February 27, 2013


PR: Puerto Rico Airport Privatization Deal Lifts Off. Puerto Rico’s governor on Tuesday approved turning over the operations of Puerto Rico’s largest airport to a private company as part of an estimated $2.6 billion deal that began under his predecessor and has been fiercely protested. ABC News

PA: Even if Pa. Lottery deal fizzles, consultants in line for $1.2 million. A deal to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery may have hit a snag, but contracts with the two private firms advising the commonwealth on the plan means the state definitely has some bills to pay. The state could be on the hook for as much as $1.2 million for work by its consultants on a deal to turn over the operations of the lottery to British firm Camelot Global Services. Newsworks

PA: Report: Corbett Administration considers privatizing PA Department of Public Welfare. Was I aware that the Corbett administration hoped to privatize far more than these three small agencies?  “They’re talking about privatizing the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare,” I was told.  Interested parties, the tipster continued, recently “came up from Florida to tour DPW and study the potential to privatize the department.” This communication would prove interesting for several reasons. New Pittsburgh Courier

NY: LIPA study: Rates up if privatized. A study commissioned by the Long Island Power Authority in 2010 found that even the most optimistic scenarios for privatizing the agency would result in the need for more revenue through higher electric rates. It’s the second LIPA-commissioned study in three years that has concluded as much. Another, by the Brattle Group in 2011, found that privatization could hike rates 15 percent to 20 percent. . . . The report laid out two scenarios for privatizing LIPA: one in which LIPA was sold for $5.7 billion and retained a small portion of debt, and another that assumed the new owner found a way to pay off all of LIPA’s $7 billion debt. Under both scenarios, the new owner would have to hike rates to collect between 7 percent and 12 percent more revenue from ratepayers than under the existing public-private structure, the study said. Newsday

FL: Action Alert to Stop Vouchers … Jeb Bush Expected to Testify at Hearing. Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston), chair of the Senate Education Committee, likes to label his policy preferences as “national best practices in education reform.” But he has not yet sold a majority of his legislative colleagues on his agenda, which includes private-school vouchers, privatization via charter expansion, shutdown and conversion of neighborhood schools into privately run charter schools, and more.   Hence Sen. Patrick is expected to bring in some out-of-town talent to help his cause tomorrow in a special hearing of his committee occurring in the Senate chamber. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, said to be readying himself for a presidential run in 2016, is expected to appear and to tout what his private foundation calls the Florida formula for student achievement.  Burnt Orange Report

Electronic toll roads envisioned for nation. With Congress reluctant to raise the gasoline tax, and with the nation’s highways in need of repair and expansion, motorists everywhere may eventually have to come to grips with the notion of more highway tolls and usage fees – possibly collected via electronic monitoring devices built directly into their vehicles. That’s one idea suggested by a Milwaukee-based trade group, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, which represents major road-building equipment firms. It certainly will take more than the traditional gas tax, Dennis Slater, president of the group, said in a conference call with reporters this week. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel