September 25, 2013


Private Probation Firm Illegally Extended Sentences, Judge Finds….Last week, a Georgia county judge ruled that Sentinel Offender Service had illegally extended the sentence of Mantooth and potentially thousands of others who were required to pay the firm monthly probation fees, and was illegally ordering electronic monitoring for misdemeanor offenders — prohibited by state law — while charging probationers for their own monitoring.  ThinkProgress

Movie: THE REFORMERS – The true cost you are paying for education reform. Disguised as school choice, for-profit interests are using politics, fear and expensive advertising to change what has been a great public school system for more than 50 years. Their goal is to tap into Douglas County School’s $500-million annual budget to add to their bottom line. Great for business. But good for your child’s future?

VA: Va. gov. says U.Va. unlikely to privatize.In a report made public earlier this month, the Public University Working Group on campus suggested that the school move toward privatization, weaning the school from state funding and state control. But Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who appointed many of the current Board of Visitors members, says it’s not likely to happen. “Thomas Jefferson would roll in his grave if he thought U.Va. was going to go private because he believed in a welcoming, world-class public education system,” McDonnell says.  WTOP           

IN: States will seek private investors for Illiana Expressway. Indiana and Illinois have reached an agreement in principal on how to construct and finance the Illiana Expressway, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation. Each state’s department of transportation plans to issue its own request for qualifications for its portion of the 47-mile toll road this fall as the next step in enticing private investors to help pay for the road, according to INDOT.           

IL: Chicagoland: Illinois Lottery Commissioner Attempted to Drive the State Game to His Former Company. Fox 32 in Chicago reports on Illinois lottery superintendent Michael Jones, who the station has found to be steering government contracts to the company he owned until his appointment to the state lottery. The decisions look corrupt on their face. The year after Illinois privatized its lottery, it reaped $100 million more in state revenues. PJ Media

IL: Perspective: An ordinance to protect city taxpayers. The Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance will require a City Council committee hearing on any proposed public-private partnership to evaluate its full cost, weigh the benefits and determine whether the deal is in the best interest of the city. The ordinance also requires that any city department considering the privatization of any part of its operations must conduct a cost-effectiveness study, demonstrate greater than 10 percent projected cost savings, and show that the economic benefits of privatization outweigh the public’s interest in continued city operation of the service.  Chicago Tribune

IL: Chicago’s Public Employees Want New Contract With Fair Wages, Privatization Safeguards. Chicago public employees picketed downtown Tuesday, calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to settle a new union contract with AFSCME Council 31 that includes decent wages that keep up with inflation…. “Any company should want to pay their employees fair wages but the transparency with the privatization, it’s really a huge issue, because what (the mayor) is basically trying to do is sell off the city of Chicago,” said Nicole Herron, who’s worked in the city’s finance department for 18 years. “If he does that, we lose a huge part of the middle class and lower-class people who make up a bulk of the city.”  Progress Illinois

IL: City spent $3.5 million on failed Midway privatization deal. Privatizing Midway Airport could have left Chicago with $500 million — even after debt was retired — to shore up city pensions and build infrastructure projects. Chicago Sun-Times

FL: Scott’s prison-privatization promise falls short. And a chunk of that is specifically because of the stalled effort to privatize health-care … But Scott’s larger goal of privatizing prisons has not been achieved. Orlando Sentinel