December 3, 2012


NE: Foster care still reeling from privatization

Nebraska’s child welfare system is still suffering from the instability caused by the state’s privatization experiment, according to a report released Friday. Omaha World-Herald

IL: City Hall: Parking-meter firm’s math is off by more than $22 million

The private company in charge of Chicago’s parking-meter system is demanding more money from the city, saying revenue it’s lost from City Hall taking meters out of service and for having to provide free disability parking now comes to $61 million. But Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration says the company’s math is way off. City officials claim to have found more than $22 million in errors.  Chicago Sun-Times           

IL: Emanuel close to reviving Midway privatization — with key changes

Facing a Dec. 31 federal deadline, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has all but decided to test the privatization market for Midway Airport, but do it in a way dramatically different from the 99-year, $2.5 billion deal that collapsed for lack of financing. Chicago Sun-Times

OH: Ohio Farm Bureau opposes privatizing turnpike, tax hikes

The state’s largest agricultural group is not supporting the privatization of the Ohio Turnpike… Ohio Farm Bureau delegates representing all 88 counties voted to take the opposition stances during the group’s annual meeting in Columbus this week — a meeting that included an appearance from Kasich, who urged the bureau to support the proposals. Youngstown Vindicator

TX: Toll roads becoming bigger part of Texas highway plans

The state of Texas is relying more on the use of toll roads for its major transportation projects because the state’s transportation financing system lacks the resources to meet Texans’ needs.

OH: Higher fees predicted from privatizing city parking

Cincinnati city officials are considering a proposal to lease the city’s parking meters, garages and lots to a private company, but the plan is coming under fire by critics who say it could greatly increase parking prices.  Fox19

PA: Plan to privatize Pa. Lottery still in the works

After months of behind the scenes work, Gov. Tom Corbett’s office is still reviewing one British company’s bid on the Pennsylvania Lottery.

PA: Sen. Richard Kasunic : More questions on lottery privatization

This lack of competition raises serious issues about the model the Corbett Administration has chosen to solicit privatization proposals and begs the question of whether Camelot’s bid reflects the best deal we can get if we are going to continue down this misguided path. The Tribune-Democrat

MI: Push-back on school privatization

Parents, teachers and school administrators are pushing back, fighting a package of education bills that they say will privatize schools in Michigan. WXYZ

CA: Council moves forward on waste privatization

The Fresno City Council voted to turn the city’s residential solid waste collection over to a private contractor late Thursday. Fresno Business Journal

FL: Judge Expects To Rule Quickly Over Prison Health Care Privatization Dispute

The jobs of about the three-thousand correctional employees’ jobs hang in the balance as a Leon Circuit Judge decides whether the state can privatize its prison health care services. WFSU

VA: Board to vote on rates increases for Dulles Toll Road

The board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is expected to vote to raise fees on the Dulles Toll Road. The toll increases are needed, in part, to fund construction of the Dulles Rail extension, the 23.1-mile project to extend Metro from Falls Church to Tysons, Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County. Washington Post


November 20, 2012


Water Industry Outlook: ‘The Time Is Ripe’ for Water Privatization

The privatization of the nation’s water industry is set to explode in the next five years, according to the findings of a recent survey. And what the next three to five years hold, according to the results, is a surge in privatization and public-private partnerships in a quest to capitalize on the resource. As Jerome Devillers, Head of Water Infrastructure/Project Financing at WeiserMazars stated bluntly in a release, “Our study shows the time is ripe” for water privatization.  Common Dreams

Facing Rates Of $17 For 15 Minutes, FCC Takes Up Regulation Of Prison Phone Industry

This industry is so profitable because prison phone companies have state-sanctioned monopolistic control over the state prison markets, and the government agency with authority to rein in these rates across the nation has been reluctant to offer meaningful relief. Prison phone companies are awarded these monopolies through bidding processes in which they submit contract proposals to the state prison systems; in all but eight states, these contracts include promises to pay “commissions” — in effect, kickbacks — to states, in either the form of a percentage of revenue, a fixed up-front payment, or a combination of the two. Thus, state prison systems have no incentive to select the telephone company that offers the lowest rates; rather, correctional departments have an incentive to reap the most profit by selecting the telephone company that provides the highest commission.  Think Progress

Fla. judge skeptical about prison privatization

A skeptical judge on Monday raised questions about whether it was legal for the state to move ahead with a plan to privatize nearly 3,000 health care jobs in Florida’s prisons. Circuit Judge John Cooper spent more than two hours Monday hearing a lawsuit from three public employee unions that challenged a move by the state’s prison agency to have private companies take over inmate health care. Cooper did not rule, saying he needed more information before he can decide whether an obscure legislative panel had the authority to sign off on the privatization proposal in September. Business Week

NY: SUNY Buffalo buries controversial Shale Institute

SUNY Buffalo has decided to shutter the Shale Resources and Society Institute in response to criticism of its funding and the independence of the scholarship it produces. …Reports released under the institute’s aegis include a study that examined Pennsylvania’s fracking history and compared its enforcement actions with New York’s proposed regs (such as are known at this point). Its conclusion: Most of the negative incidents in Pennsylvania would have been prevented under New York’s proposed rules…..Considine’s research has been underwritten by the drilling industry. The institute later was forced to clarify that the report wasn’t “peer-reviewed” in the technical sense of that term.  Albany Times Union

PA: Corbett stresses pension crisis in 2013 agenda

Corbett presented a broad outline of his agenda for 2013, saying his chief priorities are addressing the pension crisis, privatizing state liquor stores, and combating the high cost of college. ” Philadelphia Inquirer