April 18, 2013


NJ: US congressmen ask feds to review Christie’s lottery privatization plan. New Jersey’s six Democratic congressmen asked the U.S. Justice Department today to review the Christie administration’s plan for a private company to take over parts of the New Jersey lottery to make sure it doesnot violate federal law… The lottery is New Jersey’s fourth-largest source ofrevenue, generating $2.6 billion in ticket sales a year. Last year, the lottery provided the state in $950 million in revenue, financing scholarships and programs for military veterans and the disabled. North Star, the only group to bid on the contract, will pay the state $120 million up front and keep part of future revenue increases.  Hunterdon County Democrat

IN: Mayor drops plan to privatize City-County Building. When Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard opened the City-County Building to the. possibility of private management for the first time in 50 years last summer, his staff hoped to land a big upfront payment, plus annual savings. None of that came to fruition. … Four private-sector real estate teams responded to the “request for information” that the Office of Enterprise Development issued last June, and all proposed using a long-term management agreement to finance a multimillion-dollar payment to the city. But none of them could do that while also beating the building authority on annual expenses, said David Rosenberg, the city’s director of enterprise development.  Indianapolis Business Journal

NC: Group opposes school vouchers. In a press release send to this and other newspapers, Public Schools First NC strongly opposes H.B. 944, a bill they say proposes to spend $90 million of taxpayer money over the next two years to subsidize private school tuition. The group – comprised of citizens, parents, teachers, businesses and organizations – alleged that the proposed legislation will take money away from already underfunded public schools, with little accountability to taxpayers. Vouchers are a failing proposition all around: they fail to help the students who most need them; they provide little benefit for the students who do use them; and they drain resources from the one public institution best situated to educate all children: the public schools, according to the press release.  Roanoke Chowan News Herald

NC: Opinion: The Danger of McCrory’s Bobby Jindal Imitation. Gov. Pat McCrory appears to be on a privatization spree that could have serious implications for jobs and health care in North Carolina. And none of it seems very well thought out. McCrory announced a plan Monday that would turn over the state’s economic development efforts to a private nonprofit corporation he would chair, essentially abolishing the Department of Commerce….A 2011 report from the national group Good Jobs First finds that several states that have privatized economic development efforts have seen a series of problems, including misuse of taxpayer money, excessive executive bonuses and questionable subsidy deals. It sounds like exactly what we don’t need in North Carolina. Southern Pines Pilot

LA: LSU board approves privatization of New Orleans, Lafayette hospitals. The Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors unanimously signed off on the privatizations of public hospitals in New Orleans and Lafayette Wednesday… The agreement between LSU and the private hospital operators, known as Cooperative Endeavor Agreements, will be presented to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget later this year. The state Senate has also passed a resolution requiring the Senate Finance Committee to approve any privatizations. It’s not clear whether that measure, by Sen. Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, will be binding on the administration. NOLA.com