January 23, 2013


VA: Effort to halt monthly E-ZPass fees draws support

A legislative effort to halt new monthly fees for users of the E-ZPass electronic tolling system gained some momentum Tuesday in a House of Delegates subcommittee…. Loupassi’s bill drew opposition from toll-road companies including Elizabeth River Crossings, which is partnering with VDOT in a public-private venture to expand the Midtown Tunnel and impose tolls on it and the Downtown Tunnel.  The Virginia Pilot

NJ: Town Council Approves Privatization of Police/911 Dispatching

As a result of a contract awarded by council during its meeting held earlier this evening (Tuesday, Jan. 22), Cranbury-based iXP Corporation will begin staffing the communications center at the township police station on April 1. The contract will run for two years, with the township having the option to award one three-year extension.  LawrencevillePatch

TX: Danger: Privatization in Texas

The new leadership of the Texas legislature has a plan. State Senator Dan Patrick, the new chair of the Senate Education Committee, wants vouchers, more charters, and a fast track for closing down public schools. Diane Ravitch’s blog

DE: House panel eyes bill on privatizing Delaware port

A bill giving the General Assembly veto power over privatizing operations at the Port of Wilmington is heading to a House committee. The bill, which narrowly cleared the Senate last week, was slated for a hearing Wednesday by the House economic development committee. The legislation, opposed by Gov. Jack Markell’s administration, prevents the state-controlled Diamond State Port Corporation from agreeing to privatize or lease the port without approval from both chambers of the Legislature.  Houston Chronicle

PA: Lottery privatization: Republican senators call on Corbett to back off plans for online gaming

Five Republican senators are calling on Gov. Tom Corbett to tweak his lottery management privatization plans to ban online gaming to avoid competition with the state’s casinos. Their concern arises out of the 20-year agreement with Camelot Global Services PA, LLC, that Corbett administration officials signed last week. Patriot-News

PA: Lottery privatization: Camelot facing criticism in UK for executive bonus pay and doubling of lottery prices

The proposed private manager for the Pennsylvania Lottery comes under fire in the United Kingdom for executives’ bonuses after doubling the price of tickets. Word of the bonuses comes on the heels of Camelot Global Services doubling the price of lottery tickets, which sparked lottery players in the United Kingdom to call for boycotting the lottery. A story in the United Kingdom-based publication, The Mail, quotes the deputy leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, Paul Nuttall, saying “Lottery players are being fleeced…with these bonus increases we can see why.’”  PennLive

CA: Fresno trash privatization opponents file lawsuit

Fresnans for clean air, also known as FRESCA, walked into the city clerks office in Fresno and handed them a copy of the lawsuit filed Tuesday morning. FRESCA says the city of Fresno failed to prepare an environmental impact report concerning traffic and air quality with the new residential solid waste program, Mid-Valley Disposal.  CBS47.com

SC: The dangers of giving taxpayer dollars to private companies – opinion

Truth be told, Gov. Haley is more interested in finding new ways to put taxpayer dollars into the hands of privately held companies, and privatizing school buses is the next best thing to privatizing the entire school system. Even though proponents of privatization claim that competition encourages lower costs, lowering costs is not beneficial to anyone in the long run except the person that the state writes the checks to. Competition forces transportation companies to find ways to cut costs, and cutting costs invariably finds its way into cutting essentials. Maybe this year the drivers are asked to accept a lower pay raise, or not get one at all. The next year, maybe their health insurance premiums rise. Or maybe the company decides that four inspections a year is two too many. After all, fewer inspections means finding fewer things wrong, and that means there are fewer things to fix. Charleston City Paper

Postal Service Losing Out on Federal Contracts, Report Finds

Even the federal government turns to private shippers rather than the Postal Service when it wants to send packages. A report from the agency’s inspector general said that since 2001, private companies like FedEx and United Parcel Service had consistently captured 98 percent of the revenue from long-term shipping contracts with the government because the financially troubled Postal Service did not have a sales staff or a strategy to focus on the federal sector until 2009.  New York Times