1. NY governor proposes leasing lottery to raise funds.
2. City billed for absent guards.
3. Battle in Calif. Heats Up Over 241 Toll Road Extension.
4. Green groups appeal judgeâ€™s MD connector ruling.
5. Texas state highway 360 moves toward becoming toll road.
6. Gov boots Campbell from board.
7. Official endorses Gov. Schwarzeneggerâ€™s Public Private Partnerships.
8. How private money is eclipsing public works.
9. Think twice before privatizing our lottery.
10. Eight legislators enter KY water dispute.
1. NY governor proposes leasing lottery to raise funds. Reuters reports that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer on Wednesday proposed leasing some of the state lottery’s future revenues to raise billions of dollars for higher education, joining many other states privatizing their assets.
2. City billed for absent guards. The Tennessean has an article about a private security firm that didn’t cover a vulnerable Nashville government building on Saturdays for months â€” but did send the city a bill for its services. Laptop computers containing voters’ Social Security numbers were stolen from the facility before Christmas, potentially exposing 337,000 people to identity theft. Although it’s not clear whether the break-in occurred on a Saturday, city officials said the alleged failings of Wackenhut Corp. and a subcontractor are still outrageous if they’re accurate.
3. Battle in Calif. Heats Up Over 241 Toll Road Extension. Southern California Public Radio reports that the California Coastal Commission is due to decide next month whether to allow the extension of the 241 Toll Road in South Orange County. The Commission’s staff just turned out a report that raises big questions about the toll road project.
4. Green groups appeal judgeâ€™s MD connector ruling. Environmental groups attempting to halt construction of the controversial Maryland Intercounty Connector have appealed a decision by a federal judge that allowed construction of the 18-mile toll road to proceed, according to a report in the DC Examiner.
5. Texas state highway 360 moves toward becoming toll road. A part of Texas state Highway 360, beginning at Green Oaks and stretching all the way to U.S. Highway 287 could become a toll road, NBC 5 Dallas/Fort Worth reports.
6. Gov boots Campbell from board. The son of a popular former governor has been removed from a state board by SC Governor Mark Sanford. Carroll Campbell III says he thinks he was replaced on the State Ports Authority board because he disagrees with Sanford about privatizing state ports, according to a report on WCBD-TV.
7. Official endorses Gov. Schwarzeneggerâ€™s Public Private Partnerships. The chair of California’s High Desert Corridor Authority has a commentary in the Victorville Daily Press endorsing Schwarzenegger’s plan to push for public-private partnerships in state and local construction projects. "With traditional sources of money for new infrastructure being as dry as the Mojave River in summer, we need to find innovative ways to build new highways."
8. How private money is eclipsing public works.The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Report comments on a recent NYT’s article on cash-starved New Haven, Conn., facing stalled bridge and freeway repair projects, while the city’s resident Yale University is rolling in dough. Its wealthy alums are funding the schoolâ€™s largest expansion since the 1930s. "With privatization all the rage, why not take things a step further? Why not offer todayâ€™s rich some real incentives to strengthen the countryâ€™s infrastructure with naming rights. I hate naming rights as much as the next guy. But if private money prevents our bridges and roads from from falling down, I donâ€™t care what theyâ€™re named."
9. Think twice before privatizing our lottery. In a commentary in Times Argus, Vermont’s state treasurer says that thinking outside of the box is a good thing, but the proposal being floated by the governor’s office to privatize the Vermont Lottery is too risky. "In a nutshell, the proposal advocates that the State lease our lottery to private investors for a period of 40 years for an upfront payment of an estimated $300 + million. Typical investors in lotteries include private equity funds, hedge funds and investment banks. Vermont would annuitize most of its proceeds so that we could maintain an annual stream of funds similar to what we now realize from the lottery and also enjoy a one-time lump sum payment of about $50 million. There are several reasons why Vermont should reject the idea."
10. Eight legislators enter KY water dispute. Eight Kentucky state legislators are urging Lexington city officials to take a more active role in solving the region’s water supply problems. In a letter delivered Friday, they say the city should "actively pursue" a public-private partnership idea that was suggested last month by the state’s Public Service Commission, according to a report in the Amead Herald-Leader.