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The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) estimates that in 2010 and 2011, states will face a combined budget deficit of $350 billion. As states grapple with the recession and search for the best methods to alleviate economic and budgetary pressures, some lawmakers continue to propose privatization as an effective policy. In the past few months, there have been proposals to privatize functions across the board: county zoos, libraries, custodial services, parking enforcement, youth shelters, group homes, ambulance services, airports, and transit networks. Wisconsin, for instance, has increasingly privatized the construction engineering services. Just in the past two years, the state outsourced 125 construction engineering jobs, each of which could have been completed by a state worker at a lower cost. Unfortunately, some officials are embracing this “everything must go” attitude towards public assets and services. continue reading

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