January 17, 2013


VA: Virginia cites high toll rates in proposed ‘buyback’ of private toll road

Virginia taxpayers may end up spending millions of dollars to buy back a privately operated toll road. Lawmakers are searching for the means to buy back the 14-mile Dulles Greenway, saying the state can set toll rates lower than the current operator, a consortium owned by Macquarie Infrastructure Group of Australia. Lawmakers believe a state-operated tolling authority could do it cheaper.  Land Line Magazine

PA: City gas panel OKs plan to hire advisers to sell Phila. Gas Works

Over the objections of unionized gas workers and the city’s public advocate, the commission voted, 3-2, to hire a team of lawyers, financial advisers, and communications consultants to solicit bids to privatize PGW, the largest municipal gas utility in the nation. Philadelphia Inquirer

PA: House Dems don’t like PaLottery privatization, have no idea what to do about it

The Republican administration is lining the pockets of the U.K.-based Camelot Group at the expense of senior citizens who benefit from the programs the Lottery pays for, Democrats kvetched. And with the likely expansion of Keno into Pennsylvania’s bars and taverns, there will be “more people spending their paychecks in bars and more ruined families,” Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, said. But the noisy Democrats were reduced to cricket-like chriping when asked whether they had any legislative remedies to halt the administration’s planned contract with Camelot, which operates the National Lottery in the United Kingdom.  The Morning Call

PA: Editorial: More answers needed before gambling on privatizing the lottery

Privatization of government programs makes sense when efficiencies are realized that either reduce costs or increase revenue. Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed deal with a British company to take over the Pennsylvania Lottery raises more questions it can answer concerning how the contract would work and how much profit might be expected. This is a gamble we don’t support at this time. Centre Daily Times

DE: Del. Senate OKs lawmaker say in port privatization

The bill, which passed the Senate 11-9 and now goes to the House, prevents the state-controlled Diamond State Port Corporation from entering into any agreement to privatize or lease the port without first obtaining approval from both chambers of the General Assembly. Houston Chronicle

Influential group of CEOs calls for raising retirement age to 70 for Social Security, Medicare

An influential group of business CEOs is pushing a plan to gradually increase the full retirement age to 70 for both Social Security and Medicare and to partially privatize the health insurance program for older Americans. Washington Post