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Use Government Contracts to Raise Wage Levels

Assuring Accountability and Equity in Recovery Spending

In this Dispatch, we emphasize that any stimulus spending has to be tied to increased accountability and transparency in spending decisions, especially by government contractors who often operate like a shadow government with little oversight.  One key reality is that those most in need often don't receive help from government spending without transparency and accountability measures built into the rules.  While the recent federal recovery plan made real strides in expanding such accountability, additional measures are still needed if the recovery plan is going to deliver real equity in our economic recovery.

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.

Labor Day: How States Can Protect Workers Rights

In honor of Labor Day, we thought we would highlight some of our past Dispatches which outline steps states can take to protect workers' rights and raise wage standards. With new Census data showing that the median income for working-age households is still $1,300 below 2001 when the last recession hit bottom, the need for states to act to improve working conditions is greater than ever.

Stopping Privatization Profiteering

A number of state leaders have been promoting what seems like a free lunch. Hand over control of government services to private industry and those companies promise better service at a lower price. Like most promises of a free lunch, privatization has mostly ended up being a deceptive boondoggle, a point the non-partisan news sourceStateline.org emphasized this past week: