July 12, 2013


 Gangs Ruled Youth Prison as For-Profit Model Left Blood on Floor. More than 130,000 state and federal convicts throughout the U.S. — 8 percent of the total — now live in private prisons such as Walnut Grove, as public officials buy into claims that the institutions can deliver profits while preparing inmates for life after release, saving tax dollars and creating jobs. No national data tracks whether the facilities are run as well as public ones, and private-prison lobbyists for years have successfully fought efforts to bring them under federal open-records law. Yet regulatory, court and state records show that the industry has repeatedly experienced the kind of staffing shortages and worker turnover that helped produce years of chaos at Walnut Grove. Businessweek

House GOP Offers Housing Bill Without Government Guarantee. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling introduced a housing finance reorganization bill today that would liquidate U.S.-owned mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and limit government mortgage guarantees. The proposed legislation, seen as a Republican counterproposal to a bipartisan bill unveiled June 26 in the Senate, is unlikely to gain support in the Democratic-led Senate and has yet to attract broad support among House Republicans.  Bloomberg

Edward Snowden and the disaster of privatization – Donald Cohen. Snowden’s leaks exposed a widespread lack of oversight of the contractors working at every level of our government; outsourcing can be nearly as damaging at the state and local levels as it is for federal contracts. The same lack of transparency, accountability and oversight threatening our national security threatens public services provided each day across the country. Cash-strapped mayors and governors are handing over control of critical public services and assets to for-profit corporations and Wall Street investment banks that promise to handle them better, faster and cheaper. Too often, such deals entirely undermine transparency, accountability, shared prosperity and competition — the very underpinnings of democracy. Reuters Blogs (blog)

NC: Public private partnership bill hits Senate snag. A plan to turn North Carolina’s job recruitment functions over to a public private partnership appears to have hit a snag in the state Senate, where skeptical lawmakers say they want to “thoroughly examine” the ideas behind one of Gov. Pat McCrory’s key priorities. McCrory, a Republican, has been pushing the legislature to create a private nonprofit that would contract with the state to handle everything from tourism promotion to the recruitment of new businesses.  WRAL Tech Wire

FL: Miami-Dade probes cheating allegations at district-run charter. Miami-Dade schools police are investigating cheating allegations at a district managed charter school overseen by a former senior district official. Miami Herald



July 11, 2013


Privatization’s the Name of the Game for Accident-Prone Train Company Behind Lac-Mégantic Oil Disaster. As the head of the company behind the runaway oil train that derailed and caused a fireball explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec faced furious residents on Wednesday, he continued to defend the shoddy safety record of his company hell-bent on privatization…. The Canadian Press, citing information from the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration, reports that the MM&A has had 8 derailments and four collisions since 2010, and it has an average of 34.7 accidents per million miles traveled, well above the national average of 2.3 accidents per million miles.  The Wall Street Journal adds that the company had “23 accidents, injuries or reportable mishaps from 2010 to 2012.”  Common Dreams

Postal Service needs centralized system to manage public-private partnerships. The U.S. Postal Service has been broadening its use of public-private partnerships in recent years. But to fully leverage its relationship with the private sector, the agency could take a page from foreign post offices, according to postal auditors. While the service is making progress on partnering with the private sector, the USPS still lacks a central office to deal with the logistics of sharing lessons learned, said Michael Kubayanda, a public policy specialist at the USPS Office of the Inspector General on In Depth with Francis Rose Monday.  FederalNewsRadio.com

Privatizing Privatization. Smokey Diamond, our intrepid reporter, has had her nose to the grindstone in sniffing out not only today’s news, but tomorrow’s.  She reports that the thought keeping the two major Republican think tanks awake at night is the slow pace of privatization.  Both the ultra-conservative IGM group and the ultra, way past-conservative WGOs group had thought that most government services would have withered away by now, leaving the only government functions the fighting of wars in nations whose names we cannot spell and the occasional photo shoot of an uncomfortable looking John Boehner and a satanic looking Eric Cantor cutting the funds for some program or other that the young or sick depend on.  Not so. Voices of Central Pennsylvania

IL: Has privatizing Chicago public housing done much to desegregate it? The Chicago Reporter found that more than 97 percent of the voucher spending remains in Chicago. We mapped out where those rent dollars were spent between 2006 and 2011 and found that few trickled into the so-called “opportunity areas.” Most went to help house people in highly-segregated parts of the city’s South and West Sides where schools are struggling and jobs are hard to come by. ChicagoNow (blog).

CA: Feds search Oakland charter school in criminal investigation. The FBI and IRS have opened a criminal investigation into a charter school whose former director allegedly funneled $3.8 million from the school to companies he owns for construction and classroom rental spaces. San Jose Mercury News

July 10, 2013


Pension Proposal Aims to Ease Burden on States and Cities. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, has devised a way for states and cities to exit the pension business while still giving public workers the type of benefits they want. It involves a tax-law change that would enable governments to turn their pension plans over to life insurers. Big players like MetLife and Prudential, to cite just two, might thus step into shoes now occupied by the likes of Calpers, California’s giant state pension system.  New York Times

Privatize Schools Why It’s Crony Capitalism At Its Worst. Late economist Milton Friedman was among the early advocates of vouchers, but people forget he emphasized vouchers “must be universal, available to all parents, and large enough to cover the costs of a high-quality education.” Voucher policies in real life fall short of any of these criteria. Secondly, when private entities running schools are driven solely by profit, especially when big private equity firms are involved, the education they provide may not be the best for students. Education is not a consumer good. When buying a household item, one expects full information about this item to process in his head to make an informed decision. Education, on the other hand, is supposed to lift someone from ignorance and give him or her the very skills to process information. Lastly, when parents and the community do not adequately watch how schools entrusted to private entities are doing, fraud and abuses are bound to emerge from the schools.  PolicyMic.

NJ: Christie Vetoes Bill That Would Check His Power to Privatize. The bill would have required that a contract for the privatization of public services not be entered into without cost analyses demonstrating actual savings for the public agency and taxpayers, without increased fees or other charges to the public, reduced quantity or quality of services, or lowered workforce standards, including reduced staff qualifications and pay. The bill would have constricted the governor’s power to choose when to privatize, which he has now, as evidenced by the lottery bill. NJ Spotlight

IL: Chicago Infrastructure Bank Gets Slow Start. When Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, he billed it as “the breakout strategy for the city of Chicago,” a nonprofit agency that’s supposed to lure private investment for public projects the city could not afford. More than a year later, however, the organization has yet to break ground on any ventures. Its first initiative, to make city buildings and schools more energy-efficient, is behind schedule. Governing

CA: Treasurer’s Office Report Says Default Is Likely if Road Tolls Aren’t Extended 13 Years. The report, by Montague DeRose and Associates, listed three reasons why the state should care about the debt restructure. First, the public/private venture will pay between $14.1 million and $18.9 million to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) between 2041 and 2053. Second, a default would look bad to investors and make it tougher for the state to raise money in capital markets. And, third, it is in the public interest that the tolling end and the roads become part of the state freeway system. The report mentioned, but did not note, the irony that restructuring will delay that day by 13 years and break a promise to voters who originally voted for the toll road plan.  AllGov.com

CA: If You Want To Privatize BART, You Can Probably Afford Something Else. These services aren’t intended to be used only by those who can afford it; these are basic necessities that everyone needs, and for those who depend on them, privatization is a dismantling of their support systems and crushes the possibility of aspiring to a middle-class life. Every attempt to privatize government services will be met with this split. Just because markets are efficient, assuming they are, it does not mean they’re equitable, and it’s the lack of sensitivity to this point that dominates the entire narrative of the industry’s techno-libertarian idealism…. It’s all a ruse; if you think government services are ready to be upended by privatization, you probably don’t rely on those public services to exist. International Business Times

OK: Governor establishes task force to consider privatizing, splitting Dam Authority. That order, issued July 8, develops a 15-member task force charged to examine the inner workings of the non-appropriated state agency, tasked to generate, transmit and sell electricity to Oklahoma municipalities, electric cooperatives and industrial customers, as well as off-system customers across a four-state region. Additionally, GRDA manages more than 70,000 surface acres of water in northeast Oklahoma, including Grand Lake and Lake Hudson. It has at least 500 state employees. Miami News Record

UT: Will privatizing Medicaid’s dental program hurt Utah kids? “We feel like privatizing introduces an entirely new challenge and hurdles for the children to receive their dental care,” said Horgesheimer, president of the Utah Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, which represents 85 pediatric dentists statewide. Salt Lake Tribune

VA: Should Virginia Sell Air Rights Over the Dulles Toll Road? “Dulles toll road users are on the hook for over $2 billion to pay for metro to Dulles,” Herrity said. “Proceeds from air rights could go a long way to reduce the projected burden on toll road users and protect the health of this critical economic corridor. Patch.com           



July 9, 2013


TX: Commentary: Rick Perry’s announcement marks ‘the end of an error’. Under Perry, anything corporations could do better than state business, well, that got privatized too. The only problem is that Perry’s privatization has usually blown up in his face. In 2003, Perry replaced 2,900 state workers with private call centers that were going to make it easier for Texans to apply for food stamps, Medicaid and children’s health insurance. Not only did it make it harder for poor Texans to get help, but it also cost taxpayers $243 million. Perry calls that a win-win. Perry also “deregulated” tuition at state colleges and universities. This free-market reform increased tuition 55 percent in a decade. Not content to make college unaffordable, Perry has tried—so far without success—“to apply the cost-benefit logic of business to public higher education.” This is a great idea if you think a university should run its English Department like Enron. Apparently Perry does.  Houston Chronicle

MD: County Commissioners done with large-scale privatization, Young says. The era of wholesale privatization in county government is coming to a close, and the surviving three quarters of the county workforce can breathe a sigh of relief, according to Commissioners President Blaine Young. Frederick News Post

KS: Child Support Workers Laid Off as Kansas Moves to Privatization. Division of the Kansas Department for Children and Families will be laid off by September 20, 2013, as the state moves to privatization of child support enforcement. HPPR

UK: Royal Mail Privatisation: Business Department Risks ‘Chaos’ In Announcement Of £3bn Move.  The government’s plan to take the Royal Mail into private ownership is expected to be revealed this week, with critics warning the process could cause “complete chaos” for the UK’s postal service.”…. They’ve nationalized the debt and they want to privatize the profit. Not even Thatcher wanted to privatize it, she never wanted to do that,” he added. “There’s room for complete chaos in the privatisation process.” Huffington Post UK

House GOP apparently wants to be even more unpopular. The plan to privatize Medicare, perhaps the most controversial aspect of the Ryan budget, is the holy grail for conservatives who say major deficit-reduction can only be achieved by making this type of cut to mandatory spending. Salon

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

July 5, 2013


FL: Interstate 4 toll lanes will be privatized. The Florida Department of Transportation on Wednesday rolled out its plans to privatize planned toll lanes on Interstate 4…. Instead of borrowing the money themselves to complete the lanes and keeping all the profit themselves, the state will have the private company come up with the last $600 million. Secretary Downs says that company will also be responsible for the maintenance of the road. MyFoxOrlando.com

PA: Bid to privatize Pa. Lottery’s management extended by a week. The British firm that is seeking to take over management of the Pennsylvania Lottery’s management for the next 20 to 30 years has agreed to extend its bid’s expiration date by a week…. The last extension was granted after state Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected the proposed contract with Camelot on constitutional and legal grounds. The administration has said they are working on addressing those issues and plan to resubmit another contract proposal to Kane. LotteryPost.com

PA: Liquor privatization plan’s future unclear. With the state budget inked and the legislature preparing to close shop for the summer, it’s still unclear if Corbett will be able to privatize the state’s liquor business. Citizens Voice

NY: Bloomberg DOE Hurries to Privatize As Many NYC Schools As Possible. This is an alarming account of the frenzied efforts by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Department of Education to cement his “legacy” of opening privately managed charter schools while abandoning the public schools for which he is responsible… When the new school year starts, the city will open 24 new charter schools, for a total of 183, with spending on the publicly funded, privately run schools set to top $1 billion. And the city Department of Education (DOE) continues to allocate space in public school buildings to many charter schools, which use the rooms rent free.  DianeRavich’sBlog

There is nothing “innovative” about privatizing our water.  Yesterday, I participated in a meeting hosted by the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency on financing water infrastructure.   Although I applaud the administration’s efforts to convene a discussion about the enormous need to invest in our nation’s aging infrastructure, I was discouraged that much of the meeting focused on promoting public-private partnerships and attracting more private financing for public water systems. Throughout the meeting, a misleading notion was continually raised that using private capital to fund water systems somehow constitutes an innovative approach to financing. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Time and again, municipalities and consumers have suffered under privatized water systems.  Food And Water Watch

Your Post Office Is Being Taken From You – video.  A powerful talk by Berkeley Geographer Gary Brechin about the sell off of our historical post office buildings  to developers and the resulting loss of American post office art – murals created by the New Deal public works program. Brechin also talks about the collusion of the US Postal Service and real estate mogals, including Richard Blum, husband of US Sen. Diane Finestein , in driving these deals.

The Privatization of War: Mercenaries, Private Military and Security Companies. Private military and security companies operate in a legal vacuum: they pose a threat to civilians and to international human rights law. The UN Human Rights Council has entrusted the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries, principally, with the mandate: “To monitor and study the effects of the activities of private companies offering military assistance, consultancy and security services on the international market on the enjoyment of human Rights (…) and to prepare draft international basic principles that encourage respect for human rights on the part of those companies in their activities”.  Global Research

July 3, 2013


CA: Transit Strike Shows the Dark Side of Silicon Valley’s Privatization Fetish. The kudzu-like spread of private transportation companies in San Francisco has been good for city residents who can afford to use them, and the dot-com founders that have gotten rich by replacing public-sector functions with their own services. But yesterday, when a system-wide BART strike took down the Bay Area’s best form of public transportation, we saw the dark side of Silicon Valley’s obsession with privatizing everything. Namely, it has created a two-tier transportation caste system, where the private-sector solutions flourish, often at the expense of the public infrastructure that a large part of the population still depends on to get to work and go about their lives….. Companies like Uber and Lyft didn’t cause the public sector’s problems, but they’re profiting from them. And when policy-makers begin to see these services as legitimate replacements for public infrastructure, their incentives to make public services better will disappear.   New York Magazine

PA: How Pa. legislators blew liquor privatization. The connection between liquor privatization and transportation funding had been whispered about for months, but rarely acknowledged publicly — and never in a straightforward manner. Interestingly enough, it was Senate President Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, who denounced the connection in January, telling reporters he did not want to see highway funding “held hostage” by Gov. Corbett in order to get a liquor privatization bill finished. Philly.com

PA: Pennsylvania Extends Lottery Privatization Bid — Again. A British firm is holding on while Attorney General Kathleen Kane waits for the state to submit another contract proposal. NACS Online

OH: Ohio Court of Appeals Rules Against Toledo Photo Ticket Program. Ohio’s second highest court gave the green light to a red light camera lawsuit on Friday. A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals agreed that Bradley L. Walker could continue his class action lawsuit against Toledo and Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian vendor that owns and operates every aspect of the system, because the city’s camera ordinance violates the state constitution. Redflex mailed Walker a $120 ticket in February 2011, and the motorist charged that the “civil penalty” he received violated the state constitution.  TheNewspaper.com

VA: State identifies potential public-private partnership projects. Inviting public input on the proposals, the state has identified 10 high-cost highway-related projects as potential candidates for financing by public-private partnerships. “Even with the new (state transportation funding) law,” said Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton, “the cost of these very large projects is so enormous that we need to look to the private sector for financing and for innovation.” Richmond Times Dispatch

KS: Broke KC charter school leaves teachers without final paycheck. The money that might have covered teacher salaries is tied up in court over a dispute between the school, the company contracted to manage the academy, and the company that issued bonds to launch the school….The academy announced last fall it would close after UMKC refused to renew its charter, citing poor management and low test scores. The school has since been overseen by an interim board. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has been named in legal action to garnish more than $2.2 million that the management company, EdisonLearning Inc., says it is owed. Kansas City Star

Charter Schools, the Invisible Hand, and Gutless Political Leadership – Opinion. Idealizing parental choice narrowly and choice broadly is the foundation upon which both political parties stand. Why is the Invisible Hand of the Free Market so appealing to political leaders? The answer is simple: Abdicating political leadership to the market absolves our leaders from making any real (or ethical) decisions, absolves them from doing anything except sitting back and watching the cards fall where they may. Truth-Out           

The privatization blues, or the ‘looting of America’ – Opinion. If you want to know how school voucher programs turn out, you don’t have to guess. We’ve been through it. It is called the 19th century. You can read about it in the works of a great writer who was put in a factory to work 12-hour days at age 12 and who was later put in miserable for-profit schools. Read Dickens. Read about Nicholas Nickleby and what happens when he wants another bowl of gruel for his school  lunch. Our private schools have not reached that point yet. And the ones for rich kids probably never will. But wait until the privatization is complete, and the corporations discover that each helpless little profit point of a kid and each non-union teacher can always be squeezed a little harder for more corporate profits.  Chippewa Herald



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


July 1, 2013


Pushback Against Privatization Across the Country. The decades-long effort to privatize public services and assets is hitting some bumps, with state and local governments reconsidering whether for-profit companies should be allowed to indiscriminately profit off of taxpayer dollars with limited accountability. In New Jersey, legislation to ensure that public services won’t be privatized unless it will result in actual savings for taxpayers has passed both chambers of the legislature. In Texas, a bipartisan coalition is fighting against a private prison in Montgomery County, and Kentucky is rejecting private prisons altogether. And in Fresno, California, voters rejected a proposal backed by the city’s popular mayor to privatize trash collection services.  Common Dreams

A Theory: De-privatize military industries to help achieve peace. Nationalize all the military industries, and under government control achieve astronomical savings for the taxpayers while reducing the continuing TENDENCY to “find another war, start another war, wish for another war, pretend there is a war and give us more trillions in profits” syndrome that is basic to privately owned war industries. Ask Harry Truman. Ask Dwight Eisenhower. And other sound thinkers about the Military Industrial Complex.  Daily Koz

WI: Sale of state property raises controversies in other states. Gov. Scott Walker will have new power to sell state heating plants, highways and other properties, but privatization deals in other states have ranged widely in popularity and success….The provision in the state budget is wide enough to allow for the sale of the state Capitol, as Democrats have noted, but Walker said such sales, or ones for campus dormitories, are not under consideration.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

PA: Liquor Privatization Debate Continues. The main Pennsylvania state budget bill became law with Gov. Tom Corbett’s signature on Sunday night, as he acknowledged that the wider agenda he had sought with it of overhauling public employee pension systems, privatizing wine and liquor sales and increasing transportation funding has stalled until the fall.  NBC 10 Philadelphia

PA: Backdoor attempt to outsource Pennsylvania Lottery’s management fizzles. An effort to include language in a budget-related bill granting authority to the secretary of the Department of Revenue to privatize certain aspects of the lottery has proved to be a losing ticket. House Republican spokesman Steve Miskin said on Saturday night the idea was being explored by a lobbyist for a firm seeking to get a private management deal. Patriot-News

OH: Ohio to Privatize Prison Foodservice. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections will privatize its food service for the state’s 50,000-plus prisoners beginning in the fall. The state agency on Friday selected Aramark Corp., a Philadelphia-based company to serve meals three-times-a-day at its adult facilities. The two-year deal is worth $110 million, with the option for two, two year extensions, according to the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.  Cleveland Plain Dealer

IL: Tollway says new system will improve customer service, violation processing. The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority board approved a $44 million contract with a Chicago-based company to build a new customer service and toll violation processing system that could offer those features, officials said…. Scheduled to be in place by 2015, the system will improve how transactions from the Tollway’s 1.4 million daily drivers are processed and help eliminate violation errors, said Shana Whitehead, the Tollway’s chief of business systems. The six-year contract is with the Chicago-based management consulting and technology services firm Accenture. Chicago Tribune

WA: Districts split over charter schools. Washington voters have decided they want to add charter schools to the education mix in the state, and the three largest districts are taking different approaches to the question: What should charter schools mean to our community? Seattle has decided to basically ignore the question for now; Tacoma is still learning and exploring; and Spokane has jumped in with both feet. The Seattle Times

MI: Democrats want investigation into quality of care for veterans after privatization. House Democrats say quality of care for veterans at a state-run home in Grand Rapids has suffered since nursing aides were privatized this spring. Michigan Radio

FL: Governor signs public-private partnership measure. Gov. Rick Scott has signed a measure into law despite a veto request from a Florida League of Cities official, who argued that it favored private developers’ interests over those of taxpayers.,,,The measure’s sponsor, state Rep. Greg Steube, R-Bradenton, defended it Friday, saying that it simply creates guidelines for cities and counties and other governmental entities to use in drawing up financial arrangements for partnerships between public and private bodies….The league contended it would eliminate the necessary flexibility to negotiate and contract with private entities, adding, “The public-private framework required under the bill is specificallydesigned to benefit private entities at the expense of Florida’s taxpayers.”Bradenton Herald

FL: Editorial: Dangers of privatizing work-release. Finally, residents in a Largo neighborhood can sleep a little easier. Florida’s decision Friday to close a work-release center run by Goodwill Industries-Suncoast took longer than it should have taken. But it came less than 24 hours after Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri provided evidence that little had changed there despite nine months of high-profile scrutiny and legislative action. The entire episode should give state Republican leaders pause about the continued push to put more corrections operations in private hands and how those facilities operate. Public safety, including rehabilitation for soon-to-be-released prisoners, is more important than saving a few dollars. Tampabay.com

CA: Editorial: Will UC march down path of privatization? 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 towards 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.  Sacramento Bee