December 24, 2014


Global investors eyed to fund US highway, bridge projects. . . The Obama administration, which had resisted private financing of public works, is starting a new center to serve as a one-stop shop for bringing capital into government projects. . . .Institutional investors such as Montreal-based Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec have capital and want to invest in U.S. infrastructure because it meets their long-term objectives, said Macky Tall, Caisse’s vice president of private equity and infrastructure. The Caisse is Canada’s second-biggest pension fund manager, with $190.7 billion in net assets as of June 30. There hasn’t been more investment because the U.S. is behind other countries in tapping private capital, Tall said, and there’s been a lack of expertise, legal authority or receptivity to it in some parts of the country. Yakima Herald-Republic

FL: Districts clamping down on charter schools. South Florida school districts are cracking down on the local charter school industry in the wake of a Sun-Sentinel investigation that exposed a rise in fly-by-night charter schools and few safeguards against renegade operators. In a blitz of action in recent weeks, Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties have refused to allow applicants with ties to failed schools to open new ones while Broward and Palm have used legal or municipal muscle to try to stem abuses. Several state lawmakers told the Sun Sentinel in November they would push for stronger laws during the next legislative session to ensure that newcomers to the charter school industry had financial backing and no prior history with shuttered schools. Sun Sentinel

LA: Federal government approves portions of LSU hospital deals, but not all of them. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration says federal officials have approved the six LSU hospital privatization contracts, though they rejected the advanced lease payment structure used to help pay for the deals — a potential $190 million blow to Louisiana’s state budget. . . . The rejection of the lease arrangements, however, threatens an important and significant element of the state’s privatization strategy. It also raises questions about any potential budget impact.