June 13, 2013


VT: Vt. lawsuit spotlights privatization versus access. A lawsuit by a Brattleboro publisher and the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont is raising a question about what happens to the idea of access to public records when government services are privatized. Prison Legal News of Brattleboro says it’s been stymied in its efforts to get information about settlements of suits brought by inmates against the Corrections Corporation of America. That private company is doing Vermont state business by housing inmates from Vermont at its prison in Kentucky. NECN

OH: Court OKs Cincinnati’s plan to privatize parking. A court ruling today cleared the way for Cincinnati to move forward with a controversial parking privatization plan to help offset a budget shortfall and kick-start major redevelopment projects, allowing city leaders to avoid what likely would have been a nasty campaign to win voter approval. …Under the parking plan, the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority would pay the city $92 million upfront and at least $3 million annually for 30 years. In exchange, the port would gain control over street parking for 30 years and off-street parking for 50 years.  The plan would mean higher parking rates and longer meter hours, although increases would be capped. Columbus Dispatch

CA: Fresno’s Measure G defeated : ‘ It’s a victory , ‘ union leader says. More than a week after Fresno residents went to the polls to decide Measure G, a new vote count shows the effort to privatize city trash has failed. The updated tally, released Wednesday at 3 p.m., has the privatization measure down by 801 votes. Fresno Bee

MI: State says privatization bill violates rules. A Republican lawmaker’s attempt to give more leverage to private companies that bid to provide state services has met with resistance from state officials who fear the idea violates state bidding principles. Lansing State Journal

MO: Missouri Appeals Court Strikes Down Red Light Camera Ordinance. Missouri’s second-highest court on Tuesday ruled the St. Louis municipal ordinance authorizing the use of red light cameras is invalid. St. Louis adopted the photo ticketing ordinance in 2005, without the permission of the state legislature…. American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the private company in charge of the program, began issuing $100 red light camera tickets in 2007. One of the early recipients, Alexa Smith, filed suit after her car was accused of making a right-hand turn on red. Smith paid the fine under the threat of “further legal action by the city of St. Louis” if she failed to do so. Several others joined her in a class action.  TheNewspaper.com

WI: Private-School Tax Credits: Welfare for the Rich? Wisconsin not only wants to join the more than handful of states that give families tax breaks for sending their kids to private schools, its lawmakers are proposing what would be the most generous tax deduction of them all. Governing

PA: Pa. Gov. Corbett presses Senate to send him a liquor privatization bill. Gov. Tom Corbett must be hearing the reports that deep fractures exist within the Senate Republican Caucus over a liquor privatization plan. Patriot-News

NJ: Court blocks CWA’s request to put state’s lottery privatization contract on hold. The Christie administration is allowed move forward with its plan to have a private firm to take over parts of the New Jersey lottery after a state appellate court denied a request by the state’s largest public workers union to block the deal. But the court said it will speed up the process of hearing the Communication Workers of America’s appeal of the contract.  Hunterdon County Democrat

When Your Government Job Isn’t Yours Anymore. Tennessee’s 1,600 IT employees are about to undergo a major reclassification that will open up all of their jobs to competitive bid and push them to reapply for the new positions…Tennessee isn’t the first to overhaul its workforce in such a way. Two somewhat recent examples include Colorado, where Gov. John Hickenlooper asked those in the highest-level, non-appointed executive positions to reapply at the expiration of their contracts in 2011; and Hillsborough County, Fla., which widdled 106 financial and support jobs down to 90 reclassified positions.  Governing

Booksellers for the Post Office. You’ve heard all the gibberish regarding the demise of the post office and the need to privatize the service but guess what? In some areas they are doing better than they ever have! Seattle Post Intelligencer