Subject: Studies in the News 04-7 (February 3, 2004)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News


California -- One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago

January 1854 - "Lower California, was liberated from its piteous state of benign neglect at the hands of the Mexican Government by Colonel Walker and his Patriotic band in January 1854. The United States invaded Baja California January 29, 1854.... Having virtually no navy, Mexico pleads for help from European nations. Wary of a war with the U.S., most nations refuse. France makes a secret pact with Mexico. Food is shipped from France to Panama and is moved by land to Mexico. "  An Early Mexican War: An Alternative History Time  

February 1854 - "The most important news by this steamer (Brother Jonathan) is the confirmation of the purchase of a large portion of the Mexican territory by our Government.... We learn from our special correspondent that Mr. Gadsden, our Minister to Mexico, has negotiated a treaty with that government, which is now in the hands of the President, and by which we are to receive another large slice of the domain of that republic, on condition that we effectually check the depredations of the Indians on the Mexican frontier. There are also provisions by which, on the payment of fifty millions of dollars, we are to become possessed of the peninsula of Lower California, of Sonora, and of as much other Mexican territory as will place directly in our hands a practical route for a railroad. "  Daily Alta California, February 3, 1854 p. 2  

Contents This Week

Introductory Material CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT
   Early intervention programs for at-risk youth
   Methamphetamine menace
   Nursing home inspections
   Gun stores not adequately monitored
CULTURE AND SOCIETY
   Mexican hometown associations
DEMOGRAPHY
   Undocumented immigrant facts
ECONOMY
   California predicted to lead economic recovery
   Tech industry defends job relocations
   Outsourcing and economic development
   Housing prices at new highs
   Indian gaming in California
   Shifting internet use trends
   Overview of manufacturers' investment credit
   Reality of NAFTA
   NAFTA's lessons for hemispheric trade
   Economic strength in Silicon Valley
EDUCATION
   Accountability systems for states
   Options for kids in failing schools
   Strategies to help children and schools
   California's charter schools
   National education survey of Latinos
   Cal Poly sued over admission policies
   Revamping school finance
   Status of the teaching profession
   Campus crime reporting recommendations
EMPLOYMENT
   Retiree health benefits decreasing
   Worker's Compensation audit
ENERGY
   Efficiency standard for air-conditioners reinstated
   Reducing demand for energy
   Renewable energy in the Central Valley
ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
   Suit against wind turbines
   Earthquakes in a three-year cycle
   Court rules against environmental regulation
   EPA can overrule state agencies on air quality
   Joshua Tree Park threatened
   Pesticide use banned to protect salmon
   Government must compensate for diverting water
GENERAL GOVERNMENT
   Court rules against Schwarzenegger's loan
   Rise in internet political news sources
   Civil legal aid
   Electronic voting vulnerable to tampering
   Special survey of California's fiscal system
   Governor sued for cutting taxes
   Top ten legislative issues
HEALTH
   Impact of proposed budget cuts on health programs
   Nursing shortage
HOUSING
   Affordable housing strategies
   Apartment occupancy firms as rents stall
   Bay area housing profile
INSURANCE
   Surplus health insurance reserves
INTERNATIONAL READER
   U.S. and Mexico become partners in reform
TRANSPORTATION
   Equity of transportation funding
WASHINGTON READER
   California Institute's briefing on federal issues
STUDIES TO COME
   Medical institute calls for universal health care
   Soft drinks in schools
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 cslsirc@library.ca.gov or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:

CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT

CRIME PREVENTION

Costs and Benefits of Prevention and Early Intervention Programs for At-Risk Youth: Interim Report. By the Washington State Institute for Public Policy. Document No. 03-3901. (The Institute, Olympia, Washington) December 2003. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.wsipp.wa.gov/rptfiles/ARYinterim.pdf

["The goal of this study is to provide the legislature with 'research-based' estimates of the costs and benefits of prevention and early intervention programs.... We are identifying, collecting, and interpreting the research results of a large set of prevention and early intervention studies."]

[Request #S1136]

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DRUGS

The Methamphetamine Menace. By Devonne R. Sanchez and Blake Harrison, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 12, No. 1. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) January 2004. 2 p.

["Methamphetamine is the fastest growing drug threat.... Meth is manufactured using common household ingredients.... States have taken measures to regulate and criminalize these precursor substances.... Methamphetamine is highly explosive during the manufacturing process. Exposure to the drug and the toxic substances used to make it also pose serious health risks to children.... There are federal funds available to combat meth."]

[Request #S1089]

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ELDER ABUSE

Operation Guardians: 2001-02 and 2002-03 Results. By the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse, California State Office of the Attorney General. (The Office, Sacramento, California) January 22, 2003. 11 p.

Full Text at: www.ag.ca.gov/bmfea/press/04-006.pdf

["Almost 70 percent of the California nursing homes monitored by ... Operation Guardian, were not meeting a state law that requires that each nursing home resident receive 3.2 hours of nursing staff care a day, according to [the] report. Over the two-year period covered by the report, program monitors conducted 150 surprise inspections at California nursing homes, including 63 in Northern California and 14 in Santa Clara County." San Jose Mercury News (January 22, 2004) online.]

[Request #S1090]

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GUNS & GUN CONTROL

Selling Crime: High Crime Gun Stores Fuel Criminals. By Jim Kessler and others, Americans for Gun Safety Foundation. (The Foundation, Washington, DC) January 2004. 27 p.

Full Text at: w3.agsfoundation.com/media/ReportSellingCrime.pdf

["The vast majority of 'high-crime dealers' continues to operate, with little federal oversight. The group found that most of the dealers had not been federally inspected since 2000, and that the total number of criminal prosecutions of dealers by the Justice Department had declined 25% in 2002, compared with the last year of Clinton's presidency.... The group noted that a store that had sold a gun used in a crime did not necessarily violate the law. But the authors argued that stores that habitually sell guns used in crime should be more closely monitored." Los Angeles Times (January 13, 2004) A8.]

[Request #S1091]

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CULTURE AND SOCIETY

LATINOS

Mexican Hometown Associations. By Xochitl Bada, Americas Program, Interhemispheric Resource Center. Citizen Action in the Americas. No. 5. (The Program, Silver City, New Mexico) 2003. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.americaspolicy.org/citizen-action/series/05-hta.html

["Contemporary Mexican Hometown Associations represent values of commitment, solidarity, altruism, and patriotism.... In the last decade, these HTAs have received financial and technical support from the Mexican government through its consular offices.... Members seek to promote the well-being of their hometown communities of both origin (in Mexico) and residence (in the U.S.) by raising money to fund public works and social projects."]

[Request #S1092]

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DEMOGRAPHY

IMMIGRANTS

Undocumented Immigrants: Facts and Figures. By Jeffrey S. Passel and others, Urban Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) January 12, 2004. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/1000587_undoc_immigrants_facts.pdf

["About 1.6 million children under age 18 in the United States are undocumented immigrants. Another 3 million children are U.S. citizens, born to undocumented parents. Current proposals that would require workers to return to their home countries after six years would affect both undocumented children and U.S. citizens." Connect for Kids (January 19, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1093]

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ECONOMY

CALIFORNIA

More Good News: Recovery Continues. By Sung Won Sohn, Wells Fargo and Company. Economic Indicators. (The Company, San Francisco, California) January 2004. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.drsohn.com/01publ/econind/2004/EIJAN04.pdf

["California's economy is poised to outperform the nation's in 2005, when a weakened U.S. dollar could help reinvigorate export growth throughout the state.... Despite an unprecedented state budget deficit, a robust economy in Asia is likely to help drive California's, said analysts." Los Angeles Daily News (January 21, 2004) N1.]

[Request #S1137]

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COMPETITIVENESS

Choose to Compete: How Innovation, Investment and Productivity Can Grow U.S. Jobs and Ensure American Competitiveness in the 21st Century. By the Computer Systems Policy Project. (The Project, Washington, DC) January 2004. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.cspp.org/reports/ChooseToCompete.pdf

["The report states that the tech industry faces a serious competitive challenge from many countries abroad with highly skilled labor and increasing industrial sophistication, but it argues against protection.... Economists largely agreed with the high-tech industry's outspoken defense of moving jobs to India and China but noted this time the principle applies to a group unaccustomed to losing their jobs to overseas competition: highly educated and highly paid white-collar workers in Silicon Valley." San Francisco Chronicle (January 9, 2003) A3.]

[Request #S1094]

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ELECTRONIC COMMERCE

E-Commerce and Development Report 2003. By the United Conference on Trade and Development. (The Conference, New York, New York) November 2003.

["Companies in the United States and Europe will continue to move information technology work offshore even though they don't fully understand the costs and benefits of doing so, according to a report released by the United Nations.... And to some degree they are finding it, even though the level of service in many countries is still low." C/Net News.Com (November 25, 2003) 1.]

Full Report. 228 p.:
http://www.unctad.org/en/docs//ecdr2003_en.pdf

Overview. 24 p.:
http://www.unctad.org/en/docs//sdteecb20031overview_en.pdf

[Request #S1095]

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HOUSING

Southland Sales Surge. By DataQuick. (DataQuick, San Diego California) December 17, 2003. 1 p.

Full Text at: www.dataquick.com/articleitem.asp?industry=2&item=179

["The Los Angeles County housing market is hot and prices are at new highs. In December, the median home price hit $345,000. That was 23.7% more than the median of $279,000 a year earlier, DataQuick Information Systems... reported year-over-year increases have exceeded 20% every month since July. And prices probably will continue to shoot up at that pace into the spring before 'easing back to the mid-teens' by April or May, said DataQuick analyst John Karevoll. 'We don't envision a decrease in prices in 2004,' he said, 'but we do envision a lower rate of appreciation.'" Los Angeles Times (January 14, 2004) online.]

[Request #S1138]

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INDIAN GAMBLING

Indian Gaming In California: Hot Topic. By the Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley. (The Institute, Berkeley, California) December 2003. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.igs.berkeley.edu/library/htIndianGaming.htm

["Indian gambling on tribal land has become a significant political issue in California over the last decade. California has more gaming tribes than any other state, with 43 currently hosting some form of gambling. Gaming revenue in California grew in 2002, from $2.92 billion in 2001 to $3.43 billion in 2002.... As Indian casinos grow and their political influence increases the debate over limitations to Indian sovereignty has become a hot issue in California politics.... Questions remain on ... whether or not they should bear the cost of environmental clean up, crime prevention and quality of life in nearby communities."]

[Request #S1096]

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INTERNET

America's Online Pursuits: The Changing Picture of Who's Online and What They Do. By Mary Madden, Pew Internet & American Life Project. (The Project, Washington, DC) December 22, 2003. 101 p.

Full Text at: www.pewinternet.org/reports/pdfs/PIP_Online_Pursuits_Final.PDF

["The Internet Hasn't Reeled In Everyone Yet: Once it was cool. Now the Internet has settled down into a comfortable middle age and become merely ... indispensable.... After spiking in the 1990s and early 2000s, the percentage of adult Americans online has leveled off in the past years at 63 percent, says a new study. That percentage is expected eventually to rise, but not as quickly as some had imagined." Christian Science Monitor (December 29, 2003) 12.]

[Request #S1097]

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MANUFACTURING

An Overview of California's Manufacturers' Investment Credit. By the Office of the Legislative Analyst. Prepared for the Assembly Committee and Revenue and Taxation. (The Office, Sacramento, California) 2003. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.lao.ca.gov/2002/mic/120502_Manufacturers_Investment_Credit.pdf

["This report contains ... background information, including the intent and provisions of the Manufacturers' Investment Credit (MIC); detailed information about how the MIC works; tax policy issues and rationale for the MIC; descriptive information regarding the utilization of the MIC; existing literature on the effect of taxes, and investment tax credits, including the MIC; [and] alternatives for further analysis of the MIC."]

[Request #S1098]

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NAFTA

NAFTA's Promise and Reality: Lessons From Mexico for the Hemisphere. By John J. Audley and others, Carnegie Endowment for International World Peace. (The Endowment, New York, New York) 2003.

["Report Finds Few Benefits for Mexico in NAFTA: As the North American Free Trade Agreement nears its 10th anniversary, a study concludes that the pact failed to generate substantial job growth in Mexico, hurt hundreds of thousands of subsistence farmers there and had 'miniscule' net effects on jobs in the United States. The report seeks to debunk both the fears of American labor that NAFTA would lure large numbers of jobs to low-wage Mexico, as well as the hopes of the trade deal's proponents that it would lead to rising wages, as well as declines in income inequality and illegal immigration." New York Times (November 19, 2003) A8.]

Chapter 1: Jobs, Wages, and Household Income. 27 p.:
http://www.ceip.org/files/pdf/NAFTA_Report_ChapterOne.pdf

Chapter 2: The Shifting Expectations. 21 p.:
http://www.ceip.org/files/pdf/NAFTA_Report_ChapterTwo.pdf

Chapter 3: The Greenest Trade Agreement Ever. 27 p.:
http://www.ceip.org/files/pdf/NAFTA_Report_ChapterThree.pdf

[Request #S1099]

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Lessons from NAFTA for Latin America and the Caribbean Countries: A Summary of Research Findings. By Daniel Lederman and others, World Bank. (The Bank, Washington, DC) December 2003. 405 p.

Full Text at: wbln0018.worldbank.org/LAC/LAC.nsf/ECADocbyUnid/32E02C48D1A7695685256CBB0060CA65?Opendocument

["Mexico's performance under NAFTA provides the most directly relevant experiment from which other Latin American Caribbean (LAC) countries can learn.... Mexico's global exports would have been about 25% lower ... foreign direct investment would have been about 40% less ... Significant constraints drive a wedge between per capita GDP in Mexico and the U.S."]

[Request #S1100]

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SILICON VALLEY

2003 Index of Silicon Valley. By Joint Venture Silicon Valley. (The Venture, San Jose, California) January 2004. 44 p.

Full Text at: www.jointventure.org/2003index/2003index.pdf

["Silicon Valley's job losses are slowing dramatically. The report also says the valley's traditional strength -- computer technology -- could find itself sharing the marquee with new health-sciences businesses." Sacramento Bee (January 20, 2004) D1.]

[Request #S1139]

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EDUCATION

ACADEMIC STANDARDS

Charting the Course: States Decide Major Provisions Under No Child Left Behind: Press Release. By the U.S. Department of Education. (The Department, Washington, DC) January 14, 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.ed.gov/print/news/pressreleases/2004/01/01142004.html

["States have great flexibility in the design of their systems and implementation of particular No Child Left Behind (NCLB) provisions, according to a new press release. Presented as a checklist of items, states considered many issues when designing accountability systems, providing options for parents and defining highly qualified teachers. The list outlines almost 40 separate issues under the control and responsibility of state and local education agencies.... Examples of how individual states have complied with NCLB are outlined along with expanded definitions of key provisions of the law." Public Education Network Newsletter (January 23, 2004) 2.]

[Request #S1101]

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Leaving No Child Behind? Options for Kids In Failing Schools: Conference. Sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) January 15-16, 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.aei.org/events/eventID.684/event_detail.asp

[Includes: "No Child Left Behind: A Status Report on Choice and Supplemental Services in America's Great City Schools;" "The Invisible Hand of No Child Left Behind;" "Parents, Choice, and NCLB's Future;" and "Can NCLB Increase Options for Low Income Students?"]

[Request #S1102]

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From the Capital to the Classroom: Year 2 of the No Child Left Behind Act. By the Center on Education Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) January 2004. 253 p.

Full Text at: www.ctredpol.org/pubs/nclby2/cep_nclb_y2.pdf

["The No Child Left Behind Act has been successful in making improved student achievement a high-visibility goal, although states will need more funding to meet proficiency targets, according to this comprehensive national study of the law. The study also said federal and state education officials must devise strategies to help struggling schools and poorly-performing students." The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development's ASCD Smart Brief (January 27, 2004) online.]

[Request #S1103]

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CHARTER SCHOOLS

Assessing California's Charter Schools. By Jennifer Kuhn, Office of the Legislative Analyst. (The Office, Sacramento, California) January 2004. 36 p.

Full Text at: www.lao.ca.gov/2004/charter_schools/012004_charter_schools.pdf

["Report Recommends Expanding California Charter Schools: California should lift the cap on the number of charter schools, simplify funding and tighten oversight over the alternatives to traditional schools.... Charter schools are often overwhelmed by the 34 different funding programs available to them.... The LAO recommended rolling two-thirds of those programs into two block grants." North County Times (January 20, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1104]

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LATINOS

National Survey of Latinos: Education. By The Pew Hispanic Center and the Kaiser Family Foundation. (The Center, Washington, DC) January 2004. 57 p.

Full Text at: www.pewhispanic.org/site/docs/pdf/LatinoEducationSummaryandChartpack%20Jan%2026%202004.pdf

["School- and college-aged young people (ages 5 to 24) make up 37% of the Hispanic Population compared to 27% of the non-Hispanic population. Over the next 25 years, this segment of the Latino population is projected to increase by 82%. Given these realities, it is hardly surprising that Latinos consistently cite education as their top policy concern and that Latinos' educational outcomes are a matter of national signifigance."]

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Rita Garcia, et al. v. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, et al. San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief. January 6, 2003. 10 p.

Full Text at: www.maldef.org/pdf/CalPolyComplaint.pdf

["A Latino organization has sued California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, claiming its admissions system excludes Latinos by over-relying on standardized tests and giving special preference to residents of surrounding areas that are disproportionately non-Latino." San Francisco Chronicle (January 10, 2003) A16.]

[Request #S1140]

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SCHOOL FINANCE

Restructuring California's School Finance System. By Lisa Snell, Reason Public Policy Institute. (The Institute, Los Angeles, California) January 23, 2004. 5 p.

Full Text at: www.rppi.org/schoolfinance.shtml

["[This report suggests that] California should simplify and equalize per-pupil student funding by offering one simple base revenue stream that includes the money allocated for categorical programs and the current revenue limits and distributes the funding through a weighted student formula. This approach would increase per-pupil spending at the school level, reduce central office and administrative spending, and offer a truly equalized per-pupil spending formula."]

[Request #S1141]

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TEACHERS

Teaching and California's Future: The Status of the Teaching Profession: Research Findings and Policy Recommendations. By Patrick M. Shields and others, The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning. (The Center, Santa Cruz, California) 2003. 179 p.

Full Text at: www.cftl.org/documents/2003fullreportdec10.pdf

["Poor Schools Lack Qualified Teachers: More well-trained teachers are working in California's poorest, lowest-achieving and most diverse schools, but students in those schools are still three to five times more likely to have an unqualified teacher, according to a report. Despite improvement in the teacher supply since 2001, the state is far from meeting a looming federal deadline for placing a 'highly qualified' teacher in every classroom by the end of the 2005-06 school year, the study suggests." San Jose Mercury News (December 11, 2003) online.]

[Request #S1106]

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VIOLENCE

California's Education Institutions: A Lack of Guidance Results in Their Inaccurate or Inconsistent Reporting of Campus Crime Statistics. By the Bureau of State Audits, California State Auditor. (The Bureau, Sacramento, California) December 2003. 56 p.

Full Text at: www.bsa.ca.gov/bsa/pdfs/2002-032.pdf

["CSUS Crime Report Gets A, Sacramento Campus Passes Its State Audit Despite Confusion Over What to Include: The first state audit on the performance of California college crime statistics for public perusal gives high marks to California State University, Sacramento, one of the six schools.... The audit recommends that the Legislature create a task force that would provide consistent guidelines for all schools required to report crime under the the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act." Sacramento Bee (December 19, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S1107]

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EMPLOYMENT

RETIREMENT

Retiree Health Benefits Now and in the Future: Findings from the Kaiser/Hewitt 2003 Survey on Retiree Health Benefits. By Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (The Foundation, Menlo Park, California) January 2004. 87 p.

Full Text at: www.kff.org/medicare/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=29862

[“Increasing numbers of Americans are likely to learn in the next three years that they will retire without any health-care benefits, according to a survey of some of the largest U.S. companies…. About 10% said they had eliminated subsidized health benefits for future retirees, and 20% said they probably would eliminate the benefits by 2007. If employers follow that path, more Americans who retire could join the growing ranks of the underinsured.” Los Angeles Times (January 15, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1108]

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WORKERS COMPENSATION

California's Workers' Compensation Program: Changes to the Medical Payment System Should Produce Savings Although Uncertainty About New Regulations and Data Limitations Prevent a More Comprehensive Analysis. By the Bureau of State Audits, California State Auditor. (The Bureau, Sacramento, California) January 2004.

["The reforms passed by the Legislature could slash the average cost of treating workplace injuries at outpatient surgical centers 58%, the Bureau of State Audits said in the first independent evaluation since the workers' comp law went on the books January 1. Prescription drug costs could drop about one-quarter, the bureau said." Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2004. (online).]

Summary of Report. 5 p.:
http://www.bsa.ca.gov/bsa/summaries/2003-108.2.html

Full Report. 61 p.:
http://www.bsa.ca.gov/bsa/pdfs/2003-108.2.pdf

[Request #S1109]

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ENERGY

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Natural Resources Defense Council, et al. v. Abraham, et al. U.S. Court of Appeals, Second District. 01-4102. January 13, 2004. 66 p.

Full Text at: tinyurl.com/27j57

["The Bush administration acted illegally when it rescinded an efficiency standard for air-conditioners, a court said in reinstating the standard with a decision that favored 10 states and various environmental organizations.... The decision appears to put limits on the power of a new president to reverse policies of his predecessor. It establishes that once a rule is published in the Federal Register, it cannot be reversed without a lengthy administrative process, even if it has not yet taken effect.... Besides New York, the plaintiffs in the case included New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, Nevada, and California." New York Times (January 14, 2004) A11.]

[Request #S1110]

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ENERGY MANAGEMENT

2003 Integrated Energy Policy Report. By the California Energy Commission. (The Commission, Sacramento, California) December 2003.

["Despite the current calm in the state's energy system, California's demand for energy is growing, fueled by an expanding population and a growing business sector. State government must act now to reduce demand, secure additional energy supplies, give consumers more energy choices, and build needed infrasructure improvements to protect California from future supply disruptions and high prices."]

Executive summary. 5 p.:
http://www.energy.ca.gov/energypolicy/index.html

Report. 63 p.:
http://www.energy.ca.gov/reports/100-03-019F.PDF

[Request #S1111]

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RENEWABLE ENERGY

Renewable Energy: Strategic Opportunities for the Great Central Valley. By Collaborative Economics. Prepared for the Great Valley Center. (The Center, Modesto, California) 2003. 35 p.

Full Text at: www.greatvalley.org/nvc/projects/coecon/energy_report.pdf

["With plentiful supplies of wind, dairy manure and rice straw, a report concludes that the 19-county region is naturally suited to be a compact, coordinated center for the advancement and utilization of renewable energy. Developing these resources would provide energy and jobs for future populations and could bring farmers another revenue stream." Great Valley News (Winter 2004) 1.]

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ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

BIRDS

Center for Biological Diversity v. FPL Group, et al. U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. C-04-0312. Complaint. January 12, 2004. 18 p.

Full Text at: www.sw-center.org/swcbd/Programs/bdes/altamont/complaint.pdf

["A lawsuit by an environmental group alleges that regulatory agencies stood by for years as wind farms in the Altamont Pass killed thousands of protected birds.... The number of raptors killed by wind turbines in the pass since the 1980s is in dispute. Regardless of which studies are cited, when multiplied by the number of years the wind farms have been in operation, the toll could be in the thousands.... The Center for Biological Diversity is not opposed to the principle of modernizing wind farms, but believes the process is largely being determined by wind farm operators." Oakland Tribune (January 14, 2003) 1.]

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EARTHQUAKES

"Periodic Pulsing of Characteristic Microearthquakes on the San Andreas Fault." By Robert M. Nadeau and Thomas V. McEvilly, University of California, Berkeley. IN: Science, vol. 303, no. 5655 (January 9, 2003) pp. 220-222.

["Scientists have found striking evidence of a three-year cycle of earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault, a development that might lead to the first practical short-term earthquake forecasting in central California.... Even if the scientists are right, and a three-year cycle does exist, it doesn't guarantee a big quake will happen every three years, only that the odds are increased." San Francisco Chroncle (January 9, 2004) A1.]

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ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION

The Cities of Arcadia, et al. v. State Water Resources Control Board, et al. San Diego County Superior Court. GIC803631. December 24, 2003. 18 p.

Full Text at: www.citiessavejobs.com/dynamic/downloads/individual_download_file_link_english_186.pdf

["Tough new environmental rules to reduce the amount of trash in the Los Angeles River were improperly approved by state regulators in violation of California law, according to a court ruling on a lawsuit by a group of cities that said they can't afford the regulations.... The Court ruled that the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, which enacted the regulations, had failed to consider the economic effects on the cities, as required by state law." Los Angeles Times (January 7, 2004) B3.]

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FEDERAL-STATE RELATIONS

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. U.S. Supreme Court. 02-658. January 21, 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/03pdf/02-658.pdf

["The U.S. Supreme Court strengthened the power of federal antipollution regulators to enforce the Clean Air Act, ruling that they could overrule lax state officials and block new plants that would emit dirty air.... Although the Supreme Court has affirmed the power of EPA officials to insist on strict enforcement, it does not require them to use that power.... The decision is likely to have limited impact in California, because the state's air-quality regulators tend to enforce the law strictly." Los Angeles Times (January 22, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1115]

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NATIONAL PARKS

Joshua Tree National Park Named to List of Ten Most Endangered National Parks: Press Release. By the National Parks Conservation Association. (The Association, Washington, DC) January 14 2004) 1 p.

Full Text at: www.npca.org/media_center/joshuatree.asp

["Development, one of the largest-ever proposed landfills, air pollution, and insufficient funding have placed California's Joshua Tree National Park on the 2004 list of America's Ten Most Endangered National Parks for the second consecutive year.... According to NPCA's recent report, National Treasures as Economic Engines, the 1.3 million visitors to Joshua Tree National Park in 2001 contributed $46.3 million and supported 1,115 jobs in nearby communities."]

[Request #S1116]

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PESTICIDES

Washington Toxics Coalition, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington. C01-0132C. Order Granting Plaintiffs Interim Injunctive Relief. January 22, 2004. 5 p.

["A federal judge restricted the use of 38 pesticides near salmon streams in Washington, Oregon and California, a ruling environmentalists hailed as an important step toward the recovery of salmon and steelhead in the West.... An EPA study in December 2002 found the buffers would have 'minimal economic impact to growers' because many fields are far from salmon streams. The study determined that California rice growers likely stood to suffer the worst loss -- about $3.5 million -- because they rely more heavily on aerial spraying." San Diego Union Tribune (January 23, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1144]

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WATER RIGHTS

Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District, et al. v. United States. U.S. Court of Federal Claims. 98-101L. December 31, 2003. 32 p.

Full Text at: www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Wiese/03/WIESE.Tulare.pdf

["In a major victory for California farmers, a federal judge has said the U.S. government must compensate a group of San Joaquin Valley growers for diverting some of their water to protect endangered fish. The ruling could tilt the balance between farmers and environmentalists in their endless battle over California's water supply -- and make federal officials hesitate to use the Endangered Species Act to take water from agriculture." Sacramento Bee (January 14, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S1117]

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GENERAL GOVERNMENT

CAMPAIGN FINANCE

Bill Camp v. Arnold Swarzenegger[sic], et al. Sacramento County Superior Court. 03AS05478. January 26, 2004. 29 p.

Full Text at: news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/elections/campschwrz12604opn.pdf

["A last-minute $4.5 million bank loan Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger used to finance his own campaign in the days before he was elected was illegal, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled.... Schwarzenegger obtained the loan from a bank without collateral and with a low interest rate. The ruling means the governor, not his campaign, can now be required to repay the loan." San Francisco Chronicle (January 27, 2004) A11.]

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CAMPAIGNS

Perceptions of Partisan Bias Seen as Growing -- Especially by Democrats: Cable and Internet Loom Large in Fragmented Political News Universe: Survey. By The Pew Research Center for the People and Press. (The Center, Washington, DC) January 11, 2004. 41 p.

Full Text at: people-press.org/reports/pdf/200.pdf

["The Internet has emerged as an important source of presidential campaign news for many Americans, on par with weekly news magazines and television talk shows, according to a survey.... Some 42 percent ... said they learned about the campaign regularly from local TV news, a decline of 6 percentage points from the last presidential election in 2000.... Internet news sources posted the largest relative gain, as 13 percent of those surveyed said they regularly went online for campaign news and another 20 percent saying they did so occasionally." Reuters (January 11, 2004) 1.]

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COURTS

Civil Legal Aid in the United States: An Overview of the Program in 2003. By Alan W. Houseman, Center for Law and Social Policy. 03-69. (The Center, Washington, DC) 2003. 30 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/DMS/Documents/1064583480.94/Legal_Aid_2003.pdf

["This paper provides an overview of the current U.S. civil legal aid system; a brief history of legal aid in the United States; the future of the legal aid system, including the evolution of state justice communities, the increased use of the Internet and hot lines in service delivery, and pro se developments; future funding sources; efforts to improve service quality; and other developments affecting civil legal aid."]

[Request #S1120]

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ELECTIONS

A Security Analysis of the Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment (SERVE). By David Jefferson and others, Information Security Institute, Johns Hopkins University. (The Institute, Baltimore, Maryland) January 21, 2004. 34 p.

Full Text at: servesecurityreport.org/paper.pdf

["Scientists Say System Has Security Flaws and Should Be Shut Down Before Debut: The Pentagon's new Internet-based voting is vulnerable to tampering and should be shut down, computer scientists reviewing the program said.... The Pentagon wanted an online system that could be used by U.S. military personnel and overseas civilians." San Jose Mercury News (January 22, 2004) online.]

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PUBLIC OPINION

PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on California's Fiscal System. By Mark Baldassare, Public Policy Institute of California and The James Irvine Foundation. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) January 2004. 42 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/S_104MBS.pdf

["Bond To Slash Deficit Is Trailing: The poll by the institute found deep skepticism about the bond despite favorable assessments of the job Schwarzenegger has done since he took office.... The institute found 35 percent in favor and 44 percent opposed." Sacramento Bee (January 15, 2004) A1.]

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STATE BUDGET

University of California Students Association, et al v. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, et al. California Supreme Court. Petition for Writ of Mandate. January 20, 2004

["University of California students and civil rights advocates asked the state Supreme Court to overturn Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's slashing of the state's vehicle license fee -- and the reductions in education and other programs that would help pay for it.... State law prohibits a reduction in the fee when the general fund is running a deficit and does not authorize the governor to sidestep the Legislature and cut programs because of an 'emergency' he created, the suit argued." San Francisco Chronicle (January 22, 2003) 1.]

Petition. 29 p.:
http://www.equaljusticesociety.org/petition_for_writ_of_mandate.pdf

Appendix of Exhibits. Various pagings.:
http://www.equaljusticesociety.org/writ_of_mandate_appendix_exhibits.pdf

[Request #S1124]

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STATE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

NCSL Releases Top 10 Issues Forecast for State Legislatures. By the National Conference of State Legislatures. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) December 23, 2003. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.ncsl.org/programs/press/2003/pr031223.htm

["Budgets and elections are major backdrops for the 2004 state legislative sessions, according to a top 10 list issued by NCSL.... [Other priorities include:] Political Polarization; Energy; Education Testing and Funding; Air Quality; Prescription Drugs; Workers' Compensation; Criminal Justice; Consumer Protection; [and] Obesity."]

[Request #S1125]

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HEALTH

HEALTH CARE FINANCE

Impact of Proposed Budget for 2004-05 on Medi-Cal and Other Health Programs. By the California Healthcare Foundation. (The Foundation, Oakland, California) January 14, 2004. 15 p.

Full Text at: www.chcf.org/documents/policy/CABudgetAnalysis2004REV2.pdf

["Health Experts Fear Effect of Cuts: Short-term savings could produce big bills later, they say.... The health experts said the cuts would increase the number of uninsured in the state and could force more patients to seek routine care from emergency rooms.... Programs for many of the state's poorest elderly, infant, immigrant and disabled residents face cuts totaling $3.1 billion." Sacramento Bee (January 15, 2004) D3.]

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NURSES

"Is The Current Shortage of Hospital Nurses Ending?" By Peter I. Buerhaus and others. IN: Health Affairs, vol. 22, no. 6 (November/December 2003) pp. 191-198.

["Hospital RN's employment and earnings increased sharply in 2002, which suggests that the shortage may be easing. Two-thirds of the increase in employment came from older RNs, with the remainder supplied by RNs born in other countries.... It emphasizes the challenges confronting policymakers as the RN workforce ages and eventually shrinks in size."]

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HOUSING

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Rethinking Local Affordable Housing Strategies: Lessons From 70 Years of Policy and Practice. By Bruce Katz and others, The Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, The Brookings Institution (The Institution, Washington, DC) December 2003. 138 p.

Full Text at: www.brookings.edu/dybdocroot/es/urban/knight/housingreview.pdf

["Efforts to provide affordable housing are occurring at a time of great change. The responsibilities for implementing affordable housing are increasingly shifting to state and local actors. The market and demographic changes in the country are complicating the picture, as sprawling jobs-housing patterns and downtown revivals in some places are creating demand for affordable housing for working families and immigrants in both cities and suburbs.... The Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy and the Urban Institute joined forces to examine the lessons of seven decades of major policy approaches and what these lessons mean for local reforms."]

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Apartment Occupancy Firms as Rents Stall. By RealFacts (RealFacts, Novato, California) 2004. 1 p.

Full Text at: www.realfacts.com/news10.html

["With the exception of the Inland Empire, a tight market for apartments didn't translate into significantly higher rents for most Southland landlords in the fourth quarter, a real estate data firm reported.... Occupancy levels for large apartment complexes in Los Angeles and Orange counties were among the strongest in the nation, averaging 95% and above." Los Angeles Times (January 22, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1146]

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HOUSING

Bay Area Housing Profile: A Report Card on the Supply and Demand Crisis. By the Bay Area Council. (The Council, San Francisco, California) December 30, 2003. 61 p.

Full Text at: www.bayareacouncil.org/pubs/pbr/HousingProfile2003.pdf

["The report finds that the 101 cities and nine counties in the Bay Area are not permitting enough housing to keep up with the growth in new jobs, and a majority of cities and counties did not build enough housing to keep pace with their natural population increase."]

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INSURANCE

INSURANCE COMPANIES

"Reserve and Surplus Levels of Hospital Plan and Professional Health Services Plan Corporations: Notice." IN: Pennsylvania Bulletin, vol. 34, no. 3 (January 17, 2004) pp. 458-640.

Full Text at: www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol34/34-3/122.html

["Pennsylvania Caps Surpluses of Health Insurers; Firms that Exceed the Limit Would be Required to Give the Money to Ratepayers and People Who Lack Insurance: Pennsylvania Insurance Department has set a cap on large surpluses maintained by the state's four nonprofit Blue Cross companies... The Blues Plans' surpluses -- collectively about $3.5 billion -- have been harshly criticized by subscribers as health-insurance premiums have risen by double digits in recent years.... Companies holding excess surplus will be required to submit a plan to 'fairly and equitably' redistribute that money to ratepayers and people with little or no health insurance." Philadelphia Inquirer (January 17, 2004) [online].]

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INTERNATIONAL READER

The United States and Mexico: Partners in Reform. By Stephen Johnson and Sara J. Fitzgerald, Heritage Foundation. Backgrounder. No. 1715. (The Foundation, Washington, DC) December 18, 2003. 19 p.

Full Text at: heritage.org/Research/LatinAmerica/BG1715.cfmwww.heritage.org/Research/LatinAmerica/BG1715.cfm

["Americans should welcome Mexico's willingness to join in deeper commercial and security ties, as well as appreciate the long-term vision of Mexican leaders who have nudged Mexico in the direction of democratic and free-market traditions -- the bedrock of U.S. and Canadian prosperity."]

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TRANSPORTATION

FINANCING

Distribution of State Transportation Funding. By Adrian R. Fleissig and William F. Gayk, Faculty Research Fellows Program, California State University, Sacramento. (The Center, Sacramento, California) 2003. 53 p.

Full Text at: www.csus.edu/calst/government_affairs/reports/transportation_report.pdf

["The study addresses a claim that rural counties subsidize urban counties' pavement maintenance because they receive a lesser share of the Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF) allocation, and offer state policy recommendations.... The study suggests that no changes be made to the state Highway Users Fund formulas, and urges the state to lobby for more federal funding for transportation." California Capitol Hill Bulletin (January 9, 2003) 1.]

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WASHINGTON READER

California Capitol Hill Bulletin. By the California Institute for Federal Policy Research. Volume 11, Bulletin 1-2. (The Institute, Washington, DC) January 9-22, 2004.

Full Text at: www.calinst.org/bulletins/b1101.pdf

[Includes: "Schwarzenegger Budget Cites Federal Shortfall and Burdens, Seeks Support;" "Governor's Budget Addresses Federal Mandates and Sanctions;" "President Bush Proposes New Immigration Policy;" "Senate Transportation Safety Authorization Less Than House Proposal;" "PPIC and California Institute Release Homeland Security Formula Funds Report, Highlighting State's Low Grants Share;" "White House Proposes Expanded Space Exploration Plan;" "Feinstein Proposes Energy Framework in Letter to Governor;" and others.]

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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

Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations. By the Institute of Medicine. (National Academies Press, Washington, DC) 2004. 224 p.

Full Text at: www.nap.edu/catalog/10874.html

["Medical Institute Calls for Universal Health Care: Because of the growing number of Americans without health insurance results in unnecessary sickness and death, weakens the U.S. economy and undermines the entire health care system, the federal government must begin working now to expand coverage to all Americans by 2010." Sacramento Bee (January 15, 2004) A11.]

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SCHOOLS

"Soft Drinks in Schools: Committee on School Health." By American Academy of Pediatrics. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 113, no. 1 (January 2004) pp. 152-154.

["Canada's soft-drink makers have decided to stop selling carbonated beverages in elementary and middle schools by the start of the next school year. The decision is a major development in the debate over whether soft drinks should be available to young students and is likely to spark interest in the United States and other parts of the world." Atlanta Journal-Constitution (January 7, 2004) 1C.]

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