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External articles (129)

Wall Street wants in on public school construction, and that’s scary

We’ve long heard the same false claims about using public-private partnerships to build infrastructure like toll roads, but not public schools. Until now. Private equity firms and Wall Street banks say public-private partnerships are cheaper, which is flat-out wrong. State and local governments can borrow money using low-cost municipal bonds. Why should they pay extra to make private investors rich?

Source: In the Public Interest

Privatization hurts students!

The community in Ocean County, New Jersey has rallied behind educational support personnel. The Ocean County Council of Education Associations says “Let's let the Lacey Board of Education know we stand together in support of the ESP's. Privatization hurts students!”

Source: Twitter

Democrats in Congress are fighting back against Trump’s plan to privatize elements of the Veterans Administration

Democrats in Congress are fighting back against Trump’s plan to privatize elements of the Veterans Administration. “Democrats now in charge in the House are resisting. They say proposed rules on when veterans could go outside VA are too lenient and would damage the government system — a long-held fear of Democrats who worry that union jobs will be siphoned off and the government system dismantled. (…) Democrats and some veterans groups have accused Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie of leaving them out of planning. ‘They profess to be against privatization,’ said Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), who ascended to chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee in January, ‘but by default, we will see privatization happen under our very noses.’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has raised alarms for months that the policy lacks a ‘sustainable funding source.’”

Boeing Crashes Highlight the High Costs of Cheap Government

Amit Narang, the regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, says corporate self-regulation is failing, and New York magazine ran an article on how the “Boeing crashes highlight the high costs of cheap government.” Phil Mattera of Good Jobs First says “the idea that corporations should be allowed to oversee themselves is unwise in general but particularly wrong-headed when it comes to a company like Boeing. (…) Shamed into action, the FAA is now behaving more like a real regulator again. Yet this too is part of the typical scenario: when outrage about a deadly incident escalates, an agency acts tough. But this rarely lasts. Once the uproar dies down, the regulators return to their comfortable relationship with the regulated, and the public is once again put at risk.”

Source: Intelligencer

The privatization industry has produced a report to promote ‘public-private partnerships’ in the water sector

The privatization industry has produced a report to promote ‘public-private partnerships’ in the water sector. The report, a collaborative effort by The American Water Works Association (AWWA) and Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors, LLC. “As the water sector increasingly invests in advanced wastewater treatment, energy recovery, potable water reuse, desalination and other complex infrastructure, P3s will have a key role to play in advancing a number of these critical projects,” said Stephen Auton-Smith, an EYIA managing director.

Source: Water Finance & Management

Legislation has been introduced in the Senate to block any efforts to privatize the U.S. Postal Service

Legislation has been introduced in the Senate to block any efforts to privatize the U.S. Postal Service. The measure is also supported by the National Association of Letter Carriers, the American Postal Workers Union, the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, the National Association of Postal Supervisors, the United Postmasters and Managers of America, and the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service.

Bill would prohibit Nevada from contracting with private, for-profit prisons

Legislation has been introduced in the Nevada Assembly to prohibit the state from contracting with private, for-profit prisons. American Civil Liberties Union attorney Nick Shepack told lawmakers “what we have seen in states that allow private prisons to operate within their borders, is a major lack of oversight. It becomes extremely difficult for legislative bodies to have oversight. It becomes difficult for government entities, and it becomes difficult for third party entities such as ourselves to find out what is actually going on in these facilities. For that reason, we believe private prisons should not be used in the State of Nevada.”

Source: Nevada Capital News

"The federal government needs to make a massive commitment to building public works"

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka tells congress the federal government needs to make a massive commitment to building public works. But there are conditions. “Fundamental labor standards specific to construction and transportation, which have been included in past infrastructure investment statutes, must be attached to all federally assisted projects. Collective bargaining agreements and family-supporting wages and benefits must not be undermined by low-wage bids, and public-sector pay, benefits and labor rights must be protected when special interests push privatization and contracting-out schemes.”

Source: aflcio.org

JPMorgan Chase Is Done With Private Prisons

In a major victory for opponents of the role of banks in propping up for-profit private prison and immigrant detention companies, JPMorgan Chase announces it will no longer provide financing to them.In the Public Interest, a national anti-privatization resource center based in Oakland, reports that over 100 organizations came together to push back against #BackersofHate.

Source: Forbes

Prepa’s Privatization Lacks Transparency

The possible privatization of Puerto Rico’s electrical utility is being debated in the U.S. Congress. The largest creditor of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), National Public Finance, says that regulations for the privatization of the bankrupt utility “lack transparency, required PREPA to compensate ‘unsuccessful proponents’ and limit the role of the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB), the energy sector’s regulator.” But the Unión de Trabajadores de la Industria Eléctrica y Riego has suggested the appointment of an inspector general as alternative to a receiver. “Under UTIER's suggestion, the inspector general would monitor, audit, and investigate the authority’s activities. It would cover personnel practices and hiring regulations, procurements, fiscal and accounting issues, capital and energy planning, and regulatory oversight. (…) ‘PREPA has a compliance problem,’ the union said in its motion. ‘PREPA does not need an entity that comes to enact new rules. It needs an entity that enforces them.’”

Source: Caribbean Business