November 9, 2012


LA:  Jindal pitches outsourcing to school board members

Gov. Bobby Jindal is seeking to rally support from local school boards in his push to outsource a public employee health insurance plan. The Jindal administration says it sent out a letter this week to school board members, describing the nearly $7 million in savings estimated for school systems by hiring a private company to run the health plan. Jindal’s proposed contract between the Office of Group Benefits and Blue Cross/Blue Shield is scheduled for a Friday vote in the House and Senate budget committees. The Daily Advertiser

LA: Florida company picked to take over state-run mental health hospital

Bobby Jindal, began a push for privatization as a way of saving the services and jobs provided by the hospital. Hospital supporters, meanwhile, said they favored keeping the hospital in public hands and viewed privatization as a less desirable alternative.

FL: Florida voters show support for an independent, nonpartisan judiciary

An overwhelming majority of Florida voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment intruding on state courts and supported the retention of three qualified Supreme Court justices — affirming the value of an independent, apolitical judiciary…The Florida GOP opposed the justices — even though the merit-retention system was intentionally designed to minimize partisan politics. Each of the justices, in turn, took the unusual step raising of $300,000 to finance advertisements emphasizing their independence. They also gained widespread support from lawyers on all sides of the legal profession.  Herald Tribune

OH: A lesson to Ohio on possible turnpike lease

Six years after the state of Indiana turned its toll road over to a private company, there are still mixed opinions on whether it was a good idea. Ohio is now thinking about doing the same thing…. In conversations with members of the local legislative delegation, all expressed doubts regarding the lease. The group fears the turnpike will remain under the control of a private company for years after the state has spent the cash from the lease deal, and that would tie up a valuable state resource for decades. In Indiana, opponents point to the fact that the state could spend the $3.8 billion from their deal within 10 years. But supporters argue the state has also set aside $500 million in a trust fund that’s expected to generate $50 million in interest each year.   WFMJ

Occupy the Prison-Industrial Complex

Only a small percentage of prisons are private, but the privatization of prisons represents the worst of corporate profiteering from human suffering. TruthOut