October 15, 2012


IN: Contract signed on Indiana lottery outsourcing deal

Indiana officials have signed a deal to hire a private company to manage the state’s lottery. The lottery announced Friday that it had finalized a 15-year contract for Rhode Island-based GTECH to run the lottery’s marketing, sales and distribution services. The state lottery commission voted Oct. 3 to select GTECH and work out details of the agreement. Lottery officials hope the company will boost state profits by about $2.1 billion over the contract’s 15 years.  WTHR.com

IN: New Albany will end sewer privatization

“By bringing this public utility back under public management, we will not only save taxpayer money, but we will also eliminate the outsourcing of these good-paying jobs to an outside company,” Mayor Gahan stated in the release. He said in January part of the reason he placed himself on the sewer board was to help shift the city away from privatization of the utility…. Wilkinson said he pushed for the city to end privatization of utility billing, and also supports the decision to not renew the sewer contract with EMC. Not only is it financially feasible, but the city should be able to provide more maintenance focus on the sewer system than EMC, Wilkinson said of the move.  News and Tribune

FL: Winner may make difference in new laws

The race isn’t likely to end Republican control of the state Senate, but the winner in the newly created District 14 could be the deciding vote on bills that narrowly lost in the Senate in the last legislative season. Democrat Darren Soto, 34, a two-term House representative from Orlando, opposes privatizing the state’s prisons – a bill that died in the Senate by just one vote – and said he now opposes a bill that would have made it easier for public schools to become a conversion charter school. Republican Will McBride, 40, who ran for U.S. Senate in 2006 and 2010, supports privatizing prisons and said he supports school choice and would support making it easier for public schools to convert to charter schools.  NewsChief.com

PA: Don’t confuse Hollywood movie with educational reality – Op Ed

Educators such as me teach our students how to separate fact from fiction. That’s why it’s important that everyone puts the movie “Won’t Back Down” in the proper perspective. Despite a fierce marketing campaign by the film’s funders, billionaires who want to privatize public schools to benefit for-profit operators, the movie is a box-office flop. Why? Because the picture it paints of educators — and public education in Pennsylvania — just isn’t true. It doesn’t match the real-life experience most parents, students and educators have with their public schools. The Patriot-News

LA: Letter dissuades request

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s executive counsel suggested LSU reject public records requests for documents related to budget cuts and privatization efforts at LSU’s public hospitals, according to a letter from the LSU system’s outside counsel. The letter to LSU system President William Jenkins, obtained Friday by The Advocate, contradicts earlier assertions by Jindal administration officials that LSU decided on its own how to respond to requests to make the records available publicly. Jindal’s top lawyer, Executive Counsel Liz Murrill, reviewed the records before being released and suggested LSU use the “deliberative process privilege” as grounds to keep some records out of the public domain, the letter stated.  The Advocate

IL:  How much are your willing to pay to avoid traffic?

Officials at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning think drivers will see value in a congestion-pricing plan that the agency is recommending be implemented on new highway lanes planned on six major existing and future roadways across the six-county area. Under congestion pricing, drivers who opt to use free-flowing express lanes pay a fee, or an extra toll on the Illinois Tollway, during peak traffic periods. The price goes down when fewer vehicles are on the roads.  Chicago Tribune

Relocating Culture to Find a Solution to the Tragedy of the Commons

Is privatization a viable way to deal with global problems such as climate change that seem to stem from a tragedy of the commons? Two main problems come to mind. Firstly, the anthropocentric mindset coupled with the consumer mentality that dominates our western culture generally consider the natural world as nothing more than a bank of resources to be mined and exploited for the advancement and development of the human species (or at least for the segment of population benefitting from that mindset). According to famous naturalist Aldo Leopold, “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.” When land is seen as nothing more than a commodity in the eyes of society, privatization can only lead to increased destruction. Secondly, our actions inevitably stem from the mindset behind them. Huffington Post