November 7, 2014


Motorists had their say at the ballot box in a number of states Tuesday. . . .In addition to outlawing automated ticketing machines in four jurisdictions, voters responded to a number of state and local initiatives and proposed state constitutional amendments of interest to the driving public. Tolling and tax hikes were rejected, while measures that ensured taxes on motorists were actually used on road projects proved popular. Toll roads were on the ballot in Costa Mesa, California as voters were asked whether they approved of plans to convert freeway lanes on Interstate 405 into toll lanes. The majority — 54 percent — said “no” to the toll lanes in this non-binding advisory measure. In Louisiana, 68 percent of voters said “no” to a constitutional amendment that would have created an infrastructure bank to build toll roads.

NJ: Privatization of public water, sewer systems could be fast-tracked under NJ bill. . . But such direct public mandate on water and sewer sales may become a thing of the past, as a bill in the Legislatures allowing public entities to fast-track selling water and sewer systems that serve millions advances this fall. The sponsors of the “Water Infrastructure Protection Act” say it’s a way to get desperately-needed investment into water systems that have been neglected to the breaking point by government owners. The bill’s opponents warn that it’s an attempt to turn private profits of public infrastructure at the expense of taxpayers – who themselves will end up paying for the purchase prices with each flush of the toilet.  The Star-Ledger

CA: Privatizing the Muni Links? When Santa Barbara’s Municipal Golf Course opened 58 years ago, area historians would later conclude that the event signified the emergence of a middle class big enough to sustain a sport that had hitherto been the exclusive domain of the leisure class. Santa Barbara Independent

IN: Nearly half of Indiana’s charter schools doing poorly or failing.Indiana charter schools are supposed to provide an alternative to failing public schools, but 13 Investigates has found they’re not always living up to the grade. In fact, nearly half of the state’s 76 charter schools are doing poorly or failing. The state’s new accountability ratings show you what’s really going on across Indiana and here in Marion County. WTHR