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Restrict Asset Privatization

Privatization During an Economic Downturn: Still Inefficient and Problematic

The lure is the supposed promise that privatization will deliver a short-term budget fix.  Yet many privatization efforts, as this Dispatch will highlight, have cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and botched services for the public.  That privatization continues to move forward despite such a poor track record reflects pure ideology that the private market delivers the most efficient outcomes, even without demonstrable results.  Some states may also be making the more cynical decision to pursue immediate short-term infusions of capital at the expense of long-term financial cost in pursuit of short-term electoral gains.  In any case, privatization comes at the expense of long-term investments in the community, sustainable budget policy and public accountability.

Privatization Update: Schools, Prisons, Mental Health -- and What States are Doing to Hold Contractors Accountable

Given the central role of private contractors in delivering public services, this Dispatch continues our series of Privatization Updates (see November's edition). Today we focus on current privatization debates in the education, prison and mental health sectors -- and what states are doing to increase accountability for contractors.

Largest Privatization Deal in U.S. History Proposed for Pennsylvania Turnpike

In the largest privatization deal ever proposed in the United States, a consortium led by Spanish company Abertis Infraestructuras offered $12.8 billion to lease operation of the Pennsylvania Turnpike for 75 years.  The deal would allow the company to immediately hike tolls 25 percent and then increase tolls each year thereafter up to the rate of inflation.

NJ: Raising Tolls & Keeping the Money for the Public - Unlike Privatization Ripoffs

After discussing the possibility of privatizing major state highways last year, New Jersey Governor John Corzine instead made a proposal earlier this month that called for significant increases in tolls that would provide nearly $30 billion to decrease state debt and invest in state transit projects. Unlike rhetorical promises around privatization money in other states, this plan actually laid out how money would get raised.