After discussing the possibility of privatizing major state highways last year, New Jersey Governor John Corzine instead made a proposal
earlier this month that called for significant increases in tolls that
would provide nearly $30 billion to decrease state debt and invest in
state transit projects. Unlike rhetorical promises around privatization
money in other states, this plan actually laid out how money would get
On Thursday, the Progressive States Network (PSN) released a report entitled Privatizing in the Dark: The Pitfalls of Privatization & Why Budget Disclosure is Needed, which outlines the need for new state laws requiring greater accountability and transparency in the privatization of government services.
[Download a copy of the report in PDF format here.]
Periodically, we hear elected leaders promoting what seems like a free
lunch: hand-over control of government services or government assets to
private industry and services will improve at a lower cost. Like most
promises of a free lunch, privatization of government services also
known as"contracting out" or "public-private partnerships" has
rarely delivered on its promises, with most studies showing little gain
and often substantial losses for the public.