“The decades-long effort to privatize public services and assets is hitting some bumps, with state and local governments reconsidering whether for-profit companies should be allowed to indiscriminately profit off of taxpayer dollars with limited accountability.
In New Jersey, legislation to ensure that public services won’t be privatized unless it will result in actual savings for taxpayers has passed both chambers of the legislature. In Texas, a bipartisan coalition is fighting against a private prison in Montgomery County, and Kentucky is rejecting private prisons altogether. And in Fresno, California, voters rejected a proposal backed by the city’s popular mayor to privatize trash collection services.
‘The fact is, when taxpayers see what they lose by handing over control of their roads, prisons and other services, they dont want anything to do with outsourcing,’ says Donald Cohen, chair of In The Public Interest, a resource center on privatization. ‘We hope that what were seeing in places like New Jersey, Texas, Kentucky and Fresno is part of a trend to restore control of services to American taxpayers,’ quoting The Center for Media and Democracy.