July 8, 2013


PA: Liquor lobbyists spent over $900000 towards privatizing alcohol sales in Pa.. Last week, Gov. Tom Corbett’s dream of privatizing liquor sales in Pennsylvania went down in flames, as state senators couldn’t agree on a plan to get the commonwealth out of the booze business…. According to records from the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Lobbying Disclosure database, $925,898 has been spent on alcoholic beverages lobbying so far in 2013. Corporations, unions, wineries, beer distributors and trade groups sought to make their voices heard above the din of what one newspaper called one of “the largest public flocks of lobbyists” in recent memory. Stakeholders also poured thousands of dollars into the campaign coffers of influential legislators who helped to craft, or cripple, the legislative proposals.  Lancaster Newspapers

PA: Here’s why liquor privatization failed – opinion. We learned that privatization will not deliver a huge windfall, as was promised by some proponents, who promised that an auction of the licenses was going to generate between $2 billion and $6 billion. Those rosy estimates dropped and dropped to $800 million before ultimately disappearing entirely. Any ‘”windfall”’ will not make up for the lost revenue provided each year by the LCB. PennLive.com

FL: Prison Health Care Privatization. On paper privatizing the prison health care system looks like a good deal. ” If we can provide a great service at a better price, then we ought to be doing that,” said Governor Scott. A two-year legal showdown may prove otherwise. A recent 1st District Court of Appeals sided with the state. It will allow Florida to outsource the prison health care system. Leaving nearly 2,000 state workers in limbo. WJHG-TV

VA: Editorial: Footing the bill for roads. Gov. McDonnell’s proposed Public-Private Transportation Act Pipeline, released Monday, feels disturbingly like an attempt to shirk from one of government’s most basic obligations: providing an efficient transportation infrastructure. Daily Press

CA: Editorial: University privatization a possibility. It should be remembered that taxpayer dollars helped build institutions such as the Anderson school. Continued public support helps ensure the school remains focused on service to California, as opposed to service to alumni and corporations that contribute to the school. It would be a vote of confidence in the state for the UC to hold back on further moves toward privatization. It also should reassess some of the revenue-generating moves it made during tight times, such aggressive recruitment of foreign students willing to pay out-of-state tuition.  Merced Sun-Star

Repub Rep calls for privatizing the student loan system. The interest rate on new subsidized Stafford loans doubled to 6.8%.  The rate hike is expected to impact seven million students who need the loans for the coming school year. Iowa Republican Congressman, Steve King, says he wants to see the private sector put back into student loans so competition in the market would keep the interest rates down. KTIV

TSA used flawed data in approving privatized airport screening. Erroneous and incomplete information factored into decisions to privatize airport security screening, although  access to the correct information wouldn’t have changed outcomes so far, says a report from the Homeland Security Department office of inspector general says….Fourteen of the 25 documents TSA used to evaluate those applications contained errors or omissions, says the report. One of documents underestimated–by about $424,000–the savings that would result from switching to private screening.  Fierce Homeland Security

More oversight, uniformity called for as states increasingly turn to privatized Medicaid. Advocates and experts say that the need for oversight is growing nationally as states have increasingly contracted out the huge state-federal program for the poor to insurance companies, aiming to control costs and improve quality through close management of patient care. About 30 million people are in these plans now. Under the federal health law that launches Jan. 1, eligibility will be expanded and about 7 million more will be covered by Medicaid. Many will be placed in managed care.  MedCityNews.com