May 1, 2013


MI: In reversal, Mich. privatizing prison food service. State officials reversed themselves Tuesday in deciding to hire a private company to prepare food for Michigan’s 44,000 prisoners, saying they originally misjudged a plan that would actually save the state about $16 million. The Michigan Department of Corrections sent a notification to state employees of the decision, which puts the jobs of 373 workers at risk. The agency initially said the plan would not save enough money. But on Tuesday, agency officials said mistakes were made in evaluating bidders’ proposals, including comparisons between the private sector and state costs that were not “apples to apples.”

PA: Corbett’s liquor privatization plan on life support. First came the cops. Then came the drug-and-alcohol counselors. Next up was the moms. And finally, the kids. All of them told a state Senate committee Tuesday they oppose a plan to privatize wine and spirits sales and make beer more readily available under a House-approved bill supported by Gov. Tom Corbett. Indeed, the one-sided panel signaled in stark terms that the House-passed bill is on life support in the Senate. That means Corbett’s vision of privatization is unlikely to become law. What, if anything, will pass to replace Pennsylvania’s dated booze-distribution system remains unknown. This much is clear: A key Senate committee chairman effectively pulled the plug on the House’s version of privatization just two months before a June 30 deadline for a new state budget. “I am on record saying I will not support the House bill,” Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, chairman of the Law and Justice Committee, said after the hearing. Allentown Morning Call

PA: Privatization would boost drinking, board hears. Witnesses from the union for state troopers, who enforce liquor laws, and from drug and alcohol prevention and treatment groups said privatizing would lead to more liquor outlets, more drinking, and more alcohol-related crime and violence.

TX: Bill would open Loop 1604 to private company. The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would open the door to a private developer one day building a toll road project on Loop 1604. If the bill becomes law, state or local transportation officials would have the option to partner with a company or other private entity that could front the money to develop, finance, build, maintain and operate the toll road…. The state owns the road but a private consortium, made up of Spanish-based Cintra and San Antonio-based Zachry American Infrastructure, built and maintains it. The consortium shares toll revenues with the state for the duration of a five-decade lease. San Antonio Express