January 17, 2014


Staples’ selling postal products without USPS workers stirs fears of privatization. The largest postal employee union and a U.S. senator say the pilot also is a step toward privatization of the USPS, an assertion the postmaster general vehemently denies. Washington Post

House forms special panel on public-private partnerships. Transportation leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have formed a special panel that will focus on public-private partnerships in transportation and other infrastructure. OOIDA urges truckers to stay in contact with lawmakers on the issues, as many public-private partnerships involve tolls or the leasing of public infrastructure to the private sector. Land Line Magazine

IN: Indiana lawmakers mull 5-year delay in annuity program privatization. The board of the retirement system, which oversees $28.6 billion, wants to shift management of the account to a third-party manager that would use a market-based rate of return that now would be 4% to 4.5%; currently the ASA is managed in-house with an assumed 7.5% fixed rate of return. System officials have said maintaining internal management with the higher rate of return would increase the retirement system’s liabilities. Pensions & Investments

IN: Gary/Chicago Airport Privatization Deal Readies For Takeoff. The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority on Monday put itself on course to approve a 40-year privatization deal for the airport in as little as two weeks. On a 5-0 vote the Airport Authority accepted an ordinance including agreements with Aviation Facilities Co. Inc., known as AFCO, of Dulles, Va., to operate and manage development at the airport. The authority set a public hearing on the ordinance for Jan. 27. AviationPros.com

IL: Privatization ordinance – opinion. In November of 2012, 32 of Chicago’s 50 aldermen sponsored the Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance to ensure that the complete financial and contractual terms of privatization agreements are available to the aldermen and the public before a vote on the transaction.   A year has passed and this ordinance has not been brought to the full City Council for consideration, despite majority support.  Chicago Tribune

RI: Members of RI legislative panel say tolls won’t be part of revenue stream for bridge, road upkeep. The General Assembly formed the commission after a public outcry against tolls on the newly built Sakonnet bridge between Portsmouth and Tiverton. After the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority announced plans last year to charge a toll, the legislature responded by banning tolls altogether. But lawmakers then changed course and put in place a 10-cent toll after learning that if a toll were not charged when the bridge opened, federal rules would prevent a toll from ever being charged.  The Providence Journal

NH: Finance Committee rejects proposal to outsource Nashua sewer billing. While projections showed the city could save close to $40,000 per year by outsourcing its billing services to Pennichuck, committee members were worried about the potential ramifications for customer service and the city’s ability to track its finances. Nashua Telegraph