February 13, 2013


SC: SC could privatize program for sexual predators

The state Department of Mental Health could privatize its program for sexually violent predators under a proposal that state lawmakers endorsed Monday. South Carolina is one of about 20 states that has a program that allows the state to keep sexually violent predators in prison past their release dates if a judge rules they pose a threat to the community. That program is growing and expensive. MyrtleBeachOnline.com

MS: Mississippi House approves bill to privatize child support collections

House members narrowly approved legislation Tuesday that would let the state Department of Human Services turn over child support collections to lawyers or other private vendors. DeSoto Appeal

PA: Corbett: School grants need liquor privatization

Gov. Tom Corbett said Tuesday a proposed block grant program that would funnel a projected $1 billion to state schools over four years would disappear if lawmakers don’t approve his liquor privatization initiative. Corbett singled out his proposed Passport for Learning initiative as he lobbied for his $28.4 billion state budget plan at a Capitol news conference and a separate economic summit sponsored by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Pennsylvania Bankers Association.  SFGate.com

CA: Students plan to rally against privatization

Students will rally today at noon at the Memorial Union (MU) to speak about “blowing the whistle” on privatization and to address the alleged ongoing privatization of the University of California. “If we do not seriously reverse track, we are going to end up with a system of higher education public only in name — because fees will be so high that more and more students will be unable to afford to attend, lest they want to go into even more outrageous debt than many currently are in. By taking this action, we are refusing to be commodified.” The Aggie

OR: Bill to support toll road advances in Oregon

A bill (HB2696) is advancing in the Oregon state legislature to support a proposed investor-financed 12-mi., 2×2 lane toll road — the Coastal Parkway — on the southwestern part of the Portland metro area. Fleet Owner

OH: Privatizing Prison Food: Cutting Costs and Irking Inmates

But a common concern for this time of move is the fact that private contractors don’t have to yield to federal nutrition guidelines. Furthermore, there’s the ever-looming notion of *profit* that hangs in the air. Last year, a deadly riot broke out at a Mississippi detention center following similar turns in food quality and health. Cleveland Scene Weekly

The collateral damage of cutting postal service – Katrina vanden Heuvel

The collateral damage of shutting down Saturday delivery and hours will be extensive — particularly in inner cities and rural areas, where small businesses and working families rely on local post offices, many of which are already scheduled to be shut down. Americans increasingly vote by mail — particularly workers on strict schedules, and increasingly seniors and the disabled. But that works only if the mail delivery system is secure. Kate Brown, secretary of state in Oregon, a leading vote-by-mail state, argues that eliminating Saturday delivery and other cutbacks in the USPS will create delays, increase burdens on election officials and threaten to disenfranchise voters in Oregon. Donahue seems intent on killing the postal service with those proverbial thousand cuts. The private companies would like nothing better than to carve up pieces of USPS. And without it, watch rates soar — as in Germany, where a letter costs 78 cents.  Washington Post