August 1, 2013


FL: In One Month, Florida Will Privatize Prison Health Care, Lay Off 2,000. After a prolonged battle, Florida has set a date for when its prison health care system will be privatized, booting nearly 2,000 state employees out of their jobs. ThinkProgress

NC: Privatization of N.C. Commerce gets under way. The machinery to convert the N.C. Department of Commerce into a public-private partnership is already under way, a week after the 2013-14 state budget was approved. The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area

WI: Mulwaukee: Abele’s Privatization Plan – editorial. We’re very disappointed by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele’s decision to terminate Milwaukee Transport Services’ contract to operate the county’s fixed bus and paratransit systems and, allegedly, select the out-of-state, for-profit MV Transportation instead. It’s a curious choice and one we may never fully understand, thanks to the Abele-backed Act 14, which boosted his power at the expense of good-government checks and balances. The Shepherd Express warned that this change to Milwaukee County governance, Act 14, would result in secret, corrupt sweetheart deals.  Express Milwaukee

IN: Former Republican Indiana school chief made sure GOP donor’s charter school got top marks. A former Indiana school superintendent frantically overhauled a school grading system to ensure a Republican donor’s charter school received an “A” grade…. The Indianapolis charter school was run by Christel DeHaan, who has given more than $2.8 million to Republicans since 1998, according to the Associated Press. Bennett had received $130,000 from DeHaan. Bennett had promised to hold “failing” schools accountable by implementing the new statewide A-F school grading system. The new grading system had initially given Christel House a “C” grade, because of the school’s poor test scores in algebra. “This will be a HUGE problem for us,” Bennett wrote in a Sept. 12, 2012 email. At the urging of Bennett, the grading system was quickly altered so that Christel House ended up with an “A” grade. Raw Story           

TN: Chattanooga‘s public, private parking fees no longer presented together online. Two weeks after learning that tickets for public parking violations were being presented alongside private fees owed to Republic Parking, the Chattanooga Parking Authority has put an end to the arrangement and changed the structure of its online payment system….Since last October, the recipients of tickets on Chattanooga streets have been presented with the option of paying fines online. Although the typical ticket in the city costs $11, the fees had appeared to be much higher to citizens seeking to clear their records at times.  That’s because Republic Parking, the private company contracted by the city to monitor streets and enforce meters, also operates a number of private lots across the city. And if drivers had outstanding fees from violations in those private, for-profit lots, the fines also appeared in their online charges—right alongside any tickets they owed to Chattanooga.

KY: Chamber pushes public-private work on projects. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is floating the idea of using public-private partnerships to build such things as roads, an idea that was suggested more than two years ago in southcentral Kentucky as a way to get the remainder of Interstate 65 widened more quickly. But Kentucky is one of 26 states that do not have enabling legislation that would allow general public-private partnerships, or P3, according to a report released Tuesday by the state chamber. Kentucky did enact specific legislation that is allowing the Louisville bridges project to move forward as a type of partnership.   Bowling Green Daily News

OH: Lawmakers to examine seized Elmwood traffic cams. “We all wonder what these cameras look like up close and the costs associated with each unit,” Mallory said in a prepared statement. “When out-of-town camera companies encourage the privatization of law enforcement, it takes advantage of both local governments and citizens’ right to due process, and such information should not be kept in the dark. I look forward to hearing Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil shed some light on this matter.”  In June, a Hamilton County judge ordered Elmwood Place and its camera vendor to pay back $48,500 they collected from speed camera tickets after the judge told the village to stop using the cameras earlier this year.