July 29, 2014


Federal highway program gridlock: Bills push tolls, privatizing public roads as quick fix
. . . President Barack Obama proposed a highway bill that would rely on massive tolling, including lifting the federal ban on tolling existing interstates, as well as P3s and corporate tax hikes to fund the next highway bill. He also recently signed a presidential memorandum offering further support for P3s from every crevice of the federal government. It reads like a press release from the pro-toll lobby group International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA): “It shall also be the policy of the Federal Government for all agencies to facilitate, as appropriate, greater public and private partnership and collaboration, including with international investors and companies, to develop, improve, and maintain infrastructure across the country…” mySanAntonio.com (blog)

ALEC Agenda in Dallas: Evisceration of Medicaid, School Privatization and Expansion of Gas Exports
ALEC holds its 41st annual meeting in Dallas, Texas starting on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. At this largest of its three annual national conferences, state legislators from across the country will meet with corporate and special interest lobbyists behind closed doors to vote on “model” legislation to change state laws. Numerous agenda items are reviewed below. PR Watch

OH: Ohio’s roundabout plan to kill poor-performing charter schools is challenged in court
Ohio’s attempts to stop pouring tax money into failing – and possibly corrupt – charter schools are being put to the test in Cincinnati where the Ohio Department of Education and the Value Learning and Teaching (VLT) Academy are fighting over the school’s future in court. It’s a battle that will decide whether 600 students at VLT can remain there or have to seek new schools within a few weeks. On a broader level, it’s a case that challenges the state’s increasing push to shutter poor performing charters in an indirect way, by pressuring the agencies that back and oversee the schools to set higher standards and exert more control. The Plain Dealer

IN: Outrage over outsourcing: Has Walker’s job creation agency given money to companies that outsource jobs?
Outrage, over outsourcing. Gov. Scott Walker has criticized Mary Burke over her former company’s outsourcing. Now, Walker’s critics are pointing out the Governor’s own job creation agency has given money to companies that outsource jobs. . . . An examination of WEDC records show is own jobs agency may have given money to companies that did the same thing. According to the WEDC’s annual report, Chicago-based printing giant RR Donnelley was given a $140,000 tax credit, saying it planned to make a $316,000 capital investment, but actually invested zero.  fox6now.com