July 2, 2013


Public Interest Group Challenges Privatization Of Local, State Government Services. In the Public Interest, a non-profit that tracks privatization, plans to roll out a legislative agenda on Tuesday, pushing for transparency and accountability laws where outsourcing is under consideration for services that include managing prison systems, transit systems and water authorities. “We want to go on the offense,” said Donald Cohen, the group’s chair. “We really find that when we take it out of the partisan frame — the labor [versus] business frame — these are good-government measures and we can get support from folks that just want to manage government well. That includes conservatives who don’t want to see corporations take over public control.  Huffington Post

How the 1% is privatizing the $600bn public education budget. The wealthy private-school owners receive funding from the government — via vouchers and other payments — and book for themselves the profits of the successful schools they create. Because of the prices charged for these schools, the vouchers that parents receive won’t be enough, so better incomes are needed to afford the better schools. At the same time, the lower income parents (most of the rest of the country) will either use their vouchers for the fly-by-night or less-good charter schools or they’ll have to send their children to increasingly useless public schools. Public schools will not disappear, except as a means of education. Only the poor will eventually use them, and they will become more like jails and youth rehab camps than actual schools. They will operate on a fraction of the money they have now. And the teaching profession, stripped of union rights and incomes, will be gutted of anyone but the desperate.  AMERICAblog (blog)

FL: In One Month, Florida Will Privatize Prison Health Care, Lay Off Nearly 2000 Workers. After a prolonged battle, Florida has set a date for when its prison health care system will be privatized, booting nearly 2,000 state employees out of their jobs. On August 1 of this year, Corizon Inc. — a Tennessee-based company with a sordid history of abuse — will become the major provider of health care to people in the state’s penal system.  ThinkProgress

KS: Liquor privatization, transportation funding will wait for another time. The state House was unable to collect enough votes for a transportation infrastructure package and the lack of a transportation deal undid necessary Senate Republican votes in the state Senate, dooming a liquor privatization measure. Kansas Watchdog (blog)

NY: NY State to privatize Long Island utility, freeze rates – Gov Cuomo. New York lawmakers announced a deal on Wednesday to privatize utility operations on Long Island and revamp the Long Island Power Authority, a state-owned New York utility company that was criticized for its response during last year’s Superstorm Sandy. The deal, announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, includes a rate freeze through 2015. CNBC

TN: Governor says state will privatize more work. A contract to have a Chicago-based company manage state office space created controversy. It was taking effect July 1 and 126 General Services Department workers are being laid off. Haslam said the administration will look at outsourcing work where practical…. Meanwhile, state employees and their representative argue that in some of the privatization, the savings promised don’t materialize. “As far as I know, state employees were doing a good job managing the buildings,” said Robert O’Connell, executive director of the Tennessee State Employees Association. TriCities.com