Recently, I shared with you some press clips that showed how ITPI is helping to change the narrative around outsourcing – exposing how local taxpayers lose control of their public services when these services are outsourced to corporate CEOs and Wall Street bankers.
It appears lawmakers across the country are taking note. I wanted to share with you some news from the past few days from Chicago, Connecticut and Idaho, where lawmakers are realizing that outsourcing is not only bad policy, but a bad deal for taxpayers as well.
Last week in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration halted efforts to privatize the city’s Midway International Airport. After one of the bidding finalists dropped out, the office determined that the process was not in the best interest of Chicago’s taxpayers. The Mayor tried to avoid another 75 year parking meter debacle by saying the city would lock into a deal for no more than 40 years and require the private operator share revenue with the city on an ongoing basis rather than making a lump payment. But even if the deal had gone forward, approval from a city council still stung by the unpopularity of Chicago’s privatized parking meters would have been required.
On August 26, West Haven Councilman David Forsyth introduced a comprehensive anti-outsourcing ordinance designed to promote accountability, transparency, competition and shared prosperity.
According to Forsyth’s press release: “West Haven taxpayers—not for-profit corporations and Wall Street banks—need to be in charge of our public health and safety. We know what can happen if we are not carefully reading the fine print in contracts with for-profit corporations and Wall Street banks. Enough is enough. We’re going to stand up and protect West Haven taxpayers.”
In Idaho, State Representative John Gannon has drafted legislation that will require the state to compare plans from the public sector to bids from corporations seeking to operate Idaho’s prisons for profit. The state has repeatedly rejected such offers, and last month a federal court unsealed records showing that the for-profit operator of the Idaho Corrections Center, Corrections Corporation of America, has cut corners leading to falsified records, elevated violence and waste of taxpayer dollars.
Rep. Gannon’s bill is similar to a provision of In the Public Interest’s (ITPI) “Taxpayer Empowerment Agenda” (TEA), a locally focused plan to reclaim taxpayer control of privatized public services and infrastructure that have undercut transparency, accountability, shared prosperity and competition.