December 31, 2013


PA: Pennsylvania governor drops contract to privatize lottery. Pennsylvania is scrapping a deal with a U.K.-based company to privatize management Of the state’s lottery system, Governor Tom Corbett said on Monday, the latest of the Republican’s high-profile initiatives to falter. Reuters

TX: Payday lender to collect El Paso tolls. At a time when payday lenders are under scrutiny in El Paso and Texas, the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority which is charged with implementing the area’s first toll road is partnering with an organization that uses a payday lender to help collect tolls. El Paso Times

TX: Highways Are Talking Point as Candidates Take to Road. Besides the funding debate, the absence of Gov. Rick Perry’s name on the November ballot could change how candidates broach transportation on the campaign trail. Both in 2006 and 2010, Perry ran for re-election facing questions about the Trans-Texas Corridor, his ambitious yet controversial plan to build a massive statewide network of toll roads and allow a private firm to run it.  Opponents accused Perry of ramming through the Legislature a project that Texans did not want. In 2010, he responded by repeatedly declaring the project “dead.” MyHighPlains

LA: Audit: La. school vouchers don’t ensure quality. According to Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office, the ability to switch from a poor-performing public school to a private school won’t necessarily ensure a higher quality education for students. The audit says the state Department of Education isn’t properly monitoring the voucher program to make sure students are placed in private schools that demonstrate student achievement. Miami Herald

MA: Some chafe at charter school’s low pay for tutors. But a dispute over the minimal pay for long hours of public service offers a rare glimpse into labor unrest at a charter school, where workers usually make less than their peers in traditional public schools and rarely belong to a union. Boston Globe

NC: NC’s five big political questions for 2014. Commerce privatization: The state’s Commerce Department is in the midst of shifting some of its functions to a private nonprofit, whose leadership is appointed by the governor. This shift is being watched closely by both lawmakers and the business community.  WRAL