March 6, 2012

Headlines
CA: State government contracting debate back at California’s Capitol
CA: L.A. controller advises against quick fixes
OH: ACLU of Ohio protests privatizing state prisons
LA: Senator — Jindal’s plan not reform
NY: Privatization proposed for nursing home

CA: State government contracting debate back at California’s Capitol
The debate over whether government runs best with civil service workers or privately contracted help is re-igniting in the Capitol over legislation that, among other things, would give state workers first dibs whenever the state has work to do. Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, contends the civil service-first provision in his “Public Employees Bill of Rights” would produce better and cheaper government. Unions backing the measure agree. Critics say the bill reads like a union wish list and could make government more expensive. The Sacramento Bee

CA: L.A. controller advises against quick fixes
Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel has released an economic forecast projecting a $200 million deficit next year and recommending that the city focus on structural budgetary changes instead of relying on one-time revenues and expenditure deferrals…Officials have been meeting with the unions to try to strike agreements that deal with salary and pension issues without unduly impacting core city services, Brill said. An ongoing issue is in defining what core services the city should be providing and what services can be privatized. Officials have sought request for proposals on privatizing parking garages, the city zoo and parking meters, but they have yet to move forward on them. The public unions have fought most privatization efforts. Bond Buyer ($)

OH: ACLU of Ohio protests privatizing state prisons
The idea to privatize Ohio prisons was concocted by Gov. John Kasich in an attempt to fill an $8 billion hole in Ohio’s budget. The sale brought in an extra $50 million to use in balancing Ohio’s prison budget. Kasich’s budget strategy included an overhaul of Ohio’s Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which means that private prison facility owners would actually benefit from more incarcerations. Now, CCA has made an offerto  48 U.S. states to buy and privatize state prisons. The offer, the Corrections Investment Initiative, outlines CCA’s plan to spend up to $250 million on state, local and federal entities and then manage the facilities. According to the CCA’s statement from Harley Lappin, Chief Corrections Officer at CCA, they’re only interested in buying facilities that are willing to sign over rights of ownership to the CCA for a minimum of 20 years, and states must agree to keep the facilities at least 90 percent full. Cincinnati City Beat

LA: Senator — Jindal’s plan not reform

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to expand state aid for low-income students to attend private and parochial schools is unworkable, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said Monday. Landrieu said Jindal’s proposal would apply to about 378,000 public school students — more than half the state’s enrollment — and that private schools could not handle such a massive influx of new pupils.  The Advocate

NY: Privatization proposed for nursing home
The Albany County Nursing Home could be privatized under two options that County Executive Dan McCoy offered for consideration Monday night. “It’s about what’s best for everyone in Albany County,” McCoy said in his first State of the County address. Those decisions include privatizing the management of the facility or privatizing the entire operation, McCoy said. Requests for proposals will go out in the next several weeks, the county executive said. Times Union

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