Subject: Studies in the News 07-13 (March 21, 2007)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News


California -- One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago

March 1857 - "The county seat for Tehama County was moved from Tehama to Red Bluff in March 1857.... The town of Tehama was the oldest in date of foundation of all in the county, springing up on the Thomes ranch. Red Bluff, first named Leodocia, had too great an advantage and soon distanced it. It became a growing town of considerable business activity and of importance as a railway point.... Red Bluff was later the home of Mrs. John Brown. In 1864, the widow of John Brown, the famous abolitionist of Harpers Ferry, came to Red Bluff with her children. So great was the admiration for John Brown in that area that a considerable sum of money was raised to provide his widow and children with a home. "  http://ohp.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=21531  

March 1857 - "Mr. Henry Larkin's Omnibus stage line, established March 24, 1857, made two daily trips between Placerville and El Dorado… In 1857 the first work for improving the Johnson's Cut-off road, across the Sierra Nevada from Placerville to Carson valley, was just commencing.... Col. J. B. Crandall, took one of his six-horse Concord stages over the mountains, with the intention to start a weekly stage between Placerville and Genoa…. In June 1857 the Board of wagon road directors made an inspecting trip over the said road … The passenger fare from Placerville to Salt Lake City amounted to $125.00. www.westernlivingcenter.com/history/ch25-internal%20-bridges%20stages.htm "    

Contents This Week

Introductory Material CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT
   Homicide rate for blacks
   Backlog of DNA evidence
   Reviewing DWI systems
   Hate crimes against homeless
   Immigrants and crimes
   Failure of prison drug treatment programs
DEMOGRAPHY
   A portrait of generation next
   Attitudes of college freshmen
ECONOMY
   Filming at LA airports raise revenue
   Rise in income inequality questioned
   Counterfeit products cost LA
   Defense industry still has impact in San Diego
   East Bay economic outlook
EDUCATION
   Art education in California
   Early look at restructuring schools
   State education system is broken
ENERGY
   Implications of global energy transitions
   The ethanol boondoggle
ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
   Conservation may limit global warming
GENERAL GOVERNMENT
   Problems with the stem cell agency
   Criticism of anti-terror grant criteria
   California budget practices examined
   State of the judiciary
   Federal budget and California
   Public appreciates peace in Sacramento
HEALTH
   Shopping for price in health care
   Promoting health information technology
   Ruling may snag state health plan
   Court upholds stem cell program
   Summary of Oregon assisted suicide law
HOUSING
   Predatory lending laws' effect on mortgages
HUMAN SERVICES
   Reducing poverty with the EITC
   How well has family leave worked
INSURANCE
   Mixed results in workers' comp poll
TRANSPORTATION
   Primer on congestion pricing
STUDIES TO COME
   Boomers need immigrants
   California economic forecast
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.

  • 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

AFRICAN AMERICANS

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2004 Homicide Data. By Josh Sugarmann and Marty Langley, Violence Policy Center. (The Center, Washington, DC) January 2007. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.vpc.org/studies/blackhomicide.pdf

[“California ranks fourth in the nation in homicide rates for black victims. The per-capita death rate from homicide among blacks in California is more than half again the average for blacks nationally.... Guns, especially handguns, were primary murder weapons virtually everywhere, and homicides between people who knew each other tended to dominate.” Los Angeles Times (January 30, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71301]

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DNA

Emergency Report and Recommendations Regarding DNA Testing Backlogs. By the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice. (The Commission, Santa Clara, California) February 20, 2007. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.ccfaj.org/documents/reports/problems/official/Report%20on%20DNA%20Backlogs.pdf

[“A state panel considering criminal justice reform urged the Legislature to immediately find the money to hire lab technicians to reduce a huge backlog of DNA samples that could hold the key to both catching criminals and exonerating the innocent. More than two years after Proposition 69 authorized expansion of DNA testing, the California Department of Justice had profiled about 740,000 swab samples but still had a backlog of almost 160,000 samples. Although the backlog is expected to be less than 60,000 by mid-year, officials anticipate receiving 240,000 new samples annually.” Los Angeles Times (February 21, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71304]

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DRUNK DRIVING

10 Steps to a Strategic Review of the DWI System: A Guidebook for Policy Makers. By Robyn Robertson and others, Traffic Injury Research Foundation. (The Foundation, Ottawa, Ontario) 2007. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.trafficinjuryresearch.com/publications/PDF_publications/TIRF_Booklet.pdf

["The report is designed to help policy makers lead a strategic review of the driving while intoxicated (DWI) system at the local, county, or state level with the goal of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the DWI system and closing loopholes that might be exploited by repeat offenders."]

[Request #S71305]

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HATE CRIMES

Hate, Violence and Death on Main Street USA: A Report on Hate Crimes and Violence Against People Experiencing Homelessness. By the National Coalition for the Homeless. (The Coalition, Washington, DC ) February 2007.

Full Text at: www.nationalhomeless.org/getinvolved/projects/hatecrimes/2006report.pdf

[“Growing numbers of the nation's homeless are falling victim to savage attacks by thrill-seeking teenagers, according to a report by a national advocacy group. The coalition tracks news accounts of homeless people who were beaten, raped or killed by perpetrators who have homes. Among the known perpetrators, 62 percent were teenagers, and 84 percent were age 25 or younger. The beatings are symptomatic of a much deeper problem: the stigma associated with homelessness and its underlying causes.” Contra Costa Times (February 21, 2007) 1.]

Report. 104 p.
report

Executive Summary. 1 p.
summary

[Request #S71306]

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IMMIGRATION

The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation: Incarceration Rates Among Native and Foreign-Born Men. By Ruben G. Rumbaut and Walter A. Ewing, American Immigration Law Foundation. (The Foundation, Washington, DC) Spring 2007. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.ailf.org/ipc/special_report/sr_022107.pdf

[“A common perception that immigrants are responsible for much of the nation's crime is not supported by evidence, according to a study. One of the key findings the study cites is that U.S.-born men, ages 18-39, are five times more likely to be incarcerated than foreign-born men in the same age group. However, the ‘paradox of assimilation’ is that the children of immigrants tend to have higher incarceration rates than their parents.” North County Times (February 27, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71302]

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PRISONERS

Special Review into In-Prison Substance Abuse Programs Managed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. By Matthew L. Cate, Inspector General. (Office of the Inspector General, Sacramento, California) February 2007. 60 p.

Full Text at: www.oig.ca.gov/reports/pdf/SubstanceAbusePrograms.pdf

["California's $1-billion investment in drug treatment for prisoners since 1989 has been ‘a complete waste of money,’ and has done nothing to reduce the number of inmates cycling in and out of custody. One in five inmates in California is serving time for a drug offense, and an even larger proportion need drug treatment. California's recidivism rate, meanwhile, remains among the highest in the country, with about 70% of inmates returning to prison within several years of their release. The programs' ineffectiveness boils down to poor management by the department, which often houses them in prison settings where they are doomed to fail." Los Angeles Times (February 22, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71303]

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DEMOGRAPHY

YOUNG ADULTS

A Portrait of "Generation Next": How Young People View Their Lives, Futures and Politics. By the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. (The Center, Washington, DC) January 2007. 45 p.

Full Text at: people-press.org/reports/pdf/300.pdf

["In reassuring ways, the generation that came of age in the shadow of Sept. 11 shares the characteristics of other generations of young adults. They are generally happy with their lives and optimistic about their futures. Moreover, Gen Nexters feel that educational and job opportunities are better for them today than for the previous generation. At the same time, many of their attitudes and priorities reflect a limited set of life experiences. Marriage, children and an established career remain in the future for most of those in Generation Next."]

[Request #S71307]

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The American Freshman: The National Norms for Fall 2006. By John H. Pryor and others, Cooperative Institutional Research Program, University of California, Los Angeles. (The University, Los Angeles, California) 2006. 22 p.

Full Text at: www.gseis.ucla.edu/heri/PDFs/06CIRPFS_Norms_Narrative.pdf

[“A report about the attitudes of college freshmen nationwide came as no surprise. Acceptance of same-sex marriage grew from 2005 to 2006.... The percentage of students identifying themselves as 'liberal,' 28.4%, is at its highest level since 1975, and those identifying as 'conservative,' 23.9%, at its highest level in the survey's 40-year history." Los Angeles Times (January 19, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71308]

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ECONOMY

FILM INDUSTRY

Now Arriving Daily: The Economic Output, Jobs, Wages and City Tax Revenue Attributable to Los Angeles World Airport’s Film-Friendly Policy. By George Freeman and others, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. (The Corporation, Los Angeles, California) December 2006. 27 p.

Full Text at: www.laedc.org/consulting/projects/2006_LAWA.pdf

[“From the now-canceled ‘LAX’ to movies like ‘The Terminal’ and ‘Catch Me If You Can,’ film shoots at Los Angeles' airports generated $590 million in wages and other revenue for the L.A. region between 2002 and 2005. The report also credits airport filming with providing 4,800 full-time jobs that produced $280 million in wages and $1 million in city sales tax revenue.... Filming that used to be done almost exclusively in California is now seeing competition from outside the state, where filmmakers enjoy government subsidies, tax credits and other incentives.” Los Angeles Times (January 22, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71309]

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INCOME INEQUITY

Has U.S. Income Inequality Really Increased? By Alan Reynolds, Cato Institute. Policy Analysis. No. 586. (The Institute, Washington, DC) January 8, 2007. 28 p.

Full Text at: www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa586.pdf

["Studies based on tax return data provide highly misleading comparisons of changes to the U.S. income distribution because of dramatic changes in tax rules and tax reporting in recent decades. Aside from stock option windfalls during the late-1990s stock-market boom, there is little evidence of a significant or sustained increase in the inequality of U.S. incomes, wages, consumption, or wealth over the past 20 years."]

[Request #S71310]

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LOS ANGELES

A False Bargain: The Los Angeles County Economic Consequences of Counterfeit Products. By Gregory Freeman and others, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. (The Corporation, Los Angeles) February 2007. 40 p.

Full Text at: www.laedc.org/consulting/projects/2007_piracy-study.pdf

["Global piracy disproportionately hurts Los Angeles because so many of the firms that make the originals are concentrated here. The LAEDC estimates that firms making products prone to counterfeiting in nine at-risk sectors suffered combined losses of $5.2 billion in 2005."]

[Request #S71311]

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SAN DIEGO

San Diego Military Economic Impact Study. By Brent Hamsik and others, Export Access, University of California, San Diego. (The University, San Diego, California) January 2007. 54 p.

Full Text at: www.sddt.com/files/2007_Military_Economic_Impact_Study.pdf

[“Defense spending in San Diego County increased 49.3 percent in the three years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, pumping almost $11.7 billion into the local economy in 2004. The overall economic impact amounted to almost 14.7 percent of San Diego's Gross Regional Product. The relative impact of Pentagon spending was higher a decade ago, before the explosive growth of the biotechnology, information technology and telecommunications industries diversified the local economy. Department of Defense spending on military wages and salaries increased more than 13 percent in 2002, but the biggest hike came in contracts awarded in the region.” San Diego Union-Tribune (February 1, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71312]

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SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

East Bay Economic Outlook: 1st Quarter 2007. By Ryan Ratcliff, UCLA Anderson Forecast. (East Bay Economic Development Alliance, Oakland, California) January 2007. 13 p.

Full Text at: www.edab.org/newsletter/Quarterly/EastBayQuarterlyForecastJanuary2007.pdf

[“The East Bay's employment market remains the Bay Area's star performer, but the relentless erosion of the housing market could tarnish the region's economic luster and darken the job outlook. ‘While the East Bay will likely bear most of the brunt of the real estate slowdown, exactly how severe this slowdown becomes will hinge on how much steam is left in the tech renaissance.’" Contra Costa Times (February 9, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71313]

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EDUCATION

ARTS IN EDUCATION

An Unfinished Canvas: Arts Education in California: Taking Stock of Policies and Practices. By Katrina R. Woodworth and others, Center for Education Policy, SRI International. (SRI, Menlo Park, California) 2007.

[“California should consider testing student achievement in the arts, according to a study that found only 11 percent of the public schools are meeting state goals for arts instruction. Nontested subjects like the arts have been overshadowed by No Child Left Behind's focus on reading and math. Other recommendations include extending the school day to make time for the arts, strengthening teacher preparation in the arts, and having the state provide technical help to districts that want to create high-quality arts instruction.” San Francisco Chronicle (February 27, 2007) 1.]

Report. 163 p.
report

Summary Report. 24 p.
summary

[Request #S71314]

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NATIONAL STANDARDS

Beyond the Mountains: An Early Look at Restructuring Results in California. By Caitlin Scott, Center on Education Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) February 2007. 28 p.

Full Text at: www.cep-dc.org/pubs/beyondmountains/07014%20CA%20Restruct.pdf

[“The architects of the federal No Child Left Behind Act hoped that showering schools with extra money and expert advice over several years would make them succeed. But a new study shows that only 10 out of hundreds of low-scoring California schools facing severe consequences under No Child Left Behind have improved enough to get off of a state watch list this year. ‘Not all schools have the financial resources, knowledge base, collaborative drive, or stability of staff’ to make the required improvements.” San Francisco Chronicle (February 28, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71315]

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SCHOOL GOVERNANCE

Getting Down to Facts: A Research Project Examining California’s School Governance and Finance Systems. By Robert Reich, Stanford University, and others. (Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice, Stanford, California) 2007.

["The massive, much-anticipated study says California's education system is fundamentally broken and additional funding alone won't assure that all students learn the skills they should.... Among the major findings: 1) The current funding system is 'complex and irrational' and based on outdated funding formulas. 2) Schools are overly regulated and mired in paperwork. An abundance of laws and rigid policies keep principals from concentrating on student learning. 3) Data collection is a mess. No one -- legislators, principals, nor parents -- has the information necessary to make good decisions because the state's data system is incomplete." Sacramento Bee (March 15, 2007) A3.]

Overview. 4 p.
http://irepp.stanford.edu/documents/GDF/GDF-Project-Summary-color.pdf

List of Studies. Various pagings.
http://irepp.stanford.edu/projects/cafinance-studies.htm

[Request #S71316]

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ENERGY

ENERGY MANAGEMENT

Modeling the Oil Transition: A Summary of the Proceedings of the DOE/EPA Workshop on the Economic and Environmental Implications of Global Energy Transitions. By David L. Greene, Editor, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (The Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee) February 2007. 193 p.

Full Text at: tinyurl.com/36vuwz

["This workshop’s premise, that the global energy system faces sweeping changes in the next few decades with potentially critical implications for the global economy and the global environment, seems to have been generally accepted by the participants. But there is far less agreement about the key questions raised by a transition from conventional oil. When will it occur? Will it be sudden and disruptive or gradual and orderly? How will it affect global greenhouse gas emissions? Will local and regional environmental issues interfere with the expansion of alternative energy sources? Will it help or hurt energy security? How will the developing world cope with the transition?"]

[Request #S71317]

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ETHANOL

“Ethanol Boondoggle: Who's Kidding Who?" By Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren. IN: The Milken Institute Review, vol. 9, no. 1 (First Quarter 2007) pp. 16-27.

Full Text at: www.milkeninstitute.org/publications/review/2007_1/16-27mr33.pdf

["Welfare directed at the ethanol industry is staggering. Estimates of federal and state subsidies for ethanol in 2006 were somewhere between $5.1 billion and $6.8 billion, and they will soon increase, to as much as $8.7 billion annually, assuming no further change in policy. These estimates are conservative because they do not include ethanol consumption mandates, loan guarantees, subsidized loans, or tax-exempt bond financing for construction of ethanol processing plants.... The real purpose of the program is to convince urban voters to willingly hand over their money to corn farmers and the rapidly growing ranks of investors in ethanol plants."]

[Request #S71318]

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ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

CLIMATE CHANGE

Confronting Climate Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable and Managing the Unavoidable. By the United Nations-Sigma Xi Scientific Expert Group on Climate Change. (United Nations Foundation, Washington, DC) February 2007.

["The scientists from 11 countries urged sweeping conservation measures to hold the expected increase in temperatures to no more than an average of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit -— less than half the expected increase if emissions of greenhouse gas and soot continue unabated. Based on two years of study, the scientists called for bold actions, including carbon taxes, a ban on conventional coal-fired power plants and an end to beachfront construction worldwide.... With its emphasis on policy recommendations, the panel's effort marks a shift in the international politics of pollution and climate change, analysts said. Researchers are no longer debating whether human-induced global warming is genuine, but have begun the painstaking process of negotiating international agreement on what to do about it." Los Angeles Times (February 28, 2007) 1.]

Report. 166 p.
http://www.unfoundation.org/files/pdf/2007/SEG_Report.pdf

Executive Summary. 12 p.
http://www.unfoundation.org/files/pdf/2007/SEG_ExecSumm.pdf

[Request #S71319]

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GENERAL GOVERNMENT

AUDITS AND INVESTIGATIONS

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: It Has a Strategic Plan, but It Needs to Finish Developing Grant-Related Policies and Continue Strengthening Management Controls to Ensure Policy Compliance and Cost Containment. By the California State Auditor, Bureau of State Audits (The Bureau, Sacramento, California) February 2007. 101 p.

Full Text at: www.bsa.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2006-108.pdf

[“State auditors criticized California's $3 billion stem-cell institute for lax travel and entertainment rules that let its officials sometimes get chauffeured rental cars, expensive meals and first-class air fare. The report also faulted the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for using questionable data in justifying its salaries, which in some cases seemed excessive to the auditors. In addition, the report said, the institute offered vague reasoning for its policies governing how much revenue and other benefits the state should receive from those who develop products from the institute's stem-cell research grants.” San Jose Mercury News (February 28, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71320]

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Urban Area Security Initiative Grants: DHS Combined Analyses and Judgments for the FY06 Assessment and Allocation Processes, and Weighing Potential Changes for FY07. GAO-07-381R. By the U.S. Government Accountability Office (The Office, Washington, DC) February 7, 2007. 49 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d07381r.pdf

[“A congressional audit concluded that the Department of Homeland Security didn't know what it was doing last year when it rewrote criteria dropping Sacramento and San Diego from eligibility for anti-terrorism grants. Auditors were told by Homeland Security officials that they had ‘limited knowledge’ about how the criteria changes would impact an area's eligibility standing, and they didn't have the money to find out. Under criteria issued last year, Sacramento and San Diego would have been eliminated from eligibility beginning this year because they no longer were ranked among the top terrorist target areas. “ Sacramento Bee (February 8, 2007) A3.]

[Request #S71321]

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BUDGETING

Budget Practices and State Expenditures: Lessons for California. By Jaime Calleja Alderete, Public Policy Institute of California. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) March 2007. 103 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/report/R_307JCR.pdf

[“This report examines whether the adoption of certain kinds of administrative mechanisms in California’s annual budget process could make that process more efficient. If so, some of these budget practices could help reduce state spending. Six practices are used by other large-population states. But California now uses only one: the May revision of the governor’s budget. The author finds that the adoption of certain practices might indeed reduce per capita expenditures, but that others are unlikely to do so. The May revision produced no significant savings.”]

[Request #S71322]

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COURTS

State of the Judiciary. By Chief Justice Ronald M. George. Presented to a Joint Session of the Legislature of the State of California. (Judicial Council of California, San Francisco, California) February 26, 2007. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/reference/soj022607.htm

["California Chief Justice Ronald George called on lawmakers to repair the state's crumbling courthouses, hire more judges and increase legal services for those who can't afford to hire lawyers.... The chief justice also proposed a groundbreaking $5 million pilot program that would allow judges to appoint lawyers in some family-law cases and other areas where litigants tend to represent themselves. People acting as their own lawyers in cases where they aren't entitled to legal aid constitute the 'single most-challenging issue for the courts in the coming decade,' George said." Sacramento Bee (February 27, 2007) A3.]

[Request #S71323]

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FEDERAL BUDGET

What Would The President's Proposed Budget Mean for California? By Jean Ross, California Budget Project. (The Project, Sacramento, California) February 2007. 3 p.

Full Text at: www.cbp.org/pdfs/2007/02-21federalbudget.pdf

["Services for California's women, children and poor families would face more than $3 billion in cuts over the next five years under the President budget proposal. From children's health insurance to public housing, Bush's fiscal 2008 budget proposal slashes funding and in some cases cuts spending entirely - potentially shutting more than 10,000 California children out of the Head Start program and leaving thousands of others unable to access social services." Los Angeles Daily News (February 22, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71324]

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PUBLIC OPINION

Californians and Their Government: PPIC Statewide Survey. By Mark Baldassare, Public Policy Institute of California. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) January 2007. 40 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_107MBS.pdf

[“Californians are happy with the way Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers are working together in Sacramento, giving the politicians the highest approval ratings they have had in two years. The poll reveals that voters are not embracing [the Governor’s] plans to provide health insurance for children who are in the country illegally or infuse the state's prison system with money. 65 percent of likely voters said they support the governor's proposal, which would require all residents to have health insurance and spread the cost out among employers, health care providers and individuals.” San Francisco Chronicle (January 25, 2007) B1.]

[Request #S71325]

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HEALTH

HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY

“Shopping For Price in Medical Care.” By Paul B. Ginsburg. IN: Health Affairs, vol. 26, no. 2 (February 6, 2007) w208-w216.

Full Text at: content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/reprint/26/2/w208?ijkey=wkln/qLZb4plc&keytype=ref&siteid=healthaff

["[The study] points out that efforts to increase price transparency for health care services often downplay ‘the complexity of decisions about medical care, patients' dependence on physicians for guidance about appropriate services, and the need for information on quality.’ Giving consumers a price list of ‘a la carte’ services does little to help them make informed choices about which providers will cost less for an episode of care, let alone which providers offer the best value -- or the optimal combination of the lowest cost and highest quality. Policymakers should be careful not to overlook the role of health plans in negotiating better prices and translating complex price and quality data into usable consumer information that can potentially help steer patients to lower-cost, higher-quality providers.” California Healthcare Foundation, Press Release (February 6, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71326]

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Promoting Health Information Technology in California: A State Policy Approach. By Kirk Feely, Legislative Analyst's Office. (The Office, Sacramento, California) February 2007. 30 p.

Full Text at: www.lao.ca.gov/2007/health_info_tech/health_info_tech_021307.aspx

["Persistent increases in health care spending and deficiencies in health care quality are attributable in part to the continued reliance by many health care providers on archaic, paper-based methods of storing and communicating health information. Health information technology (HIT) offers the potential to improve health care delivery and quality, but adoption of these tools by health care providers has been slow. Our review assesses the potential for HIT tools such as electronic health records and regional health information organizations to meet these challenges, and provides an overview of HIT development efforts in government and the private sector. We conclude that the state should take steps to promote widespread adoption of HIT, and we outline several strategies to achieve that goal."]

[Request #S71327]

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INSURANCE

Retail Industry Leaders Association, et al. v. James D. Fielder, Maryland Secretary of Labor. U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. No. 06-1901. January 17, 2007. 36 p.

Full Text at: pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/061840.P.pdf

[“By a 2-1 vote, a panel of [judges] ruled that Maryland's play-or-pay health insurance law, specifically aimed at retailing giant Wal-Mart, violates a federal law governing employers' group health plans. It upheld a lower court's finding that invalidated ‘any and all state laws insofar as they may now or hereafter relate to any employee benefit plan.’ The ruling bolsters a simmering contention among California employers that Schwarzenegger's version of the employer mandate also would run afoul of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. “ Sacramento Bee (January 19, 2007) A3.]

[Request #S71328]

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RESEARCH

California Family Bioethics Council v. California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. California Court of Appeals, First Appellate District. A114195. February 26, 2007. 58 p.

Full Text at: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A114195.PDF

["The court denied claims by opponents of embryonic stem cell research that the agency established to distribute the money suffers from built-in conflicts of interest and a lack of state supervision.... Opponents said they will probably appeal to the state Supreme Court, which would have until June to decide whether to review the case. Denial of review would allow the state to start the sale of bonds, which remains on hold until all appeals are resolved and investors can be assured of repayment." San Francisco Chronicle (February 27, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71329]

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SUICIDE

Summary of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act: 2006. By the Oregon Public Health Division. (The Division, Portland, Oregon) March 2007.

["About 525 terminally ill Californians would kill themselves annually if the state approves doctor-assisted suicide, should trends here mirror Oregon's nine-year experience with a similar law.... Oregon officials announced that 46 residents took their lives last year.... If California adopted the law, the state could see about a 40 percent increase in the number of people killing themselves within a decade -- translating into a total of about 735 a year." Contra Costa Times (March 9, 2007) 1.]

Report. 2 p.
http://oregon.gov/DHS/ph/pas/docs/year9.pdf

Table 1. 3 p.
http://oregon.gov/DHS/ph/pas/docs/yr9-tbl-1.pdf

Table 2. 2 p.
http://oregon.gov/DHS/ph/pas/docs/yr9-tbl-2.pdf

[Request #S71330]

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HOUSING

REAL ESTATE LOANS

The Varying Effects of Predatory Lending Laws on High-Cost Mortgage Applications. By Giang Ho and Anthony Pennington-Cross, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. (The Bank, St. Louis, Missouri) February 2007. 22 p.

Full Text at: research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/07/01/HoPennCross.pdf

["Federal, state, and local predatory lending laws are designed to restrict and in some cases prohibit certain types of high-cost mortgage credit in the subprime market. Empirical evidence using the spatial variation in these laws shows that the aggregate flow of high-cost mortgage credit can increase, decrease, or be unchanged after these laws are enacted. Although it may seem counterintuitive to find that a law that prohibits lending could be associated with more lending, it is hypothesized that a law may reduce the cost of sorting honest loans from dishonest loans and lessen borrowers’ fears of predation, thus stimulating the high-cost mortgage market."]

[Request #S71331]

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HUMAN SERVICES

EARNED INCOME TAX CREDITS

Rewarding the Work of Individuals: A Counterintuitive Approach to Reducing Poverty and Strengthening Families. By Gordon L. Berlin, MDRC. (MDRC, New York, New York) February 2007. 28 p.

Full Text at: www.mdrc.org/publications/443/workpaper.pdf

["If you could do one thing to end poverty in America, what would it be? Any serious attempt to reduce poverty in America will have to tackle more than 30 years of falling wages, particularly for single men. An enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit for individuals, predicated on full-time work, would effectively end poverty for individuals and families who are able to work full time, while at the same time minimizing the distortions in incentives to work, co-parent, and marry that exacerbate poverty and its persistence."]

[Request #S71332]

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FAMILY LEAVE

Balancing Work and Family: Two-and-a-Half Years Ago, California Became the First State in the Nation to Offer Paid Family Leave Benefits. Who has Benefited? What has been Learned? By Rona Levine Sherriff, Senate Office of Research. (The Office, Sacramento, California) February 2007. 15 p.

Full Text at: tinyurl.com/374szs

["Workers who earned less than $12,000 per year filed claims at a lower rate than higher-wage earners. Of these low-wage workers, women and those who cared for seriously ill family members filed claims at a lower rate than any other workers. Individuals who worked for large employers (1,000 or more employees) accounted for nearly half of all paid family leave claims, yet they represented only 14 percent of the California workforce."]

[Request #S71333]

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INSURANCE

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

Access to Medical Treatment in the California Workers' Compensation System: 2006. By Gerald F. Kominski and others, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. (The Center, Los Angeles, California) December 2006. 216 p.

Full Text at: www.healthpolicy.ucla.edu/pubs/files/DWC_RT_0207.pdf

[" Most injured workers are satisfied with the medical treatment they get under workers' compensation, but those with the worst injuries have the most complaints, according to the first comprehensive survey undertaken since state lawmakers overhauled the controversial system.... The study also found that injured African American, Latino and Asian American workers were less satisfied than were whites. But the study could not ascertain why this was so. Researchers also found widespread dissatisfaction among doctors who treat injured workers due to what they consider low medical fees and excessive paperwork." San Francisco Chronicle (February 23, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71334]

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TRANSPORTATION

HIGHWAY CONGESTION

Congestion Pricing: A Primer. By the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. (The Administration, Washington, DC) December 2006. 12 p.

Full Text at: www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/congestionpricing/congestionpricing.pdf

["The report includes a general overview of the problem of congestion and an explanation of congestion pricing. The primer explores the benefits of congestion pricing, examples of the practice in the United States and abroad, and federal policies and programs on congestion pricing. The report concludes with answers to some frequently asked questions on the topic." TRB Newsletter (January 3, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71335]

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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.]

ECONOMY

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Immigrants and Boomers: Forging a New Social Contract for the History of America. By Dowell Myers. (Russell Sage Foundation, New York, New York) February 28, 2007. 368 p.

["As baby boomers age and become more dependent on government to tend to their needs, economic growth to preserve their investments and buyers to snap up their suburban empty nests, they are likely to turn to a source few are contemplating today: immigrants. Those same immigrants, who are now struggling to learn English, go to college and find employment, need an assist from some people who have the means to give it: boomers.... To the extent that they keep coming, and keep moving into the labor force, immigrants will keep the economy growing. They'll also pay taxes, buy homes and do all the things the aging seniors need done."]

[Request #S71336]

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SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

California Economic Growth. By the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy. (The Center, Palo Alto, California) 2006. Various pagings.

[“The Bay Area economy should post strong growth over the next decade as its high-wage industries expand.... The biggest issue is housing. Demographic projections show that the aging of the Baby Boomer generation means that more than half the region's population growth will be among people 55 and older. The other age group expected to see the biggest growth will be 20 to 34. Both those groups -- retirees and young adults -- tend to occupy smaller housing units in more dense urban areas. The rising pace of productivity presents a potential snag for job growth. Companies more and more are expanding production and reaping profit without increasing payrolls.” San Francisco Chronicle (February 16, 2007) 1.]

[Request #S71337]

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