June 11, 2015

These states’ prisons are so full that they have to ship inmates thousands of miles away. . . States argue that it’s cheaper to send prisoners far away to private prisons than building and managing new facilities on the taxpayers’ dime. But advocates say the practice brings its own problems. “It’s just not a good idea when you separate these inmates from their families and any support system that they might have,” Doug Honig, a spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, told Fusion of the contract his state just signed with the prison. “It doesn’t do anything towards rehabilitating them, and helping them get back on their feet when they get back out.” Fusion.net

WI: Wisconsinites Blast Scott Walker’s Stadium Deal As ‘Outrageous. Depending on who you ask, building a new, publicly financed basketball stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks is either a horrendous example of corporate welfare and official corruption, or a chance to reinvigorate an economically depressed city. . . [T] he county held its first public meeting Tuesday night to discuss the proposal to use tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to keep the team in the city. The large crowd took issue with many aspects of the deal, which would sell public land valued at nearly $9 million for $1 dollar to the team’s billionaire owners. ThinkProgress

PA: Parents, union, rally against plan to privatize school nursing services. . . “This is not a job that you can simply hire a private healthcare worker to do,” Jordan told reporters at a news conference held at the PFT’s Center City headquarters. Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. has said that the district has made no decision on whether it will outsource health services, but if it does, it would require that privatized workers have the same certifications required of school nurses. The privatization push would be made only if he could offer more and better health services to district students, he said. Philly.com

IN: Below the Waterline: Privatization of lakes, rivers could happen here. . . Can it happen here? You bet. As water resources become more scarce adjacent landowners to our lakes and streams can look for legal loopholes and align themselves with big business to privatize areas on the lakes and its tributaries. The Illinois River is under fire constantly where business and private sector interests come to blows. Adjacent landowners and the rights of outdoors and boating interests have been to court on numerous occasions. Bloomington Pantograph

LA: Bill sent to Gov. Bobby Jindal would give legislators more say on contracts to privatize government services. With little discussion, the Louisiana House agreed Tuesday that legislators should have a greater say in the contracts the governor’s administration enter to privatize government services. ….. HB137 would require that agreements with the private sector — valued at more than $5 million — that would take over tasks being done by government would first have to go through the competitive bidding process; require the legislative auditor to analyze the costs, including the so-called “legacy” expenses, such as insurance and pensions of state employees; and require legislative oversight of the contract. The bill also would require the records related to the privatization contract be available under the state’s public records law. AFSCME Information Highway


HI: Hawaii governor signs bill opening privatization path for Maui state hospitals

Gov. David Ige on Wednesday signed into law legislation that opens discussion for Hawaii’s state-owned hospitals on Maui to enter in business with a private entity, and the new partner could begin operations as early as 2016. Pacific Business News