January 29, 2013


PA: Op-ed: Lottery privatization is a gamble that’s not worth taking

As Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging, I oversaw programs the Lottery finances. In the 1990’s, when the state’s premiere aging programs faced similar demographic and financial challenges, I helped develop the “Lottery Fund Preservation Plan” that preserved Lottery-funded programs by cutting unnecessary spending and reigning in rapacious prescription drug prices. Aging services now face a greater threat – not from similar demographic and fiscal trends, but from the Administration’s plan to privatize management of the lottery. Penn Live

MI: Lansing’s mayor says privatizing the city’s power company is not going to happen on his watch

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero’s State of the City address celebrated recent positive economic news for the capitol city. But perhaps the biggest applause line in the speech last night involved the future of Lansing’s city-owned utility. …“I just want to be clear…that’s not going to happen. Not on my watch,” Bernero said, which drew large applause from those gathered to hear the mayor’s State of the City address. After the speech, Bernero told reporters that the revenues BWL generates for the city, as well as the low utility rates it provides Lansing residents, are too great a benefit for the city to give up. Michigan Radio

WA: Researchers find prison privatization can impede job growth

Building on earlier research in which they challenged the widespread belief that rural communities can create job growth by hosting state prisons, researchers at Washington State University have now found local job growth is often impeded in communities that become hosts to privately operated prisons. WSU News

MT: Gov. Bullock, public education community line up to oppose tax credits for private schools

Advocates of “school choice” filled the state Capitol halls Monday, in part to testify for a pair of bills creating new state income-tax credits helping finance private schools in Montana. But they ran into a united front of opposition from Montana’s public-school community and Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, who said the measures essentially take public funds away from public schools and are likely unconstitutional. Helena Independent Record

Why are the Jonas Brothers helping privatize America’s schools?

The school system is one of America’s last public treasures, but corporate interests represented by private schools, charter schools, and virtual schools are launching a new push to help privatize them. Dubbed “School Choice Week,” a coalition of these schools is launching 3,500 events this week to advocate for school vouchers, the expansion of charter schools, and other policies that would help privatize education. The kick-off event for the group featured a concert and rally hosted by the Jonas Brothers in Phoenix, Arizona. Organizers described their push for school vouchers as equivalent to the battle for civil rights and woman’s suffrage.  Bold Progressives