December 16, 2014


FL: Protesters Call New MDX Tolls “Tollmageddon”. Monday marks one month since the new Miami-Dade Expressway tolls were put into place, a day which a group of protesters mark as, “Tollmageddon.”. . . . The group, called TEAM305, is trying to get attention and raise concern about the added tolls on the 836 and 112. They believe the increase in tolls is just too much. . . . “I’m spending about an additional $30 a month just with the new tolls they’ve implemented cause I have to drive back and forth to work,” said Vallejo. Tony Rodriguez said he’s spending an additional $60-$80 a month because of the added tolls. . . . The protestors are hoping to get the current tolls decreased—and let the people decide. . . . In addition to protesting, the group started petition online, #NoMoreTolls. CBS Local

KS: Topeka Considers Privatizing Public Health Clinics to Nonprofit

The long-standing national trend of government outsourcing primary services to private operators, both nonprofit and for-profit, marches on. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Shawnee County, home to the city of Topeka, will outsource the county’s primary care services to a nonprofit health center. The County Commission last week asked the Wichita-based GraceMed Clinic to take over operations of Shawnee County’s community health center. It has been considering outsourcing its clinical services to a private nonprofit since the spring of this year. The Nonprofit Quarterly

IN: Feds Advance Illiana Toll Road. The federal government has given Illinois and Indiana the go ahead to advance plans for a more than $1 billion bistate toll road both states hope to build with financing from a public-private partnership. Bond Buyer           

KS: Missouri, Kansas face tough calls with road funds. Missouri and Kansas are both facing issues with highway funds, as the Show-Me State again explores the idea of collecting tolls on Interstate 70 and Kansas may borrow from highway funds to fix its budget shortfall. KMBC Kansas City

VA: Increasing oversight on road projects – editorial . . . State lawmakers have wrestled in the past few years over how to modify the law without bogging down efforts to upgrade Virginia’s transportation system. They increased public notice and provided more time for competing bids, and they approved an amendment to preclude a governor from inflicting the kind of damage that McDonnell’s administration did to the Port of Virginia when members tried to circumvent the legislature and privatize port operations. Last week, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a plan to amend the law to include provisions that promote greater transparency and accountability. . . .Public-private partnerships may well be necessary and beneficial to the public for certain projects. But, as the McDonnell administration’s reckless application of the law has shown, more safeguards need to be in place to protect Virginians’ interests. The measures announced last week should be approved. The Virginian-Pilot

MD: State revenues to decline by more than $271M. . . The latest figures make Gov.-elect Larry Hogan’s budget-balancing task even more daunting. He’s already getting unsolicited advice on how to accomplish it and dire warnings on what should be considered sacrosanct. . . . Other budget-balancing suggestions include raising eligibility requirements for entitlement programs and privatizing some state agencies, like the Department of Business and Economic Development. “Pushing off some of the cost onto the private sector or public-private partnerships, we’ve seen that with the port,” Irani said. WBAL Baltimore