May 15, 2013


LA: Audit: $42M in layoff costs for LSU privatization. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s push to privatize all but one of the LSU-run hospitals across south Louisiana will cost the state an estimated $42 million to make the layoffs, according to an audit released Monday. The review by Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office said privatization of six hospitals in the LSU Health Care Services Division would require an estimated $29 million for termination pay and another $13 million for unemployment payments. San Francisco Chronicle

LA: Louisiana privatization efforts would get legislative oversight under bill. Louisiana lawmakers would be given the power to reject efforts to privatize work now done by state government employees under a bill advancing in the House of Representatives. The measure, House Bill 240, would require the governor to submit efforts to contract out-of-state work to legislative committees and the Legislative Auditors Office for approval.

FL: Bill opens up funding for private virtual schools. Private online learning companies will get a better shot at Florida public school funding under a bill that won approval on the final day of the legislative session. Though the vote garnered little attention from outside observers, Republicans hailed it as among the year’s most important victories for school choice…..But Democrats were outraged that the final action took place on the last day of the session — and only hours after lawmakers reduced the funding for Florida’s public virtual school. Taken together, critics said, the moves were a clear effort to privatize public education.

NY: Legislators Tentatively Back Cuomo’s Plan To Do Away With LIPA. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo received tentative support from legislative leaders Monday for his plan to finally sideline the Long Island Power Authority, which has been criticized for high rates and questionable response in disasters — most infamously including Superstorm Sandy. The Cuomo proposal would replace LIPA’s role in daily operations by Public Service Electric & Gas Co. of New Jersey. The proposal would freeze Long Islanders’ rates for three years. CBS Local

NJ: Bill regulating privatization contracts passes N.J. Assembly committee. Amid concerns over Governor Christie’s plan to privatize part of the state lottery, a bill imposing new requirements on privatization contracts passed the state Senate on Monday. The bill would outlaw new contracts that rely on increasing fees or cutting services to save money. It would require the state to demonstrate any savings came from increased efficiency or other improvements that would not diminish services.

MI: The potential costs of privatizing Michigan’s prison system – audio. During the lame-duck session last December, Michigan lawmakers passed legislation that would pave the way for more privatization of prison services and even entire prisons. But state efforts to save money through privatization of prisons are fraught with examples across the country of dubious budget savings, dangerously inadequate services, and moral conundrums.  Natalie Holbrook, program director of the Michigan criminal justice program for the American Friends Service Committee, and Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, outline some of the problems with prison privatization. WKAR