May 23, 2008

DC: Contractor payments deemed improper
Experts say more tolls in future
LA: House panel defers privatization bill
PA: Lawmakers deride turnpike lease plan
LA: Voucher bill gets tweaked
WI: Psychiatric site deal put off
MA: Privatizing custodians approved

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News Summaries
DC: Contractor payments deemed improper
A consultant for the District Office of Tax and Revenue has been paid
more than $2 million in improper charges, including airfare to Puerto
Rico, cable television bills, $3,000 apartment rentals and management
retreats, Auditor Deborah K. Nichols said yesterday. Accenture has been
paid about $135 million since 1998 to create the Integrated Tax System
and run the computers, including ongoing fees of $5 million per year.
Washington Post

Experts say more tolls in future
As the nation struggles with an aging and outdated transportation
infrastructure, private capital and increased reliance on toll revenue
financial will play a major role in funding future projects. That’s the
word from experts surveyed in support of a background paper for
Infocast’s Conference on Transportation Infrastructure. Logistics Management
LA: House panel defers privatization bill
LA: Legislation that would have allowed the state to privatize a
facility for certain mental health patients failed to get approval from
a House committee Thursday. State Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Marksville,
said it seems like the state wants to privatize these areas to get rid
of the charity hospital system that is costing the state money. “The
state’s not in this to make profits and private industry is and that’s
where it concerns me,” Johnson said. The Advocate (Baton Rouge)
PA: Lawmakers deride turnpike lease plan
Two state senators on Thursday bashed Gov. Ed Rendell’s plan to lease
the Pennsylvania Turnpike and one released an alternative that calls
for repealing the existing law that pays for roads, bridges and mass
transit. "To say that the administration has presented a rosy financial
scenario would be an understatement," Sen Sean Logan said. "It fails to
account for important relevant factors, and it makes actuarial
assumptions for future earnings that are so optimistic as to be
fiscally irresponsible. Under the governor’s plan, we could run out of
money in as little as 16 years." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
LA: Voucher bill gets tweaked
A grant program to pay private school tuition for students leaving New
Orleans public schools is nearing a final vote in the Legislature.
The Times-Picayune
(New Orleans)
WI: Psychiatric site deal put off
One of several issues supervisors want explored is how much of the estimated
savings from the proposed lease would be due to privatizing 73 hospital
housekeeping and maintenance jobs. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
MA: Privatizing custodians approved
The Swansea School Committee unanimously approved the privatization of
the custodial and maintenance staff that will allow the final step of
contracting out all services once occupied by 19 full-time employees.
Wicked Local Swansea