Subject: Studies in the News 03-25 (April 21, 2003)

Studies in the News:
Employment, Training, Vocational Education and Welfare to Work Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material

   State labor legislation
   Southern California one-stop system
   Broad definition of state disability law
   Earnings for displaced workers
   Retiree medical benefits
   Extended unemployment
   Workers' compensation outcomes
   Relationship between youth employment and substance abuse
   Child welfare in California
   Welfare recipients rethink marriage and children
   Welfare research issues
   Outcomes of CalWORKs families
   Studies in the News, April 8, 2003
   Studies in the News, April 15, 2003
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

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

  • Items in the State Library collection can be checked out to state officials and staff.

  • Access to all materials listed will be provided by the State Information Reference Center, either by e-mail to or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:



State Labor Legislation Enacted in 2002. By Richard Nelson, U.S. Department of Labor (The Department, Washington, DC) 2003. 22 p.

Full Text at:

["States enacted important labor legislation in 2002 covering a variety of employment standards. Minimum wage rates were increased in a number of states, a first-in-the-nation law provided for paid family and medical leave, changes were made in several child labor laws."]

[Request #S7870]

Return to the Table of Contents


Performance Excellence Environmental Scan: Southern California One-Stop System. By the Southern California Regional Performance Excellence Forum. Prepared for the California Workforce Investment Board (The Board, Sacramento, California) 2002. 14 p.

Full Text at:

["The forum was commissioned to explore local customer satisfaction and continuous improvement processes.... Results are intended to further our understanding of how One-Stops in Southern California are utilizing performance excellence tools to enhance One-Stop delivery. Most notable is the positive impact continuous improvement has had on performance."]

[Request #S7872]

Return to the Table of Contents


Colmenares v. Braemar. California Supreme Court. S098895. February 20, 2003. 17 p.

Full Text at:

["The California Supreme Court made it easier for disabled workers to sue their employers for discrimination in a decision that will affect hundreds of pending lawsuits in California. The court unanimously ruled that a California law barring discrimination in jobs and housing protects people with conditions that limit their participation in a major activity. By contrast, federal law protects the disabled from discrimination on the job only if the condition 'substantially' restricts one or more major activities." Los Angeles Times (February 21, 2003) B6.]

[Request #S7873]

Return to the Table of Contents


Estimating the Returns to Community College Schooling for Displaced Workers. By Louis Jacobson, Westat Inc., and others. Working Paper. 2002-31. (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois) December 2002. 54 p.

Full Text at:

["We estimate that an academic year of more technically oriented vocational and academic math and science courses raises earnings by about 14 percent for men and 29 percent for women. On the other hand, we estimate that less technically-oriented courses yield very low and possibly zero returns."]

[Request #S7871]

Return to the Table of Contents


Retiree Medical Benefits in the Multi-employer Sector: Meeting the Challenge: Survey Results. By the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. #5689. (The Foundation, Brookfield, Wisconsin) 2003.

Full Text at:

["Many Multi-employer Funds Provide Benefits Despite Rising Costs, Survey Says: The survey found that in an effort to maintain the viability of retiree health care benefits, many of the responding fund administrators plan to increase the amount that retirees pay for coverage. Only two percent of the survey respondents plan to eliminate benefits for future retirees." BNA Health Care Policy Report (February 17, 2003) 234.]

[Request #S7507]

Return to the Table of Contents


Extended Unemployment in California. By Robert G. Valletta, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. FRBSF Economic Letter. No. 2003-05. (The Bank, San Francisco, California) 2003 3 p.

Full Text at:

["I use data from the monthly national household survey to assess the depth of California's state and regional unemployment problem and the extent to which the UI extension addresses it."]

[Request #S7874]

Return to the Table of Contents


Provider Experience and Volume-Based Outcomes in California Workers' Compensation: Does "Practice Make Perfect?" By Alex Swedlow and Laura B. Gardner, California Workers' Compensation Institute. (The Institute, Oakland, California) February 2003. 17 p.

["The study focuses on 39,248 providers who rendered treatment in 1.1 million workers' compensation claims for injuries and illnesses that occurred between 1993 and 2000.... The hypothesis of this study was that providers with more experience treating patients in the workers' compensation system achieved better outcomes, reflected in lower medical care and indemnity costs."]

[Request #S7875]

Return to the Table of Contents


“The Relationship Between Employment and Substance Abuse Among Students Aged 12 to 17.” By Li-Tsy Wu and others. IN: Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 32 no. 1. (January 2003) pp. 5-15.

[“About one in six adolescents in the U.S. holds a job while going to school…. Youth who worked either part-time or full-time were more likely to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs, than those who did not have jobs…. The reasons for the link between work and substance use is not known, but likely explanations include exposure to co-workers with those habits, the availability of drugs and alcohol through co-workers, and the availability of earnings to buy drugs and alcohol.” Youth Today (February 2003) p. 42.]

[Request #S7876]

Return to the Table of Contents



Understanding the Child Welfare System in California. By Diane F. Reed and Kate Karpilow, The California Center for Research on Women and Families (The Center, Berkeley, California) November 2002. 32 p.

Full Text at:

["In addition to highlighting the major laws, programs and financing mechanisms, the Primer describes the four services required in each county child welfare agency (Emergency Response, Family Maintenance, Family Reunification, and Permanent Placement) and outlines the juvenile dependency court process...[It] also reports the reasons that children are involved in the system and describes the children's backgrounds. Looking to the future, the Primer summarizes the key challenges facing child welfare professionals and policymakers, ranging from improving data management and evaluating outcomes to assessing the shortage of foster care families."]

[Request #S7877]

Return to the Table of Contents


What Do They Think?: Welfare Recipients' Attitudes Toward Marriage and Childbearing. By Jane G. Mauldon, University of California, Berkeley, and others. (Abt Associates, Inc, Bethesda, Maryland) November 2002. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["The overarching message from this brief is that policies of persuasion alone are unlikely to substantially reduce single parenting among people who rely on welfare. Financial pressures associated with welfare reforms appear to have led some recipients to rethink their marriage ambitions and especially to reduce their desires for more children."]

[Request #S7878]

Return to the Table of Contents


Welfare Research Perspectives: Past, Present, and Future, 2002 Edition. By Barbara B. Blum and Jennifer Farnsworth Francis, Research Forum on Children, Families, and the New Federalism. Prepared for the National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University. (The Center, New York, New York) 2002. 20 p.

Full Text at:

["(According to this study), researchers, policymakers, advocates and practitioners need to: 1) learn more about developmental effects for children of parents receiving assistance or in low-income jobs; 2) understand how to make government systems work more efficiently and how to measure their effectiveness and maximize funding; 3) study issues related to family formation and marriage; 4) give priority to studying interventions for particular populations, especially immigrants, the developmentally disabled, the mentally ill, and substance abusers."]

[Request #S7879]

Return to the Table of Contents


Monitoring Outcomes for Los Angeles County's Pre- And Post-CalWORKs Leavers: How Are They Faring? By Nandita Verma and Richard Hendra, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation. Prepared for the Department of Public Social Services, Los Angeles County (The Corporation, New York, New York) January 2003. 70 p.

Full Text at:

["The Los Angeles study was designed to inform local administrators and policy analysts about the circumstances of families leaving welfare before and after the onset of CalWORKs.... Outcomes were examined for approximately 27,146 adult welfare leavers."]

[Request #S7880]

Return to the Table of Contents

[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Employment, Training, Vocational Education and Welfare to Work Supplement.]


"Employment, Education and Human Services." IN: Studies in the News, Issue 03-20 (April 8, 2003)

Full Text at:

[Includes: "Workforce Inclusion Act;" "Paid parental leave;" "The knowledge economy and community colleges;" and others].

[Request #S7866]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Employment, Education, and Human Services." IN: Studies in the News, Issue 03-23 (April 15, 2003).

Full Text at:

[Includes: "CalWORKS students at community colleges;" "Prospects for an American labor movement;" "Chiropractic care and workmen's compensation;" "Dispute resolution for injured workers;" and others].

[Request #S7867]

Return to the Table of Contents