October 22, 2012


OH: Privatization will mean higher fees on turnpike

Tolls on the Ohio Turnpike would rise under any plan to privatize the northern highway, but state officials noted it is no different than what is happening on the road now. The Ohio Department of Transportation on Monday presented an update to the Ohio Turnpike Commission on the $3.4 million study being conducted by Texas-based KPMG Corporate Finance LLC.   Mansfield News Journal

FL: Tax Collectors Fighting Tag Privatization

The state’s Highway Safety Director outlined the plan to centralize tag distribution two weeks ago. ..But privatizing would likely raise the cost of a tag by two and a half dollars in at least 16 counties that don’t charge an add on fee for distributions. Paying more is something Alex doesn’t want to do. “Yeah, my speeding ticket was 288 and then this fee was 80 and the fee for not having it was 123 so that’s 500 dollar day”, says Stefanowitz. Capitol News Service

FL: Charter school companies, online learning outfits try to wield influence in Tallahassee

His school management company, Charter Schools USA, has doled out more than For-profit education companies are becoming serious players in lobbying the Florida Legislature. In the current election cycle, charter school companies, school management firms, online learning outfits and for-profit colleges have lavished more than $1.8 million to statehouse candidates, electioneering organizations and political parties, according to a Miami Herald review of Florida campaign finance data. Most of the money went to Republicans, whose support of charter schools, vouchers, online education and private colleges has put public education dollars in private-sector pockets. Tampabay.com

IN:  Report Labels Indiana Toll Road an Intergenerational Cash Transfer

A College of William and Mary professor believes the toll road public-private partnerships currently in vogue among transportation bureaucrats may end up costing the public a great deal of money in the long run. TheNewspaper.com

IN: Controversial policies spark challenge in Indiana school superintendent race

“Everything is tied to the privatization of schools — the high-stakes testing, the A-to-F grades, the charters, the takeovers, the vouchers, even the teacher licensing pieces. They’re all tied to the one political agenda of privatizing schools.”  Courier Press

IN: Hoosier Lottery: Privatization bids now online

The Hoosier Lottery has now placed recent bids to privatize certain functions online, and is working to reduce the amount of information redacted in the information from the winning company. The move came after The Journal Gazette reported Wednesday that huge portions of the two bids were blank or shielded from public view, and that the documents were not available to citizens online. The final agreement between the Hoosier Lottery and GTECH Indiana, LLC – which won the contract – also was made public. In the previous story, Gov. Mitch Daniels said he would talk to the lottery about making as much information public as possible. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

NE: Emotion, concern at student health center forum

Emotional students concerned about losing their inexpensive health care aired their frustrations Thursday. The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska hosted the town hall meeting, which featured three university administrators answering students’ questions about the privatization plan. One of those administrators, James Guest, the health center’s director, called the university’s process for seeking a private provider Thursday a “flawed process.” Lincoln Journal Star

Conservatives Attack US Post Office to Break the Union and Privatize Postal Services

The US Postal Service has been under constant assault for years from conservative Republicans who aim to eviscerate the strongest union in the country. Under the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, USPS must fully fund retiree health benefits for future retirees—including the retirement packages of employees not even born yet. No other organization, public or private, has to pre-fund 100 percent of its future health benefits. Thus, the post office’s oft-reported nine-billion-dollar deficit is largely a result of government-imposed overpayments.  Project Censored