles Parish, beat back the plan and the governor pulled it from the table after other funds were found to balance the budget. Several felt at the time, the battle was won for Avoyelles, but the war was not over and Jindal would resurface the plan this year again. They were right.
This time there is a new twist to the governor’s plan. He wants to move offenders from the J. Levy Dabadie Correctional Center in Pineville to the Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport and then go on to convert the combined center to a privately-run facility. The money earned from selling the facilities to a private company will go to the state's “Rainy Day Fund.
Both State Senator Eric Lafleur and Rep. Robert Johnson said they will again oppose the governor's plan.