On June 15, voters in Trenton, New Jersey, soundly rejected a proposal to sell a majority of Trenton Water Works' infrastructure, including pipes, water towers, and tanks, to a private company. For several years, Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer argued that water privatization would generate immediate revenue for the cash-strapped city and end its obligation to maintain aging infrastructure in surrounding townships. Community activists, unions, and the Stop the Sale campaign, successfully challenged the Mayor's plan. In the weeks leading up to the vote, polling indicated that 95 percent of city residents disapproved of the initiative.
According to the American Journalism Review, state house news
reporting is down 30 percent nationally. New Jersey may be adding to the problem by reducing
funding for and privatizing functions of the New Jersey
Network (NJN), the only non-partisan public television and radio
news source that exclusively covers the state.
Last month, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie unveiled his $29.3
budget proposal -- an extremely regressive plan that would only
exacerbate the economic pain for the state's working and middle class
As part of the Progressive States Network’s 2010 Shared Multi-State Agenda,
we are advancing a corporate transparency initiative in coordination
with key allies and experts. Demand for transparency in government is
rising, but most states still do not collect even the most basic,
critical data from recipients of state grants, state contracts or tax
breaks. In this Dispatch,
we will examine the need for corporate transparency, recent cases
relating to the subject, and how the policy will benefit states dealing
with massive deficits.