February 21, 2014


Privatized Government Services Lead to Millions for Corporate CEOs. Yesterday, the latest round of evidence was published by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), a nonprofit organization. Its report, EXPOSED: America’s Highest Paid Government Workers, documents the not-so-pretty reality of outsourcing our public services to for-profit companies. It focuses on the salaries of corporate CEOs “Given these astronomical salaries, and evidence of higher prices, poor service, and at times outright malfeasance, taxpayers have every right to be concerned about how their outsourced dollars are spent,” said Lisa Graves, executive director of CMD, in a written statement.  Center for Effective Government

FL: Elevated road brings community together … to protest. Some members of the newly formed Pasco Fiasco group made their first public appearance during a Pasco Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting last week in New Port Richey. They included Land O’ Lakes native Sharon Ogborn, who feels the elevated road is more about accommodating commuters from other areas than it is her Odessa community. “We moved to our present home in Odessa for the country feeling and the rural setting,” Ogborn said. “It’s going to help Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.”  The Laker/Lutz News

CO: Colorado Transportation Commission gives final approval on US 36 contract. The Colorado Transportation Commission on Thursday approved a public-private partnership to extend toll lanes on U.S. Highway 36 — despite receiving 20,000 public signatures urging lawmakers to strip CDOT of the power to sign such partnerships. All that’s left is for state officials to ink the contract authorizing a private consortium, Plenary Roads Denver, to operate the toll roads and maintenance on the Denver-to-Boulder highway for 50 years. CDOT officials say the contract could be signed next week.  The Denver Channel

UT: Bill giving preference to grandkids of charter school founders heads to Senate. A bill to allow the grandchildren of charter school founders to bypass enrollment lotteries sailed quickly through a Senate committee Thursday on its way to final passage. Deseret News

OR: Liquor privatization in Washington bad for youths, new study says. A new study suggests Washington’s move to private liquor sales has had a bad effect on young people, from looser attitudes about drinking to more alcohol-related emergency room visits. The study, which is ongoing and paid for by a private foundation, could be read as a cautionary tale for efforts to expand or privatize liquor sales in Oregon. The Oregonian

ME: Maine eyes virtual charter school moratorium. A bill moving forward in the Maine Legislature would place a moratorium on virtual charter schools in the state until next year. WCSH-TV

PA: PA liquor stores still in limbo as privatization debate swirls. State Sen. Jim Ferlo doesn’t want to spend any more time or money talking about privatizing Pennsylvania’s state-controlled liquor stores. “Let’s put this B.S. privatization to bed and bury it,” the Allegheny County Democrat said, calling it “baloney” to think there’d be a better selection of wines in a private system. Though Gov. Tom Corbett isn’t counting on money from privatizing the state-controlled liquor stores to balance his next budget, the issue of privatization hung heavy over Wednesday’s state Senate Appropriations Committee meeting with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.  Pennsylvania Independent

IN: Less Money For Roads This Year In Indiana. Mike Pence wanted but collections from the state’s gas tax are down and most of $3.8 billion from privatizing the Indiana Toll Road has been spent. WIBQ