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Restricting Privatization

Christie Administration Pursuing Fiscal and Economic Irresponsibility at All Costs

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has pursued countless cuts to essential programs, waged an ideological war on state employees and teachers, pushed tax cuts for the rich over the middle class, and advocated for costly and fiscally unsustainable privatization schemes. Even in light of overwhelming public opposition to privatization and the significant pitfalls associated with these types of schemes, the Governor established a privatization task force by executive order earlier this year.

Moving Forward: Championing the Middle Class and Promoting Transparency

In the wake of last week's results, progressives must continue to pursue policies to promote economic growth and equity, address revenue shortfalls through sound tax reform, alleviate the burden on working families, and support public programs. This is especially necessary as conservatives in legislatures and governor's seats are promising a slew of heinous cuts to state programs and several other fiscally irresponsible proposals.

Tax Limitation Rules Costing States Big Bucks in Downgraded Bond Ratings

When state governments make it nearly impossible to raise taxes to pay their bills, their creditors apparently get very nervous and increase their costs to borrow money. Both Arizona and California have seen their bond ratings downgraded -- and their borrowing costs likely increasing -- with analysts citing both states' tax limitation rules that require a two-thirds vote of their legislatures to raise taxes as one reason.

NJ Privatization Panel Report Pushes Ideology Rather than Facts

Since he took office earlier this year, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has waged an ideological war on state employees and programs, and advocated for unsustainable and costly privatization schemes.  Even in light of overwhelming public opposition to privatization and the significant pitfalls associated with these types of initiatives, the Governor established a privatization task force by executive order in early April, seeking to identify $50 million in savings.

State Job Creation Strategies for 2011

The fundamental challenge in this recession is that the growth that preceded it was a mirage.  Bubble era borrowing created a network of financial jobs, real estate jobs and construction jobs that collapsed with the end of the bubble.  Many of those jobs will never return.

An extremely high proportion (75%) of job losses in this recession are permanent rather than temporary.  States will need to nurture completely new industry sectors and the infrastructure to support those jobs, while the jobless will need retraining in new skills to participate in those sectors.

Tax and Budget Reform: Policy Options for 2011 to Address the Revenue Crisis in the States

Although the recession may have technically subsided at the national level, states are still reeling from historic budget shortfalls, stubbornly high unemployment, and significant revenue declines and will continue to face fiscal challenges in the upcoming year.  The lingering effects of the downturn have forced state lawmakers to consider extreme fiscal measures to confront budgetary constraints.  What’s more, states have already utilized a substantial portion of the federal funds available for state fiscal relief through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). 

These dire circumstances merit progressive tax and budget policy as a means to provide essential services, make critical investments in long-term growth areas, support working and middle-class families who have been disproportionately hit by the impact of the downturn, and ensure that all taxpayers are contributing their fair share.  

Tax and Budget Reform: Policy Options for 2011 to Address the Revenue Crisis in the States

Although the recession may have technically subsided at the national level, states are still reeling from historic budget shortfalls, stubbornly high unemployment, and significant revenue declines and will continue to face fiscal challenges in the upcoming year. The lingering effects of the downturn have forced state lawmakers to consider extreme fiscal measures to confront budgetary constraints. What’s more, states have already utilized a substantial portion of the federal funds available for state fiscal relief through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Tennessee

Tennessee’s much-publicized educational reforms overshadowed the fact that the state’s policy decisions during the 2010 legislative session took a sharp rightward turn.  Immigration and abortion were big targets, but public health and safety were also negatively affected by legislation that defied common sense.

New Jersey Voters Reject Privatization

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.

Private Prison Firm Exploiting Broken Immigration System

Who benefits from hyping criminal enforcement as the solution to the immigration issue? 

As a Service and Employees International Union (SEIU) campaign highlights, one key player profiting off the nation's broken immigration system is the private prison firm, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).  CCA operates and profits significantly from private prisons across the country, many of which house immigrants in detention, a kind of legal limbo in which immigrants are imprisoned while their cases are being considered, or who are in the process of being deported.