April 8, 2014


GA: Why Is Georgia About to Pass a Law That Will Make It Easier to Send Poor to Prison. . . Vigorous lobbying by the private probation industry helped shape the bill. Originally conceived as an attempt to clarify the state’s approach to private probation, the bill instead pumps new energy into the system, by, among other things, allowing judges to extend probation terms for years and forcing low-level offenders to pay the daily costs of electronic monitoring. “This is not your run of the mill housekeeping bill,” said Kathryn Hamoudah of the Southern Center for Human Rights, which has long advocated for reform in the burgeoning industry. “It is a gift to the private probation companies, giving them unprecedented authority to act as law enforcement.”  The Nation

CA: Assembly Passes Anti-Outsourcing Resolution. On Thursday the California State Assembly passed House Resolution 29 (Gomez, D-Los Angeles), a piece of legislation denouncing the practice of outsourcing of government services to private contractors and pledging legislators to oppose all future “outsourcing of public services and assets.” HR 29 has drawn fire from local government agencies across the state for its restrictive language and heated opposition toward the autonomous management of city services and functions. The resolution was first read on the Assembly floor on Thursday, April 3. HR 29 was subsequently amended and passed the very same day on a party-line vote, with several Democrats refusing to vote.  PublicCEO.com

LA: Hospital privatization fallout questioned. Community hospitals in areas with LSU hospital privatization deals are seeing increasing numbers of uninsured patients, putting strains on their finances, state senators complained Monday. “Those nonpartnership hospitals in those communities are clearly getting slammed,” state Sen. Sherri Buffington, R-Keithville, said. State Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Sulphur, said patients are going to the emergency rooms of two hospitals in the Lake Charles area that are not part of any partnership arrangement with the state now that the public W.O. Moss Regional Medical Center has closed. “Those hospitals are not being compensated one penny for those coming in,” Johns said. State Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, said the same thing is happening in Baton Rouge where Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is now LSU’s partner.  The Advocate

IL: Emanuel avoids direct answer on charter school performance. Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not want to comment on a Chicago Sun-Times analysis showing that charter school students don’t perform better on standardized tests than students at traditional public schools in the city. Chicago Sun-Times

 IL: Springfield rally today over raft of charter school bills. Feeling challenged by about a dozen bills under consideration in Springfield, advocates of privately run but publicly funded charter schools are set to descend on the state Capitol for a Tuesday rally. Chicago Tribune