August 12, 2014


The ‘P3′ dilemma: Partnerships often fall short of taxpayers’ expectations. When public-private partnerships work well, they are a boon to government and investors. They deliver much needed infrastructure years sooner and at a more affordable price. However, they frequently don’t live up to expectations. The result: citizen outrage over rapidly escalating user fees; unanticipated costs; a lack of transparency; and risks to taxpayers from the billions of dollars of federally guaranteed loans financing the projects.  A prime example of the potential that so-called P3s offer can be found in Baltimore, one of the nation’s busiest ports. Pittsburgh Post Gazette

NY: Governor and legislature increasingly rely on publicly funded private attorneys. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration and the legislature are spending around $1.3 million this year in payments to private law firms, and the public is paying for it, says a fiscally conservative study center. The Empire Center analyzed reports filed on line by the legislature, and found that the state Assembly paid over $650,000 to outside attorneys, while the state Senate gave a private law firm over $400,000 between October of 2013 and March of 2014. WRVO Public Media

NY: State Teachers Union Protests Privatization of Testing. Taking a stand against tough testing in New York state, hundreds joined members of NYSUT Monday night to protest what they’re calling the corporate influence on a child’s education. Testing giant Pearson was the target of the protest, and teachers shredded a copy of the company’s more than $32 million contract with the state, and protesters said private businesses in public schools have too much sway on a child’s education. TWC News

NJ: Christie Nixes NJ Privatization Standards Bill. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a bill to install standards for service and workforce levels for privatized state contracts, saying the legislation is ideology-driven opposition to his privatization efforts and would create needless red tape. In a message released Friday, Christie issued an absolute veto of S-770, a bill aimed at blocking private state contracts unless the state is assured privatization would achieve considerable cost savings without resulting in reductions in the quality of service or the workforce levels the state maintains. Law360 ($)

MI: 11 Michigan charter school authorizers ‘at risk’ for suspension, education department announce. More than a quarter of Michigan’s charter school authorizers are “at risk” of being suspended, the Michigan Department of Education announced Monday. Department officials announced that 11 authorizers may not be allowed to open new schools because of low academic performance and problems with contract transparency.