Add Massachusetts to the List…

Of states talking about leasing assets — e.g., turnpike, lottery — former Mass Governor William Weld has been hitting the capital hard, talking to anyone who will listen about the merits of privatization. Weld was a staunch supporter of privatization while Governor, privatizing some 36 functions saving taxpayers more than $273 million in just two years. Like many states, Mass is cash strapped and they’re looking for new ways to fund needed infrastructure. At this stage its too early to know if privatization has a chance in Mass. Further, its not clear if the states’ onerous privatization process, the Pacheco law (see pg 13), will apply to leasing assets. If it does, privatization isn’t likely to go anywhere. Since its inception, the requirements of the Pacheco Law have discouraged private firms from seeking contracts in Massachusettsââ?¬â??and the cumbersome process has created a disincentive for agencies to attempt privatization.

Geoffrey Segal is the director of privatization and government reform at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. He is also editor of Reason's Privatization Watch.

Segal recently served as an advisor to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's Center for Efficient Government. In addition, his counsel has recently been sought out by Gov. Mark Sanford and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, where he is working with the Government Efficiency and Financial Planning group inside the Office of Management and Budget. Segal is also an advisor to the Cost Cutting Caucus in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Segal is a highly skilled policy analyst with a strong, diversified background in policy research and project analysis focusing on public-private partnerships, competition, government efficiency, government spending and waste, transparency, accountability, and government performance.

Segal has worked closely with legislators in California, New York, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, Oregon, Kentucky, Ohio, Washington D.C., Colorado, Minnesota, Maryland, Maine, North and South Carolina, Hawaii, Arizona, and Texas in efforts to reduce government spending, improve government performance, and enhance accountability in government programs.

Segal has testified to the United States Senate and numerous state legislatures and agencies. He has written dozens of articles for leading publications including Investor's Business Daily, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Indianapolis Star, Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, and New York Sun. Segal is also a contributing editor to Budget & Tax News. A frequent guest on television and radio, he has appeared on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" as well as CNBC's "Closing Bell w/Maria Bartiromo" and "Power Lunch."

Segal earned a B.A. in Political Science at Arizona State University and a Master of Public Policy from Pepperdine University.