January 25, 2013


NC: A Tea Partier Takes Charge of North Carolina’s Budget

His think tanks favor a repeal of North Carolina’s income tax, privatizing Medicaid, and reducing the state workforce. Liberals fear Pope will decimate funding for public schools, Medicaid, and other social programs. Chris Fitzsimon, executive director of NC Policy Watch, a public policy group in Raleigh, worries that Pope’s years of activism will give him more clout than the governor and is calling the new regime “The Pope Administration.” Says Fitzsimon: “It’s unprecedented to have the largest funder of campaign ads as the state budget director.” Businessweek

OK: Bill seeks to eliminate funding for Oklahoma Arts Council

Oklahoma is following neighboring Kansas, where Koch Industries is headquartered, to eradicate public arts funding. De-funding the arts is a privatizing scheme. “The Arts Council can operate solely from donations and self-generated funds. Los Angeles Times

OR: Liquor privatization issue still percolating in Oregon

After the bumpy start for Washington’s liquor privatization law last year — which included price hikes that led some consumers fleeing to stores across the border — you might think the issue is off the table in Oregon. It doesn’t appear to be the case.   Both sides are preparing for a potential battle here.  OregonLive

SC:  SC Board of Education Authorizes Strikebreaking Bus Drivers

On Wednesday, the board authorized the emergency use of school bus drivers who do not have the state certification should a strike occur in those districts…. The districts have contracted with private company Durham School Services to provide transportation services. Durham’s employees are unionized under Teamsters 509 and authorized a strike last week and this week as negotiations with the company stalled.  Patch.com

VT: Vermont: One Tiny State’s Movement to Ban Private Prisons

A recent New Yorker piece noted more Americans are now incarcerated than there were imprisoned in Stalin’s gulags. Clearly a dialogue about mass incarceration, budget crises, and privatization is unfolding. A group of Vermonters working out of Church basements and living rooms is attempting to build a movement to push this conversation forward by passing a historic law banning Vermont’s use of for-profit prisons. Toward Freedom

IL: Bucktown Billboards Galore

The new LED billboard planned for a prominent local intersection is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s expansive billboard privatization deal, according to 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack…Area residents and community groups have also started taking action against the billboard projects. Bucktown Community Organization President Steve Jensen is drafting a letter to the mayor to publicly state the group’s position on the issue, and he has encouraging neighbors to do the same.   Patch.com

CA: Dozens of layoffs possible with Fresno trash plan delay

KMJ is reporting up to 60 impending layoffs at the City of Fresno on possible delays to residential trash privatization.KMJ (580 AM) is reporting that upward of 60 City of Fresno employees could be laid off in the coming months due to possible delays in privatizing the city’s residential solid waste collection. In addition to layoffs, two fire stations would be cut, as well as hot meals for seniors and graffiti abatement efforts, Appleton said.  Fresno Business Journal