April 29, 2013


LA: Lawmakers scrutinize LSU privatization. Lawmakers are raising questions about whether the LSU privatization agreements devised by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration provide enough public scrutiny of the hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. he concerns were voiced Friday as the Legislature’s joint budget committee reviewed agreements to turn over management of LSU’s Lafayette and New Orleans hospitals to nonprofit’s that run private hospitals. Committee members also say information is murky on the cost of the deals and how they will affect the state budget annually. KLFY

NJ: Sole bidder in lottery privatization plan will expand retail outlets. The lone bidder in a plan to privatize New Jersey’s lottery will generate new revenue for the state by increasing the number of stores that sell tickets and developing “transformative” designs for lottery games.  NorthJersey.com

FL: Budget push for more privatization skirts transparency. Budget language that would ask the state to develop a plan to move those with developmental disabilities through a managed care system has drawn fire. “We are concerned that managed care options may further cut services and reduce the inserted at the last minute without public discussion. ability of individuals with developmental disabilities to live in the community,” stated a release by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council. “Stakeholders for those with developmental disabilities were surprised that this language appeared during the last day of the (Health and Human Services/Healthcare) budget conference process and was quickly accepted.” The language in question was slipped into the legislative health care budget without discussion on Tuesday morning.  Naked Politics

FL: Negron rejects privatization plan. On Tuesday, language that would require the state to  develop a plan to move those with developmental disabilities through a managed care system was added at the final joint budget conference between the House and Senate appropriation committees. Non-profit groups objected, saying it was a last-minute addition that could have huge ramifications for those with disabilities and deserved a public reckoning. Sen. Joe Negron , R-Stuart, was no fan of the add either. Asked Friday night if it would remain in the budget, Negron didn’t hesitate with a reply. “We’re not doing it,” he said. “I won’t support it, we’re not doing it.”  Tampa Bay Times

NC: Op-Ed: Dr. Jo Ellen Hirsch – Don’t let North Carolina privatize Medicaid. There are three strong reasons thoughtful legislators should oppose the privatization of Medicaid in North Carolina. Private insurers are obligated and responsible to shareholders, not to the citizens of North Carolina. Fayetteville Observer

NY: Privatization of the Commons in Mayor Bloomberg’s New York. Greg Miller is Executive Director and Founder of Dance Parade, a not-for-profit cultural organization which organizes an annual event in New York City. Seven years ago, he held his first event in Washington Square Park. The end of the parade wrapped up under the park’s Arch. The following year, Miller wanted to repeat the event at the historic downtown park but it had since gone under construction and was inaccessible. So he looked to midtown’s Bryant Park. He spent “many hours putting together a proposal” for the four hour free event, “very detailed, which is what they require.” The ‘they’ is the Bryant Park Corporation from which he received a response: “Thank you, that will cost you $100,000 — at the non-profit fee.” As a non-profit, this was well out of range of their budget; the group ended up at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village at a fraction of the cost. Such is the way private corporations now running many New York City parks discriminate against the public’s use without giving the appearance of selectively censoring particular projects. Huffington Post

PA: The liquor privatization battle moves to the Senate. On April 30, Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, a Bucks County Republican, will hold court as chairman over a much-anticipated Senate Law and Justice Committee hearing, one of three scheduled this spring on the topic of liquor privatization…..Earlier this year, he proposed legislation that would modernize the state liquor system and keep the state-run stores. He spoke out against Corbett’s liquor privatization proposal, and in March flat out said he wouldn’t have supported the House bill designed to privatize liquor. But in a surprise move earlier this week, McIlhinney told Philadelphia radio show host Dom Giordano he favors the idea of selling off the state’s liquor stores. In addition, he said he supports a freer retail market than the version passed in the House…. In the meantime, the conservative Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania has launched a television campaign in the Bucks County market targeting McIlhinney. The ads accuse the senator of being against privatization and voting in the past in favor of big government corporations.  PennLive.com

TX: Mayor Ponders Privatizing Airport. Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell says he’s considering a plan to lease out the Austin -Bergstrom International Airport to help pay for future urban rail. KUT News