July 31, 2013


IL: Port of Chicago gets private firm to run harbor, add 1,000 jobs. The Illinois International Port District has reached a pact with a Denver company to take over operation and management of the Port of Chicago, its long underperforming Southeast Side cargo facility, in a deal expected to yield $500 million in infrastructure investment and 1,000 new jobs within a decade.  Chicago Business

IL: Opinion: Chicago Brd of Ed starving its schools to justify privatization “…and now we are faced with budget cuts so severe that the remaining schools are left wondering how they will function at all? What the Sun-Times declares a conspiracy theory [editorial, July 21] is self-evident to me — that our schools are being starved into failure in order to justify mass privatization. Fifty schools closed and over 20 new charter schools. Three thousand layoffs and $1.6 million to bring in Teach for America novices. Another $20 million on an academy for principals. All connected, along with the CEO of CPS, to the Broad Foundation.” Chicago Sun-Times

MI: Detroit requests proposals for privatization of waste, recycling. The city of Detroit is looking for a private partner to collect waste and recycling in the city. This morning, Detroit released a request for proposals for residential solid waste and recycling pickup. Crain’s Detroit Business

OR: Liquor privatization battle brewing in Oregon. The Oregon Legislature’s failure to loosen state liquor laws could lead to an initiative campaign to privatize sales of booze, a lobbyist for grocery stores said Tuesday.  OregonLive.com           

CA: First Privately-Funded Public Park in San Francisco. Through a conservation easement, Emerald Fund has agreed to pay for not just the development of the park, which is complete except for the installation of a children’s play structure to come within the next few months, but also the maintenance of the open space. The agreement, which the San Francisco Parks Alliance (SFPA) voted on Tuesday, requires the Emerald Fund to give up development rights on the park as well. SFPA has agreed to monitor the easement, and it is legally binding to the title company.  The Epoch Times

PA: Lottery privatization debate simmers. A new extension was agreed upon Friday for a proposed Lottery privatization bid as opponents of the idea say a record sales report throws more cold water on the prospect. Citizens Voice

Senate Republicans start push on charters and choice. The top Republican on the Senate Education Committee kicks off a series of events on charter schools today. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) meet with Tennessee charter school leaders today in Nashville. The focus broadens on Tuesday: Three other Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), join Alexander and Paul for a forum on school choice in Washington, D.C., with both public charter and private schools.  Politico

Opinion: The perils of privatizing health care, American-style. As health systems around the world grapple with the increasing costs of providing health care for their citizens, far too many are considering more extensive privatization of their systems to emulate the U.S. health care model.  This is a mistake not only from an economic perspective but also from a human rights and public health position. Health policy solutions           

“There they go again” It seems to me that the collective might of the people, in the form of the government, is at its best and most appropriate in protecting our most vulnerable. Our children would qualify as one such constituency. And in particular, their right to a good public education and the means to acquire skills necessary for becoming productive citizens. How does privatizing our public education system conform to this plan? Diminishing the resources available to children for their education by whipping up a frenzy of schooling “alternatives” doesn’t do it. Destabilizing the world of their schools where teachers are fired and inexperienced replacements are induced to move through the system without forming attachments doesn’t cut it. Replacing a world of knowledge, learning and understanding with rote exercises and test “bubbling” certainly is counter-productive to developing a “life of the mind”. City Watch


July 29, 2013


NY: Tax Watch: Flaws undermine Yonkers schools privatization plan (video). The plan to privatize Yonkers’ $1.7 billion school construction program is on the rocks. Two weeks ago, a blue-ribbon commission headed by former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky issued a stinging critique of what’s called the Public-Private-Partnership, , or P3 model. It concluded that the plan was so riddled with errors and unsupported assumptions that taxpayers wouldn’t save $63 million over 35 years as touted by consultant firm KPMG.  In fact, the Brodsky commission found that “serious flaws” in the plan had inflated the projected savings by at least $200 million, creating a yawning hole to be filled by cash-strapped Yonkers taxpayers. The Journal News

CA: Save the Berkeley Post Office Protesters Set up Camp. More than 100 people, including some who say they plan to camp out, have gathered in front of a historic post office in Berkeley to protest its closure. The protesters represent the groups Save the Berkeley Post Office and Strike Debt Bay Area and are holding a demonstration and teach-in on the privatization of public services in front of the post office at 2000 Allston Way.  “We’re fighting to save it, and we’re not going to stop,” protester Moni Law said.  NBC Bay Area

ME: Alfond attacks new Portland charter school for aligning with ‘extreme organization’. Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, a new charter school set to open this fall in Portland, will host a policy luncheon next week that is sponsored by the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center.,,,[N]ext Wednesday’s “Friedman Legacy Day” at the school is an annual event that nationally honors the late Milton Friedman,,,Alfond told the Bangor Daily News on Friday that he is troubled by Baxter Academy aligning itself with the conservative think tank, which formerly employed Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen and other past and current members of Gov. Paul LePage’s administration.  Bangor Daily News           

TX: TxDot moving toward toll roads. “These public/private partnerships is where they sell of our roads to these, mostly foreign, private companies,” says Terri Hall, President of the grassroots group Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, or TURF. “And the first foreign-owned toll road in Texas that opened is not even getting half the traffic that was projected.”But the most outrageous part is, if the toll revenue doesn’t meet its target, the state guarantees the difference. That would come from the Highway Fund, which is already strapped. “It basically puts all Texas taxpayers on the hook to pay back these private toll operators,” Hall declared.“The House didn’t pass them, the Senate didn’t pass them. So Txdot decides they’re going to do an end run around the House rule and get what they want anyway. It’s wrong,” says Eltife. In addition, there would be no competitive bidding on the projects. KETK

PA: Anyone remember Lottery privatization? “Why is Gov. Corbett so intent on privatizing a lottery that has been a national model for decades and just delivered more than $1 billion in programs that help senior citizens?” asked House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D- Allegheny, tells Swift.  PennLive.com

AZ: Openness lost in privatization. A push toward the privatization of state services is spawning criticism from those who see the trend as the decline of government transparency and accountability. Muskogee Daily Phoenix           

July 26, 2013


Housing Crisis: Developers Vie to Replace Barracks and Dorms. While an ever-growing number of developers have been gravitating to student housing for some time, lured by a largely recession-proof investment fueled by students who take out what are essentially guaranteed loans (borrowers may default, but they can never escape by declaring bankruptcy), now developers have started to target singles’ military housing as a new and potentially lucrative market. As The Wall Street Journal recently reported, a developer has built the military’s first private housing complex for single service members on an army base in Fort Meade, Maryland….. The other question is whether service members can afford to pay for something that used to be free. Especially considering that a lot of lower-ranking soldiers, both single and coupled, have trouble paying their bills as it is—it’s not uncommon for military families to use food stamps.  New York Observer

San Jose Conference Fueling Private Space Industry. The annual New Space Conference has become a center of gravity for the dozens of companies, inventors and enthusiasts who see profits in outer space…..Now even a lobbying group has taken up the cause of the growing space industry. The Tea Party In Space sees privatizing what lies beyond the atmosphere as a necessary element of fiscal responsibility. CBS San Francisco

Detroit: Donald Cohen Warns of Privatization, Calls for Bailout. As Detroit officials discuss a “fire sale” of public assets and services to private interests in the wake of the city’s $18 billion Chapter 9 bankruptcy last Thursday, some conservative politicians and business leaders may realize their dreams of “running government more like a business” after all. Truth-Out

NE: Nebraska making progress on child welfare. Pristow, who was hired in March 2012, has been dealing with a system left in turmoil by the failure of the state’s 2½-year experiment in privatizing the child welfare system. The effort began in late 2009 with goals of improving care and reducing the numbers of children in out-of-home care.  By the end of February 2012, four of the five private agencies had lost or dropped their contracts, citing inadequate reimbursement from the state. The goal of improving care for children went unrealized, and the state lost foster families and service providers. Omaha World-Herald

MN: University of Minnesota moving along with Teach For America deal. No decision has been made on the proposed partnership between the University of Minnesota and Teach for America, but some graduate students said they believe an unofficial agreement has already been decided…. In addition to concerns about the training program, the press release from graduate students said “the partnership would contribute to the increasing privatization and exploitation of public schools in communities most affected by racism and state violence.” Twin Cities Daily Planet

MI: Bill would ease privatization. House Bill 4549: Ban government competition with private enterprises (“yellow pages test”) . Introduced by Rep. Greg MacMaster (R) to prohibit government agencies from competing against private enterprises, or subsidizing any charitable or non-profit institution using government support to do this. Activities normally provided by government would be exempted, including public schools, “essential services” and “necessary services” as defined in the bill. “Vital services,” including things like food stores, drug stores, child care, elder care, and telecommunications services could only be provided if there were no private sector alternatives. Privatization of essential and necessary services would be explicitly allowed. A private enterprise could sue to obtain an injunction forcing the government competitor to stop, and to seek compensatory damages. Governments already providing commercial goods or services would be grandfathered, but could not expand. HollandSentinel.com



July 25, 2013


CA: Appeals denied, Berkeley Post Office for sale. Despite appeals from a united City Council, state legislators, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee and dozens of community groups and individuals, the United States Postal Service announced July 18 that it will sell the historic downtown Berkeley Post Office. “While I am sympathetic to the concerns raised by the concerned parties … I will not set aside the Postal Service’s April 19th decision” to sell the post office, USPS Vice President Tom A. Samra stated in a letter posted at the building. San Jose Mercury News

CA: Privatizing the Botanical Gardens – opinion. “This vote means we are basically privatizing 55 acres of Golden Gate Park and handing it over to a nonprofit with no public accountability,” Harry Pariser, a longtime resident of the Inner Sunset, activist, and author told the Bay Guardian. “Essentially we’re allowing the government to make us show an ID to come onto public land. It’s also going to be a space where there’s going to be a lot more commercial activity. I think inevitably there is going to be fees for everyone.” San Francisco Bay Guardian

MI: Restaurants at rest stops? Michigan puts out feeler. The state Department of Transportation on Thursday put feelers out to companies looking to form public-private partnerships involving rest stops, freeway lighting and bridge construction. Ideas could include opening restaurants and buying advertising space. If successful, the state may look to make money at rest stops along U.S. 131 in west Michigan and U.S. 23 in the southeastern part of the state. One privatization deal could involve all 18,400 lights on the state’s freeways. The Detroit News

OH: Lawsuit Seeks To Shut Down Speed Cameras. Earlier this month a Hamilton County, Ohio judge declared Elmwood Place in contempt of court for ignoring a ruling that found speed cameras to be an unlawful “scam.” A group of lawyers is seeking to replicate that legal success by shutting down the automated ticketing machines in New Miami, a village of 2000 residents located twenty miles to the north, with a class action lawsuit filed on Friday….. Optotraffic began issuing citations last October in return for a cut of the fine revenue. The lawsuit argues that Optotraffic supplies hearsay evidence to the court and denies an innocent motorists a realistic opportunity to defend themselves. TheNewspaper.com

Time to Decide: Concentrated, Privatized Wealth or Shared Prosperity – opinion. Journalist Ted Koppel summarized the privatization trend: “We are privatizing ourselves into one disaster after another…. We’ve privatized a lot of what our military is doing. We’ve privatized a lot of what our intelligence agencies are doing. We’ve privatized our very prison system in many parts of the country. We’re privatizing the health system within those prisons. And it’s not working well.” The Real News Network

July 24, 2013


WI: Armed, Masked and Dangerous: the Militias of Privatization vs. the Public Good. Wisconsin, the battleground state where Governor Scott Walker has wielded his power with the grace of an elephant in a Crate and Barrel outlet store, has become the scene of armed, mask wearing, camouflaged security outfits patrolling the backwoods on the lookout for eco-terrorist types at the behest of a mining company more than willing to defile the environment for profits…. Ganson said that the guards “carried semi-automatic guns, were dressed in camouflage, and wore masks covering their faces. ‘As you can imagine, it was quite a shock for five middle-aged people out for a walk,’ he said. Ganson tried to engage the guards, but was ‘met with stony-faced silence.’ He was alarmed but managed to grab a few photos of the men. ‘I was thinking if the worst scenario happened, at least there would be photos on my camera.'” Truth-Out

PA: Pa. Lottery should not follow Illinois path, lottery outsourcing opponents say. A story out of Illinois that raises questions about that state’s outsourcing of its lottery management is resonating with those opposed to Gov. Tom Corbett’s interest in hiring a private manager to run the Pennsylvania Lottery. The story that appeared in Monday’s edition of Crain’s Chicago Business discusses how Northstar Lottery Group LLC, the consortium hired in 2011 to manage the Illinois Lottery, fell short of hitting its profit targets for the second consecutive year. Instead of the $947.1 million in profits it committed to bring in last year, the article indicates Northstar generated $793.5 million. It also discussed how Northstar failed to increase the number of lottery vendors as promised and its on-line ticket sales proved to be a bust.  Patriot-News

Cities Need to Weigh Costs of Private Partnerships – Donald Cohen. DealBook recently published a piece by Kent Rowey that makes a troubling argument for selling public services and infrastructure to Wall Street banks and other corporations. Under the guise of making recommendations for Detroit, Mr. Rowey tried to sell the idea that auctioning off our most vital services and assets to for-profit companies is a simple win-win solution for strapped governments. It sounds simple, but the real track record of public-private partnerships is fraught with problems. New York Times


July 23, 2013


For-profit colleges face heat again on Hill.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Holly Petraeus goes on the attack, saying a federal rule encourages for-profit colleges to exploit veterans…..Petraeus will say the rule gives “some for-profit colleges an incentive to see service members as nothing more than dollar signs in uniform and to use some very unscrupulous marketing techniques.” Politico (blog)

Air Force considers privatizing Cape operations. The Air Force is studying the possibility of transforming Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Eastern Range into a commercially operated spaceport. FLORIDA TODAY

MI: Detroit’s assets are under review amid crushing debt. Kevyn Orr is Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager….Last Friday, Orr took questions from reporters. The very first question he faced was pretty much, ”What’s for sale?” “Right now there’s nothing for sale, including Howdy Doody.” Orr was actually referring to the Detroit Institute of Arts, whose collection includes the original puppet from the 1950s children’s TV show. Though no one knows for sure, the DIA’s total assets — which include masterpieces by Van Gogh and Picasso — could be worth about $2.5 billion. John Pottow is a professor and bankruptcy expert at the University of Michigan. He says parts of the museum’s collection could potentially be liquidated and sold off to the highest bidder — at least, in theory.  Michigan Radio

IL: Emanuel backs independent budget office to analyze spending. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has thrown his support behind a plan to create a $250,000-a-year independent budget office that would help the City Council analyze the mayor’s spending and privatization plans and suggest budget-balancing alternatives….. “There’s a high number of really high-profile public- private partnerships the city is looking at. We’re talking about Midway Airport and the Port Authority. We’ll probably be talking about garbage and water [at some point]. There’s no way you can run a full office that has these duties for 250,000. I don’t even know if it would last one deal,” Miller said. “I heard from several aldermen that they were really unsure of what direction to go when discussing the new parking meter deal [revised by Emanuel]. They felt something like this would be useful. But to have an office that is supposed to run on $250,000 is laughable.” Chicago Sun Times

NC: Public Education, Private Profit? North Carolina Set To Expand Controversial Voucher Program. North Carolina state legislators are expected to vote this week on a historic $20.6 billion budget that would further privatize the state’s education programs, expanding a voucher program that  allows families to use taxpayer money to pay private-school tuition. MintPressNews

AZ: Tucson-area districts increasingly move to convert schools to charters. Arizona has seen an unprecedented surge in school districts wanting to convert some of their schools to charters, raising concerns over whether districts are unfairly using the law just to generate more money. Arizona Daily Star           


July 22, 2013


OH: Prison oversight – editorial. Gov. John Kasich and state lawmakers are pushing a plan to privatize more prison operations — a risky move that will demand far greater oversight by the administration, legislators, and citizens. Ohio has hired a private vendor to start feeding its 50,000 prisoners. That company’s track record includes billing for food it doesn’t serve, using substandard ingredients, and even creating disturbances because of its meals. Toledo Blade

MI: Is Detroit’s Bankruptcy Really a Feeding Frenzy for Privatization? Frank Hammer is a retired GM employee and former President and Chairman of Local 909 in Warren, Michigan….. There have been a lot of conversations under the emergency manager, and certainly now under bankruptcy, about all the city assets that can be put up in a fire sale to help the city, supposedly to help the city pay off their debts. So they’re talking about, for example, selling what’s a very cherished public park in the middle of the Detroit River called the Belle Isle. They’re talking about selling that. They’re talking about selling the art collection that’s housed [incompr.] Detroit Institute of Art, which is apparently worth millions, and so that they’re going to just have a feeding frenzy privatizing what previously were understood to be public assets. And that’s partly what I see coming down the pipe.  TheRealNews.com

IL: Private Colorado-based firm to run Port of Chicago. A Colorado company has been awarded a 62-year lease to run the Port of Chicago and will make major infrastructure upgrades that will modernize the rundown facilities, city and Illinois state officials said…..Other privatization efforts in Chicago have been controversial. The city’s aldermen faced much criticism for hastily approving a 75-year deal in 2008 under former Mayor Richard Daley that made Chicago’s parking rates among the most expensive nationwide. Emanuel, who acknowledged the parking deal became a national embarrassment, recently pushed for free parking on Sundays as a concession.With the port deal, Emanuel emphasized that officials conducted a competitive bidding process. The Broe Group is a family-owned international investment and management company. Kansas City Star

IL: Mammogram Clinics Lose Funding. The city of Chicago has more plans to privatize public health services after losing a grant that helped to pay for thousands of mammograms for the uninsured.  Free mammography screenings were paid for, in part, by a federal grant administered by the state of Illinois.  CLTV

DC: Metro union aims to block DC plan to privatize buses. Metro’s biggest union is trying to rally support from pro-union groups and local community organizations to stop the District from privatizing some of its bus routes now run by the transit agency. Washington Post

LA: State employee layoffs rise. About 3,800 rank-and-file state employees lost their jobs during the fiscal year that ended June 30 as state government’s workforce continued to shrink, according to a state Civil Service report issued Thursday. The layoffs affected nearly 10 percent of the state’s classified employees during the 2013 fiscal year. Most of the civil servants lost their state jobs when the Jindal administration privatized operation of LSU hospitals in south Louisiana. The Advocate

CO: The impacts of privatizing the turnpike. A few months ago, the Colorado Department of Transportation reached a 50-year deal with a private consortium to handle the improvement, maintenance and operation of U.S. 36…. Phineas Baxandall, a senior analyst for tax and budget policy with PIRG and author of the report, considers the U.S. 36 plan a “mixed bag.” “There are a lot of positive things about this project,” he said, “but the private financing is essentially just a high-priced loan. Instead of raising more of their own public revenue to finance the road, the state will make larger annual payments to the private road builders.” Boulder Weekly

PA: Heard off the Street: Pennsylvania’s beer distributors cool to privatizing. While lawmakers consider changing the maligned, misunderstood system, few harbor illusions privatization will change how much people drink. Pittsburgh Post Gazette

July 18, 2013


Man Who Worked On Parking Meter Deal Writes NYT Blog Praising Privatization. A post on The New York Times DealBook blog arguing in favor of cities embarking on privatization projects failed to mention the author works for a firm that was instrumental in drafting Chicago’s parking meter deal. Chicagoist

Privatization of weather and climate data: What could possibly go wrong? The now-familiar scenario where government agency is strangled by budget cuts until it’s forced to look to private industry to continue its mission. And so private industry is stepping into the void, with companies such as Skybox Imaging with its mini-fridge sized satellite, so much more flexible and easier to launch. Daily Kos

‘Stand Your Ground’ group pushes privatization of public education. The group that pushed “Stand Your Ground” laws in Florida and other states has been mighty busy working to get laws passed in the area of school reform — and the aim has been the privatization of public education. Washington Post

Education Laws Written By For-Profit Schools Considered In 43 States. School privatization laws crafted by corporate interests have been introduced in nearly every state in the first half of 2013, according to the Center for Media and Democracy. 43 states and the District of Columbia are considering school legislation developed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the umbrella organization that pushes state laws catered to business interests on a myriad of topics. ThinkProgress

Privatizing War (cont.) From Tuesday’s list of Pentagon contract announcements: Jorge Scientific Corp., Arlington, Va., was awarded an $11,810,908 modification (P00006) to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, option-filled, multi-year contract (W560MY-13-C-0004) to provide counterinsurgency advisory and assistance teams services throughout Afghanistan.  The cumulative total face value of this contract is $21,262,084. …This concern, we have noted in the past, has been paid tens of millions of dollars to plan and fight the war in Afghanistan.  Don’t we have military folks to do that? TIME

CT: Sale of Bethel’s Water System Would be a “Tax Through the Tap”. Not only would the privatization mean much higher water rates for town residents in the future, it would also take the drinking water system out of local public control. Food and Water Watch



July 17, 2013


The Charter School Vs. Public School Debate Continues. Charter schools turn 21 this year. In that time, these privately run, publicly funded schools have spread to 41 states and enrolled more than 2 million students. But one key question lingers: Do kids in charter schools learn more than kids in traditional public schools? NPR

Air Force Considers Privatizing Cape Canaveral Operations. Meetings this week will explore a major change to that historic role, studying the possibility of privatizing some or all operations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Eastern Range, “the nation’s premier gateway to space.” SpaceNews

NY: Fraud Lawsuit Proceeds Against Toll Road Firm. Justice Melvin L. Schweitzer A New York state court decided last Wednesday that a financial guaranty insurance company could sue a toll road company for fraud over a scheme to buy public infrastructure assets at hefty premiums. TheNewspaper.com

IL: Proposed Bill Paves Way for Water Privatization Boom in Illinois. Legislation currently on Governor Quinn’s desk could dramatically alter the way Illinois manages its own water resources. House Bill 1379 would allow Illinois American Water and Aqua Illinois, two of the state’s largest private water companies, to expedite acquisitions of municipal water systems and increase customer rates to fund their expansion….Critics of the proposed legislation insist water and sewage privatization is a dangerous gamble with an essential public resource that will cost Illinois residents. Non-profit water advocacy group Food and Water Watch explains that multinational water corporations are beholden to stockholders, not the public they serve, which inevitably limits transparency and public accountability.  Gapers Block

MI: What would happen if we consolidate schools into county-wide districts? State Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan….  is proposing either going to a system of county-wide districts, or, if that won’t fly, at least consolidating and centralizing administrative and some academic functions at either a county or a regional level…. Scott Warrow is both a Groves English teacher…thinks this is just another ploy by the governor and the legislature to eventually privatize education. “What has been going on is an attack on public teachers and their unions,” he told me. He thinks the public schools would be fine if the state would just give them all the money they have cut over the past decade or so. Michigan Radio

July 16, 2013


Past audits show Aramark charged states for unserved prison meals. A private vendor in line to begin feeding roughly 100,000 prison inmates in Ohio and Michigan has a track record of billing for food it doesn’t serve, using substandard ingredients and riling prisoners with its meal offerings, past audits in several states show. The Republic

Teach For America alumni organize ‘resistance’. The summit, billed as “Organizing Resistance Against Teach for America and its Role in Privatization,” is being organized by a committee of scholars, parents, activists, and current corps members. Its mission is to challenge the organization’s centrality in the corporate-backed, market-driven, testing-oriented movement in urban education.  American Prospect

Noam Chomsky lectures on continued corporatization of universities. “If you want to privatize something and destroy it, it’s simple,” Chomsky said. “First you defund it so it doesn’t work anymore.” Chomsky said the increase of private higher education, and those institutions with similar practices, edged out the demand in the market for public higher education, which could halt tuition hikes in favor of more modest spending practices instead of spending more to compete with other public institutions. He said soon the only colleges in the United States that could realistically be called publicly funded were community colleges. The Michigan Daily

Cities and States Should Learn From Edward Snowden. Unfortunately for taxpayers, not only has outsourcing these services and privatizing public infrastructure to for-profit companies failed to keep this promise, but too often it undermines transparency, and public accountability. In fact, the fine print in these contracts often gives government contractors the power to make public decisions and guarantees profits even when it conflicts with public purpose. Huffington Post

PA: Analysts hold little hope for liquor, transit bills. Linking a bill to raise money for transportation to one that would privatize liquor sales was supposed to be the key to their passage in the General Assembly. Instead, the strategy doomed both proposals, analysts and lawmakers say. The Tribune-Review

WI: Local husband and wife fight school choice vouchers. Last month, Warner introduced a School Board resolution — approved by the full board on Monday — that opposes the expansion of vouchers in Wisconsin. Meanwhile Schroder, who is one of the teachers who went months without promised pay or benefits while working for Racine’s now-closed St. John Fisher Academy voucher high school, has founded a Facebook group called “Stop The Decimation of Public Education — Eliminate Vouchers!” It has 94 members and encourages people to contact their legislators about opposing vouchers. Journal Times

NC: NC Justice Center questions development privatization efforts. A liberal-leaning advocate believes N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory’s efforts to privatize economic development in the state needs some tweaking before it becomes law. A report from the N.C. Justice Center says one missing element stands out — companies that contribute to the N.C. Partnership for Prosperity should be barred from receiving state incentives. Charlotte Business Journal (blog)