January 2, 2013


PA: Talks to privatize Pa. Lottery management extended

A potential deal to privatize management of the Pennsylvania Lottery was put off for an additional 10 days on Monday after Gov. Tom Corbett and a British company agreed to extend negotiations. Hours before the $34 billion bid by Camelot Global Services PA LLC was set to expire, Corbett’s Revenue Department announced the bid was extended until Jan. 10.  GoErie.com

PA: Democrats question bid to privatize Pa. lottery

Democratic lawmakers are taking aim at Republican Gov. Tom Corbett administration’s move to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery’s management, saying it is shrouded in secrecy and will result in a corporate giveaway that diverts hundreds of millions of dollars from the state’s services for the elderly.  Reading Eagle

NJ: Editorial: Legislative hearings needed on lottery bid

If it isn’t broke, why fix it? That’s the question many people have been asking since Gov. Chris Christie announced plans last year to privatize New Jersey’s successful state lottery. And while the executive branch is within its right to pursue privatization, the importance of lottery revenue to the state’s budget picture would argue for legislative hearings before any final agreement is signed — especially since the governor last week accepted a single bid, by Northstar New Jersey, on the 15-year contract. At the very least, the Legislature should insist that Christie explain precisely how the contract wound up with a single bidder — a consortium of three companies that had originally expressed interest. Industry sources said that such a consortium making a single bid is often necessary, given how complicated running a state lottery can be. All the more reason to hold hearings on precisely how the arrangement will work.  Asbury Park Press

CA: California Toll Bonds Hampered by Freeways: Muni Credit

Even in traffic-clogged Southern California, too few drivers want to spend as much as $6.25 to travel 12 miles on toll roads. Their reluctance is leading one highway agency to extend $2.4 billion in debt payments by as much as 12 years as investors demand more to hold its securities. Orange County’s 51 miles (82 kilometers) of toll highways, the most extensive system in the world’s ninth-biggest economy, have fallen short of revenue projections since opening in the 1990s as the two managing agencies raise fares and refinance $4.5 billion in outstanding debt issued to build them. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer is looking into whether the authorities even will be able to raise money for escalating bond payments.  Bloomberg

IN: Indiana a changed state under 8 years of Daniels

Efforts to privatize the state’s welfare system, cut funding to Planned Parenthood, bar employers from requiring union dues of workers and create the voucher program sparked numerous legal battles, some of which will continue long past the end of his term Jan. 14.  San Francisco Chronicle

FL: Letter: Privatization helping middle class disappear

Since privatization almost always results in a union job being replaced with a non-union one, management can pretty well dictate the terms. Compared to a government job, salaries in a private firm are usually not too much lower, but benefits will be radically reduced, and anyone who complains about it can be laid off without cause. The net result is top management receives a much bigger share of the pie, while the rank and file have to make do with less. And we wonder why the middle class is disappearing. I submit that privatization is a major factor. Florida Today           

VA: New year brings increased rates on Dulles Toll Road

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced the fare increases in November, saying they were necessary to finance the completion of the ongoing Dulles Metro Project.  Washington Business Journal