Subject: Studies in the News 04-49 (July 26, 2004)

Studies in the News

California -- One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago

1854 - "In 1854 Henry David Thoreau published his book Walden that became a bible of the environmental movement after living for two years in a cabin on Walden Pond, Massachusetts. Thoreau was one of the six members of the Ecology Hall of Fame along with Join Muir. Though the arguments in favor of ecological thinking are often couched in scientific terms, the basic impetus remains as Muir stated it: 'When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything in the universe.'"  

1854 - "In 1854, a 195-pound mass of gold, the largest known to have been discovered in California, was found at Carson Hill in Calaveras County. By 1855, the rich surface placers were largely exhausted, and river mining accounted for much of the state's output until the early 1860s."    

Contents This Week

   Crime in California declining
   Reforming California's correctional system
   Funds awarded to states with drunk-driving laws
   Judges can't add prison time
   Court upholds sex-offender registration
   Court upholds three-strikes sentence
   Content versus economics in movie ratings
   Economic impact of the arts
   Suit over delay in issuing green cards
   The biomedical industry in California
   California job market picking up
   Wal-Mart benefits from subsidies
   Film industry tax incentives
   Fund distribution to tribes
   Economic impact of wine sales
   Financially troubled school districts
   Federal control of education
   Illegal alien schoolchildren
   College gap for Latino youth
   Sexual harassment in schools
   Special education in charter schools
   Retention of quality teachers
   Overtime protection rules
   Court dismisses case against electricity companies
   Governors' diversified energy initiative
   Energy security
   Summer energy consumption
   Hearst Ranch transaction documents released
   Misuse of science in policy
   Court rules for salmon in the Trinity River
   Federal budget implications for states
   Increased spending for state governments
   Federal funds for bioterrorism
   Homeland security programs
   Competitive federal grants for states
   Government information technology workforce
   Fiscal crises in state governments
   Effects of taxes on economic development
   Counties and the health of Californians
   Mental health services in rural areas
   Prescription drug prices and seniors
   National health coverage estimates
   Evidence against housing price bubble
   Evidence of housing price bubble
   Unspent funds for child programs
   Food stamp error rates
   Sex education vs. authentic abstinence
   Policy applications of a global macroeconomic model
   Illegal aliens and driver licenses
   Senate passes highway funding fix
   The state of working America
   Education and economic development
   Political party control in California
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News: Children and Family Supplement is a service provided to the First 5 California by the California State Library. The service features weekly lists of current articles focusing on Children and Family policy. Prior lists can be viewed from the California State Library's Web site at

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; 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:



Crime in California: 2003. And Hate Crime in California: 2003. By the Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Justice Statistics Center. (The Office, Sacramento, California) 2004.

["Violent crime in California declined in 2003 while property crime increased, according to a statewide report issued by the state attorney general's office." Los Angeles Times (July 7, 2004) 1.]

Crime in California: 2003. 4 p.:

Hate Crime in California: 2003. 7 p.:

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Reforming Corrections. By the Independent Review Panel on Corrections. (The Panel, Sacramento, California) July 1, 2004. Various pagings.

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["California's $6-billion dollar correctional system, once a national model, is a failure on most fronts and should be placed under the control of a civilian commission, a report by a team of experts conclude." Los Angeles Times (July 2, 2004) A1.]

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Incentive Funds Awarded to States with Drunk-driving Laws. By the Federal Funds Information for States. Update 04-24. (FFIS, Washington, DC) June 30, 2004. 3 p.

["The U.S. Department of Transportation announced $47.8 million in part-year fiscal year 2004 incentive grants to 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico for improving highway safety by lowering the legal threshold for impaired driving to 0.08% blood alcohol concentration."]

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Blakely v. Washington. U.S. Supreme Court. 02-1632. June 24, 2004. Various pagings.

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["The court put state sentencing guidelines in question by ruling that judges alone cannot impose extra-long prison terms. The court ruled 5-4 that juries must decide whether to impose sentences beyond the guidelines.... [Justice Sandra Day] O'Connor wrote a vociferous dissent. She predicted that complications arising from the ruling would lead states and the federal government to 'either trim or eliminate altogether their sentencing guidelines schemes, and with them 20 years of sentencing reform.'" Associated Press (June 25, 2004) 1.]

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In re Leon Casey Alva. California Supreme Court. S098928. June 28, 2004. 51 p.

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["The court upheld the use of the state's lifelong sex-offender registration law against people convicted of misdemeanors. Reversing a 21-year-old legal precedent, the justices unanimously ruled that the California Constitution's ban on 'cruel or unusual punishment' and a similar provision in the federal Constitution are not violated by the law because 'the mere registration of convicted sex offenders is not a punitive measure.'" Sacramento Bee (June 29, 2004) 1.]

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People v. Carmony. California Supreme Court. S115090. July 8, 2004. Various pagings.

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["The court upheld a three-strikes sentence for a longtime criminal who failed to register with police as a sex offender, a ruling that prompted two justices to indicate support for a ballot measure that would exempt minor crimes from the law. The unanimous ruling, in a case from Shasta County, also set a high barrier for a reviewing court to overturn a trial judge's three-strikes sentence of up to life in prison." San Francisco Chronicle (July 9, 2004) 1.]

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"Violence, Sex, and Profanity in Films: Correlation of Movie Ratings With Content." By Kimberly M. Thompson and Fumie Yokota. IN: Medscape (July 12, 2004) 1 p.

["Movies today have more sex, violence and profanity than similarly rated films did a decade ago, a Harvard study suggests. The study's findings are the first to support the notion of 'ratings creep,' more risque and violent scenes being allowed in films rated G, PG-13 and R than in the past." USA Today (July 14, 2004) A1.]

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The Arts: A Competitive Advantage for California II: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations in California. By the California Arts Council. (The Council, Sacramento, California) July 2004. 92 p.

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["Looking just at nonprofit arts groups in California, the study found that they added $5.4 billion to the state's economy, employed more than 160,000 people and generated nearly $300 million in taxes during the 15-month study period.... 'Funding the arts makes economic sense. It makes business sense to put money into a sector that will bring back revenues beyond your investments,' said Juan Carrillo, Interim Director of the California Arts Council." San Diego Union Tribune (July 14, 2004) 1.]

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Maria Santillan, et al v. John Ashcroft, et al. U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. Complaint for Mandamus, Declaratory and Injunctive Relief. July 6, 2004. 26 p.

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["Immigrants have filed a class-action lawsuit saying they've lost their jobs, their ability to travel abroad and their peace of mind because the federal government has lagged in providing documentation that proves they're here legally." Sacramento Bee (July 8, 2004) 4.]

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California's Biomedical Industry: 2004 Report. And Biomedical Manufacturing in California: 2004 Report. By David L. Gollaher, California Healthcare Institute, and Tracy Lefteroff, PricewaterhouseCoopers. (The Institute, La Jolla, California) June 2004.

["California stands to lose thousands of manufacturing jobs in the biotechnology and medical device fields in the next two years to lower-cost regions around the globe, according to a report. The industry group said California needed to streamline regulations and improve tax incentives to compete with places such as North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Ireland and Singapore.... Still, the outlook is far from grim. The report said that though 90% of companies surveyed planned to expand outside California, 70% of companies figured on adding manufacturing capacity within the state." Los Angeles Times (June 23, 2004) C2.]

California's Biomedical Industry. 44 p.:

Biomedical Manufacturing in California. 20 p.:

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The UCLA Anderson Forecast for the Nation and California. By the UCLA Anderson Forecasting Project, Anderson Graduate School of Management. And Quarterly Business Forecast Seminar: Packet. By Ed Leamer, Anderson Graduate School of Management, and others. (The School, Los Angeles, California) June 2004. Various pagings.

["In the latest forecast, economist Joe Hurd noted that California's job market is catching up to the national recovery and should continue pumping out a decent number of new jobs through 2006.... Hurd said the California economy is doing well, but not brilliantly." Sacramento Bee (June 22, 2004) D1.]

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"Shopping for Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money." By Philip Mattera and others. IN: State Tax Notes, vol. 32 no. 13 (June 28, 2004) pp. 1001-1016.

["At the heart of this report is an effort to assess, for the first time, the extent to which Wal-Mart has been the recipient of economic development subsidies from state and local governments."]

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State-by-State Tax Incentives for the Film Industry. Compiled by Angela Miele, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (The Association, Washington, DC) 2004. Charts. And "State Tax Incentives: The Reel Attraction for the Film Industry." By Nandi Witter. IN: State Tax Notes, vol. 32 no. 13 (June 28, 2004) pp. 1019-1027.

["Runaway film production has existed since the early 20th century, when the film industry was fleeing Europe en route to California to seek lower production costs.... The same phenomenon is occurring in the United States today, with film production fleeing to Canada and other 'offshore' sites. The attraction ... is due to tax incentives ... that reduce production cost."]

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California Gambling Control Commission: Although Its Interpretations of the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts Generally Appear Defensible, Some of Its Actions May Have Reduced the Funds Available for Distribution to Tribes. By the California State Auditor, Bureau of State Audits. 2003-122 (The Bureau, Sacramento, California) June 2004. 83 p.

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["[State Auditor] Elaine Howle said the commission has been in repeated conflict with tribes over its interpretations of the existing compact ... at least in part because of the language that the auditor variously described as 'confusing' and 'ambiguous.' But she added that the release of her report was coincidental with the signing of the new compacts and that she hasn't yet had a chance to read them so she couldn't comment on whether they are an improvement." Visalia Times-Delta (June 23, 2004) 3C.]

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California Wine Has $45.4 Billion Economic Impact on State: Report Indicates Nearly 40 Percent Growth in Four Years. By the Wine Institute. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) June 22, 2004. 1 p.

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["California's wine industry contributed $45.4 billion to the state's economy in 2002, said the [Wine Institute], which commissioned the report to highlight the size of the business for state and federal legislators. A Wine Institute spokeswoman said the goal was to give lawmakers a better understanding of the importance of the business in the hope that they might be more sympathetic to the industry's agenda." Los Angeles Times (June 23, 2004) C2.]

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The Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team: Its Recommendations, If Implemented, Should Help Financially Troubled School Districts. By the California State Auditor, Bureau of State Audits. 2003-129. (The Bureau, Sacramento, California) June 2004. 41 p.

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["This report concludes that the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team's recommendations, if implemented, should help financially troubled school districts improve their financial conditions.... Full recovery can take several years, depending on the nature and severity of a district's problems."]

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A Lesson in Waste: Where Does All the Federal Education Money Go? By Neal McCluskey, Cato Institute. Policy Analysis no. 518. (The Institute, Washington, DC) July 7, 2004. 32 p.

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["Neal McCluskey notes that while federal spending on education has ballooned from about $25 billion in 1965 (adjusted for inflation) to more than $108 billion in 2002, the promise of improved performance in the classroom and better grades remains flat." Baltimore Sun (July 7, 2004) 11A.]

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Illegal Alien Schoolchildren: Issues in Estimating State-by-State Costs: Report to the Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives. By the U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO-04-601. (The Office, Washington, DC) June 2004. 33 p.

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["Issues in estimating the costs of providing education to illegal alien schoolchildren are of interest because (1) policy discussions concerning illegal immigration often focus on cost impacts; (2) potential costs are borne mostly at the state and local levels; and (3) the Congress could authorize federal reimbursement for benefits provided to illegal aliens, based on estimated state costs or numbers of illegal aliens."]

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Latino Youth Finishing College: The Role of Selective Pathways. By Richard Fry. Pew Hispanic Center. (The Center, Washington, DC) June 23, 2004. 40 p.

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[“This report assesses the dimensions of the gap in bachelor’s degree completion between Latinos and whites and some of the factors that contribute to it by focusing on the differing fates of young people who graduate from high school with similar levels of academic preparation.”]

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Harassment-Free Hallways: How to Stop Harassment in School. By Dana Balick, American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. (The Association, Washington, DC) 2004. 50 p.

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["A study commissioned by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation estimates that more than 4.5 million students have been sexually harassed or abused by school employees sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade. Some educators disagree with the report placing sexual abuse and inappropriate jokes under the same broad category of sexual misconduct." ASCD SmartBrief (July 1, 2004) 1.]

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Special Education Accountability: Structural Reform to Help Charter Schools Make the Grade. By Lisa Snell, Reason Foundation. (Reason Public Policy Institute, Los Angeles, California) July 2004. 36 p.

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["The Los Angeles Unified School District and other California school districts are depriving charter schools of their fair share of special education funding by withholding up to 37 percent of the money, according to a study." The Daily News of Los Angeles (July 8, 2004) N3.]

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Trapping the Potential: Retaining and Developing High-Quality New Teachers. By Alliance for Excellent Education. (The Alliance, Washington, DC) 2004. 80 p.

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["This new report cites comprehensive induction, especially in a teacher's first two years on the job, as the single effective strategy to stem the rapidly increasing teacher attrition rate. It includes federal policy recommendations, in-depth analysis of new teacher induction practices, and four case studies: Connecticut BEST, Santa Cruz New Teacher Project (California), Tangipahoa FIRST (Louisiana), and The Toledo Plan (Ohio)." Moving Ideas (July 13, 2004) 1.]

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Longer Hours, Less Pay: Labor Department’s New Rules Could Strip Overtime Protection From Millions of Workers. By Ross Eisenbrey, Economic Policy Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) July 2004. 15 p.

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["The Department of Labor published regulatory changes that, if they are allowed to take effect, could strip away the right to overtime pay for over six million workers.... The regulatory changes issued by the Bush Administration would make drastic changes ... vastly increasing the number of exempt employees and making it likely that millions of them will work longer hours at reduced pay."]

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People of the State of California v. Dynegy, Inc., et al. U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. 02-16619. June 6, 2004. 39 p.

Full Text at:$file/0216619.pdf?openelement

["A court dismissed suits that California had filed against Dynegy Inc., Reliant Energy Inc. and Mirant Corp. for allegedly overcharging for power during the state's energy crisis in 2000 and 2001. The court upheld lower court rulings that the state cases were preempted by federal laws governing power costs. The state will have to ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to review the issues, the court ruled." Los Angeles Times (July 7, 2004) 1.]

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Western Governors Launch Initiative to Spur Clean, Diversified Energy in the West; Governors Richardson, Schwarzenegger To Lead Effort: Press Release. And Clean and Diversified Energy Initiative for the West: WGA Policy Resolution 04-13. By the Western Governor's Association. (The Association, Denver, Colorado) June 22, 2004.

["History took a dramatic turn when the Western Governors Association unanimously approved a program of development and use of clean, renewable energy sources throughout the West. The goal by 2015 is 30,000 megawatts from clean sources such as solar, geothermal, wind, biomass and clean coal." Los Angeles Times (June 24, 2004) B14.]

Press release. 1 p.:

Policy resolution. 5 p.:

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Energy Security. By Christie Rewey and others, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief, vol. 12, no. 26. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) June/July 2004. 2 p.

["State lawmakers cannot prevent all blackouts or fuel shortages nor can they protect every transmission line from attack. Energy security refers ... to a suite of factors that make the system more secure, resilient and able to recover from events that cannot be prevented. State policy options on energy security fall into two broad categories: prevention and planning, and emergency response. State legislatures may wish to consider recommendations and policy options."]

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California's Summer 2004 Electricity Supply and Demand Outlook: Final Staff Report. By Ron Wetherall, the California Energy Commission and others. (Flex Your Power, Sacramento, California) June 2004. 12 p.

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[Testifying before the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce, representatives from California Energy Commission and California Public Utilities Commission ... called for continued emphasis on efficiency, such as retrofitting state buildings; installing LED traffic signals; and increasing funding for demand reduction programs. eNewswire (June 23, 2004) 1.]

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The Hearst Ranch Conservation Plan: California Vision...California Values. By the California Resources Agency. (The Agency, Sacramento, California) July 13, 2004. Various pagings.

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["The Hearst Ranch conservation plan is worth more than twice its $95 million purchase price but would result in less public access to the corporation's beachfront property, according to released documents.... Under the agreement negotiated by Hearst and the state Resources Agency, Hearst agreed to give up most of its development rights on its land. It also agreed to sell the state more than 1,500 acres of its property on the west side of Highway 1." Sacramento Bee (July 13, 2004) 1.]

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Scientific Integrity in Policy Making: Further Investigation of the Bush Administration's Misuse of Science. By Seth Shulman, and others, The Union of Concerned Scientists. (The Union, Washington, DC) July 2004. 34 p.

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["More than 4,000 scientists, including 48 Nobel Prize winners and 127 members of the National Academy of Sciences, accused the Bush administration of distorting and suppressing science to suit its political goals." Los Angeles Times (July 9, 2004) A11.]

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Westlands Water District, et al. v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, et al. U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth District. 03-15194. July 13, 2004. 43 p.

Full Text at:$file/0315194.pdf?openelement

["Two Northern California Indian tribes scored a victory in their effort to restore ancestral fisheries when a court gave the go-ahead for a plan to revive the Trinity River's once-thriving salmon population.... The court said a deal the tribes reached with government agencies could be put in place, rejecting objections from a Central Valley water agency that benefits from diverted Trinity flows.... The decision reverses most of a ruling in January by U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger in Fresno." San Francisco Chronicle (July 14, 2004) 1.]

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FY 2005 Budget: Are States at Risk? By Federal Funds Information for States. FFIS Budget Brief 04-04. (FFIS, Washington, D.C.) July 1, 2004. 5 p.

["Congress is debating the federal budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 with a diligence that suggests it is an election year and there is a budget deficit.... FY 2005 receipts ... are at their lowest level in 35 years."]

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The "Red" States: How Governors Ended up with Huge Deficits. By Thad Hall, Century Foundation. Reality Check Series. (The Foundation, New York, New York) 2004. 13 p.

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["According to this study, there is no basis for the claim that state government profligacy generated today’s deficits.... Most of the increased spending paid for governmental functions that demanded resources that regularly outpaced inflation."]

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Health and Human Services Releases FY 2004 Bioterrorism Funds. By Federal Funds Information for States. FFIS Issue Brief, 04-21. (FFIS, Washington, DC) June 23, 2004. 6 p.

["The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $850 million in fiscal year 2004 bioterrorism funding for ... state and local capacity program. These funds are provided to improve the response of the public health sector to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies."]

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Homeland Security: How States Fare Under House Proposals. And Homeland Security Bill Moves By the Federal Funds Information for States. Updates 04-28 and 04-05. (FFIS, Washington, DC) July 2004. 5 p. and 8 p.

["The House is considering H.R. 3266 an authorization bill for homeland security programs. Four House committees have jurisdiction over the bill.... Each committee has drafted a different version of the bill.... Each combines the state formula grants with high-threat urban areas funding and creates a new distribution formula.... This Issue Brief discusses the proposed formula changes and estimates the distribution of funding under the proposals."]

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FFIS Competitive Grant Update. By the Federal Funds Information for States. Updates 04-18 - 04-20. (FFIS, Washington, DC) June and July 2004. Various pagings.

[Update 04-18 includes: "National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program - Enhancing the Prosperity of Small Farms and Rural Agricultural Communities;" "Advanced Research in The Fundamental Mechanisms That Effect Mercury Control in Fossil Energy Systems;" and others. Update 04-20 includes: "Technical Assistance to Monitor Wetland Reserve Program;" "Grazing Land Demonstration Grants;" "Student Support Services Program;" and others.]

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Clinger-Cohen Assessment Survey: For the Governmentwide Information Technology (IT) Workforce: Analysis of Survey Results. By the Workforce and Human Capital for IT Committee, Federal Chief Information Officer's Council. (The Committee, Washington, DC) 2004. 78 p.

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["The council found that just under 15 percent of the more than 19,000 federal IT workers questioned said they have extensive knowledge of cybersecurity. In other areas such a e-government, the number was just under 5 percent and for enterprise architecture the number was just over 6 percent.... The report attributed these gaps to lack of training and certification to stay abreast of new technologies, or because these functions typically are done by contractors." Government Computer News (June 1, 2004) 1.]

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Facing the Fiscal Crises in State Governments: National Problem; National Responsibilities. By Robert D. Behn and Elizabeth K. Keating, The Taubman Center for State and Local Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government. (Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts) June 30, 2004. 33 p.

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["The report provides a primer for why states face such dire budget problems.... States' fiscal crunch may last through the decade due, in large part, to skyrocketing health care and nursing home costs." (July 1, 2004) 1.]

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"The Effects of State and Local Taxes and Public Services on Economic Development." By Robert G. Lynch. IN: State Tax Notes, vol. 32, no. 10 (June 7, 2004) pp. 767-780.

["The evidence fails to support the claim that expanding the economy requires shrinking the public sector and reducing taxes. In particular, there is little evidence that state and local tax cuts, when paid for by reducing public services, stimulate economic activity or create jobs.... There is evidence, however, that increases in taxes, when used to expand the quantity and quality of public services, can promote economic development and employment growth."]

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The Crucial Role of Counties in the Health of Californians: An Overview. By Deborah Reidy Kelch, Kelch Associates. Prepared for the California Healthcare Foundation. (The Foundation, Oakland, California) July 2004. 36 p.

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["The report outlines some of the basic requirements imposed on counties in the areas of health services for the uninsured, public health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment; the funding streams for these services and programs; and the basic structure of how counties provide the services. In addition, the report highlights the issues facing policymakers at the state and local levels that will affect the future of county health programs and services."]

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Mental Health Services in Rural Areas. By Allison Cook, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief, vol 12, no. 30. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) June/July 2004. 2 p.

["In rural areas, challenges to providing mental health services are compounded by physical and social isolation, heightened fears about stigmas and confidentiality, and value placed on self-reliance.... Provider shortages and hard-too-reach services also create problems....Providing mental health by telemedicine is a viable policy option. A few communities are providing primary care physicians with additional mental health training."]

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Sticker Shock: Rising Prescription Drug Prices for Seniors. By Dee Mahan, Families USA. (Families USA, Washington, DC) June 2004. 26 p.

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["Many, if not most, seniors expected the new Medicare legislation to provide prompt and significant drug price relief. However, the Medicare prescription drug law, which was enacted late in 2003, will mainly go into effect in 2006. Moreover, since the new law prohibits Medicare from bargaining for better drug prices, and since it remains illegal to reimport much cheaper drugs from Canada or other countries, the new law is unlikely to provide meaningful cost moderation."]

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National Health Coverage: Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2003. By Robin A. Cohen and Zakia Coriaty-Nelson, National Center for Health Statistics, National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (The Centers, Atlanta, Georgia.) June 2004. 13 p.

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["The economy started creating jobs again last year, but the number of working-age adults who went without health insurance for more than a year jumped sharply, the government reported." Los Angeles Times (July 1, 2004) A1.]

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Six Reasons Against the Existence of House Price Bubbles. By Amy Crews Cutts, Freddie Mac. Presented at the UCLA Anderson Forecast Conference. (The Conference, Los Angeles, California) June 22, 2004. Charts.

["Only job losses, tax hikes or an exodus of population or businesses could sink house prices, Cutts said. Potential buyers have a big stake in the direction of house prices, especially those who close deals with cheap but risky adjustable-rate or interest-only mortgages. Lower equity and rising monthly payments could hit them especially hard if mortgage rates rise." Contra Costa Times (June 23, 2004) F4.]

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Bubbles. By the UCLA Anderson Forecast. Presented to the UCLA Anderson Forecast Conference. (The Forecast, Los Angeles, California) June 22, 2004. Charts

["Coming increases in mortgage interest rates will slow the rapid rise of house prices in most of California, while further job losses or inflation would threaten a hoped-for soft landing in the housing market.... Some mix of low mortgage rates and home buyers' unrealistic expectations have driven the rate of increase in housing values to unsustainable levels in many California regions." Contra Costa Times (June 24, 2004) F4.]

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California Children and Families Commissions: Some County Commissions’ Contracting Practices Are Lacking, and Both the State and County Commissions Can Improve Their Efforts to Find Funding Partners and Collect Data on Program Performance. By the California State Auditor, Bureau of State Audits. Report 2003-123. (The Auditor, Sacramento, California) July 2004. 96 p.

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["Use of Prop. 10 Funds Faulted: A state audit of five counties finds most money for child programs unspent. The report said some county panels set up to distribute the Proposition 10 money kept incomplete records, did not establish clear rules for hiring contractors or failed to evaluate the effectiveness of the programs they did fund." Los Angeles Times (July 16, 2004) 1.]

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Food Stamp Error Rates: Good News for Most States. By Federal Funds Information for States. (FFIS, Washington, DC) July 6, 2004. 5 p.

["The U.S. Department of Agriculture released FY 2003 food stamp error rates by state. The error rates indicate the percentage of food stamp benefit dollars that were incorrectly issued to recipients. Overall, state error rates were at an all-time low for the three measures - overpayment, underpayment and combined."]

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Comprehensive Sex Education vs. Authentic Abstinence: A Study of Competing Curricula. By Shannan Martin and others, the Heritage Foundation. (The Foundation, Washington, DC) 2004. 117 p.

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["In recent years, a new approach, termed 'abstinence-plus' has played a prominent role in the public debate over sex education. This approach is presented as the middle ground between safe sex and abstinence. Research conducted by Heritage Foundation analysts, however, reveals that traditional abstinence and abstinence-plus curricula differ radically in their contents and messages. It also revealed that the claim that abstinence-plus curricula place an emphasis on abstinence is false."]

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Policy Applications of a Global Macroeconomic Model. By Richard Dennis and Jose A. Lopez, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. FRBSF Economic Letter. Number 2004-14. (The Bank, San Francisco, California) June 11, 2004. 4 p.

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["In this Economic Letter, we summarize the key components of the Global Vector Autoregression (GVAR) model and discuss its usefulness for monetary policy applications and for credit risk management issues faced by financial institutions and their government supervisors. [The authors] argue that while the GVAR model is probably useful for credit risk management and could potentially have some use for bank supervision, it is unlikely to be as useful for monetary policy applications."]

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"States Slow to Give Driver's Licenses to Illegal Aliens." By Kathleen Hunter. IN: (July 1, 2004) online.

Full Text at:

["After the Sept. 11 attacks, all 50 states passed measures designed to make their licenses more secure. But a myriad of proposals to make licensing undocumented immigrants easier or more difficult haven’t gained much steam this year in statehouses. In the 19 other states in which legislation on licensing illegal immigrants was introduced this year, lawmakers have adjourned without passing any significant new rules on the issue. California is the only state where such a measure is still pending."]

[Request #S3512]

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Senate Passes Highway Funding Fix. By Federal Funds Information for States. Update 04-27. (FFIS, Washington, DC) June 7, 2004. 2 p.

["The $1 billon for special highway projects added to the FY 2004 omnibus appropriation bill... contained a drafting error. As a result, some states received more than they needed for the special projects and others received less.... The Senate-passed defense appropriations bill for FY 2005 remedied this problem.... It adds language to the FY 2004 omnibus bill providing 'such sums as may be necessary' to the limitations for states hurt by the provisions."]

[Request #S3513]

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[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.]



State of Working America: 2004/2005. By the Economic Policy Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) 2004.

["While the 1990s witnessed a breathtaking run-up in the price of stocks, the beginning of the new decade saw a significant stock market collapse.... During the stock market boom ... about half of all U.S. households had no stock holdings of any form.... This fact contradicts the notion that the average household is greatly invested in the stock market. The reality is that the average household is not greatly affected by the volatility inherent to the stock market." NOTE: State of Working America ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S3514]

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Smart Money: Education and Economic Development. By William Schweke. Economic Policy Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) July 2004. 80 p.

["As state and local governments face tight budgets, a new report shows adequate and effective funding of education is the best way to achieve faster growth, more jobs, greater productivity, and more widely shared prosperity." Moving Ideas (June 7, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3515]

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A Party by Other Means: The Rise of Informal Party Organizations in California. By Seth Everett Masket. (The Author, Los Angeles, California) 2004. 339 p.

["Why do reelection legislators routinely submit to party discipline on bills that are more extreme than their constituents want?... [The author] argues that control of politics begins with control over party nominations, and that informal party orgainzations -- consisting of office holders, activists and benefit seekers -- have learned to control low-key nomination contests as effectively as old-style party organizations once did." Note: A Party by Other Means ... will be available for a 3-day loan.]

[Request #S3516]

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