Subject: Studies in the News 04-26 (April 20, 2004)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News


California -- One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago

1854 - "Any place where six dead bodies had been buried was 'declared' to be a 'public grave-yard.' Many of those cemeteries remain in use today. This declaration by the Legislature that the lands that were in use for burying grounds were public grave-yards was similar in nature to the way in which both the State and the counties were then making declarations that roads used by the public were 'public highways.' http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ca/county/eldorado/history_law.htm "    

1854 - "In 1854 Amador County was created from part of Calaveras County; Plumas County was created from part of Butte County; and Stanislaus County was created from part of Tuolumne County. Before 1854 Benicia was renamed El Dorado, Fremont was renamed Yolo, Mt. Diablo was renamed Contra Costa, San Jose was renamed Santa Clara, Oro was renamed Tuolumne, and Redding was renamed Shasta. http://www.csac.counties.org/counties_close_up/county_history/chronology.html "    

Contents This Week

Introductory Material CALIFORNIA READER
   Survey of Los Angeles County
CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT
   Prisons' medical expenses criticized
   Court rules on murder of fetus
   Recidivism of sex offenders
CULTURE AND SOCIETY
   Claims by undocumented workers
ECONOMY
   Fees to cash paychecks
   Strengthening state entrepreneurship policy
   Science parks and economic growth
   Manufacturing rebound
   Silicon Valley's largest companies
   Earned income tax credit
   California's technology ranking
   California's global gateways
EDUCATION
   Method for teachers to inspire students
   Out-of-school care
   Race unreported for many SAT test takers
   Increased flexibility for state plans
   School choice in 2003
   Shortage of high school guidance counselors
   Legislation on teacher status
EMPLOYMENT
   Corporate profits and labor income
   Unemployed denied aid
ENERGY
   Law enforcement perspective on energy crisis
   Energy discounts for businesses
   Renewable energy creating jobs
ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
   Preventing sprawl
   Protecting ocean resources
   Security of stored nuclear fuel
   Recommendations for preventing firestorms
GENERAL GOVERNMENT
   Federal competitive grants
   WIA allotments released
   State costs of federal mandates
   Income tax gap reaches $6.5 billion
   Property tax on commercial property
   Tax burden for average households
   Composition of today's tax burden
   Gas tax revenues
HEALTH
   Myths about rising healthcare premiums
   High-risk insurance pools
   Analysis of health insurance trends
   Increased obesity rates and disability trends
HOUSING
   Affordable housing mandates
   Scaling back federal housing assistance
   Low-income and disabled to lose housing assistance
HUMAN SERVICES
   Child support collection
   Children raised by same-sex couples
   Trends in parents' economic hardship
   Income inequality in total household income
TRANSPORTATION
   Immigrant drivers' licenses in Florida
   Federal highway funding
   Highway reauthorization funding
   Small gain in transit ridership
STUDIES TO COME
   Gay marriage or civil unions
   Workers living in poverty
   New tools for workers comp management
   Evaulations with collaborative approach
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News (SITN) is a current compilation of policy-related items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau and State Information & Reference Center to supplement the public policy debate in California's Capitol. To help share the latest information with state employees and other interested individuals, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library's website.

How to Obtain Materials Listed in SITN:

  • When available on the Internet, the URL for the full-text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:

CALIFORNIA READER

CALIFORNIA READER

Special Survey of Los Angeles in Collaboration with the University of Southern California. By Mark Baldassare, Public Policy Institute of California. (The Institue, San Francisco, California) March 2004. 40 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/S_304MBS.pdf

["According to a survey, the mood of residents is more upbeat now than a decade ago, and a large majority of all races say they are satisfied with the community in which they live.... However, most people surveyed said local government services have not improved since 1994.... 'People told us they were concerned about the impacts the budget deficit might have on schools and local governments services,' Baldassare said. 'And for that reason, we saw a surprising amount of interest in raising taxes if need be to make sure the quality of life is maintained in L.A.'" San Gabriel Valley Tribune (March 17, 2004) 1.]

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT

CORRECTIONAL HEALTH CARE

California Department of Corrections: It Needs to Ensure That All Medical Service Contracts Are in the State's Best Interest and All Medical Claims It Pays Are Valid. By the California State Auditor. (Bureau of State Audits, Sacramento, California) April 2004. 83 p.

Full Text at: www.bsa.ca.gov/bsa/pdfs/2003-117.pdf

["Most medical service contracts for treatment of California prison inmates are awarded without competitive bidding, resulting in millions of dollars in unnecessary costs, according to a state audit.... Annual inmate health care costs account for about 20 percent of the Corrections Department's expenditures, Corrections officials say. State Controller Steve Westly said inmate health costs have doubled since 1998 to more than $900 million a year." Sacramento Bee (April 7, 2004) A1.]

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MURDER

People v. Harold Wayne Taylor. California Supreme Court. S112443. April 5, 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S112443.PDF

["The state Supreme Court gave a broad reading to California's fetal murder law, ruling that the killer of a pregnant woman can be convicted of a double murder even if he didn't know the woman was pregnant.... The California law applies to an assault that ends a pregnancy at the fetal stage -- starting at about eight weeks -- but does not require viability." San Francisco Chronicle (April 6, 2004) B3.]

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SEXUAL OFFENDERS

Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994. By Patrick A. Langan and others, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice. NCJ 198281. (The Bureau, Washington, DC) November 2003. 37 p.

Full Text at: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/rsorp94.pdf

["Compared to non-sex offenders released from state prisons, released sex offenders were 4 times more likely to be arrested for a sex crime. Within the first 3 years following their release from prison in 1994, 5.3% of released sex offenders were rearrested for a sex crime... Compared to non-sex offenders released from state prisons, sex offenders had a lower overall rearrest rate, when rearrests for any other type of crime (not just sex crimes) were counted."]

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CULTURE AND SOCIETY

IMMIGRANTS

Martha Rivera, et al. v. NIBCO, Inc. U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. 02-16532. April 13, 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at: tinyurl.com/2jjyx

["A court strengthened the hand of undocumented workers who file claims against employers, making it less likely that their illegal status could be used against them. The precedent-setting opinion blunts the effect of a controversial 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision that denied back pay to an illegal immigrant who was fired for union organizing. Immigrant advocates have said that some employers have used the ruling to intimidate immigrant workers, implying that they had no workplace rights." Los Angeles Times (April 14, 2004) C2.]

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ECONOMY

BANKING

Fees to Cash a Paycheck: Are California Companies Breaking the Law?: Hearing. Presented to Senate Banking, Commerce and International Trade Committee. State Capitol, Sacramento, California. March 31, 2004. Various pagings.

[Includes: "Fees to Cash Payroll Checks: Background;" "'Senator Steps into Fee Fracas.' By David Lazarus. San Francisco Chronicle (March 19, 2004);" "'Fees to Cash Paychecks Aren't Legal, State Says.' By David Lazarus. San Francisco Chronicle (March 17, 2004);" And "'Banks Cash Pay, Take Fee.' By David Lazarus. San Francisco Chronicle (March 14, 2004)."]

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BUSINESS INCENTIVES

A Governor's Guide to Strengthening State Entrepreneurship Policy. By the NGA Center for Best Practices, National Governors Association. (The Center, Washington, DC) 2004. 39 p.

Full Text at: www.nga.org/cda/files/0402GOVGUIDEENTREPRENEUR.pdf

["To prosper in an increasingly competitive global economy, it is vital that states develop a supportive environment for entrepreneurs through economic development and other policy vehicles. This report provides policy guidance and best practices to help governors and state leaders to develop or improve policies that support entrepreneurship." State Science and Technology Institute Weekly Digest (March 19, 2004) 4.]

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Do Science Parks Generate Regional Economic Growth? An Empirical Analysis of their Effects on Job Growth and Venture Capital. By Scott Wallsten, Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, AEI-Brookings. Working Paper 04-04. (The Center, Washington, DC) March 2004. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.aei-brookings.org/admin/authorpdfs/page.php?id=682

["In this paper I assemble a county-level panel dataset to explore the effects of science parks on job growth and on venture capital. Non-parametric and econometric analysis reveals no positive effect of science parks on regional development overall.... While success stories do exist, the analysis suggests that successes are the exception rather than the rule."]

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MANUFACTURING

March Manufacturing: Institute of Supply Management Report on Business: New Orders, Production, Employment Grow; Inventories Decline; Supply Deliveries Slower. By the Institute for Supply Management. (The Institute, Tempe, Arizona) April 1, 2004. 12 p.

Full Text at: www.napm.org/ISMReport/ROB042004.cfm

["Manufacturing Sector Shows Signs of Life; Strong Results of Key Survey Buoy Economy Watchers: The Institute said its manufacturing index registered 62.5 in March compared with a reading of 61.4 in February.... An index reading above 50 indicates expansion, while one below 50 indicates that manufacturing activity is contracting." San Francisco Chronicle (April 2, 2004) C3.]

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SILICON VALLEY

SV150: Special Report on Silicon Valley's Largest Publicly Traded Companies. IN: San Jose Mercury News. (April 12, 2004) pp. 1S-14S

[Includes: "Growth in Sales Fuels Optimism;" "Valley Still the Center of Tech Innovation;" "IPO Market Returns in 2003;" "Return to Hiring Likely to be Slow;" and "Non-Tech Companies Held Steady."]

[Request #S1779]

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TAXATION

Evaluating State Earned Income Tax Credit Options for California. By Thomas MaCurdy. (Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California) 2004. 112 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/R_304TMR.pdf

["Thomas MaCurdy analyzes different appoaches to augmenting the national program and concludes that if California wishes to implement its own earned income tax credit , it should not simply 'add on' to the federal plan. Rather, it should design a program that considers a family's hourly wages as well as its earnings. He reviews four options and observes that a state EITC plan that considers both wages and earnings can better target low-wage families and encourage additional hours of work."]

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TECHNOLOGY

California's Position in Technology and Science: A Comparative Benchmarking Assessment. By Ross DeVol and Rob Koepp, the Milken Institute. (The Institute, Santa Monica, California) March 2004. 127 p.

["California remains a dominant technology power, but its competitive position is threatened by budget problems, a deteriorating educational system and a high-cost business environment, a study finds.... 'California has a lot of strengths. Its entrepreneurial climate is very unique,' said Ross DeVol. 'On the negative side, I'm very troubled by some of the slippage' in elementary and higher education." San Francisco Chronicle (March 31, 2004) C1.]

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WORLD TRADE

"California Global Gateways: Trends and Issues." By Jon Haveman and David Hummels, Public Policy Institute of California. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) April 2004. 128 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/R_404JHR.pdf

["California's international trade could soar to three times its current level by 2020, but only if the state's congested seaports, airports, highways and railroad lines are significantly expanded and upgraded, concludes a report.... Many imports and exports simply pass through California without originating or ending here, they note. Californians are only partially compensated in federal tax dollars for the pollution, congestion and wear and tear that constant movement of goods causes." San Francisco Chronicle (April 14, 2004) 1.]

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EDUCATION

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

"Performing for Yourself and Others: The Paideia Coached Project." By Terry Roberts and Audrey Trainor. IN: Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 85, no. 7 (March 2004) online.

Full Text at: www.pdkintl.org/kappan/k0403rob.htm

["Teachers seeking ways to motivate their students and to make the curriculum more relevant have found an answer in the Paideia Coached Project. When students know that their project or performance will be presented to an audience outside the classroom they are inspired to produce work of the highest quality.... The Paideia Program is a systemic, whole-school transformation project based on the work of philosopher Mortimer Adler."]

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AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Before- and After- School Care, Programs, and Activities of Children in Kindergarten Through Eighth Grade: 2001 Statistical Analysis Report. By Brian Kleiner and others. (National Center for Education Statistics, Washington, DC) April 2004. 70 p.

Full Text at: nces.ed.gov/pubs2004/2004008.pdf

["This report provides insight into the complex and varied ways kindergarten through eighth graders in the nation spend their time out of school. Some spend time with a relative or a nonrelative in a home setting. Others spend time in center- or school-based programs or organized activities that are aimed toward their enrichment or enjoyment. Still others are responsible for themselves during out-of-school time." Publisher's announcement (April 24, 2004).]

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EDUCATIONAL TESTING

"The Achievement Gap: Should We Rely on SAT Scores to Tell Us Anything About it?" By Dale Whittington. IN: Education Policy Analysis Archives, vol. 12, no. 12 (April 5, 2004) pp. 1-23.

Full Text at: epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v12n12/v12n12.pdf

["As Data Show Fewer Report Race, Minority Scores on SAT Questioned; Omissions Mean 'Achievement Gap' Is Difficult to Measure: Last August the College Board released its national SAT report, showing that the average score on the college entrance exam had climbed slightly, as had the scores of minority students. But buried in the data was a fact overlooked by researchers and journalists: A record portion of the test-takers, 25 percent, had declined to disclose their ethnicity. Now, an independent analysis of years of SAT data suggests that growing American disdain for racial categories may cast doubt on how accurately the SAT can measure the achievement gap." Washington Post (April 4, 2004) A6.]

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PUBLIC SCHOOLS

No Child Left Behind Flexibility Requests. By Federal Funds Information for States. FFIS Issue Brief. 04-07. (FFIS, Washington, DC) March 26, 2004. 3 p.

["The U.S. Department of Education recently announced four areas of increased flexibility for states attempting to come into compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act. The four policy areas are: students with disabilities, Limited English Proficient students, highly qualified teachers and participation rates. The department has set a deadline for April 1, 2004 for states to notify it of their intention to modify state plans to incorporate the increased flexibility."]

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SCHOOL CHOICE

School Choice in 2003: An Old Concept Gains New Life. By Krista Kafer, The Heritage Foundation. Legal Memorandum #9. (The Foundation, Washington, DC) March 19, 2004. 14 p.

Full Text at: www.heritage.org/Research/Education/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=59474

["In two decades, 40 states and the District of Columbia adopted charter school laws, about quarter of all states initiated public school choice open enrollment laws, and home schooling became legal in all 50 states.... Krista Kafer recounts the legal and legislative history of school choice from its beginnings in the nineteenth century to the rise of the modern movement."]

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SECONDARY EDUCATION

"More Demands, Fewer Counselors." By April Austin. IN: Christian Science Monitor (March 9, 2004) p. 11

Full Text at: www.csmonitor.com/2004/0309/p11s02-legn.htm

["Educators worry that, especially in poorer districts, fewer counselors will mean fewer advocates for students.... Many more districts have not been able to hire additional counselors, or have cut counselors' hours. Caseloads in some states are staggering: California averages one counselor for 971 students, the worst ratio in the country."]

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TEACHING CREDENTIALS

A Review of the System for Granting Permanent Teacher Status and the Procedure for Dismissing Permanent Teachers with Unsatisfactory Performance: Informational Hearing. By the Senate Committee on Education. State Capitol. (The Committee, Sacramento, California) March 24, 2004. Various pagings.

["Several bills have been introduced in recent years to extend the current two-year probationary period for granting tenure to teachers.... The purpose of this informational hearing is to review the probationary period for granting permanent status and the dismissal procedure for teachers with unsatisfactory performance."]

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EMPLOYMENT

LABOR MARKET CONDITIONS

The Unprecedented Rising Tide of Corporate Profits and the Simultaneous Ebbing of Labor Compensation: Gainers and Losers from the National Economic Recovery in 2002 and 2003. By Andrew Sum and others, Center for Labor Market Studies Northeastern University. (The Center, Boston, Masachusetts) March 2004. 15 p.

Full Text at: www.nupr.neu.edu/4-04/corporate_profits.pdf

["American workers have been remarkably productive in recent years, but they are getting fewer and fewer of the benefits of this increased productivity. While the economy ... has been strong for some time now, ordinary workers have gotten little more than the back of the hand from employers who have pocketed an uprecedented share of the cash from this burst of economic growth." New York Times (April 5, 2004) 1.]

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UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

More Than One Million of the Unemployed Have Been Denied Aid Due to End of Federal Program; Exhaustions Continue at Unprecedented Pace. By Isaac Shapiro, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (The Center, Washington, DC) March 25, 2004. 7 p.

Full Text at: www.cbpp.org/3-25-04ui.pdf

["This analysis estimates 'exhaustees' on a national and state-by-state basis through the end of March, and assesses the three main arguments being used against a resumption of the temporary federal unemployment benefits program."]

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ENERGY

ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY

Attorney General's Energy White Paper: A Law Enforcement Perspective on the California Energy Crisis: Recommendations for Improving Enforcement and Protecting Consumers in Deregulated Energy Markets. By the Staff of the Attorney General's Office. (The Office, Sacramento, California) April 2004.

["(Attorney General Bill) Lockyer pushes for an overhaul of a legal framework that the report says continues to provide incentives for electricity market abuse and hinders the state's push for refunds from companies involved in the 2000-01 energy meltdown.... The report takes aim at the so-called 'filed rate doctrine,' an arcane federal rule that has been interpreted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as prohibiting refunds to California for wholesale electricity rates set before Oct. 2, 2000 -- even though FERC has determined that those rates were unjust and unreasonable." Los Angeles Times (April 14, 2004) C1.]

Report. 90 p.
http://www.ag.ca.gov/publications/energywhitepaper.pdf

Press release. 1 p.
http://caag.state.ca.us/newsalerts/2004/04-044.htm

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"SCE Proposes Business Rate Discount to Help Retain Jobs and Attract New Businesses. By Southern California Edison (Southern California Edison, Rosemead, California.) April 6, 2004. 1 p.

Full Text at: www.edison.com/media/indiv_pr.asp?bu=&year=0&id=4984

["Utility Asks to Help Ailing Firms: Southern California Edison wants to give energy discounts to businesses that may leave the state. Southern California Edison filed a proposal with the California Public Utilities Commission to offer discount electricity rates for businesses that are struggling financially or may leave the state because of high energy costs. Edison, which covers most of Southern California except the Los Angeles area, said the discount is intended to help some of its biggest customers -- manufacturing companies." Sacramento Bee (April 7, 2004) D1.]

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RENEWABLE ENERGY

Putting Renewables to Work: How Many Jobs Can the Clean Energy Industry Generate? By Daniel M. Kammen, and others, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley. (The University, Berkeley, California) April 13, 2004. 24 p.

Full Text at: ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~rael/renewables.jobs.pdf

["Using renewable sources to meet new energy needs would create three times as many jobs as relying on fossil fuels, UC Berkeley researchers report.... 'The United States must expand its know-how in emerging energy technologies or get left behind,' Kammen said." (San Francisco Chronicle (April 14, 2004) C1.]

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ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

GROWTH MANAGEMENT

Preventing Sprawl: Farmers and Environmentalists Working Together. By the Economic and Planning Systems and others. Prepared for the Greenbelt Alliance and Sonoma County Farm Bureau. (The Alliance, San Francisco, California) February 2004. 38 p.

Full Text at: www.greenbelt.org/downloads/resources/sonomareport.pdf

["The focus of this project has been on preventing sprawl development.... A central challenge facing Sonoma County is the same one facing California: how to accommodate the projected increase in growth and development in the decades ahead. By 2025, Sonoma County's population is expected to grow by 130,000 people, and by 2040, 295,000 new residents are expected.... Sonoma County's cities must achieve the maximum density targets set out in their current general plans and zoning regulations."]

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OCEAN RESOURCES

Improving the Stewardship of California's Ocean and Coastal Resources: Key Findings of the Pew Oceans Commission. Presented to the Assembly Select Committee on Coastal Protection. (The Committee, Sacramento, California) March 24, 2004.

[Includes, "The Science of Marine Reserves;" "Statement of Leon Panetta, Pew Oceans Commission;" "Statement of Pietro Parravano, Institute for Fisheries Resources;" "Commercial Salmon Stamp;" "Ecological Effects of Fishing;" "Marine Reserves: A Tool for Ecosystem Management and Conservation;" and "Managing Marine Fisheries."]

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RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

Security of Spent Nuclear Fuel Stored in Place. By Jennifer A.D. Smith, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 12, No. 22. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) April/May 2004. 2 p.

["Spent nuclear fuel is highly radioactive.... To date, there have been no release of radioactive material or safety problems.... Because the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is solely responsible for the regulation of commercial nuclear power reactors, states have a limited role. They have, however, acted extensively on emergency preparedness and response to a potential act of terrorism against a reactor and its associated facilities."]

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WILDFIRES

Report to the Governor. By the Governor's Blue Ribbon Fire Commission. (Office of Emergency Services, Sacramento, California) April 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at: tinyurl.com/2k52c

["The report makes recommendations based on a series of public meetings held in Southern California following October's firestorms on ways to prevent big blazes or fight them more effectively. No cost estimates were to be attached to the commission proposals, and it will be up to local, state and federal authorities to decide which ones they want to use and how to finance them, authorities said." North County Times (April 14, 2004) 1.]

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GENERAL GOVERNMENT

FEDERAL BUDGET

FFIS Competitive Grant Update. By the Federal Funds Information for States. Update 04-07 - 04-08. (FFIS, Washington, DC) March 26 - April 9, 2004. Various pagings.

[Includes: "Small Clinical Grants In Digestive Diseases, Nutrition and Obesity," "Research on Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders," "Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research;" "Mental Health Consequences of Violence and Trauma;" "Compassion Capital Fund Demonstration Program;" "Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Targeted Areas of Need;" and others.]

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WIA Allotments Released; 2000 Census Data Finally Used. By Federal Funds Information for States. FFIS Issue Brief. 04-10. (FFIS, Washington, DC) 9 p.

["The U.S. Department of Labor released final program year (PY) 2004 formula grants to states for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs and Employment Services (ES). The release includes two items of note. First, the 0.59% across-the-board cut that was included in the fiscal year (FY) 2004 omnibus appropriations act (P.L. 108-199) applies to all FY 2004 discretionary funding, including FY 2004 advance funding contained in the FY 2003 appropriations act (P.L. 108-7)... Second, PY 2004 marks the first time 2000 census data have been used in the allotment formulas for youth activities and adult activities. However, the effects of the new data are somewhat mitigated by certain formula provisions."]

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FEDERAL MANDATES

50-State Update: Analysis Details State Costs of Federal Mandates. And Unfunded Costs to States as a Percent of General Fund Appropriations: Fiscal Year 2004. By the National Conference of State Legislatures. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) April 7, 2004.

["NCSL Releases State Costs of Federal Mandates: the report accounts for funding gaps in most of the annual $29 billion in unfunded federal mandates and presents the gap as a percentage of each state's general fund budget. The $29 billion funding gap could be twice or three times greater based on various other research reports and analyses." NCSL Capitol to Capitol (April 9, 2004) 2.]

50-State Update. 1 p.
http://www.ncsl.org/programs/press/2004/pr040407.htm

Unfunded Costs to States. 1 p.
http://www.ncsl.org/programs/press/2004/50state04.htm

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INCOME TAXES

California Income Tax Gap Symposium: Presentations. By Steve Westly, California State Controller, and others. (The Authors, Sacramento, California) April 7, 2004. Various pagings.

[Includes: "Income Tax Gap Overview (California Net Income Tax Gap, 2004 - $6.5B);" "Overview of the Federal Tax Gap;" "California Income Tax Gap - Unreported Income;" "Understanding the Compliance Continuum;" "Strategies to Reduce the Income Tax Gap;" and others.]

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PROPERTY TAXES

California Commercial Property Tax Study: Statewide Study Finds Huge Disparities in Property Taxes Paid for Similar Properties; Highlights Need to Reform System. By David Kersten and others, California Tax Reform Association. (The Association, Sacramento, California) April 2004.

["A liberal coalition released a new study of commercial property taxes, pointing out that otherwise similar parcels of property are assessed widely varying amounts of tax. Proposition 13 fundamentally changes taxable values only when property changes at least 50 percent of its ownership in one transaction, and commercial property owners can structure transactions to avoid the 50 percent trigger." Sacramento Bee (April 7, 2004) A3.]

Report. 50 p.
http://www.caltaxreform.org/cpts.pdf

Press release. 1 p.
http://www.caltaxreform.org/pr040604.htm

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TAXES

Tax Foundation Figures Do Not Represent Middle-Income Tax Burdens: Figures May Mislead Policymakers, Journalists and the Public. By Joel Friedman and others, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (The Center, Washington, DC) April 8, 2004. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.cbpp.org/4-7-04tax.pdf

[The Tax Foundationís annual Tax Freedom Day report consistently shows significantly higher tax burdens than those that authoritative, nonpartisan sources find middle-income taxpayers actually bear.... The report that the Tax Foundation has just released claims that the average American paid 22.2 percent of income in federal taxes in 2001. Yet the CBO analysis finds that the middle fifth of households paid 15.2 percent of their income in taxes that year."]

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America Celebrates Tax Freedom Day. By the Tax Foundation. Special Report No. 129. (The Foundation, Washington, DC) April 2004. 16 p.

Full Text at: www.taxfoundation.org/sr129.pdf

["Tax Freedom Day Arrives April 11, Earliest Since 1967: 'Federal tax cuts have made the average American tax burden lighter in 2004, ' said Scott Hodge. 'Because the bubble in 1999 and 2000 boosted tax collections to artifially high levels, the drop since then is all the more dramatic.... The report traces the course of America's tax burden since 1900, examines the composition of today's tax burden by type of tax, projects the future course of Tax Freedom Day and compares payments to other typical consumer expenditures." U.S. Newswire (April 7, 2004) 1.]

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Gas Tax Losers, Why Congress Must Ensure a Fairer Share of Gas Tax Revenues for Metro America. By the Environmental Working Group. (The Group, Washington, D.C.) March 2004. 7 p.

Full Text at: www.ewg.org/reports/gastaxlosers/analysis.php

["State Siphoning Southland Gas Tax: Southern Californians pay $1 billion more in federal gasoline taxes at the pump than they get back in transportation improvements, with the excess going to other cities and states.... Los Angeles averaged 87 cents on the dollar, Bakersfield got $1.26 from 1998 to 2003....Federal gas tax is 18 cents a gallon, as is the state's gas tax." Los Angeles Daily News (April 1, 2004) 1.]

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HEALTH

HEALTH INSURANCE

The Five Myths About Rising Healthcare Premiums: Getting the Facts Right. By Christopher F. Thornberg, University of California, Los Angeles. Presented at the UCLA Anderson Forecast Conference: The Benefits Cost Crisis: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions. (The Conference, Los Angeles, California) March 25, 2004. 14 pages

["The cost of healthcare insurance coverage in the U.S. has moved, yet again, firmly into high inflation mode.... The result has been a variety of finger-pointing and new legislative actions being taken at both the State and Federal levels.... In order to evaluate these proposals we must first understand why premiums have been rising so much and so quickly."]

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High-Risk Insurance Pools: Safety Net or Tightrope? By Kala Ladenheim, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 12, No. 23. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) April/May 2004. 2 p.

["High-risk pools are nonprofit associations offering special state-supported insurance. Thirty-one states have created medical high-risk pools or programs.... Finding a fair and steady source of money is the biggest challenge.... New federal funding may help states subsidize premiums for lower income workers."]

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Health Insurance Data Briefs. By Heather Boushey and others, Center for Economic and Policy Research. (The Center, Washington, DC) April 13, 2004.

["Americans are less likely to be covered by health insurance today than just 5 years ago. While the decrease began during the economic contraction of the late 1990's, this new research indicates that the trend continues during the recovery. Cutbacks in employer-provided health insurance have disproportionately affected coverage for children, young adults, low-wage workers and Latinos. CEPR's in-depth analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data uncovers disturbing demographic trends, discusses major causes of the problem, and evaluates the various policy solutions offered by Congress and major party presidential candidates."]

Improving Access to Health Insurance. 11 p.:
http://www.cepr.net/health_insurance/hi_1.pdf

Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S. 14 p.:
http://www.cepr.net/health_insurance/hi_2.pdf

Employer Provided Health Insurance. 14 p.:
http://www.cepr.net/health_insurance/hi_3.pdf

Dependent Access to Family Plan. 11 p.:
http://www.cepr.net/health_insurance/hi_4.pdf

Public vs. Private Health Insurance. 9 p.:
http://www.cepr.net/health_insurance/hi_5.pdf

Technical Documentation. 5 p.:
http://www.cepr.net/health_insurance/DataBriefTechDoc.pdf

[Request #S1808]

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OBESITY

"Increased Obesity Rates and Disability Trends." By Roland Sturm and others. IN: Health Affairs, vol. 23 no. 2 (March/April 2004) pp. 199-205.

["Numerous studies have documented that Americans have become increasingly obese.... This rise in obesity is particularly troubling given that obesity is associated with increased chronic physical illnessess and mortality.... Mortality and disability rates among the elderly have been declining.... It appears that the effects of obesity on disability so far have been dominated by other factors."]

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HOUSING

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Housing Supply and Affordability: Do Affordable Housing Mandates Work? By Benjamin Powell and Edwad Stringham, Reason Foundation. Policy Study No. 318. (The Foundation, Los Angeles, California) April 2004. 50 p.

Full Text at: www.rppi.org/ps318.pdf

["Zoning rules requiring builders to sell houses at below-market prices to lower-income earners have boosted prices for other new Bay Area homes by up to $44,000 and squelched construction of roughly 10,700 new dwellings, according to a new study." San Francisco Chronicle (April 15, 2004) A1.]

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LOW INCOME HOUSING

Thousands of Low-income Families to Lose Housing Assistance Under Bush Budget Plan: Press Release. By the Oregon Center for Public Policy. (The Center, Silverton, Oregon) March 17, 2004. 3 p.

Full Text at: www.ocpp.org/2004/nr040316.pdf

["Nearly 2,200 low-income families in Portland and thousands of others around Oregon could lose their federal housing assistance in the next five years under cuts proposed by the Bush Administration, according to new data released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities."]

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Many Low-Income Families Would Lose Federal Housing Assistance Under Proposed Funding Cuts; New Projections Show Potential Effects in Each Community: News Release. And Sources and Methods Used to Estimate Impact of Administration Housing Voucher Proposals. By the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (The Center, Washington, DC) March 17, 2004.

["Hundreds of thousands of low-income, elderly and disabled families across the country could lose much or all of their federal housing assistance under cuts the Administration has proposed.... Each of the more than 2,500 state and local housing agencies that run the program would be forced to scale back assistance by about 30 percent by 2009."]

News Release. 3 p.
www.ocpp.org/2004/nr040316cbpp.pdf

Methodology. 6 p.
www.ocpp.org/2004/nr040316cbppmeth.pdf

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD SUPPORT

Cost Avoidance and Cost Recovery in California's Child Support Program: State Fiscal Year 2000-01. By Laura Wheaton, Urban Institute. Prepared for the Child Support Directors Association of California. (The Institute, Washington, DC) 2004. 28 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/410957_CaliforniaReport.pdf

["In state fiscal year 2000-01, California collected $1.9 billion in child support on behalf of families residing in the state. About $1.3 billion was distributed to families and the remainder went to help recover the costs of TANF, foster and kinship care, and Medicaid benefits." Urban Institute Update (March 18, 2004).]

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PARENTS

What Are the Costs to Kids? By Gary J. Gates and Jason Ost, Urban Institute. Connect For Kids. (Connect for Kids, Washington, DC) April 5, 2004. 5 p.

Full Text at: www.connectforkids.org/resources3139/resources_show.htm?attrib_id=6272&doc_id=219543&parent=82334

["For children being raised by same-sex couples, the fact that the people raising them cannot marry means that under certain circumstances, the children could be denied health insurance, survivor benefits, or even parental care. Census 2000 data finds more than 250,000 such children living in communities in every state in the nation, though Census methodology makes it likely the actual number is much larger."]

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Trends in Parents' Economic Hardship. By Sandi Nelson, Urban Institute. Assessing the New Federalism. Snapshots 3. No. 21. (The Institute, Washington, DC) March 18, 2004. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310970_snapshots3_no21.pdf

["Data from the 2002 round of the National Survey of America's Families shows that food hardship affected 51 percent of low-income parents in 2002. Income Status The share of parents living in poor and low-income families In all three years (1997, 1999 and 2002), about 15 percent of all parents and 28 percent of low-income parents reported having experienced housing hardship in the previous 12 months."]

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POVERTY

Income and Inequality: Millions Left Behind. By the Economic Policy Commission, Americans for Democratic Action, Inc. (The Commission, Washington, DC) 2004. 21 p.

Full Text at: www.adaction.org/Income2004.pdf

["The widening income gap between the wealthiest Americans continues to be one of the most challenging economic trends facing this nation.... The gap between rich and poor is now bigger than it has been since the 1930s. An incredible 98% of the 1979-1992 gain in total household income went to the wealthiest twenty percent of households. The remaining 2% gain in total household income was shared by the remaining 80% of households."]

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TRANSPORTATION

DRIVERS' LICENSES

An Act Relating to Drivers' Licenses: SB 1360: As Introduced. Florida State Senate (The Senate, Tallahassee, Florida) March 30, 2004. Various pagings.

["Florida Governor Jeb Bush has thrown his support behind a bill that would let the estimated 400,000 foreigners illegally working in this state to get licenses following background checks.... According to Governor Jeb Bush, the bill he supports includes enough safeguards so that potential terrorists could not benefit.... Foes of the proposal, however, complained that it would reward lawbreakers, and they predicted it would have a rough ride in the Legislature." Los Angeles Times (April 7, 2004) A11.]

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HIGHWAYS

Funding for Ominibus Highway Projects Uncertain. By Federal Funds Information for States. FFIS Issue Brief. 04-08. (FFIS, Washington, DC) March 31, 2004. 2 p.

["The federal fiscal year 2004 omnibus appropriations bill (P.L. 108-199) earmarked $1 billion for special highway projects. The intent that these projects by funding within increased obligation ceilings was not reflected in actual bill language. Unless efforts to further raise the obligation limitation are successful, many states with large amounts of special projects will have to displace other priorities."]

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Highway Reauthorization Remains a Cliffhanger. By Federal Funds Information for States. FFIS Issue Brief. 04-09. (FFIS, Washington, DC) March 31, 2004. 5 p.

["Attempts to reauthorize the federal-aid highway program in federal fiscal year FY 2003 were not successful, and halfway through FY 2004 the program remains funded through short-term extensions of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. Substantial disagreements remian about virtually every major provision of the reauthorization -- overall size, source of funding, distribution among states and shares of the bill to be distributed by formula."]

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PUBLIC TRANSIT

Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates, et al. v. Metropolitan Transportation Commission, et al. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 02-17352. April 6, 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at: tinyurl.com/25cqc

["The Court ruled 2-1 that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission was stating only a goal, not a binding promise, when it submitted a plan to the federal government in 1982 to improve air quality by increasing transit ridership 15 percent in the nine counties by 1987.... The MTC has never met that numerical goal, despite population increases. The most recent report in November showed 479 million trips in 2002-03 -- barely 1 percent above the total 20 years earlier." San Francisco Chronicle (April 7, 2004) B3.]

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STUDIES TO COME
[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]

CULTURE AND SOCIETY

GAY RIGHTS

Gay Marriage: Why it is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America. By Jonathan Rauch. (Henry Holt, New York, New York) April 2004.

["Gays Growing Up and Moving On: Writing for readers on both sides of the issue, Rauch employs a smart and well-timed strategy by appealing to social conservatives on their own terms.... He worries that civil unions and domestic partnerships, both of which he calls 'marriage lite', will serve only to undermine the institutional core that he seeks to protect and defend." Los Angeles Times (April 4, 2004) R5.]

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EMPLOYMENT

POVERTY

The Working Poor, Invisible in America. By David K. Shipler. (Random House, Inc., New York, New York) 2004. 319 p.

["We meet a drifting farmworker in North Carolina, exploited garment workers in New Hampshire, illegal immigrants trapped in the steaming kitchens of Los Angeles restaurants, addicts who struggle into producing work from the cruel streets of the nation's capital -- each life another aspect of a confounding, far-reaching urgent national crisis. And unlike most works on poverty, this one delves into the calculations of some employers as well--their razor-thin profits, their anxieties about competition from abroad, their frustrations in finding qualified workers." NOTE: Working Poor. . . will be available for 3-day loan.]

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WORKERS COMPENSATION

A Users' Guide to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Guidelines: New Tools for Workers' Comp Medical Management. By the California Workers' Compensation Institute. (The Institute, Oakland, California) March 29, 2004.

["CWCI Shows Study That Treatments Above American College of Occupational and Environmental Guidelines Have No Merit: In a preliminary study evidence shows that the use of chiropractic and physical therapy treatment among others, above and beyond what's recommended by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Guidelines can actually increase claims cost and hurt return to work ratios."]

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HEALTH

RESEARCH

Practicing Evaluation A Collaborative Approach. By Rita G. O'Sullivan. (Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California) 2004. 163 p.

["When stakeholders collaborate with evaluators, their understanding increases and the utility of the evaluation is often enhanced. Practicing Evaluation ... contains strategies and techniques for conducting successful collaborative evaluations in a variety of program settings, including education, family support, health, and non-profit organizations." Note: Practicing Evaluation. . . will be available for 3-day loan]

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