January 8, 2013


NY: Long Island Power Should Be Private, New York Panel Says

The Long Island Power Authority should be converted into an investor-owned utility to end poor management practices that exacerbated slow and halting repairs of blackouts from October’s Hurricane Sandy, a New York state investigative panel said today. Privatization would make management of the state-owned electrical system answerable to the New York Public Service Commission, which should be empowered by the legislature with stronger sanctions including the ability to revoke a utility franchise, the panel told Governor Andrew Cuomo today in a preliminary briefing.  Businessweek

PA: Lawsuit filed over effort to privatize Pa. lottery

A state employees union and seven Democratic lawmakers filed a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court on Monday seeking to stop the state from privatizing the management of the lottery, saying Republican Gov. Tom Corbett doesn’t have the authority to make such a move.  The Mercury

PA: Trial opens for pair accused of bilking municipalities

Two Lackawanna County businessmen pocketed lavish bonuses while a Lehigh Valley town they promised to save money through a streetlight privatization project forked over more than $800,000 to them for work that was never done. Standard Speaker

NC: State report card on mental health care           

North Carolina’s mental health system has been in “chaos” in recent years, partly due to safety concerns at state psychiatric hospitals as well as bumpy efforts to privatize community care.  USA Today

TX: Texas revenue estimate brighter on eve of session

A resurgent Texas economy fueled a strong state revenue projection Monday, but while majority Republicans preached restraint Democrats saw enough money on the table under the $101.4 billion estimate to reverse deep cuts currently on the books….Teachers groups that marched on the Capitol in 2011 used Monday’s figure to again call on lawmakers to restore cuts. “It would be extremely short-sighted for state politicians to stick their heads in the sand and falsely plead ‘austerity’ in order to pander to ideological extremists intent on privatizing public schools and sacrificing our future,” said Rita Haecker, president of the Texas State Teachers Association.  San Francisco Chronicle

Distressed toll roads

Toll road revenues have been adversely affected by the economic recession and rising gas prices, which drove down traffic overall. The availability of alternative, free public roads has also dissuaded drivers from using toll roads. In some instances, toll roads have not achieved revenue projections because they were built in anticipation of new housing and commercial developments that never materialized.   Lexology