December 6, 2012


PA: State’s financial adviser doesn’t hide connection to only bidder for Pennsylvania lottery

A firm hired to advise Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration in its pursuit of privatizing the Pennsylvania Lottery management is no stranger to the company interested in taking over the lottery. The state’s financial adviser, Greenhill & Co., worked on the $576 million sale of the Camelot Group to its present owner, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, in 2010. One of Camelot’s companies, Camelot Global Services PA, was the only firm to submit a bid to take over running the state’s $3 billion-plus lottery enterprise for the next 20 to 30 years. Now both Greenhill, which has a financial incentive in its contract if the lottery’s management goes private, and Camelot stand to make millions if Corbett signs the privatization deal.  The Patriot-News

FL: Judge: Florida’s Attempt to Privatize Prison Health Care Violated Law

For the second time in over a year, a state judge has ruled that the Florida Legislature violated the law when it tried to privatize the state’s role in operating prisons. Leon County Circuit Court Judge John Cooper on Tuesday struck down an attempt by the Florida Legislature to privatize prison health care by using a budgetary process instead of making the change through a full vote of lawmakers. Gov. Rick Scott and the Department of Corrections said they will appeal the ruling, warning that the state now faces a $90 million deficit because they had counted saving that much over the next two years by having private contractors provide prison health care.  Governing

NE: Report: Child Welfare Privatization Went Too Fast

A new report says Nebraska’s effort to privatize child welfare services wasn’t necessarily bad — it just went too fast. The report to Nebraska lawmakers says the push to privatize in a three-month period created “an extraordinary level of upheaval” among organizations that worked with the government to help children. The privatization experiment has faced problems since it began in 2009. Four of Nebraska’s five service providers have ended or lost their contracts with the state, citing a lack of funding and an overwhelming number of abused, neglected and troubled children. 1011Now

NJ: Assembly panel to examine lottery privatization proposal this morning

The Christie administration has put out a request looking for a private company to manage the New Jersey Lottery. But Democrats in the Legislature, along with a coalition of small businesses and union members, are questioning the proposal, worried it could reduce revenue to the state and block small businesses from selling tickets.

NH: Privatizing N.H. prisons in for a cooler reception

The Executive Council voted yesterday to continue studying privatizing the state’s prisons, but going private has lost its biggest supporters at the State House. Incoming governor Maggie Hassan opposes putting inmate care in private hands, as does a majority of the next Executive Council. And Democrats, who have taken control of the House, haven’t shared their Republican counterparts’ appetite for privatization. But partial privatization – allowing a private company to build a prison the state would run – may have support in at least the corner office.   Concord Monitor

Charter Schools Under-Enroll Students With Special Needs, New Review Finds

Several recent reports, including one from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, have found that charter schools generally under-enroll special education students when compared to conventional public schools. A new report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, however, asserts that charter schools’ special education rates are much closer to those of district public schools than is described by these other recent reports.  National Education Policy Center

Editorial: Race to the Bottom

An investigation by The Times found that state and local governments are giving out $80 billion a year in tax breaks and other subsidies in a foolhardy, shortsighted race to attract companies. That money could go a long way to improving education, transportation and other public services that would have a far better shot at promoting real economic growth.  New York Times