October 16, 2012


Study: Privatized Medicare would raise premiums

Nearly six in 10 Medicare recipients would pay higher premiums under a hypothetical privatized system, with wide regional differences leading to big hikes in some states and counties, a study released Monday finds.  Boston Globe

U.S. Privatizes National Forests, Nonprofit Claims

The U.S. Forest Service lets private companies charge people for using undeveloped public lands, in violation of federal law, an Oregon nonprofit claims in Federal Court. Lead plaintiff BARK clams the Forest Service’s grants to concessionaires violates the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. BARK has 7,000 members, many of them who live near the Mt. Hood National Forest.  Courthouse News Service

OH: Ohio governor considers privatizing state turnpike

The governor of Ohio, John Kasich, has said he wants to privatize the Ohio Turnpike, a 241-mile road that stretches across the Buckeye State. “I think it’s safe to say that many residents in northern Ohio are skeptical, because they fear higher tolls and potentially more potholes,” says Trevor Brown, a professor of public policy at Ohio State. It costs $16.50 to drive the whole length of the Ohio Turnpike, from Pennsylvania to Indiana. If the state does lease it, tolls would probably go up. Marketplace.org

FL: State agency privatizes its juvenile facilities

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice will privatize its five remaining residential facilities by next year. The agency has been using prevention services to work with offenders at home and sending those considered high-risk to a residential facility. A 2004 study by Yale economists Patrick Bayer and David Pozen on privately-run juvenile facilities in Florida found a trade off in the results. Their cost-benefit analysis implied that the short-run savings offered by privatization would be reversed by increased recidivism rates. The Florida Current

WI: Majority of Wis. school districts to lose aid

The majority of Wisconsin public school districts will see less money in state aid this year. Even though state aid increased by about $32 million, the amount public schools will get will decrease over the prior year after about $158 million is directed toward private school choice programs in Milwaukee and Racine.  Gazette Extra

TX: Texas to expand I-35W with toll lanes in Fort Worth

The Texas Department of Transportation believes the best way to manage congestion on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth is to add a pair of toll lanes in each direction. The project, known as the North Tarrant Express, is being constructed by a group that includes Cintra, the Spanish toll operator that owns stake in the Indiana Toll Road. The Spanish toll operator Cintra has gotten a lot of work in Texas in recent years. The company is involved in the group that will operate the SH 130 toll road between Austin and San Antonio. That’s the one that will carry a maximum posted speed limit of 85 mph when it opens in a few weeks. Land Line Magazine