Subject: Studies in the News 04-30 (May 4, 2004)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News


California -- One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago

May 1854 - "The speculator George Trask hired a crew of men in 1854, just three years after the effective discovery of the Giant Sequoia was made by hunter A. T. Dowd, to build a scaffolding up the side of a tree and strip its bark. Proving to a suspicious public in the East that trees of the sizes claimed by the early California settlers was no easy task. The first exhibitions to be created using redwood materials were from the Giant Sequoia. The first of these was the famed Mother of the Forest which grew in the Calaveras Grove of Big Trees in the Sierra Nevada. The bark strips were sent to London and New York for display. "  www.niagaramuseum.com/redwood_art_unique.htm  

1854 - "Once the British realized that the trees were not a hoax, their search for a scientific name appropriate to the giants led to the adoption of Wellingtonia gigantea, after England's revered statesman and war hero, the Duke of Wellington. To say that American nationalists opposed the commemoration of an Englishman with a New World wonder would be an understatement.... In what might be considered a compromise, the Sierra redwoods are now generally called Sequoia gigantea, after the Indian chief Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee alphabet. "  www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/runte1/  

Contents This Week

Introductory Material CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT
   Child custody rights refined
   Drug markets and chronic users
   Pathways to prisoner reintegration
   Sentencing and corrections reforms
CULTURE AND SOCIETY
   Youth and the Internet
DEMOGRAPHY
   Immigration to California
   Native born children of immigrant parents
ECONOMY
   Economic impact of the arts
   Technology and science index
   Department of Defense prime contracts
   IT jobs moving offshore
EDUCATION
   Latino perspective of financial aid
   Investing in the educational pipeline
   Impact of mentoring on teacher retention
   School meals
   School vouchers
EMPLOYMENT
   Unemployed denied federal aid
   Low-wage employees
   Gender pay gap lingers
ENERGY
   Final report on U.S.-Canada blackout
   Gasoline companies showing profit
ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
   Using phytoplankton to absorb CO2
   Public health goal for arsenic
   Extinct species in the last 20 years
   Ocean policy
GENERAL GOVERNMENT
   Management of homeland security
   Legislating for results
   Trends in civic participation
   States cut budgets
   Downturn in state revenues
   Earned income tax credit options
   Assessing the costs of hidden tax breaks
   Average state/local tax burdens
HEALTH
   Alcohol ads on television
   Increase in demand for long-term care
   Managed care responsibilities shifting to consumers
   Background checks on nursing home employees
   Reducing soda at school lowers obesity
HOUSING
   Housing vouchers for low-income families
HUMAN SERVICES
   Fatherhood crisis
   Federal nutrition programs
   State-by-state hunger report
   Timing of services to parents
   Retiree health plans
   Proposed TANF work requirements
INSURANCE
   Insurers must release records
STUDIES TO COME
   Patient safety
   Creative ideas for expanding health care
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:

CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT

CHILD CUSTODY

In re: the Marriage of Susan and Gary LaMusga: Susan Navarro v. Gary LaMusga. California Supreme Court. S107355. April 29, 2004. Various pagings

Full Text at: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S107355.PDF

["The court had ruled in 1996 that a parent with custody of the children could move away without having to prove that the move was absolutely necessary.... The court said, however, that some lower courts had been interpreting the 1996 decision too broadly. In a 6-1 ruling, the justices said that the other parent could block the move by showing it wasn't in the children's best interests and that one factor a judge should consider is whether the move would hurt the children's relationship with the parent who was left behind." San Francisco Chronicle (April 30, 2004) B3.]

[Request #S1935]

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ILLEGAL DRUGS

Drug Markets and Chronic Users in 25 of America's Largest Cities: Local Drug Markets: A Decade of Change. By Marcia Meth and Rebecca Chalmers, Bassin and Shaw, Inc. Prepared for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. (The Office, Washington, DC) 2004. 321 p.

Full Text at: www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/drugfact/pulsechk/january04/january2004.pdf

["This research report presents findings on drug use patterns and drug markets.... [It] focuses on the drug abuse situation in 25 specific sites [including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco] throughout the nation."]

[Request #S1936]

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PRISONERS

Navigating a New Horizon: Promising Pathways to Prisoner Reintegration. By Caliber Associates. Prepared for the Compassion Capital Fund, Department of Health and Human Services. (The Department, Washington, DC) April 2004. 12 p.

Full Text at: www.calib.com/home/work_samples/files/kairosissuebriefII.pdf

["This resource discusses trends in corrections, the role of religion in reentry, and results of current research.... This brief demonstrates that the Kairos Horizon program is an invaluable partner in navigating an uncharted prisoner reentry landscape." Children of Prisoners (April 23, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1937]

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SENTENCING

Changing Fortunes or Changing Attitudes? Sentencing and Corrections Reforms in 2003. By Jon Wool and Don Stemen, Vera Institute of Justice. Issues in Brief. (The Institute, New York, New York) March 2004. 16 p.

Full Text at: www.vera.org/publication_pdf/226_431.pdf

["This issue brief surveys the most recent changes to sentencing and corrections policies and identifies the range of reforms being implemented. Using case studies of changes in four states, it also explores the role of changing attitudes toward crime and the possibility that the shifts in policy may outlast the budget crises that precipitated them." Children of Prisoners (April 19, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1938]

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CULTURE AND SOCIETY

CULTURAL POLICY

"Youth, Pornography, and the Internet." By Dick Thornburgh and Herbert Lin. IN: Issues, vol. 20, no. 2 (Winter 2004) pp. 43-48.

["The Internet is both a source of promise for our children and a source of concern. The promise is that the Internet offers such an enormous range of positive and educational materials for our children. Yet children online may be vulnerable to harm through exposure to sexually explicit materials."]

[Request #S1939]

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DEMOGRAPHY

IMMIGRANTS

California's Immigrants Turn the Corner. By Dowell Myers and others, Urban Initiative, University of Southern California. (The University, Los Angeles, California) March 2004. 12 p.

Full Text at: urban.usc.edu/main_doc/downloads/california_summary.pdf

["The report ... finds that for the first time since 1970 census data in 2000 show that 'fewer immigrants came to California at or below the poverty line and overall levels of impoverishment amongst the foreign-born in the state have also dropped.'"]

[Request #S1940]

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IMMIGRATION

"The Fertility Contribution of Mexican Immigration to the United States." By Stefan Hrafn Jonsson and Michael S. Rendall. IN: Demography, vol. 41, no. 1 (February 2004) pp. 129-150.

["Crucial to the long-term contribution of immigration to a receiving country's population is the extent to which the immigrants reproduce themselves in subsequent, native-born generations. Using conventional projection methodologies, this fertility contribution may be poorly estimated primarily because of problems in projecting the number of immigrants who are at risk of childbearing. [The authors] propose an alternative method that obviates the need to project the number of immigrants by using the full sending-country birth cohort as the risk group to project their receiving-country childbearing."]

[Request #S1941]

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ECONOMY

ARTS & CULTURE

The Arts: A Competitive Advantage for California: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations in California: Update to the 1994 Economic Impact of the Arts Report. By the California Arts Council. (The Council, Sacramento, California) April 2004. 102 p.

Full Text at: www.cac.ca.gov/advantage/files/EconomicImpactFull.pdf

["Report: Arts Bring State $5.4 Billion Funding is Investment, Not a Subsidy: The study shows that California's nonprofit arts organizations contribute to the state's economy through tourism, the employment of 160,000 people, and state and local sales and income taxes totaling $300 million.... The study showed that the nonprofit arts organizations in California attract 71.2 million people (including 6 million tourists) to activities ranging from dance and art lessons to attending cultural presentations." Sacramento Bee (April 30, 2004) A3.]

[Request #S1942]

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CALIFORNIA

State Technology and Science Index: Enduring Lessons for the Intangible Economy. By Ross DeVol and others, Milken Institute. (The Institute, Santa Monica, California) March 2004. 72 p.

Full Text at: www.milkeninstitute.org/pdf/state_tech_sci_index04.pdf

["The report found that, while our state remains a leading center of high-tech innovation, California is starting to lose ground to other states in the education and training of its residents for technical careers. California must continue to increase funding of science and technology in its university systems or risk losing one of its most important historical comparative advantages." San Francisco Chronicle(April 16, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1943]

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DEFENSE RESTRUCTURING

Department of Defense Prime Contract Awards by State FY2003. By the Department of Defense. (The California Institute for Federal Policy Research, Washington, DC) 2004. 1 p.

Full Text at: www.calinst.org/datapages/prime03s.pdf

["New data from the Pentagon's Directorate for Information Operations and Reports show that California's share of the nation's defense prime contracts in fiscal year 2003 remained at 15 percent of the nation's total, virtually unchanged from the state's percentage share of prime contracts in 2002." Capitol Hill Bulletin (April 23, 2004) 3.]

[Request #S1944]

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OUTSOURCING

The Offshore Road to Serfdom. By Adrian Moore and Ted Balaker, American Legislative Exchange Council. (The Council, Washington, DC) April 2004. 5 p.

Full Text at: www.alec.org/meSWFiles/pdf/0411.pdf

["High-end estimates predict that between now and 2015, 3.3 million U.S. information technology jobs will move offshore.... When companies save money by sending rote work overseas, they invest more to create new jobs at home. An analysis of labor data by the Institute for International Economics show that while more than 70,000 computer programmers have lost their jobs since 1999, more than 115,000 higher paid computer software engineers have been hired since 1999."]

[Request #S1945]

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EDUCATION

EDUCATION FINANCE

Caught in the Financial Aid Information Divide: A National Survey of Latino Perspectives on Financial Aid. By the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute. Prepared for the Salliemae Fund. (The Fund, Washington, DC) March 2004. 22 p.

Full Text at: www.salliemaefund.org/news/TRPI%20Presentation.ppt

["Most Latino families do not know there is financial aid available for college, leaving them greatly underrepresented in higher education.... Latino students may not take the courses necessary for college entrance if they don't get information about financial aid until they are a few years into high school." San Francisco Chronicle (April 1, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1946]

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HIGHER EDUCATION

The Educational Pipeline: Big Investment, Big Returns. By the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. (The Center, San Jose, California) April 2004. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.highereducation.org/reports/pipeline/pipeline.pdf

["Creating educational policies to address key transition points in the educational pipeline can pay substantial dividends in educational capital. Recommendations include: Develop strategies to improve basic skills; involve parents, business leaders, and the community; create college tuition policies based on median income and support need-based financial aid; build high-capacity, open-entry, two-year college systems that encourage transfer; encourage dual enrollment and advanced placement policies that speed the transition from high school to college."]

[Request #S1947]

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MENTORING

The Impact of Mentoring on Teacher Retention: What the Research Says. By Richard Ingersoll and Jeffrey M. Kralik, Education Commission of the States. (The Commission, Denver, Colorado) February 2004. 1 p.

Full Text at: www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/50/36/5036.doc

["In recent years there has been a growth in support, guidance and orientation programs ... for beginning elementary and secondary teachers during the transition into their first teaching jobs. While the particulars of such programs vary widely, they are generally intended to increase the confidence and effectiveness of new teachers, and thus to stem the high levels of attrition among beginning teachers, which estimates place as high as 40-50% within the first five years."]

[Request #S1948]

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SCHOOL MEALS

School Meal Programs: Competitive Foods Are Available in Many Schools: Actions Taken to Restrict Them Differ by State and Locality. By the U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO-04-673. (The Office, Washington, DC) April 2004. 36 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d04673.pdf

["Some states and localities have exercised their authority to restrict competitive foods in schools.... Competitive foods include all foods and beverages sold in schools except for meals provided through the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.... Current federal regulations restrict only a subset of competitive foods, foods of minimal nutritional value, from being sold during mealtimes in food service areas."]

[Request #S1949]

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SCHOOL VOUCHERS

Grading Vouchers: Ranking America's School Choice Programs. By Robert C. Enlow, Milton and Rose D. Foundation. School Choice Issues In Depth. Vol. 2, No. 1. (The Foundation, New York, New York) 2004. 13 p.

Full Text at: www.friedmanfoundation.org/resources/rankings.pdf

["This report evaluates voucher programs based on three criteria: student eligibility, purchasing power, and school restrictions. Student eligibility measures how accessible each program is for students who want to participate. Purchasing power measures the dollar value of the voucher, which directly determines how much choice it offers to the student. School restrictions measures the extent to which the program limits which schools participating students are allowed to choose."]

[Request #S1950]

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EMPLOYMENT

UNEMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS

354,000 Exhaust Jobless Aid in March, Setting a One-Month Record: Total Unemployed Denied Federal Aid Approaches 1.5 Million. By Isaac Shapiro, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (The Center, Washington, DC) April 26, 2004. 5 p.

Full Text at: www.cbpp.org/4-26-04ui.pdf

["Putting March's Rosy Jobs Report in Perspective: An alarming set of numbers can be found in the predicament of the long-term unemployed, those jobless workers who've exhausted both their regular unemployment benefits and the temporary federal unemployment benefits progam. Since December, when Congress let the temporary program lapse, about 1.1 million unemployed have fallen through what once was -- and what still needs to be -- an essential safety net." Copley News Service (April 14, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1951]

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WAGES

Increasing the Visibility of the Invisible Workforce: Model Programs and Policies for Hourly and Low-wage Employees. By Leon C. Litchfield and others. Prepared for the Boston College Center of Work and Family. (The Center, Washington, DC) April 2004. 92 p.

Full Text at: www.cvworkingfamilies.org/downloads/model%20programs%20&%20policies%20for%20lower-wage%20employees.pdf

["Study Calls for Better Treatment of Workers; Report Illustrates Increasing Attention Being Paid to Low-wage Employees: Companies should treat their low-wage workers better -- for the companies' own good. That was the conclusion of a study that described the precarious existence of many hourly-wage earners. About one-third of all U.S. workers earn less than $15,000 a year and an additional 20% make between that and $25,000." Los Angeles Times (April 23, 2004) C1.]

[Request #S1952]

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WOMEN

Women's Economic Status in the States: Wide Disparities by Race, Ethnicity, and Region. By Amy Caiazza and others, Institute for Women's Policy Research. (The Institute, Washington, DC) April 20, 2004. 48 p.

Full Text at: www.iwpr.org/pdf/R260.pdf

["Gender Pay Gap Lingers, Study Finds: Women earn 76 cents for every dollar earned by a man.... Latina women suffer most from pay disparities, earning only 52.5 cents for every dollar earned by white men. Women from all racial and ethnic backgrounds earned 67.5 cents for every dollar earned by white men -- a wider gap than the one found by comparing all women to all men.... The report recommends national, state and local governments alleviate racial and gender-based job discrimination as well as occupational segregation that tends to associate certain low-wage jobs with specific ethnic and racial groups." Sacramento Bee (April 12, 2004) D7.]

[Request #S1953]

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ENERGY

ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY

Final Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout in the United States and Canada. By the U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force. (U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC) April 2004. 228 p.

["Investigators said that Ohio utility FirstEnergy Corp. could have prevented the largest outage in North American history by disconnecting a piece of its system in the Cleveland area.... The report includes 46 recommendations for preventing blackouts. At the top of the list is mandatory reliability rules to replace the voluntary guidelines that govern behavior on North America's interconnected energy grid." Los Angeles Times (April 6, 2004) A17.]

https://reports.energy.gov/BlackoutFinal-Web.pdf

[Request #S1954]

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GASOLINE AND DIESEL

Shell Oil's Profit Report Confirms West Coast Profiteering: Press Release. By the Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights. (The Foundation, Santa Monica, California) April 20, 2004. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.consumerwatchdog.org/utilities/pr/pr004238.php3

["Oil Firms' Profits Rise Sharply: A look at company books confirms that profits are indeed rising along with gas prices -- something even oil companies won't deny. The disagreement is around the question of why. The foundation suggests the answer is clear: Oil companies are ripping consumers off.... Most industries profit at a time of rising prices, industry representatives said. They pointed to statistics they said show the oil industry's average profits haven't risen any higher than other industries." San Jose Mercury News (April 21, 2004) BU1.]

[Request #S1955]

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ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

CLIMATE CHANGE

"Southern Ocean Iron Enrichment Experiment: Carbon Cycling in High- and Low-Si Waters." By Kenneth H. Coale and others. IN: Science, vol. 304 no. 5669 (April 16, 2004) pp. 408-416.

["Ocean biologists and chemists from more than 20 research centers said they triggered two huge blooms of phytoplankton that turned the ocean green for weeks and sent hundreds, perhaps thousands, of tons of a greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, to a watery grave.... What scientists still don't know is whether fertilizing the oceans with iron is a viable scheme for easing global warming nor what effect enormous phytoplankton blooms will have on ocean ecosystems that dominate 70 percent of the globe." Oakland Tribune (April 16, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1956]

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DRINKING WATER

Public Health Goal for Arsenic in Drinking Water. By the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency. (The Office, Sacramento, California) April 2004.

["California set a public health goal for arsenic in drinking water far below a pending federal standard that already is projected to cost local ratepayers more than $80 million.... The agency must now use the new state goal to create a standard for the maximum allowable level of arsenic in drinking water, which by law must be as close to the health goal as is economically and technically feasible." San Francisco Chronicle (April 23, 2004) 1.]

Public Health Goal. 226 p.:
http://www.oehha.ca.gov/water/phg/pdf/asfinal.pdf

Press Release. 2 p.:
http://www.oehha.ca.gov/public_info/press/arsenicPHG42304.pdf

Fact Sheet. 2 p.:
http://www.oehha.ca.gov/public_info/facts/pdf/Arsenicfinalphgfacts.pdf

[Request #S1957]

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ENDANGERED SPECIES

Extinction and the Endangered Species Act. By Kieran Suckling and others, Center for Biological Diversity. (The Center, Tucson, Arizona) April 21, 2004. 10 p.

Full Text at: www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/Programs/policy/esa/EESA.pdf

["Protections for Wildlife Criticized; Long Delays in Adding 114 Animals to the Federal Endangered Species List Led to the Demise of Most, a Study Says: One was a blue butterfly found in only one meadow in the Angeles National Forest. Another was a rare fish at the California-Nevada border. Both are among 114 species that have become extinct since the passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973, in most cases because of lengthy delays in gaining protection." Los Angeles Times (April 22, 2004) B5.]

[Request #S1958]

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OCEAN RESOURCES

An Alternate Framework to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. By Michael DeAlessi, Reason Public Policy Institute. Policy Brief. No. 29. (The Institute, Los Angeles, California) April 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.rppi.org/pb29.pdf

["Despite the value of the oceans as a resource for both commercial and recreational activities, overfishing and habitat destruction are widespread.... The Ocean Commission's report falls short of its primary goal of establishing a 'comprehensive and coordinated approach' to managing and protecting our coastal heritage. Instead, the report focuses on creating more administrative offices of ocean affairs.... The key to managing the oceans sustainably is recognizing that stewardship and ownership are intimateley related.... Ownership begets responsible stewardship."]

[Request #S1959]

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GENERAL GOVERNMENT

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Advancing the Management of Homeland Security: Summary Report. By the National Academy of Public Administration. (The Academy, Washington, DC) February 2004. 36 p.

Full Text at: www.napawash.org/si/HS-WHITE.pdf

["Is Road to Chaos Paved With 'Ad Hoc' Reform? Paul A. Volcker raised those questions at the conference. Volcker said he sensed 'something of a thread of incoherence' as the Department of Defence and Homeland Security move forward with a lot of ad hoc changes. Congress should mandate a certain consistency so that agency reorganizations would be based on a government-wide policy that allowed for flexibility while providing accountability and protecting employee rights, Volcker suggested." Washington Post (February 22, 2004) C2.]

[Request #S1960]

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LEGISLATURES

Legislating for Results. By the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Urban Institute. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) 2004. 125 p.

["Performance information offers a better understanding of the results of state activities. Perhaps even more important, it provides basic information to help improve what the state is doing for its citizens. This collection of briefs identifies actions state legislators and staff can take to improve and use program results information they receive from the executive branch."]

[Request #S1961]

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POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

The Ties That Bind: Changing Demographics and Civic Engagement in California. By S. Karthick Ramakrishnan and Mark Baldassare, Public Policy Institute of California. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) 2004. 128 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/R_404KRR.pdf

["Nonwhites in California Underrepresented in Civic Participation: It's not just Election Day. Nonwhite Californians are underrepresented in nearly every phase of the daily civic-political process, from attending rallies to writing campaign checks, a sweeping new study reports.... Whites were up to twice as likely as Hispanics, blacks or Asians to sign petitions, write elected officials, contribute to a campaign, attend a rally or volunteer for a political party. Whites also were almost twice as likely to volunteer for nonpolitical organizations as Asians or Latinos -- though the rate for whites was only about 30 percent." Los Angeles Daily News (April 21,2004) 1.]

[Request #S1962]

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STATE BUDGETS

Many States Cut Budgets as Fiscal Squeeze Continues. By Elizabeth McNichol and Makeda Harris, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (The Center, Washington, DC) April 26, 2004. 15 p.

Full Text at: www.cbpp.org/4-22-04sfp.pdf

["State government continues to shrink as states struggle to deal with the lingering state fiscal crisis. States cut expenditures over the last three years as they filled budget gaps that totaled about $250 billion. Despite the turnaround in the national economy, many states continue to face gaps in their fiscal year 2005 budgets. States remain reluctant to raise taxes and are running out of short-term fixes; they are once again turning to spending cuts to close those gaps."]

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STATE TAXES

"The 2002 Downturn in State Revenues: A Comparative Review and Analysis." By J. Fred Giert, Institute of Government and Public Affairs and Department of Economics, University of Illinois, and Seth H. Giertz, Congressional Budget Office. IN: National Tax Journal, vol. 57, no. 1 (March 2004) pp. 111-132.

["[The authors] analyze the behavior of state revenues since the early 1950s to determine the severity of the revenue declines experienced by states after the 2001 recession."]

[Request #S1964]

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

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

["A recent report ... analyzes options for developing a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Attempting to ease poverty rates and develop incentives for working low-income families with children to leave public assistance is a growing concern for California. Dr. Thomas MacCurdy offers four distinct approaches and tests them along three dimensions: their effect on work incentives, the distribution of benefits across poor families, and the costs of such programs." Capitol Hill Bulletin (April 23, 2004) 3.]

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TAXATION

Hidden in Plain Sight: A Look at the $335 Billion Federal Asset-Building Budget. By the Corporation for Enterprise Development. (The Corporation, Washington, DC) Spring 2004. 66 p.

Full Text at: www.cfed.org/

["Assessing the Costs of Hidden Tax Breaks: Only accountants can track every dollar-saving filing technique through home mortgage deductions, charitable write-offs, deferred annuities, IRAs, education credits, preferential tax rates on capital gains and dividends, and a vast array of provisions allowing one to put off taxing accumulated wealth.... The report totals up costs of the federal government's major asset-building tax breaks and spending programs at $335 billion yearly -- a stunning third of a trillion dollars." Investors Business Daily (April 5, 2004) A18.]

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TAXES

California's State/Local Tax Burden Now at National Average. By the Tax Foundation. (The Foundation, Washington, D.C.) 2004. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.taxfoundation.org/california/statelocal-ca.html

["Residents' Tax Load Below U.S. Average: A national business-backed organization that tracks the tax burden imposed by state government unveiled a surprise yesterday: California has dropped below the national average in its annual ranking....The Tax Foundation suspects that part of the reason California dropped from 8th to 26th is that many other states raised their taxes to close budget gaps, while California is using a $15 billion bond approved by voters last month." San Diego Tribune (April 8, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1967]

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HEALTH

ALCOHOL & DRUG USE

Youth Exposure to Alcohol Ads on Television, 2002: From 2001 to 2002, Alcohol's Adland Grew Vaster. By the Center on Alcoholic Marketing and Youth, Georgetown University. (The Center, Washington DC) April 21, 2004. 12 p.

Full Text at: camy.org/research/tv0404/report.pdf

["Teens Saw More Alcohol Ads in 2002: The alcohol industry poured money into advertising in 2002, with many of the ads reaching young people not old enough to vote, a study says.... The study found that significant ad increases for distilled spirits and low-alcohol refreshers accounted for much of the ad jump." Associated Press (April 21, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1968]

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LONG TERM CARE

Financing Long-Term Care for the Elderly. By Stuart Hagen, Health and Human Resources Division, Congressional Budget Office. A CBO Paper. (The Office, Washington, DC) April 2004. 61 p.

["The growing shares of the population accounted for by seniors and the very old raise doubts about whether the current distribution of long-term care (LTC) financing and the incentives those financing sources include can support increased demand for long-term care without heightening budgetary strains.... This CBO paper summarizes the current state of financing for long-term care, identifies some of the issues affecting it both now and in the future, and considers policy alternatives that address the mix of private and governmental sources of financing for LTC costs."]

ftp://ftp.cbo.gov/54xx/doc5400/04-26-LongTermCare.pdf

[Request #S1969]

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MANAGED CARE

Managed Care Redux: Health Plans Shift Responsibilities to Consumers. By Debra A. Draper and Gary Claxton, Center for Studying Health System Change. Issue Brief. No. 79. (The Center, Washington, DC) 2004. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.hschange.org/CONTENT/666/666.pdf

["In 2003, employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rose an average of nearly 14 percent, the largest increase since 1990 and the third straight year of double-digit increases.... Health plans are under pressure to identify new ways to slow escalating premium trends while tempering consumer discontent.... In collaboration with employers, plans are redeploying some traditional managed care practices and developing new products to encourage consumers to make more cost-conscious health care choices."]

[Request #S1970]

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NURSING HOMES

Pilot Program for Background Checks on Nursing Home Employees. By Federal Funds Information for States. FFIS Issue Brief. 04-11. (FFIS, Washington, DC) April 19, 2004. 2 p.

["The program's goal is to identify efficient, effective and economical processes for background checks on employees with direct access to residents and patients. The pilot would apply only to long-term care facilities and providers that participate in the Medicare and/or Medicaid programs. Self-directed care arrangements are excluded from the pilot."]

[Request #S1971]

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OBESITY

"Preventing Childhood Obesity by Reducing Consumption of Carbonated Drinks: Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial." By Janet James and others. IN: British Medical Journal (April 27, 2004) pp. 1-5.

Full Text at: bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/reprint/bmj.38077.458438.EEv2.pdf

["School programs discouraging carbonated drinks appear to be effective in reducing obesity among children, a new study suggests.... The study found that a one-year campaign discouraging both sweetened and diet soft drinks led to a decrease in the percentage of elementary school children who were overweight or obese. The improvement occurred after a reduction in consumption of less than a can a day." New York Times (April 23, 2004) A19.]

[Request #S1972]

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HOUSING

LOW-INCOME HOUSING

New HUD Policy will Force Immediate Cuts in Housing Voucher Assistance for Low-income Families: HUD Acted to Force Cuts Even Though Congress Provided Sufficient Funding to Support All Vouchers. By Barbara Sard and Will Fischer, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (The Center, Washington, DC) April 26, 2004. 9 p.

Full Text at: www.cbpp.org/4-26-04hous.pdf

["Administration Alters Rules for Rent Aid; Housing Advocates Criticize Section 8 Changes: The Administration is changing the nation's largest program of housing assistance so that, for the first time, the government no longer is promising to pay the full cost of rent vouchers that help nearly 2 million poor families." Washington Post (April 21, 2004) A21.]

[Request #S1973]

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HUMAN SERVICES

FATHERHOOD

"Is There Really a Fatherhood Crisis?" By Stephen Baskerville. IN: The Independent Review, vol. 8, no. 4 (Spring 2004) pp. 485-508.

Full Text at: www.independent.org/tii/media/pdf/tir_08_4_baskerville.pdf

["Government policies intended to deal with the 'fatherhood crisis' have been ineffective at best because the root cause is not child abandonment by fathers, but policies that give mothers an incentive to initiate marital separation and divorce. Women file about 70 percent of divorces, and about 80 percent of divorces are unilateral, according to Stephen Baskerville.... Most significantly, the principal incentive [to instigate separation] is not grounds such as desertion, adultery, or violence, but control of the children." The Lighthouse (April 26, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1974]

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NUTRITION PROGRAMS

USDA Provides Services Through Multiple Programs, but Stronger Linkages Among Efforts are Needed. By the U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO-04-528. (The Office, Washington, DC) April 2004. 56 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d04528.pdf

["GAO recommends that the Secretary of Agriculture develop a unifying strategy for USDA's nutrition education efforts, identify and disseminate lessons learned, and consider a longer-term evaluation strategy."]

[Request #S1975]

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State of the States: 2004. A Profile of Food and Nutrition Programs Across the Nation. By the Food Research and Action Center. (The Center, Washington, DC) April 2004. 88 p.

Full Text at: www.frac.org/html/news/State%20of%20the%20States.2004.pdf

["The good news is that more eligible people are receiving food stamps and WIC, school lunch, school breakfast and after-school food, says the Food Research and Action Center in its annual state-by-state report on hunger. But economic trends and government decision-making are doing little to bridge the wealth gap in America. Despite jobs, millions of families struggle to keep poverty and hunger at bay. In 2002, 12 million households experienced either food insecurity or hunger; Black and Hispanic households experienced food insecurity at double the national average." Connect for Kids (April 26, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1976]

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PARENTS

Timing of Services to Parents: Consequences for Federal Timelines. By Marna Geyer Miller, Washington State Institute for Public Policy. Document No. 04-02-3906. (The Institute, Olympia, Washington) 2004. 11 p.

Full Text at: www.wsipp.wa.gov/rptfiles/04-02-3906.pdf

["Under the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act, when a child has been in out-of-home care for 15 of the previous 22 months, the state must begin proceedings to terminate parental rights. The law assumes that during the period of out-of-home placements, the state will provide services to help the parent make the changes necessary to provide a safe family home for the child."]

[Request #S1977]

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RETIREMENT

EEOC Approves Proposal to Exempt Retiree Health Plans from Age Discrimination in Employment Act: Press Release. By the U. S. Equal Opportunity Commission. (The Commission, Washington, D.C.) April 22, 2004. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.eeoc.gov/press/4-22-04a.html

["Agency to Allow Insurance Cuts for the Retired: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission voted to allow employers to reduce or eliminate health benefits for retirees when they become eligible for Medicare at 65.... Employer-sponsored health plans help retirees pay medical expenses not covered by Medicare." New York Times (April 23, 2004) A1.]

[Request #S1978]

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TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES

Congress' Proposed TANF Work Requirements Do Not Work For California. By the California Budget Project. Welfare Reform Update. (The Project, Sacramento, California) March 2004. 7 p.

Full Text at: www.cbp.org/2004/040326tanfwork.pdf

["Congress is slated to reauthorize the TANF block grants this year.... The new work requirements proposed in these bills would reduce the flexibility of California and its 58 counties to develop programs that meet the needs of recipients in the CalWORKs program and effectively move them into the workforce. Moreover, these bills would greatly increase costs for states, while freezing TANF block grant funds and providing only a minimal increase in child care funding."]

[Request #S1979]

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INSURANCE

REDLINING

State Farm Mututal Automobile Insurance Company v. John Garamendi. California Supreme Court. S102251. April 26, 2004. 19 p.

Full Text at: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S102251.PDF

["Californians will be able to see insurance records that show how many policies companies issue in different neighborhoods that may reveal whether insurers are discriminating illegally. The unanimous decision allows Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi to release documents submitted by insurers that break down coverage by postal ZIP codes. The companies argued that the records contain trade secrets that should be exempt from disclosure because they could reveal confidential marketing strategies." San Francisco Chronicle (April 27, 2004) C1.]

[Request #S1980]

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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.]

HEALTH

HEALTH CARE

Patient Safety: Achieving a New Standard for Care. By Phillip Aspden and others, Committee on Data Standards for Patient Safety. (The National Academies Press, Washington, DC) 2004. 400 p.

["Throughout this report, evidence is presented describing the critical role of nurses in the U.S. health care system. Nurses monitor patients' status, coordinate their care, educate them and their families, and provide essential therapeutic care. This report also documents the many changes that have taken place in health care delivery over the last two decades that have affected the way in which nurses provide this care and keep patient safe from health care errors." Publisher's Announcement, NOTE: Patient Safety ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S1981]

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UNINSURED

State Options for Expanding Health Care Access. By the National Conference of State Legislatures. Balancing Health Needs with Resource Series. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) 2004. 77 p.

["Nearly 44 million Americans are uninsured. This report suggests solutions to that crisis and is one in a series which explores the most proactive, creative and unique ideas in improving and expanding cost-effective health services for all men, women and children." NCSL News (April 16, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1982]

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