December 31, 2013


PA: Pennsylvania governor drops contract to privatize lottery. Pennsylvania is scrapping a deal with a U.K.-based company to privatize management Of the state’s lottery system, Governor Tom Corbett said on Monday, the latest of the Republican’s high-profile initiatives to falter. Reuters

TX: Payday lender to collect El Paso tolls. At a time when payday lenders are under scrutiny in El Paso and Texas, the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority which is charged with implementing the area’s first toll road is partnering with an organization that uses a payday lender to help collect tolls. El Paso Times

TX: Highways Are Talking Point as Candidates Take to Road. Besides the funding debate, the absence of Gov. Rick Perry’s name on the November ballot could change how candidates broach transportation on the campaign trail. Both in 2006 and 2010, Perry ran for re-election facing questions about the Trans-Texas Corridor, his ambitious yet controversial plan to build a massive statewide network of toll roads and allow a private firm to run it.  Opponents accused Perry of ramming through the Legislature a project that Texans did not want. In 2010, he responded by repeatedly declaring the project “dead.” MyHighPlains

LA: Audit: La. school vouchers don’t ensure quality. According to Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office, the ability to switch from a poor-performing public school to a private school won’t necessarily ensure a higher quality education for students. The audit says the state Department of Education isn’t properly monitoring the voucher program to make sure students are placed in private schools that demonstrate student achievement. Miami Herald

MA: Some chafe at charter school’s low pay for tutors. But a dispute over the minimal pay for long hours of public service offers a rare glimpse into labor unrest at a charter school, where workers usually make less than their peers in traditional public schools and rarely belong to a union. Boston Globe

NC: NC’s five big political questions for 2014. Commerce privatization: The state’s Commerce Department is in the midst of shifting some of its functions to a private nonprofit, whose leadership is appointed by the governor. This shift is being watched closely by both lawmakers and the business community.  WRAL



December 30, 2013


Parking meters and prisons: Top six privatization horror stories. Selling public resources to private companies for them to profit off of is a hot trend in cities and states—not all of them controlled by Republicans, either. Privatization deals affecting everything from parking meters to child welfare to public water systems are often negotiated in secret, carried out with little oversight, and subject to massive cost overruns and corruption. The sordid story of Chicago’s parking meters has to be a top entry in any “worst privatization stories” competition.  Daily Kos

Fox Promotes Privatizing The US Postal Service. On December 14, 2013, host David Asman kicked off the discussion by saying there are “new calls” to privatize the Postal Service after it posted a $5 billion loss this year. News Hounds

IN: Indiana pension board stands by annuity privatization plan. State pension officials have rejected a legislative recommendation that they reconsider privatizing retirement annuity payments for state and local government employees, including teachers.

FL: Pasco vote on toll road coming Tuesday. With just a week to go before bids are due for a private toll road in Pasco County, commissioners will vote Tuesday on whether to support the concept of the elevated highway along the State Road 54/56 corridor. International Infrastructure Partners, headed by Lutz engineer Jerry Stanley, submitted an unsolicited bid in June to the Florida Department of Transportation to lease the road right-of-way so his company could build and operate the 33-mile toll road.  Tampa Tribune

NJ: NJ toll collectors fighting to keep jobs as privatization looms. Union leaders are worried that toll takers may disappear altogether unless they are able to stop the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the parkway and turnpike’s operating agency, from privatizing the fare-collection system on both roads. Cherry Hill Courier Post

TX: Time to Investigate Pearson in Texas. Thanks to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the charitable arm of testing giant Pearson will pay $7.7 million to end his investigation into whether it was illegally helping its for-profit parent company. This comes as a shock to Texans, where Pearson has an eye-popping $462-million testing contract, as opposed to New York where Pearson is only getting $32 million. The surprise isn’t that a special interest cut corners at taxpayers expense but that a state attorney general can investigate it. It’s simply not done here, but then again, why isn’t Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, now running for governor, investigating the Pearson Foundation?  Behind Enemy Lines

VA: It’s a hard road ahead on tolls. It’s a sweetheart deal for Elizabeth River Crossings, the private consortium renovating the Downtown Tunnel, building a new Midtown tube and extending the Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway in Portsmouth. For commuters, and especially for entrepreneurs in Portsmouth, it’s a fiscal nightmare that will reorder business and settlement patterns in a region defined by water and saddled with high state tax rates matched only by Northern Virginia. The double-whammy provided through the state’s ERC contract is particularly egregious given its duration – nearly a lifetime, at 58 years. And, starting in 2016, the toll is allowed to increase 3.5 percent or more annually.  The Virginian-Pilot



December 27, 2013


UPS’ Late Christmas Deliveries Show Private Isn’t Always Better. My mail arrives every day it’s supposed to – on time, and delivered by a cheerful and dedicated public servant, a mail carrier who managed to get mail to my building during Hurricane Irene, Superstorm Sandy and all kinds of bad weather. It’s a shame UPS didn’t get packages to people on time. Next year, two changes could fix the problem: the private company could hire enough staff to handle and deliver packages. Or consumers could just use the reliable U.S. Postal Service.  U.S. News & World Report (blog)

OR: Campaign to privatize liquor in Oregon drops $30000 on consultants. Oregonians for Competition, a political action committee with close ties to the Northwest Grocery Association, reported cutting $15,000 checks to Winner & Mandabach Campaigns and Silver Bullet LLC last week. The Grocery Association, which also worked on the successful $22 million campaign in 2011 to privatize liquor sales in Washington, filed initiative petitions two weeks ago that would allow stores over 10,000 square feet to stock liquor, breaking a state-run monopoly on selling distilled spirits.

IL: Amid mass school closings, a slow death for some Chicago schools. Opponents of the closings say officials with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the school board have essentially sabotaged neighborhood schools by starving them of resources, claiming the mayor’s appointed school board has served as enforcers for the mayor’s pro-business agenda to privatize public education. As the district has been active in closing and defunding public schools, a flurry of new charter schools has sprung up across the city. Just last week, CPS proposed the addition of 21 new charter schools.  MSNBC

WA: Thousands enroll in Washington online college. Bill Lyne, president of United Faculty of Washington State, said that by advancing WGU, lawmakers are creating the “illusion” the state is producing more degrees even though they have slashed public funding for higher education. “They are presenting it as a legitimate alternative to real college, as a way I think to further privatize higher education,” Lyne told the newspaper.  The Seattle Times

PA: It may be back to square one for Pa. Lottery privatization bidding. The Corbett administration is considering starting over on the bidding process in its efforts to privatize portions of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

NY: Bill De Blasio Charter School Plan Takes Aim At Bloomberg Education Policy. Operators of New York City’s publicly financed, privately run charter schools are bracing for changes promised by Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio — including the possibility of having to pay rent — that they worry could reverse 12 years of growth enjoyed under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Huffington Post

HI: With 2 school leaders accused of crimes, charter schools face more oversight, Criminal cases against several charter school leaders prompted oversight improvements for Hawaii’s 33 charter schools, the executive director of the state’s charter school commission said…The state Ethics Commission charged that the sister of the charter school’s principal – Kurumi Kaapana-Aki, who’s the vice principal — was missing from school for 144 days over six years because she was off-island working her second full-time job, as a flight attendant with Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaii News Now

KY: Privatization Debate Could Resurface in 2014 General Assembly. Kentucky lawmakers are being asked to consider a new proposal for privatizing certain services or projects.  It is not new to Kentucky state government.  Privatization was used in a significant way to house inmates across the Commonwealth for decades. The state cut its tie to privately run prisons earlier this year.  WEKU

December 24, 2013


Meet Richard Montoni, America’s Highest Paid “Caseworker”. “The outsourcing of health and human services operations to private for-profit firms raises significant concerns for sick or at-risk populations who depend on them, as well as for taxpayers who all too often foot the bill for substandard service,” said Lisa Graves Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy.  PR Watch

Who’re You Rootin’ for – Team Public or Team Private? Probe a bit deeper, though, and some privatization proponents take their position in support of free-market competition as efficient, while governments are monopolies and inherently inefficient. Few people in the United States hold an equally strong opposite view – that all infrastructure and services should be socialized. However, many people do support public employees and their work as in the public interest. Meanwhile, a third group may not give the issue much thought but may be reflexively pro or con.  Truth-Out

MI: Overstanding Detroit. In a brilliant retelling of the destructive history of the neoliberal era that got us here, Andrew Levine notes that before its wholesale privatization, deregulation, and tax cutting frenzies, “the idea that a major city like Detroit would go bankrupt seemed about as likely as that a meteor would flatten it.”  CounterPunch

IN: Airport authority takes first step to approve privatization deal. The Gary airport authority approved privatization term sheets Monday by a 6-1 vote, but the final approval cannot take place until at least Jan.

December 23, 2013


US Department of Defense’s public domain archive to be privatized, locked up for ten years. Archivist Rick Prelinger sez, “The U.S. Department of Defense has entered into a contract with T3 Media to get its gigantic still and moving image collection digitized at no cost to the government. In exchange, T3 Media will become the exclusive public outlet for millions of images and videos for ten years. Unlike most other developed nations, the U.S. Government does not claim copyright on video, film, photographs and other media produced by its workers. The immense number of works in the U.S. public domain have enabled countless researchers, makers and citizens to read, view and make many new works. True, those wishing to use modern military materials (1940s-present) in DoD’s archives often need to negotiate their release with military public affairs, but these materials have traditionally been available for just the cost of duplication. This is soon to change.”

Ted Mitchell, Education Dept. Nominee, Has Strong Ties to Pearson, Privatization Movement. Ted Mitchell, the chief executive of the NewSchools Venture Fund, was nominated in October by President Obama to become the Under Secretary of the Department of Education. As the administration continues to reshuffle its team, and confront new regulatory challenges, some view Mitchell’s nomination as a move towards greater privatization. In the coming months, the Department of Education will release “gainful employment” rules to rein in for-profit colleges, an experiment in proprietary education that many see as an unmitigated disaster.  The Nation (blog)

Coast-to-Coast, Outsourcing is Out of Control. Local and state governments too often outsource important public services without strong standards, public transparency, and rigorous oversight. Without these protections the results are predictable. A new report “Out of Control: The Coast-to-Coast Failures of Outsourcing Public Services to For-Profit Corporations” highlights similar failed experiences with privatization of states and communities across the country. Huffington Post

NJ: State Praises Privatized Cleanup of Hazardous-Waste Sites. If you listen to the state Department of Environmental Protection and some lawmakers, the efforts to privatize the cleanup of contaminated hazardous waste sites has been pretty much of an unqualified success…..Environmentalists question whether the most serious pollution sites are being cleaned up, many of which have been awaiting attention for decades. Others asked whether private contractors hired by polluters would ensure cleanups as stringent as those formerly overseen by the DEP, which was not answerable to outside firms.  NJ Spotlight

LA: LSU hospital deals may run into financial trouble after Gov. Jindal leaves office, report says. The current financing structure for Gov. Bobby Jindal’s privatization deals for the LSU network of hospitals and clinics is risky and may run into shortfalls within five years, according to a nonpartisan report released Friday.  The Republic

TN: Privatizing Bellefonte: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. You might think that if some prominent power brokers pitched a plan that promised to shut down more than twenty coal-fired power plants owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority, that an organization like the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy might sign on without hesitation. But we did hesitate, and what we have found as we reflected on this plan is that it seems to be driven by political and profit opportunism.  Choosing to privatize Bellefonte, and letting that choice drive TVA’s financial and infrastructure priorities for the next decade, would be a disaster for the Valley.  Clean Energy News (blog)

PA: Opinion: No. 12 – The fizz goes out of liquor privatization.  As he pursued liquor privatization, Corbett was following in the footsteps of two of his Republican predecessors: former Govs. Dick Thornburgh and Tom Ridge. Despite the passage of so many years, Corbett ran into the same obstacles that faced both Thornburgh and Ridge. Namely, a potent coalition of organized labor and social conservatives.  Patriot-News


December 19, 2013


Meet Nicholas Moore, America’s Highest Paid Road Worker. Macquarie Group Limited is a publicly traded banking, financial, advisory, investment, and fund management services headquartered in Sydney, Australia. In the United States, it has pushed for the privatization of public infrastructure and assets and operates major toll roads including Chicago’s Skyway, Indiana’s Toll Road, and the Dulles Greenway in Virginia, where area residents complain that higher tolls are pushing traffic into residential areas. The firm also owns a stake in Acquarion, a private, for-profit water service provider in New England, and is a major investor in K12 Inc., a for-profit provider of poorly performing “cyberschools.” K12 Inc. receives 86% of its revenue from taxpayers.   PR Watch

DC: J.C. Hayward: A long-time local benefactor and WUSA anchor awaits a legal resolution…. As chairwoman of Options Public Charter School, the complaint said, Hayward allegedly signed off on lucrative contracts that funneled local and federal tax dollars to two for-profit companies founded and run by school managers. Hayward allegedly helped incorporate one of the companies named in the civil lawsuit, a company that according to several people familiar with the investigation is now under federal scrutiny.  Washington Post

OR: Liquor privatization battle heads to Oregon. Big retail stores in Oregon will push to privatize state-controlled liquor sales on the ballot next year, duplicating an effort by retailers in Washington State that led to one of the most expensive political battles in history. Washington Post (blog)

VA: Dulles Toll Road drivers will pay more starting Jan. 1. Check your E-Z Pass balances and if you don’t have an electronic pass, your cash on hand – tolls on the Dulles Toll Road will increase to $2.50 beginning Jan. 1 for passenger cars at the main toll plaza. That’s an increase of 75 cents. Washington Post (blog)


December 18, 2013


CA: Private foster care system, intended to save children, endangers some. Those living in private agencies’ homes are a third more likely to endure physical, emotional or sexual abuse, a Times analysis found. Los Angeles Times

NY: Should New York Regents Privatize the State’s Research Function? New York established a privately funded “Research Fellow” group to implement the Race to the Top agenda of Common Core implementation and testing. This group was funded by the Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and the chair of the Regents, Merryl Tisch. “Two of the charities bankrolling a controversial $18 million education fellowship program also gave millions to a data company to which the state Education Department plans to send personal student information, despite parents’ objections. Diane Ravitch’s blog

PA: Lawmaker Lets Traffic Camera Companies Police Themselves. Pennsylvania state Senator Michael J. Stack (D-Phil) is a big fan of traffic camera companies. Last week he introduced legislation enabling any small town in the state to hire a for-profit firm to set up speed cameras on a freeway or heavily trafficked road in return for a cut of the revenue collected. The measure would also put the photo radar companies in charge of verifying that the tickets they issue are accurate.

DC: Officers nab 116 ‘backtrackers’ at Dulles Airport….With tolls expected to rise on the Dulles Toll Road in January to $2.50 from $1.75 at the main toll plaza, more drivers may be tempted to drive airport roads to avoid paying the higher rates. But they might consider this: Backtracking is considered a moving violation with fines that start at $92 in addition to a penalty of three points on the person’s drivers license.  Washington Post (blog)

VA: FHA seeks public comment on proposed Va. toll road. The Federal Highway Administration is seeking public input on Virginia’s plan to build a 55-mile tolled highway through western Tidewater. Washington Post

NJ: Don’t privatize our jobs, toll collectors tell NJ Turnpike Authority…. Van Wart, who has been a toll collector for 22 years, with a 6-year break for motherhood, showed up at the monthly meeting of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to put a human face on the toll collectors whose jobs the authority wants to privatize.  The Star-Ledger

IL: Sources: Mayor will withdraw Quincy garbage privatization plan. Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore will announce at a press conference Wednesday morning that he will withdraw his plan to privatize the city’s garbage and recycling program.

TX: Charter school’s Houston ties under scrutiny. Repercussions from legal troubles at a Louisiana charter school have reached Texas because of the school’s business ties with Houston-based Harmony Public Schools, the state’s largest charter operator. Houston Chronicle

OR: Seven Arrested Fighting to Keep the Postal Office Alive in Oregon….. The Gateway mail processing center employs 169 people and is slotted to close sometime after February as a result of the Republican ALEC-led push to privatize the post office by bankrupting it. The closures of processing centers are part of the “cost-cutting” measures imposed upon the post office. PoliticusUSA

December 17, 2013


TX: When Public Money, Private Firms Intersect in Schools. Redactions on the publicly available online version of the application often extend for pages at a time. They include sections on the school’s plan to support students’ academic success, its extracurricular activities and the “extent to which any private entity, including any management company” will be involved in the school’s operation. The “shaded material,” according to footnotes, is confidential proprietary or financial information.  Texas Tribune

TX: First foreign-owned toll road hits Dallas. The first foreign-operated toll lanes became fully operational in Dallas over the weekend. Interstate 635 known as the LBJ opened the first 3-mile stretch of the public private partnership toll project to the public on Saturday. The expensive price tag won’t hit commuters immediately, since it opened at a big discount for the first six months as drivers get used to the variable pricing. To use the 3.5-miles of phase one it will cost anywhere from 15 cents up to 95 cents depending on time of day. However, the regular toll rates will cost between 10 cents PER MILE up to 75 PER MILE in peak hours.  San Antonio Express (blog)

DC: Options DC charter school’s Medicaid billing is at center of investigation. Federal investigators are looking into whether former leaders of the District’s Options Public Charter School committed Medicaid fraud by, among other things, exaggerating the needs of its disabled students and paying students with gift cards to ride school buses, according to several people familiar with the criminal investigation.  Washington Post

WI: Bill would allow charter schools to expand free of districts, unions. Wisconsin could see a dramatic rise in the number of charter schools operating outside of districts and without teachers unions, under a new Assembly bill brought by Republicans that would take independent charters statewide. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

WI: UW-Madison alums decry Teach for America’s connections to charter schools. Some former participants — most of whom did not study education formally before participating in Teach for America’s five-week boot camp — have claimed the program failed to sufficiently prepare them for the problems they would encounter in classrooms. Others say the program has betrayed its initial mission, and is now a destabilizing force in public education through ties to charter schools that are publicly funded but privately run. Isthmus Daily Page

ID: Commission approves expansions that could add 990 charter school seats in coming years. The Idaho Public Charter School Commission has approved up to 990 new charter school seats in the state in the coming years, under proposals from three charter school groups. The Spokesman Review

WA: Inslee seeks more mental-health privatization. Washington’s experiment with privatizing the oversight of mental-health treatment could expand from Pierce County to other parts of the state. Bellingham Herald

LA: Audit: No performance review of $363M DHH contract. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration hasn’t done an independent performance review of its $363 million privatization contract for mental health and addictive disorder treatment services, according to an audit released Monday.  Seattle Post Intelligencer

OR: Liquor Privatization Battle Could Be Headed For Oregon. Oregon voters could have the chance to follow Washington’s lead next year when it comes to liquor sales. A grocery industry group filed a slate of initiatives Monday to end the state monopoly on selling liquor. OPB News

KY: Steve Frank to caution lawmakers against tolls. Covington City Commissioner Steve Frank will speak to lawmakers on Thursday about the dangers of tolling….. Many toll roads have teetered on the edge of bankruptcy as it diverts drivers to other areas, he said. Frank and others in Northern Kentucky fear tolls on the Brent Spence Bridge would divert too much traffic onto the area’s four other bridges. (blog)

NE: Among parking changes, Omaha weighs privatizing meter attendants. A private company could soon be handing out tickets in downtown Omaha, as the city gears up for several shifts in the way it handles parking enforcement. Omaha World-Herald

VT: Education chief’s report fuels debate. As Education Secretary Armando Vilaseca leaves his job at the end of this year, one of his final reports is sparking debate between the Ethan Allen Institute, a think tank that promotes free-market policies, and the Public Assets Institute, which champions publicly funded education. Rutland Herald

MI: Mich. prison food switch brings mixed reviews. One week after the launch of one of state government’s largest privatization moves in decades, prison officials said a contractor is doing a good job providing meals to Michigan’s 45,000 prisoners, but union leaders said the transition has been a rocky one. CorrectionsOne













December 16, 2013


Private Toll-Road Investors Get Low-Risk Deals From States. Private companies that invest in highways have typically shouldered the risk that income from tolls might not be enough to make the deal pay. Now, after at least 11 projects have struggled financially since 1995, the companies are persuading states to make fixed payments so it’s taxpayers who roll the dice. Businessweek

States turning to tolls, other fees to boost highway funding. More roadways tolls and other fees are in the works for 2014, according to a forecast report by Fitch Ratings, as state governments try to find ways to fund transportation infrastructure needs as the flow of federal money continues to shrink.  Fleet Owner

The Dangerous Return of Water Privatization. Community waters systems have sustainably provided safe drinking water for generations but corporations are now using local fiscal crises to push for water privatization. Utne Reader

Fox Panelists Continue Push To Privatize The Post Office. It’s deja vu all over again on Fox “news” where trashing unions and pushing to privatize anything and everything are some of their favorite pastimes.  Crooks and Liars

 IN: Indiana planning group signs off on Illiana Corridor. Members of a key Northwestern Indiana planning agency today approved going ahead with the Illiana Corridor, a proposed toll road that would serve primarily as a trucking corridor linking interstates in Illinois and Indiana.  Chicago Tribune

WA: Liquor thefts have tripled in Puyallup post-privatization. Concerned about this rising trend, Puyallup Police did an independent crime analysis. It found that post privatization, the number of people under 21 who are stealing has doubled.

DC: DC charter schools have nation’s 3rd-highest market share. Nationwide, charter school enrollment has grown 80 percent during the past five years, according to the annual market share report, produced by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Growth has been particularly strong in urban areas. Washington Post

MI: Michigan prison food switch brings mixed reviews. The deal, estimated to save $12 million to $16 million a year, eliminates about 370 state jobs. Some workers retired, 166 former food service workers enrolled in an eight-week corrections officer school and are expected to stay with the department, eight got monitoring jobs related to the Aramark contract and about 100 were laid off, Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said. Marlan said Friday that the change is going smoothly.   Lansing State Journal

OH: Kasich’s Education Model Gives Private Schools Public Funds With No Accountability. While all EdChoice recipients must take the state’s standardized tests, the schools and the students are exempt from any of the consequences that would arise from the results.  The schools don’t receive letter grades from the state labeling them as failing and, as a key part of yesterday’s post pointed out, the third grade students are not subject to being retained based on Ohio’s new Third Grade Reading Guarantee law.  And it’s a good thing, too, because students using vouchers to attend private schools are performing worse than their public school counterparts.  Plunderbund

FL: Editorial: Too many questions for West Palm Beach to approve CRA outsourcing contract. West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio defends her effort to privatize redevelopment by calling it “transparent.” True enough. It has been clear from the start that the plan was more to give the job to a certain company than to justify the outsourcing.  Palm Beach Post

NJ: Possible privatization of psych ward in Camden triggers worries. Mental health advocates in New Jersey are worried about the possible privatization of the Camden County Health Service Center’s psychiatric ward. The center was sold to Ocean Healthcare for more than $37 million in May, but county officials had planned to lease back the psych ward. There is disagreement about the future of the ward, with a county spokesman saying the original plan will proceed.

NJ: South Amboy will privatize rail commuter parking lots. Starting in the new year, South Amboy will no longer operate the four commuter parking lots at the city’s t rain station, according to the Suburban. The Star-Ledger



December 12, 2013


After Setbacks, Online Courses Are Rethought…..Many educators saw the move as an admission of defeat for the idea that online courses would democratize higher education — and confirmation that, at its core, Udacity, a company funded with venture capital, was more interested in profits than in helping to educate underserved students. New York Times

Study Finds Federal Contracts Given to Flagrant Violators of Labor Laws. A new congressional report criticizes the federal government for awarding tens of billions of dollars in contracts to companies even though they were found to have violated safety and wage laws and paid millions in penalties. Issued on behalf of the Democratic senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, the report cited examples over the past six years. New York Times

PA:  Auditor General Urges End to Spending on Lottery Privatization. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today urged the Governor or the General Assembly to take action by the end of this year to resolve Pennsylvania Lottery management privatization contract negotiations with British-owned Camelot Global Services Inc. The privatization initiative will cost taxpayers an estimated $4.6 million, or more than 11 percent of the Lottery’s annual operating budget. “Enough already,” DePasquale said. “The commonwealth has spent millions on this lottery privatization effort and that number will continue to grow if this contract is not resolved – one way or another – by Dec. 31 when the agreement with Camelot Global Services Inc. expires.

CA: California County Says No To Tolling. California’s busiest stretch of freeway will not be tolled. On Monday, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) agreed with local politicians and members of the public who expressed opposition to the proposed conversion of existing Interstate 405 lanes into toll lanes.

NC:  NC Commerce Talks Privatization. The proposed partnership would privatize many of the agency’s functions and reportedly eliminate dozens of positions, including the directors of the film industry and tourism. WUNC

NC: NC groups representing North Carolina educators sue officials over private school grants law. Public school advocates sued the state Wednesday in a bid to block a new law that would let taxpayer money be used by low-income students wishing to attend private or religious schools…..They contend the new law violates a section of the state constitution which creates a school fund and requires that the money be “used exclusively for establishing and maintaining a uniform system of free public schools.”  The Republic