First, the Good News

1) National: State governors have proposed spending billions of dollars on overdue infrastructure projects, Route Fifty reports. “For Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, the main infrastructure concern this year is not transportation but aging schools. The governor outlined a 10-year, $2 billion plan to replace dilapidated schools, such as one he visited where sewage was seeping under the cafeteria. Little said it was time to stop kicking the metaphorical can down the road. ‘Folks, we can do better,’ he said in his speech. ‘The can we are kicking is getting heavier, and we are running out of road.’ The proposal comes after ProPublica and the Idaho Statesman published an investigation showing how years of funding shortfalls led to rural schools across the state with collapsing roofs, deteriorating foundations and freezing classrooms.”

ProPublica and the Statesman take credit for raising the alarm about the state of Idaho’s schools, but they were somewhat late to the party. They were preceded by a groundbreaking and innovative grassroots organizing campaign by Luke Mayville and his colleagues in Reclaim Idaho, which reached into rural areas to patiently build bipartisan pressure on the statehouse and statehouse-focused media to fund and back a major school funding initiative. And by the new Idaho Capital Sun, which scooped the honchos on the story.

2) National: In the Public Interest’s Executive Director, Donald Cohen, says the federal American Recovery Plan Act is getting real resources to all levels of government, but will expire soon. “Government—big government and small government—was the only thing that could meet the challenge. But ARPA funds are a one-time deal–they must be obligated by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026. Our common needs—health and safety, infrastructure to keep America moving, access to water to sustain life, education to keep democracy strong—continue. In this new year, In the Public Interest will periodically highlight those instances of government addressing challenges that only government can or should address, ensuring the common good. Sometimes those challenges are as big as a worldwide pandemic, and sometimes they’re 20 acres along Green Swamp Road.”

3) National: Reps. John B. Larson and Jan Schakowsky “led 116 House Democrats in a letter to House Leadership opposing the creation of a fast-track commission designed to slash Social Security. “This is not a simple debate over process. Without member input and public review, fiscal commissions have historically recommended cutting or privatizing Social Security:  The Greenspan Commission was the basis of the Social Security Amendments of 1983, which resulted in a raise in the retirement age that was the equivalent to a 13% benefit cut, a tax on benefits for middle income retirees, and the creation of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) which reduces the benefits of 2 million public servants. The President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, established by President George W. Bush, issued a report outlining three models of partial privatization of Social Security. Most recently, the Bowles-Simpson Commission recommended raising the retirement age, reducing the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), and reducing benefit amounts for many earners.”

4) National: The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy has released the 7th edition of Who Pays?Who Pays? is the only distributional analysis of tax systems in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This comprehensive 7th edition of the report assesses the progressivity and regressivity of state tax systems by measuring effective state and local tax rates paid by all income groups. No two state tax systems are the same; this report provides detailed analyses of the features of every state tax code. It includes state-by-state profiles that provide baseline data to help lawmakers and the public understand how current tax policies affect taxpayers at all income levels.” Check out the key findings.

5) National: The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a final rule on determining independent contractor status. “The 2024 rule, which goes into effect on March 11, 2024, is largely consistent with the proposed version the DOL rolled out in 2022, rescinding and replacing the Trump administration’s more streamlined worker classification analysis while returning to the long-used “totality of the circumstances” standard, albeit with a pro-employee twist given the rule’s discussion of its various factors.”

6) New Jersey: Officials in Lacey Township on the Jersey Shore have tabled “a controversial project proposal that would have constructed a new municipal complex and indoor recreation center via a public-private partnership (P3). (…) The news was announced by Mayor Peggy Sue Juliano at the Jan. 11 Township Committee meeting, ascribing the decision to financial issues. ‘We have analyzed this for months with JCI [Johnson Controls Industries, the company that would have constructed the complex], and based on the state restrictions with the budget and the cap law, the affordability does not work within the two percent cap at this time,’ Juliano read from a prepared statement on behalf of the entire committee.”

7) Ohio: The Summit County Council (Akron) has adopted a bargaining agreement that will correct several pay inequities for county employees. “Harnak said the bargaining unit saw many pay inequities for employees in the same classification performing the same job. ‘People were making very different amounts of money,’ he said, adding this was a problem that had been going on for many years. Harnak said the department compared wages from other jurisdictions, cities and counties and came up with a new benchmark wage for each classification in the bargaining unit. By the end of the contract, he hopes everyone will be ‘right where they need to be.’” The agreement is between “Ohio Council 8 and Local 1229 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (Executive’s Office Unit) and the Executive runs from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2026.”

8) Think Tanks: The Law and Political Economy (LPE) Project has published “Reclaiming the Progressive Potential of Local Procurement” by Scott Cummings and Madeline Janis. “On October 4, 2023, the White House and the OMB released a comprehensive re-write of the Uniform Grants Guidance that provides flexibility to conduct grant-based procurement responsive to local needs. These proposed changes to the Uniform Guidance explicitly require federal grant-funded contracts to include standards of fairness, transparency, ethics, and equity—and to allow state and local governments flexibility to define what those standards mean. Along the same lines, the proposed changes to the Uniform Guidance would explicitly permit grantees to adopt policies related to equal opportunity, employment, health and safety, and the environment to be included in bids as enforceable contract terms. Significantly, the proposal deletes the prohibition against geographic preferences. Assuming that this change is finalized, federal grantees will be able to use federal grant-funded procurement to build pipelines to good union jobs, which an Obama-era pilot program suggested could be achieved without raising costs.”


9) National: Charter Schools will desert and violate thousands in 2024 writes Shawgi Tell in Dissident Voice. “Privately-operated charter schools have been around for 32 years. They fail and close every week, abandoning and harming hundreds of parents, students, teachers, education support staff, and principals. Neoliberals cynically call this ‘free market accountability.’ These closures, moreover, are often sudden and abrupt, revealing deep problems and instability in the charter school sector. Parents, students, teachers, education support staff, and principals often report being blindsided by such closures and how they have to anxiously scramble to find new schools for students.”

Tell concludes, “the public should defend the principle that education in a modern society is a social human responsibility and a basic human right, not a commodity or consumer good that people have to compete for. A companion principle is that public funds belong only to public schools governed by a public authority worthy of the name. Charter schools are not public schools. They are privatized education arrangements, which means that they should not have access to any public funds that belong to public schools. Public funds should not be funneled to private interests. School privatization violates the right to education.”

10) National: Dark Money school vouchers are having a moment, says Josh Cowen, a professor of education policy at Michigan State University. “Long-term, the goal insofar as school privatization is concerned appears to be nothing short of a Supreme Court ruling that tax-subsidized school vouchers and homeschool options are mandatory in every state that uses public funding (as all do) to support education. The logic would be, as Betsy DeVos herself previewed before leaving office, that public spending on public schools without a religious option is a violation of Free Exercise protections. Such a ruling, in other words, would complete the destruction of a wall between church and state when it comes to voucher jurisprudence. Earlier Court decisions have found that states may spend tax dollars on school vouchers but, as the Right’s ultimate goal, the Supreme Court would determine that states must.”

11) National: Jenna Leventoff, senior policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, says university leaders must resist dangerous calls to silence student speech. “Universities are supposed to be spaces where people develop, communicate and debate ideas, including the most topical, difficult and controversial ones. Students, professors and others on campus must have the freedom to publicly speak about and debate matters of public concern — regardless of how radical or offensive their views are. For that to work, school leaders must resist pressure to conflate protected political speech with prohibited harassment; making that mistake today will not only impact students now but for decades to come. Yet, troublingly, we’re seeing politicians and school administrators seeking to punish and censor students rather than ensure that all students are able to safely and freely speak their mind.”

12) National/Idaho: Writing in the Idaho Falls Post Register, Miranda Marquit says school vouchers don’t benefit rural, low-income students. “If our legislators wanted to provide the uniform public education required by our state Constitution, they would work on solutions that, well, outright fund education. They wouldn’t be gearing up for basically the same voucher fight they abandoned last year after it proved unpopular. We see how vouchers play out in other states. They’re expensive. They disproportionately harm low-income and rural students. School choice doesn’t matter if there aren’t alternatives in the rural area. We already know how this goes. And it does nothing to address our teacher shortage, crumbling schools or improve educational outcomes.”

13) Arizona: “Gov. Katie Hobbs’ recent proposals to reform Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account school voucher program raise an essential question: Which families are benefitting from the program? (…) Rather than democratizing education, Arizona’s school vouchers are subsidizing its most fortunate families, reinforcing existing disparities rather than mitigating them,” writes Princeton education expert Jeenifer Jennings. “This phenomenon is known in social science as the Matthew Effect: Those with more resources continue to accumulate advantages, while those with less are further marginalized. If the ESA voucher program’s trajectory remains unaltered, it will put enough pressure on the state budget that  programs designed to support low-income Arizonians end up on the chopping block.”

Writing in Forbes, Peter Greene reviews the school vouchers issue. “At the same time, Arizona has one of the most unregulated programs in the country. From the [new SOS] report: Arizona does not require that private schools or microschools demonstrate any measure of quality or accuracy of instruction. Schools do not need to be accredited, teachers do not need to have any credentials or training, and schools do not need to teach to state standards. The state does not test any voucher students, and there is no indication whether students are learning and performing according to grade level.”

14) Florida: This is going to be a very busy legislative session on education issues. Check out the Florida Education Association’s webpage on the issues and calendar. Tomorrow, for instance, the House Education and Employment Committee will receive a presentation on the future of artificial intelligence in education. There is also a looming debate on how and whether public schools should be “deregulated.

15) Georgia: After perennial failed attempts, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp again wants lawmakers to pass a private school voucher law. “The Senate passed legislation last year to provide Georgia students in low-performing schools with $6,000 scholarships to pay for private school or certain other educational costs. But the bill died in the House when a coalition of Democrats and rural Republicans joined forces to block it. Democrats have long opposed vouchers as taking tax dollars away from public schools. Rural Republicans expressed concerns that vouchers wouldn’t help their constituents because of the scarcity of private schools in rural communities.”

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that for the third time since 2018 a DeKalb County charter school has been placed on probation “over concerns it violated federal requirements for students with disabilities and had subpar academic performance and years of instability in leadership. The board renewed the charter for DeKalb Preparatory Academy for three years—on the condition that the school submit a corrective action plan within 30 days for how they plan to address the issues. (…) ‘There is concern about the school, and there has been concern for quite some time,’ DeKalb school board member Vickie Turner said at a meeting Monday. This year, district evaluators rated the school as performing ‘far below’ the academic standards for charter schools.”

16) Indiana: One of the oldest charter schools in Indianapolis is ditching its national for-profit management company. “Andrew J. Brown Academy’s school board is in the process of parting ways with National Heritage Academies, which has run the school on the far eastside since it opened in 2003, as its charter faces a renewal decision from the mayor’s Office of Education Innovation. Instead, the school hopes to partner with Paramount Schools of Excellence, a popular local nonprofit charter operator. The school’s board hopes that the switch will increase their control over funding that they currently send to National Heritage Academies (NHA), a national organization not based in Indiana. But the transition also brings uncertainty for the future of the troubled K-8 school—named after a local civil rights leader—that serves about 600 students who are mostly Black or Hispanic.”

17) Louisiana: East Baton Rouge school board members have denied two charter schools entry into the district. “According to President Dadrius Lanus, the school board is looking to cut 50 to 60 million dollars from the current budget. That includes the central office and other areas of concern. And now, there is talk of a new study over the course of a few months that would put a temporary cap on the number of charter schools the school system supports. They are also looking to cap off the overall budget so they don’t have to worry about any other dollars.”

The Advocate reports this seems to be a change of heart. “School board members, almost all of them elected with the support of charter school interest groups, expressed mixed to negative feelings about charter schools. Those feelings are exacerbated by budget worries as the school system heads into what promises to be leaner economic times, with possible budget cuts and school consolidations in the near future.”

18) Minneapolis: A charter school in north Minneapolis has collapsed for financial reasons. “At the end of last month, the Minnesota Department of Education informed the school, called JJ Legacy for short, that it was in a status known as ‘statutory operating debt.’ According to the agency’s letter, the school reported having a negative fund balance of more than $710,000. The school had reported to the state a projected enrollment of 183 students but was serving fewer than 60. School officials pointed to a sudden move as one reason for the drop in enrollment and the difference between the projection and the number of pupils this fall. Anderson said an audit of the school’s finances for fiscal year 2022 is underway.”

19) Missouri: The newly created House Special Committee on Education Reform will hear three charter school expansion bills tomorrow:

  • HB 1485 authorizes the establishment of charter schools in school districts in St. Louis County without sponsorship by the local school board.
  • HB 1764 authorizes the establishment of charter schools in school districts in St. Charles County without sponsorship by the local school board.
  • HB 1941 authorizes the establishment of charter schools in the Columbia school district without sponsorship by the local school board.

The Missouri Education Association opposes all three bills. “The Association believes that charter schools should be sponsored by and accountable to the local community through the elected school board and approved only after an impact study is conducted by the district to consider the proposal.”

20) North Carolina: The Tarheel State is looking at clamping down on the number and quality of charter schools. “Last summer, the Republican-controlled General Assembly stripped the Democratic majority on the State Board of Education of its authority to approve and renew individual charter schools. Now the State Board is considering a policy amendmentthat would increase the academic, financial management and conflict of interest requirements for charter schools to be renewed. The State Board now wants a charter school to score no less than two percentage points below the state test score of the school district it is located within. Currently, a charter school is allowed to be up to five percentage points below the district score when being considered for renewal.”

21) Oregon: A charter school chain potentially opening a school in Siuslaw is generating controversy. “So why the controversy? And why was the first application denied? ‘There was a mention of a third-party contract,’ the Superintendent says. That third party—Hillsdale College—is a conservative Christian college known for spearheading the effort to create K-12 education under a particular ideology they call ‘classical education.’ ‘They were promoting a Christian school, and the brochures are all Christian,’ community member Kathie Carmer explains. (…) community members are expressing concerns about their tax dollars going towards a school they say doesn’t have a separation of church and state. ‘My concern has to do with primarily the fact that they’re linked at the national level that is more religiously oriented, and charter schools are supposed to be nonsectarian,’ said Michael Allen, another community member at the board meeting. ‘I believe in the separation of church and state,’ Lynne Linsdon adds. ‘religion has no place for public taxpayer funds.’”

22) West Virginia: An effort to place a charter school in the former central office building of Monongalia County Schools has hit a snag, the Dominion Post reports. “Because the non-residential use of the facility is greater than 10,000 square-feet and the proposed use of the building will change, the site plan approval is required. The commission’s concerns centered around traffic and parking.”


23) National/International: Big moves in the infrastructure industry. BlackRock is to buy Global Infrastructure Partners for $12.5 billion. “Acquiring GIP, which has about $106bn in assets under management, would make BlackRock the world’s second-largest manager of private infrastructure assets, and bolster the leadership of its alternatives business. GIP’s prime assets include Sydney and London Gatwick airports, the Port of Melbourne and the Suez water group, extensive green energy holdings and a stake in a big shale oil pipeline.” Larry Fink’s “courting of GIP, long considered one of the crown jewel platforms in the alternatives industry, started in September, as BlackRock sought to capitalise on rapidly rising demand for long-term investment funds focused on decarbonisation, energy security and power grids. ‘The global need for infrastructure combined with high deficits constraining government spending creates unprecedented opportunity for private capital to invest in infrastructure,’ he and BlackRock president Rob Kapito told staff in a memo announcing the purchase.” [Sub required].

More concentration and centralization of infrastructure capital may be on the way. “The deal could accelerate a wider wave of consolidation,” says the FT. The Australian Financial Review reports that “BlackRock’s acquisition of Global Infrastructure Partners suggests the local market may be underestimating the value of Macquarie’s world-leading asset management empire. (…) What’s driving this is a fascinating supply/demand equation. While Fink said on Friday night that demand was likely to come from areas including energy (particularly decarbonisation), transport and digital infrastructure, highly indebted governments simply cannot step [in to] supply the capital required to build this stuff. ‘The unprecedented need for new infrastructure, coupled with the record high government deficits means that private capital will be needed like never before,’ Fink said.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that “the deal is expected to close in the second or third quarter, after which BlackRock will create a distinct Global Infrastructure Partners business that combines the acquired firm with existing BlackRock infrastructure teams. BlackRock says the new business will be the second-largest infrastructure manager globally with more than $150 billion in assets under management, trailing only Macquarie Infrastructure.” [Sub required]

24) National/International: On the back of this BlackRock/GIP story, Seeking Alpha has a long piece setting out some of the prime targets for mergers and acquisitions in the infrastructure industry (pardon the excessive wonkishness). “In BIP and BEP, investors get a compelling value proposition along with fairly defensive business models that are very well run. Investors should also note that while BIP and BEP issue K1s, they are still designed to be suitable for holding in retirement accounts. For investors who do not want to deal with K1s at all, BIPC and BEPC are K1-free economic equivalents.” [Sub required]

25) National: Climate change could spur a major spike in municipal bond issuance, the Bond Buyer reports. “‘With or without Congressional intervention, state and local governments are likely to expand medium and long-term borrowing programs to address climate change mitigation and adaptation,’ said Tom Doe, president, Municipal Market Analytics Inc., via written testimony before a Senate Budget Committee hearing on Wednesday. Doe cited a $1.8 billion proposed fix that would elevate roads in the Florida Keys to keep them from flooding and take twenty-five years to implement. ‘Financing will depend on new revenue creation, sweeping spending reallocations, tiers of intergovernmental participation, and very long bond maturities,’ added Doe.” [Sub required]. “Spending reallocations”?

26) California: Writing in CalMatters, Yousef Baig explains what high-speed rail means for the Central Valley.  From ‘train to nowhere’ to Fresno’s dream. “In five years, Fresno’s core will be transformed into the first major hub on America’s most ambitious active infrastructure project: a 500-mile bullet train shuttling people 200-plus mph from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours. But unlike Interstate 5, the state’s north-south connector, it’ll run through the heart of the Central Valley. If you listen to California’s political class, the high-speed rail project sounds like a textbook boondoggle—over-budget, delayed and larded up with waste. Yet in communities across California’s farm belt, the discourse is refreshingly different.”

27) Colorado: Colorado’s rural hospitals “are caught in an aging-infrastructure conundrum,” KFF News reports. “Rural hospitals throughout the nation are facing a similar conundrum. An increase in costs amid lower payments from insurance plans makes it harder for small hospitals to fund large capital improvement projects. And high inflation and rising interest rates coming out of the pandemic are making it tougher for aging facilities to qualify for loans or other types of financing to upgrade their facilities to meet the ever-changing standards of medical care. ‘Most of us are operating at very low margins, if any margin at all,’ Stansbury said. ‘So, we’re struggling to find the money.’”

28) New York: A plan for a gas drilling spree in New York’s southern tier has drawn a muted response from regulators, but outrage from green groups, reports Inside Climate News. “Bryce Phillips, president of STS, told WaterFront the company would only proceed if it can obtain signed leases for at least 100,000 acres by early March. The project would also require the company to win state permits for a process that is relatively untested: injecting fluid CO2 instead of water to extract methane from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. New York State bans hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, when it requires more than 300,000 gallons of water per well.”

But “several environmental groups expressed alarm about the project STS proposes. ‘Fracking with carbon dioxide is a crazy idea,’ said environmental activist Sandra Steingraber, a founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York. ‘It’s an end run around our laws in New York … that adds new hazards to a dumb idea.’ Alex Beauchamp, northeast region director of Food and Water Watch, said: ‘After almost ten years of relief from the destructive fracking industry, fossil fuel profiteers have once again come knocking in New York … What’s more, the corporation’s proposal to use proven-to-fail carbon capture technology to skirt state regulation is absurd and dangerous for our climate and communities.’”

Public Services

29) National: U.S. regulators have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 9 until they get more information on the mid-air blowout of a fuselage section on an Alaska Airlines flight. “Boeing said earlier this week that it had provided instructions to airlines on how to inspect the planes. But the FAA said it needed more information before signing off on the regimen, though it added it was ‘encouraged by the exhaustive nature of Boeing’s instructions for inspections and maintenance.’” The FAA, which renewed Boeing’s self-regulation privileges for three years in 2022, is investigating whether Boeing’s plane “was safe and manufactured to match the design approved by the agency.”

The Nation’s Jeet Heer puts the blame on what he calls the Biden administration’s refusal to reform a dangerously unsafe airline industry. “Buttigieg has responded to each of these calamities in the spirit of crisis management, prioritizing the offering of soothing public relations messages over trying to find the root causes of problems. He seems to think his main job is to assure the American people that the system is in good working order rather than preventing repeated calamities. In the case of the Southwest Airlines meltdown, it took political pressure from lawmakers and the media to force Buttigieg to both investigate the company’s actions and impose a hefty fine of $140 million. With the Norfolk Southern train derailment, Buttigieg’s initial response was to again drag his feet and insist he had little power to act. Buttigieg later acknowledged that his diffident response and slowness to go to East Palestine was the wrong approach—if only in public relations terms. But there’s little sign that Buttigieg has learned anything from his earlier forays into crisis management.”

For more see The Lever: “One of the employees at Spirit AeroSystems, which reportedly manufactured the door plug that blew out of an Alaska Airlines flight over Portland, Oregon, allegedly told company officials about an ‘excessive amount of defects,’ according to the federal complaint and corresponding internal corporate documents reviewed by The Lever. According to the court documents, the employee told a colleague that ‘he believed it was just a matter of time until a major defect escaped to a customer.’ The allegations come from a federal securities lawsuit accusing Spirit of deliberately covering up systematic quality control problems, encouraging workers to undercount defects, and retaliating against those who raised safety concerns. Read the full complaint here. Although the cause of the Boeing airplane’s failure is still unclear, some aviation experts say the allegations against Spirit are emblematic of how brand-name manufacturers’ practice of outsourcing aerospace construction has led to worrisome safety issues.”

30) Alabama: Privatization of Medicaid may be on the Republican agenda in the state. “With the state’s workforce participation rate at just 57%, surveys have shown that some people fear that gaining a job would mean losing their Medicaid benefits. As to how to improve the state’s quality of health care, Ledbetter floated the idea of expanding Medicaid with a privatized approach, saying that discussions on the idea among Legislative leaders were ongoing. Ledbetter said they’d tasked an economist to research the idea, and that he had received a report recently that showed some promising findings were the state to expand Medicaid through a private-public partnership. ‘With the money that you get down from the federal government, you could make it last almost ten years if you manage it right,’ he said.”

31) New Jersey/National: New Jersey is arguing that “courts cannot exempt private contractors from a New Jersey law barring immigration detention centers because that’s a role given exclusively to Congress. State officials are appealing a judge’s decision that “allowed an Elizabeth immigration jail to remain open.”

32) Idaho: It’s Groundhog Day in the Gem State. After the governor vetoed an effort last year by zealots to ban books of their choosing from the public library, they’re back with a similar bill. “The committee must hold a public hearing and pass the bill before it could be considered by the Idaho House of Representatives. A full committee hearing for the bill has not yet been scheduled.”

33) New York: The fix to New York’s budget deficit is obvious and popular, say Janita Lewis, Jasmine Gripper and Ana Maria Archilla in USA Today. “As we enter 2024 with a potential budget deficit and the end of federal COVID relief funds, our lawmakers are left with an age-old dilemma: find a new source of revenue or allow our public infrastructure to crumble, inadequately pay our childcare and elder care workers, and cut funding to other programs that help all New Yorkers thrive. Lawmakers’ constituents have already made their choice. The vast majority of New Yorkers want the ultra-rich and large corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes. According to a December poll commissioned by the Invest in Our New York Campaign and conducted by Siena College Research Institute, 74% of New Yorkers agree that New York should increase taxes on highly profitable corporations and the wealthiest New Yorkers to fund public programs and services.”

Carl Davis, the research director of ITEP’s Who Pays? report (see above) says “when you ask people what they think a fair tax code looks like, almost nobody says we should have the richest pay the least. And yet when we look around the country, the vast majority of states have tax systems that do just that. There’s an alarming gap here between what the public wants and what state lawmakers have delivered.”

Everything Else

34) National: Multistate Associates has published its always useful upcoming state calendar. Check out the 2024 Legislative Session Dates.

35) International: The British government has created a new body that will represent the interests of private investors in so-called public-private partnerships, which were supported by the government’s ill-fated Private Finance Initiative. “The Association of Infrastructure Investors in Public Private Partnerships (AIIP) was formed last year after investors and public authorities became locked in increasingly acrimonious disputes over the termination of private finance initiative deals involving hospitals, schools, military bases and housing projects. It aims to encourage collaboration between the two as a way of avoiding costly legal battles. Hutton held various cabinet posts when Labour was last in power between 1997 and 2010—a period that saw a surge in the use of private finance to build public infrastructure.” [Sub required]

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