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Restricting Privatization

Investing in Crumbling Infrastructure in the States Before It's Too Late

LegAlert: Investing in Crumbling Infrastructure in the States Before It's Too Late

The recent tragedy in Minneapolis, along with the explosion of an underground steam pipe in New York City just weeks ago, has brought public attention to the problem of our country's crumbling infrastructure, a problem the Progressive States Network has been highlighting over the past year. 

Building a Progressive Majority: Policy Options for 2008

Last November, we saw voters taking the first steps to repudiate the right-wing ideology and institutions that have long dominated much of the political landscape in our states. For too long, we have seen right-wing politicians, backed by corporate money and by conservative think tanks, blocking communities from improving wages, impeding expansion of health care, and auctioning off public assets and public contracts to big monied interests.

2007 Session Roundups: Louisiana

While Louisiana had a few gains, such as finally outlawing cockfighting, the last state to do so, overall the session resulted in roll-backs in abortion rights and big gains for business at the expense of the tax payer. The presence of ALEC sponsorship on the legislature's website is an omen to the pro-business tenure of Louisiana's legislature.   

Texas Legislative Roundup

 

With a raucus session that ended with Texas state House legislators trying to depose the autocratic speaker, the legislature passed a range of bills, many reversing extreme laws passed in past sessions:

Congressional Leaders Warn Against State Highway Privatization

The recent fashion for selling off highways at firesale prices took a big hit this week.  In a letter sent to governors, state legislators and state transportation officials, key House leaders on transit issues warned states not to rush into privatization deals involving national highways.

U.S. Infrastructure: An Economic Disaster Waiting to Happen

A major new report released this week by the Urban Land Institute and Ernst & Young revealed shocking statistics on the state of transit infrastructure in the U.S., including:

  • 83 percent of the nation's transportation infrasturcture is not capable of meeting the nation's needs over the next 10 years.
  • 97 percent of roads, bridges and tunnels, and 88 percent of transit/rail systems will require at least moderate improvement.
  • Chicago alone needs $6 billion to bring its subways into good repair.  Rehabilitation of the Tappan Zee Bridge north of New York City will cost as much as $14.5 billion.
  • There is a $1.6 trillion deficit in needed infrastructure spending through 2010 for repairs and maintanence.

Legislative Roundups: IA, IN, AR, FL & GA

We continue this week with a roundup of some more legislative sessions that recently wrapped up -- at least "sort of" in the cases of states like Georgia which ended their sessions without a budget and will likely be coming back for a special session.

IN: Prison Riots and Privatization

Take 1200 prisoners from Arizona, hire Indiana at $64 per day to house them, then ship them 1500 miles from home and loved ones to a private prison in New Castle, Indiana run by the GEO Group, a private prison company that has been repeatedly cited for substandard conditions. When a riot among 500 prisoners broke out last week, with prisoners taking over the facility for two hours, it was hardly surprising to observers.

EDR, Paid Sick Days, Transportation Privatization, Economic Snapshot, Head Start

 

Want the simplest way to expand voter turnout?  Enact Election Day Registration (EDR), which increases turnout by 10 to 12 percentage points, according to a new report by Demos, which highlighted how widely successful EDR was in states that used it in the 2006 election.

NJ: A Progressive Alternative to Highway Privatization Ripoffs

Since we've condemned the recent spate of privatization proposals, it's encouraging to see a debate in New Jersey on an innovative proposal to manage state highways that doesn't involve a rip-off of the taxpayer and the loss of democratic control over a public asset.