August 17, 2012


PA: Convention Center moves toward privatized management‎. In a surprise move praised by leaders of the city’s hospitality industry and labor unions, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority board has voted to investigate privatizing certain functions of the center. Philadelphia Inquirer

NJ: Editorial: Is privatization winning gamble? Gov. Chris Christie is playing the numbers, looking to hit it big by privatizing the New Jersey State Lottery… Good idea? It’s hard to say without a lot more information. Unfortunately, the state Lottery Division and Gov. Chris Christie haven’t been providing much of it. And the governor’s timetable for moving ahead with privatization is moving at a breakneck pace. The current timetable calls for handing over operations of the nation’s eighth-largest lottery as soon as March. What’s the hurry? The governor owes it to the people of New Jersey to adequately explain the move and answer questions about the process… If the lottery isn’t broken, why fix it? Presumably, under a privately managed lottery, players could see more games, reward programs, online play and additional places to buy tickets. But why couldn’t the state expand programs on its own?  Asbury Park Press

MO: Akin: Privatize student loans. Since a Republican primary debate in April, U.S. Senate hopeful Todd Akin has asserted federal involvement in student loans is the equivalent to the “stage three cancer of socialism.”.. “I don’t think the government should be in the student loan business,” Akin said. “Go back to where we were a couple years ago and let the private lenders do the student loans.”.. McCaskill, on the other hand, has touted her support of minimizing the private sector’s role by favoring direct lending from the federal government, essentially ending a private bank’s role in the process, PoliticMo

MO: Kansas City looks to outsource KCI buses. The move would eliminate city jobs for 58 drivers of the blue and red buses at the airport. It would also displace eight management employees, along with 18 vacant positions. Standard Parking said it will try to hire as many of those people as possible, although nothing is guaranteed. The Kansas City Star

OH: County commissioners oppose state’s plan to privatize highway rest stops. The Athens County Commissioners are crying foul over a plan to lease rest areas in Ohio, including two in Athens County. ..The commissioners not only criticized the plan itself for creating undue competition with local businesses, but the timing of the plan as well. “You have a public comment meeting on June 25, 2012, and are having a mandatory bidders meeting three days later,” the commissioners wrote June 26 to Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray. “Where is the time to react to and include public concerns?” …The commissioners also called into question a requirement of a $50,000 letter of credit for those responding to the request for proposals, matched with a July 20 submission time. They said that this doesn’t allow for adequate time for evaluation and submission by many people.  Athens News

TX: After violations, state rejects firm’s bid to expand foster care. Austin-based nonprofit Lutheran Social Services of the South has lost its bid to privatize foster care in South Texas, state officials say, because of a history of problems at its Laredo, Garland and Richardson operations….Staffers, among other things, have routinely failed to properly oversee foster homes, conduct background checks on families and protect youth from abuse and neglect, the letter said.