May 23, 2013


 PA: DOC taking bids, considers privatizing department of prison system. Could a section of state correctional institutions become private? That’s the debate among the Department of Corrections right now. …The Department of Corrections might privatize mental health services throughout its prison systems. A $91 million contract with MHM Correction Services is set to expire at the end of August. The company has been providing mental health services statewide since 2009. The employees under the contract are DOC employees and include psychologist managers, psychological services specialists and associates. Statewide, it employs about 190 people.  WJAC Johnstown

PA: New special interest comes to PA liquor privatization party. A new special interest is asking for a seat at the table after the state legislature’s actions threaten the finances of its members. The Liquor Store Real Estate Owners Association is the latest opponent to liquor privatization. The group is comprised of property owners who have lease agreements with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

PA: Will lawmakers trade booze for new highway money? As we noted on Sunday, the chances for a booze privatization deal before the June 30 deadline are looking increasingly remote, what with all the opposition in the Republican-controlled state Senate.

ME: Maine toll highway study law repeal voted. The Maine Senate has given final approval to a bill that repeals a requirement for a feasibility study on the proposed east-west highway…The resolve removes a requirement that the state Transportation Department conduct a feasibility study on the $2 billion project. The proposal calls for a 220-mile, privately run toll road connecting New Brunswick and Quebec via Maine. The Legislature last session appropriated $300,000 for the study, but the study was suspended due to insufficient information about the project. WGME

IN: Pence Wants Public-Private Partnerships To Fund Rest Of I-69. The governor says finding public-private partnerships for the road’s final stages from Martinsville to Indianapolis ranks ahead of almost all other road projects when it comes to allocating an additional $200 million a year given to the Indiana Department of Transportation in the recently-passed state budget…. But when a reporter suggested the governor didn’t directly answer a question about whether the road would be paid for in part by tolls, Pence was cagey. Indiana Public Media

CA: Environmentalists sue over OC toll road extension. Environmentalists filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to block the extension of a toll road in southern Orange County, five years after widespread public opposition stopped a similar project. San Jose Mercury News