March 18, 2013


PA: Coming this week: Liquor privatization’s first big test. The House Liquor Control Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Monday to consider Gov. Corbett’s privatization plan, which calls for auctioning off the state’s 600-plus wine and spirits shops to the private sector. The proceeds from the sale – about $1 billion – would be given to public schools through a new initiative to help them pay for early childhood education and school security, among other things. If it passes muster in committee, the bill would then be sent to the House floor for debate. Philadelphia Inquirer

OH: Privatizing the feeding of Ohio’s inmates stirs fears. Ohio’s move to privatize prison food service, estimated to save taxpayers $15 million annually, could cause collateral damage to some small businesses. The Kasich administration proposed, as part of its$63.3 billion biennial budget, to privatize preparing and serving more than 150,000 meals a day to inmates in Ohio’s adult and juvenile prisons. The cost savings are estimated at $16.2 million annually under a Kasich administration plan. Columbus Dispatch

OH: Cincinnati Parking Privatization Opponents Seek Vote. Cincinnati’s plan to privatize parking is being challenged by six city residents who claim the March 6 ordinance should be put to a public referendum. The measure places the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority in charge of street parking for 30 years and off-street parking. Bloomberg

IL: Six advance in Midway privatization bid. The City of Chicago on Friday selected six groups of airport investors and operators as potential bidders should it move toward privatizing Midway Airport. The six groups were selected from 16 that responded to a city request for qualifications. City staff, advisers and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Midway Advisory Panel evaluated the companies on their financial capacity and their experience in airport operations. Chicago Tribune

CA: Online-course bill is sharply criticized by top UC faculty leaders. In a crossing of swords between academics and politicians, the University of California’s top two faculty leaders on Friday strongly criticized legislation that would allow students bumped from overcrowded core courses at state schools to instead take online courses from other colleges or private companies. The bill, authored by state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), “raises grave concerns,” Robert L. Powell and Bill Jacob, the chairman and vice chairman of the UC system’s faculty Senate, wrote in a letter to colleagues. Among other things, “the clear self-interest of for-profit corporations in promoting the privatization of public higher education through this legislation is dismaying,” they said. Los Angeles Times