September 9, 2013


IL: Chicago pulls plan to lease Midway Airport. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided not to move forward with plans to lease Chicago’s Midway International Airport, ending a bid to make it the first major U.S. hub to be brought under the management of private investors.  The remaining potential bidders failed to meet criteria the city set down to ensure taxpayers got a good deal, Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton said.  Daily Journal

TN: When the Government Workspace Is Dirty and Dangerous…What Tennessee is doing about the issue, however, warrants some attention by public managers in other places. Under former general-services commissioner Steve Cates, the state merged two separate agencies, facility management and real-estate-asset management, into the Department of General Services, conducted a comprehensive analysis of the state’s real-estate portfolio, and hired an industry expert to provide comprehensive, integrated real-estate management services. The state essentially privatized the management of much of the its building operations. Governing

CA: California governor unveils privatization plan for prison overcrowding. California Governor Jerry Brown, facing a federal court order to ease overcrowding in the state’s prison system, proposed a $315 million plan Tuesday to expand inmate capacity by leasing space from county jails and other facilities. The announcement also comes during a hunger strike that erupted in multiple prisons across the state more than six weeks ago. The prisoners say they are protesting against solitary confinement, which they call inhumane. The Democratic governor, who was joined by Republican leaders of the state legislature in announcing the bill, said his proposal would reduce California’s prisons to 137.5 percent of capacity, as required by the court, and avoid the controversial early release of thousands of inmates.  Al Jazeera America

FL: Editorial: Private toll road a bad idea…If the need is there, then the state should build the new lanes even if they are toll lanes. But the state shouldn’t be in such a hurry to cede its toll-road authority to a private entity. The result could be an undesirable two-tiered transportation network serving more affluent commuters with private roads and forcing everyone else onto the underfunded public highway network.

FL: Stakes are high as dozens of new charter schools seek approval. With millions of dollars of taxpayer money at stake, Central Florida school boards will be considering the fates of nearly three dozen charter-school applications during the next few weeks. Orlando Sentinel

LA: Privatization … we’re selling our souls – opinion. There is a strange religious fervor in current efforts of public officials to sell off public hospitals, public schools, highways, prisons and Social Security funds. Looking after the sick, the children, the elderly, and the poor is now geared toward making a profit. Jesus would weep. The collective responsibilities we all share (public education, public health, even public defense) in a civilized society are being handed over to profiteers for a few pieces of silver. Even so-called non-profits make money or they couldn’t exist – they just don’t return profits to shareholders. Shreveport Times