Subject: Studies in the News 05-28 (August 25, 2005)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News


California -- One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago

Summer 1855 - "Forty-two tourists came to Yosemite in 1855, 37,000 in 1937. In 1955, it was a million, by 1980, 2.3 million, by 1994, 4.1 million. August 1997, a total of 721,711 visitors came to Yosemite, almost the equivalent of the entire population of San Francisco, and a record for a single month. "  San Francisco Chronicle (December 28, 1997) A1  

Summer 1855 - "In 1855 California constructed a wagon trail from Sacramento to the eastern California border. Lake Tahoe, midway on the route, served as a stopping point for hopeful miners, and businesses such as trading posts and lodges began servicing the travelers…. News of Tahoe spread to San Francisco, and eventually it was chic for wealthy San Francisco businessmen to vacation at Tahoe in the summer.... Commercial fishing began to grab hold. The abundance of cutthroat bass was a natural commodity desired by the miners in Nevada and soon hundreds of pounds of cutthroat bass were being scavenged out of the lake a day. Although the supply was thought to be 'unlimited', in 1917 California placed a ban on commercial fishing in Tahoe because the cutthroat species was fished near to extinction. "  The Urbanization of Lake Tahoe p. 3  

Contents This Week

Introductory Material CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT
   Restraining orders ineffective
   Border patrol checkpoints
   Minimizing the risks of rearrest
ECONOMY
   Waiver of jury trial unenforceable
   Economic winners and losers of legalized gambling
   Taxation applied to casinos by state and local governments
   Minority and women owned business
   Payrolls no longer shrinking
   Federal budget baseline projections
EDUCATION
   NCLB resistance in states
   Connecticut sues over NCLB
   Financing California's school programs
   Teachers sue over funding
   Textbook price increases
   Affordable textbooks and rental services
ENERGY
   Overview of energy production and consumption
ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
   Agricultural subsidies
   Groups sue over Delta water transfers
   Bi-national MTBE decision
   Dangers in tiny doses of chemicals
   State can impose mine cleanup regulations
GENERAL GOVERNMENT
   Untracked local grant money
   Off-highway funds misspent
   FEC widens Congressional fundraising
   Implementing election reform
   Uncompetitive elections
   Federal competitive grant update
   Lobbying state legislatures
   Voter registration guidance
   Women's legislative caucuses
HEALTH
   Employment based health insurance
   Health care costs increasing for the uninsured
   Orange County hospital shortage
   Medical marijuana
   Medi-Cal expenditures and long-term forecasts
   California nursing homes snapshot
HOUSING
   Wages and the cost of housing
   How buyers afford homes
HUMAN SERVICES
   Administering welfare sanctions
   Improving the lives of young people with disabilities
INSURANCE
   Decrease in Workers' Compensation filings.
TRANSPORTATION
   Surface transportation safety programs
   Update on cell phone driving laws
   Cell Phones and novice drivers
STUDIES TO COME
   California county projections
   Economic development subsidies
   Retail giants on the Internet
   Strategies for English language learners
   Review of federal hydrogen research program
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

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic Violence: Keeping the Promise: Victim Safety and Batterer Accountability. By the Task Force on Local Criminal Justice Response to Domestic Violence. Prepared for the California Attorney General (Office of the Attorney General, Sacramento, California.) June 2005. 119 p.

Full Text at: safestate.org/documents/dv_report_ag.pdf

["Victims of domestic violence in California are going unprotected by a sytem that leaves court orders unenforced, fails to disarm batterers and ignores laws requiring education and treatment of convicted offenders. In a study of responses by police, prosecutors and the judicial system to domestic abuse, it was found that restraining orders -- issued by judges to keep batterers away from their victims -- often are not issued when legally required, can't be enforced because they haven't been served on the batterer or are simply ignored by prosecutors." San Fransico Chronicle (July 27, 2005) 1 p.]

[Request #S52801]

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IMMIGRATION

Border Patrol: Available Data on Interior Checkpoints Suggest Difference in Sector Performance. GAO-05-435. By the Government Accountablity Office. (The Office, Washington, D.C.) July 2005. 91 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d05435.pdf

["An investigative branch of Congress is requesting that Border Patrol officials develop better ways to determine and improve effectiveness at interior checkpoints, including the one in Temecula.... The agency wanted to find out how the Border Patrol used permenant and moving checkpoints as part of its strategy and how effective it was at deterring or catching undocumented immigrants." The Press-Enterprise (July 23, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52802]

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PRISONERS & PAROLEES

“Community Case Management for Former Inmates: Its Impacts on Rearrest, Drug Use, and HIV Risk.” By Karen Needels and others. IN: Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. (August 2005) pp. 1-14.

Full Text at: jurban.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jti092v1.pdf?ijkey=Kd1qBpUNKPMN55a&keytype=ref

[“Dramatically increasing incarceration rates in the United States have led to large concentrations of formerly imprisoned people in poverty-striken urban areas. Therefore, identifying ways to help inmates who exhibit multiple, serious problems and who are at great risk of experiencing poor post-release outcomes is especially important to urban communities, as well as to service providers and policymakers concerned about their communities.”]

[Request #S52803]

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ECONOMY

CONSUMER PROTECTION

Grafton Partners L.P., et al v. Superior Court of Alameda County. California Superior Court. S123344. August 4, 2005. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S123344.PDF

["Contracts by lenders and other businesses that require clients to give up the right to a jury trial in any future lawsuit are unenforceable in California, the court ruled.... The ruling also leaves the issue in the hands of the state Legislature -- which, the court said, has the sole power to legalize jury waivers before disputes arise between the parties.... Jury waivers are legal in most states." San Francisco Chronicle (August 5, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52804]

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GAMBLING

“The Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling.” By Melissa Schettini Kearney. IN: National Tax Journal, vol. LVIII no. 2 (June 2005) pp. 281-302.

[“This paper reviews the government role in the legalized gambling sector and addresses some of the major issues relevant to any analysis of what the government role should be. In particular, the paper reviews evidence identifying the economic ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ associated with the three largest sectors of the industry.”]

[Request #S52805]

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“Casino Taxation in the United States.” By John E. Anderson. IN: National Tax Journal, vol. LVIII no. 2 (June 2005) pp. 303-324.

[“This paper provides an overview of the forms of taxation that are applied to casinos by state and local governments, and analyses those taxes and fees from a policy perspective…. State and local governments derived $4.32 billion in direct gaming taxes from this economic activity, or about 16 percent of gross gaming revenue…. States typically apply wagering taxes to casinos along with other taxes, such as admissions taxes in the case of river boat casinos, and various forms of license fees.”]

[Request #S52808]

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MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES

National Survey of Business Owners: Press Release. The U.S. Census Bureau. (The Bureau, Washington, D.C.) July 28, 2005. 1 p.

Full Text at: www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/news_conferences/005415.html

["While overall businesses grew 13 percent in the state, businesses owned by blacks, Latinos and American Indians grew at least 25 percent from 1997 to 2002, according to a report. Businesses owned by women jumped by 24 percent and those by Asian-Americans by 19 percent. The figures do not include Indian casinos." Los Angeles Daily News (July 28, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52806]

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SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

Bay Area CEOs to Continue Strong Hiring Trends in Next Six Months: Press Release. By the Bay Area Council. (The Council, San Francisco) August 10, 2005. 1 p.

Full Text at: www.bayareacouncil.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=dkLRK7MMIqG&b=248023&ct=1286903

["Businesses in the region remain optimistic about the prospects of the regional economy and the outlook for hiring according to a survey.... About 38 percent of the business leaders surveyed expected to add staff in the next six months, while an additional 51 percent expected to keep payrolls steady." San Francisco Chronicle (August 10, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52807]

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U.S. ECONOMY

The Budget Economic Outlook: An Update. By Jeffery Holland and others, Congressional Budget Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) August 2005. 75 p.

Full Text at: www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/66xx/doc6609/08-15-OutlookUpdate.pdf

["The fiscal outlook for the coming decade has not changed much since the Congressional Budget Office issued its previous baseline projections of the federal budget in March. Although the deficit for 2005 will be notably lower than CBO estimated then, the underlying projections of revenues and outlays for future years are similar to those presented five months ago."]

[Request #S52809]

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EDUCATION

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

NCLB Left Behind: Understanding the Growing Grassroots Rebellion Against a Controversial Law. By NCLBGrassroots.org. (Civil Society Institute, Newton Centre, Massachusetts) August 17, 2005. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.nclbgrassroots.org/landscape.php

["All but three states are 'in some stage of rebellion against NCLB,' in ways that include seeking waivers, considering lawsuits and, in the case of some Illinois school districts, leaving federal money behind rather than deal with what they call NCLB's rigid requirements.... Utah is joined by six other states —- Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico and Virginia —- whose legislatures have passed resolutions critical of NCLB.... Rebellion is expected to flare up in Minnesota, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey and Virginia this school year, the report states." Deseret Morning News (August 18, 2005) 1.]

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State of Connecticut, et al. v. Margaret Spellings. U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut. 305CV1330. Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief. August 22, 2005.

["Connecticut became the first state to challenge the No Child Left Behind law in court, arguing that the centerpiece of President Bush's education law amounts to an unfunded mandate from the federal government.... Experts expect that legislatures around the country will be watching the case carefully, and that other states could vote to join the lawsuit or file their own." Los Angeles Times (August 23, 2005) 1.]

Complaint. 29 p.
complaint

Press release. Various pagings.
press release

[Request #S52814]

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AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Financing of California's After School Programs: Preparing for Implementation of Proposition 49. By Children Now. (Children Now, Oakland, California) July 2005. 45 p.

Full Text at: www.childrennow.org/assets/pdf/issues_education_afterschool_report_2005.pdf

["As early as 2008, California will significantly increase funding for after school programs under the guidelines of Proposition 49, the 2002 after school initiative. In anticipation of this milestone, Children Now has released a report that offers ways to strengthen California's publicly-funded after school programs before Prop. 49 is implemented. It also highlights results from our survey of after school programs about the barriers they encountered while trying to secure funding."]

[Request #S52810]

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EDUCATION FINANCE

California Teachers Association, et al. v. Arnold Schwarzenegger, et al. Sacramento County Superior Court. 05CS01165. Petition for Writ of Mandate and Complaint for Declaratory Relief. August 8, 2005. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.cta.org/NR/rdonlyres/7B64F07C-23D2-418F-BDBB-F30D23420E31/0/CTAProp98PetitionasFiled8805.pdf

["California's top school official and the state's largest teachers union sued Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to restore $3.1 billion they claim is owed to public schools. At issue is a deal that was struck during a meeting with the governor in December 2003, a month after he was sworn into office." San Diego Union-Tribune (August 9, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52811]

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HIGHER EDUCATION

College Textbooks: Enhanced Offerings Appear to Drive Recent Price Increases. GAO-05-806. (The Office, Washington, D.C.) July 2005. 51 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d05806.pdf

["There is a growing practice by publishers of including expensive new supplements and limiting the opportunity of students to purchase used textbooks. In addition, the publishers ... charge more in the United States for the same textbooks that they offer at discounted rates in other countries.... On average, a full-time student at a four-year college spends almost $900 annually on textbooks, or about 26 percent of the total cost of tuition and fees. Students at two-year institutions spend a similar amount, though books are a much larger chunk -- 72 percent -- of their college costs. The report's figures were strongly disputed by the Association of American Publishers, which argued that a full-time student spends closer to $600." San Francisco Chronicle (August 16, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52812]

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Affordable Textbooks for the 21st Century: A Guide to Establishing Textbook Rental Services. By CALPIRG Education Funds. (CALPIRG, Sacramento, California) 2005. 28 p.

Full Text at: calpirg.org/reports/TextbookRental7_05.pdf

["This document is a twelve step guide for colleges and universities interested in lowering textbook costs for students by transitioning to a textbook rental service or exploring new, innovative business models. This guide is designed to help schools develop a viable model that will best fit each individual campus, based on lessons drawn from existing rental services."]

[Request #S52815]

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ENERGY

ENERGY

Annual Energy Review: 2004. By the Energy Information Adminisrtation, U.S. Department of Energy. (The Administration, Washington, DC) August 2005.

["The report records the United States' energy history from 1949-2004 in data tables and figures. All major forms of energy (fossil fuels, nuclear electricity, and renewable energy) and total energy by activity such as production, consumption, trade, stocks, and prices are covered. The report also graphically illustrates key long-term energy trends." TRB Newsletter (August 16, 2005) 1.]

Report. 435 p.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/aer.pdf

Energy Overview. 34 p.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/pages/sec1.pdf

Energy Perspectives. 18 p.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/perspectives.pdf

[Request #S52816]

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ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

AGRICULTURE

Double Dippers: How Big Ag Taps Into Taxpayers' Pockets — Twice. By the Environmental Working Group. (The Group, Oakland, California) August 2005. 37 p.

Full Text at: www.ewg.org/reports_content/doubledippers/pdf/dd_printversion.pdf

["A national environmental group critical of farm subsidies said that more than 1,200 Central Valley farms received federally subsidized water to grow subsidized crops in 2002. The group called the practice 'double dipping' that cost taxpayers $243.8 million. The group singled out cotton and rice growers in its analysis." San Francisco Chronicle (August 3, 2005) 1.]

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ENDANGERED SPECIES

Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Associations, et al. v. Carlos M. Gutierrez, et al. U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief. August 9, 2005. 34 p.

Full Text at: www.earthjustice.org/news/documents/8-05/SalmonOCAPcomplaint.pdf

["A group of environmentalists, fishermen and American Indians sued two federal agencies, alleging their approval of the plan to send more water from the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta to cities and farms in the southern half of California could jeopardize several threatened fish species.... The groups are asking the court to set aside the opinion issued by the fisheries service and any actions permitted by it, and to order a new process to evaluate the impact of increased water exports, the plaintiffs said." Sacramento Bee (August 10, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52820]

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MTBE

Methanex Corporation v. United States of America. International Arbitration Tribunal under Chapter 11 of the NAFTA and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. Final Award of the Tribunal on Jurisdiction and Merits. August 3, 2005. 307 p.

Full Text at: www.state.gov/documents/organization/51052.pdf

["An international trade panel turned aside a serious blow at California's environmental laws, rejecting a Canadian company's $970 million claim against the United States over the state's ban on the gasoline additive MTBE, a suspected cause of cancer.... Had the suit succeeded, the federal government could have tried to penalize California financially or asked the federal courts to overturn the state law." San Francisco Chronicle (August 10, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52818]

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POLLUTION

"Common Industrial Chemicals in Tiny Doses Raise Health Issues." AND "Mercury and Tuna: U.S. Advice Leaves Lots of Questions." By Peter Waldman. IN: The Wall Street Journal. (July 25, 2005, August 1, 2005) Various pagings.

["For years, scientists have struggled to explain rising rates of some cancers and childhood brain disorders. Something about modern living has driven a steady rise of certain maladies. One suspect now is drawing intense scrutiny: the prevalence in the environment of certain industrial chemicals at extremely low levels. A growing body of animal research suggests to some scientists that even minute traces of some chemicals, always assumed to be biologically insignificant, can affect such processes as gene activation and the brain development of newborns."]

[Request #S52819]

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SURFACE MINING

People ex rel. Department of Conservation, et al. v. El Dorado County, et al. California Supreme Court. S116870. August 8, 2005. 25 p.

Full Text at: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S116870.PDF

["The court strengthened the state's power to curb damage caused by mines and quarries, ruling that state regulators can step in when local governments fail to take adequate steps for environmental restoration and protection.... The ruling went a step further and allowed the state conservation director to challenge a county's past approval of a mine's reclamation plans. Those plans include restoration of the site, with safeguards against water pollution and soil erosion, and a bond to pay for restoration if the operator defaults." San Francisco Chronicle (August 9, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52843]

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GENERAL GOVERNMENT

AUDITS AND INVESTIGATIONS

"County Can't Account for $1 Million in Grants." By Daniel J. Chacón. IN: San Diego Tribune (August 7, 2005) 1.

Full Text at: www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20050807-9999-1n7lax.html

["A Union-Tribune investigation has found that San Diego County does not have records for almost $1 million in grants given to community groups from special funds set up for each of the five supervisors.... Receipts that have been collected show that money has been spent on everything from Cheetos to seared ahi crostini. It could be worse. Just last month, officials couldn't account for nearly $2 million in grants awarded since 1999.... The grant program is not unique. Los Angeles County supervisors each get about $1 million in discretionary money annually. Orange County supervisors eliminated their program several years ago."]

[Request #S52821]

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Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program: The Lack of a Shared Vision and Questionable Use of Program Funds Limit Its Effectiveness. By California State Auditor, California Bureau of State Audits. (The Bureau, Sacramento, California) August 2005. 157 p.

Full Text at: www.bsa.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2004-126.pdf

["In a blistering report, California's auditor revealed yesterday that the state Department of Parks and Recreation has spent millions of dollars collected from off-road enthusiasts with little to show those who put up the money. Auditor Elaine Howle found that the state has committed $38 million to buy three parcels of land that 'offer little or no' benefit to the off-roaders who pay registration fees and state gas taxes." San Diego Tribune (August 18, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52822]

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CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

Advisory Opinion 2005-10: Draft. By the staff of the Federal Election Commission. (The Commission, Washington, DC) August 11, 2005. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.fec.gov/agenda/2005/mtgdoc05-36.pdf

["The Federal Election Commission ruled that members of Congress are free to raise unlimited sums to support or oppose California ballot measures.... The ruling is likely to intensify the expected flood of campaign advertising aimed at California voters this fall.... 'Many of the soft-money donors don't care where they're giving the money, as long as it's a member of Congress soliciting it,' said [Larry] Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group that tracks campaign money. He called the ruling part of a pattern of the FEC 'just writing loopholes in the soft-money ban' with 'no basis in the law.'" Los Angeles Times (August 19, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52823]

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ELECTION REFORM

Next Steps on Election Reform. By William H. Woodwell, Jr. Prepared for the League of Women Voters Education Fund and the McCormick Tribune Foundation. (The League, Washington, DC) 2005. 16 p.

Full Text at: www.lwv.org/elibrary/pub/voting_nextsteps_bw.pdf

["A new report explores issues central to reforming our election system and implementing the Help America Vote Act of 2002. The report … examined the 2004 election experience and ways of improving our nation’s elections.” Publisher's Announcement (August 4, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52824]

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Uncompetitive Elections and the American Political System. By Dennis Polhill and Patrick Basham. CATO Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) June 30, 2005. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa547.pdf

["American representative government suffers from the handicap of a largely uncompetitive political system. American politics has fewer and fewer competitive elections. In arguing that political competition matters a great deal, this paper traces the increasing trend toward uncompetitiveness and details the role and nature of incumbency advantage in fostering an uncompetitive political system."]

[Request #S52825]

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FEDERAL BUDGET

FFIS Competitive Grant Update. By the Federal Funds Information for States. Update 05-26 - 05-28. (FFIS, Washington, DC) July 25, - August 5, 2005. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.ffis.org

[Includes: "Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training -- VocationalRehabilitation Counseling;" "Head Start State Collaboration Offices;" "Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training;" "State and Regional Primary Care Associations;" and others"]

[Request #S52826]

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LOBBYING & LOBBYISTS

State Lobbyists Near the $1 Billion Mark. By Neil Gordon. (Center for Public Integrity, Washington, D.C.) August 10, 2005. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.publicintegrity.org/hiredguns/report.aspx?aid=728

["Corporations, labor unions, professional associations and state agencies spent nearly $953 million to lobby in the state capitols in 2004. While lobbyists and their employers spent the most money in California, Texas and New York last year, nine states, led by Mississippi, reported an increase of more than 20 percent in lobbying dollars. At the same time, 11 states enacted new standards for who qualifies as a lobbyist and what kinds of spending they have to report." Stateline.org (August 10, 2005) Online.]

[Request #S52827]

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VOTER REGISTRATION

Voluntary Guidance on Implementation of Voter Registration Lists. By U.S. Election Assistance Commission. (The Commission, Washington, D.C.) July 2005. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.eac.gov/docs/Statewide_Registration_Guidelines_072605.html

["Many new voters had problems at the polls in 2004, with faulty voter registration lists. The new guidance may help election officials understand HAVA’s establishment of a single, uniform statewide voter registration list and the responsibilities that Help America Vote Act places on all election officials to assure that the names and information contained in the statewide voter registration list are accurate, secure and complete." Nonprofit Issues Blog (August 02, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52828]

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WOMEN IN POLITICS

"Women's Legislative Caucuses." By Leah Oliver. IN: NCSL Legisbrief, vol. 13 no. 29 (June/July 2005) 2 p.

["Women's caucuses encourage collegiality, participation and cooperation among elected women in legislatures.... At least 16 states have 'formal' women's caucuses whereas women in 15 other states meet informally.... Research ... show that when women office holders form a group and work together -- formally or informally -- they may be more likely to make a difference.... Female legislators who meet with women in their legislative chamber to discuss legislation that affects women are significantly more likely to work on bills of interest to women than female legislators in chambers where women do not meet."]

[Request #S52829]

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HEALTH

HEALTH INSURANCE

The State of Health Insurance in California. By E. Richard Brown and others, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. (The Center, Los Angeles, California). August 2005. 84 p.

Full Text at: www.healthpolicy.ucla.edu/pubs/files/SHIC03_RT_081505.pdf

["The number of workers in California and their families covered by job-based health insurance fell in recent years, but government programs filled in much of the gap, so that the number of uninsured statewide remained the same, according to a study.... An estimated 796,000 Californians would have had health insurance through a job-based healthcare plan in 2003, but many could not afford to pay large increases for their share of the medical premiums." Los Angeles Times (August 16, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52830]

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Priced Out: Healthcare in California. By John Garamendi, Insurance Commissioner, Department of Insurance. (The Department, Sacramento, California) 2005. 73 p.

Full Text at: www.insurance.ca.gov/PRS/PRS2005/priced-out-health-care-in-california.pdf

["With 6.6 million Californians uninsured and costs soaring, state commissioner John Garamendi called for a series of changes to save the health-care system from what he called a 'death spiral'. A report was released that, among other things, showed the average health insurance premium in the state increased 61 percent from 2000 to 2004." The Orange County Register (August 4, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52831]

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HOSPITALS

Dynamic Orange County Health Care Market Responds to Opportunities. By Aaron Katz and others. (Center for Studying Health System Change, Washington, D.C.) August 2005. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.hschange.org/CONTENT/773/773.pdf

["Staffing shortages, growing patient demand and other factors are squeezing hospital capacity in Orange County. A state law that was supposed to improve patient care by raising the nurse-to-patient ratio to 1 to 5 took effect in March. But the requirement to add nurses has aggravated a hospital-bed shortage in Orange County, where competition for nurses already was fierce and salaries far exceed the national average. Some Orange County hospitals have temporarily closed units and diverted emergency room patients because they were unable to meet the nurse staffing ratios." Los Angeles Times (August 19, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52832]

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MARIJUANA

"Medical Marijuana." By Stephanie Wasserman. IN: NCSL Legisbrief, vol. 13 no. 27 (June/July 2005) 2 p.

["Since 1978, laws on the medical use of marijuana have quietly existed on the books in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Although law in six states have been repealed or have expired, many of the remaining statutes, which address such issues as therapeutic research programs, were never implemented or are no longer in effect because of complicated legal issues.... It is through the initiative process where medical marijuana is most often debated.... Typically, these laws remove state criminal penalties on the use, possession or cultivation of a certain amount of marijuana for patients who have discussed its medical benefits with their doctors."]

[Request #S52833]

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MEDI-CAL

Medi-Cal Expenditures: Historical Growth and Long Term Forecasts. By Thomas MaCurdy and others, Public Policy Institute of California. (PPIC, San Francisco, California) June 2005. 77 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/OP_605TMOP.pdf

[“To assess the fiscal challenges Medi-Cal may pose in the future for California policymakers, three questions must be addressed: First, how much are Medi-Cal costs likely to grow over the next decade in the absence of policy changes? Second, how will this growth compare to revenue growth? And third, what factors are driving Medi-Cal costs? This paper answers these questions by forecasting the expected cost of the Medi-Cal program through 2015, as well as examining the forces underlying recent growth in Medi-Cal expenditures.”]

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NURSING HOMES

Snapshot: California's Fragile Nursing Home Industry, 2005. By Charlene Harrington and Janis O'Meara. (California HealthCare Foundation, Oakland, California) 19 p.

Full Text at: www.chcf.org/topics/download.cfm?pg=hospitals&fn=FragileNursingHomeIndustrySnapshot2005%2Epdf&pid=426843&itemid=113183

["Only a small percentage of the state’s freestanding nursing homes meet the standards recommended for staffing levels to provide good nursing care.... More than two-thirds of the nursing staff in California’s nursing homes left their jobs in 2003. Many residents show clinical signs of poor care as a result of being left in bed all or most of the time, or being placed in physical restraints.... Some 77 percent had serious noncompliance with federal care and safety regulations during their most recent mandatory inspection. Half of the state’s nursing homes reported negative or zero profit margins."]

[Request #S52835]

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HOUSING

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Paycheck to Paycheck: Wages and the Cost of Housing in the Counties, 2004. By Barbara J. Lipman. Center for Housing Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) July 2005. 60 p.

Full Text at: www.nhc.org/pdf/pub_pp_07_04.pdf

["This report represents the first attempt to take the Paycheck analyses to the county level on a nationwide basis. In addition, this report surveys the experience of some of the nation's largest and/or fastest growing counties on how the lack of affordable housing affects their communities."]

[Request #S52836]

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HOME OWNERSHIP

California's Newest Homeowners: Affording the Unaffordable. By Hans P. Johnson and Amanda Bailey, Public Policy Institute of California. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) August 2005. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/CC_805HJCC.pdf

["How can so many people afford to buy such seemingly unaffordable homes? The answer lies in Californians' sheer resourcefulness. As home prices and sales soared to record levels the past few years, many home buyers chose creative but riskier home loans, devoted more of their income to housing and bought either a smaller house or one in a less expensive part of the state." Sacramento Bee (August 18, 2005) D1.]

[Request #S52837]

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HUMAN SERVICES

WELFARE

CalWORKs Sanction Patterns in Four Counties: An Analysis of Administration Data. By Paul M. Ong and Douglas Houston. California Policy Research Center, University of California. (The University, Berkeley, California) May 2005. 10 p.

[“California policymakers are seeking information on how counties are administering welfare sanctions -– the procedures by which the state and county welfare agencies penalize low-income adults with children when they fail to comply with various CalWORKs program requirements. In this Briefing paper, we list policymakers’ key questions and the aspect of each addressed by our study on CalWORKs sanctions in Alemeda, Fresno, Kern and San Diego counties.”]

[Request #S52838]

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YOUTH

"Improving the Lives of Young People with Disabilities." By Diana Hinton Noel. NCSL Legisbrief, vol. 13 no. 28 (NCSL, Washington, DC) 2 p.

["Studies show that young people with disabilities are performing at lower academic levels than their non-disabled peers. Lower performance means higher dropout rates, substantial unemployment and underemployment, economic instability, and low participation in postsecondary education and training programs. To prepare youth for the world of adulthood, transition services can help. These can include academic instruction, community experiences, job development and skills training for living on thier own."]

[Request #S52839]

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INSURANCE

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

26.78 Percent Average Decrease in Workers' Compensation Filed Rates: Reforms Are Working. California Department of Insurance. (The Department, Sacramento, California) August 8, 2005. 1 p.

Full Text at: www.insurance.ca.gov/docs/FS-PRS074.htm

["Owners of small and medium-sized companies in California are beginning to see significant benefits from the cost savings that followed two years of retooling the state's program for providing benefits to injured workers. Premiums for workers' compensation insurance fell an average of 14.6% for policies written or renewed after July 1, reflecting renewed competition among insurers and sharp cuts in benefits collected by workers." Los Angeles Times ( August 9, 2005)1]

[Request #S52840]

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TRANSPORTATION

HIGHWAY SAFETY

Surface Transportation Legislation Extends Highway Safety Programs. By the Federal Funds Information for States. Issue Brief 05-31. (FFIS, Washington, DC) August 11, 2005. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.ncsl.org/ffis/subs/ib/2005/IB05-31.pdf

["The signing ... of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act ... extends most of the current structure of federal highway safety funding with relatively few changes. It does not consolidate the programs, as proposed by the budget, but does increase funding."]

[Request #S52841]

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Cell Phones and Highway Safety: 2005 State legislative Update. By Matt Sundeen, National Conference of State Legislatures. (The Conference, Denver, Colorado) August 2005. 38 p.

Full Text at: www.ncsl.org/print/transportation/cellphoneup805.pdf

["The National Conference of State Legislatures has released its latest distracted driving report that summarizes state laws and legislation. The report also provides information about research, data collection, and legal issues associated with distracted driving." TRB Newsletter (August 16, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52842]

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Cell Phones and Novice Drivers. By Matthew Sundeen. NCSL Legisbrief Vol. 13 No. 30 (NCSL, Washington, DC) 2 p.

["Among traffic safety experts and state lawmakers, there is little consensus on whether all drivers should be prohibited from using a phone while operating a vehicle. There is growing agreement in many states, however, that young novice drivers' use of such devices should be restricted."]

[Request #S52844]

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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

CALIFORNIA

California County Projections. By Center For Continuing Study of the California Economy. (The Center, Palo Alto, California. 2005) Various papings.

[“Bay Area job losses exceed the state’s total job losses. Outside of the Bay Area, all major economic regions of California have 1) added jobs since 2000 and 2) outpaced the nation in job growth during the same period. Since March 2001, the nation has added 782,000 jobs; California regions outside the Bay Area have added 40,000 jobs…. The California economy is currently growing at roughly the same pace as the national economy. In short-term (2005 and 2006), California’s economic growth will be largely determined by how well the national economy performs.”]

[Request #S52845]

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging the Myth of Job Creation. By Greg LeRoy (Berrett-Koehler, Norwood, Massachusetts) 2005. 250 p.

["State and local governments' economic development practices and their endless flow of tax breaks and outright gifts to private coroporation they want to land, or figure they have to pay off to stay put. For years Greg LeRoy has been America's chief whistle blower on subsides, which he estimates add up nationally to an eye-popping $50 billion a year." Washington Post (August 7, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52846]

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INTERNET

Top 400 Guide: Profiles and Statistics of America's 400 Largest Retail Web Sites Ranked by Annual Sales. By Internet Retailer. Vertical Web Media (Chicago, Illinois) 2005.

["As Web shopping turns 10 this year, it has grown bigger and more popular than most analysts had predicted. Excluding travel, online sales in the United states grew 24 percent last year, to about $90 billion, accounting for nearly 5 percent of all retail sales. Most Internet retailers are profitable, with operating profits rising to 28 percent in 2004 from 21 percent in 2003. Internet Retailer's top 400 offers a rare glimpse of closely held Web sales figures." Washington Post, (July 17, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52847]

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EDUCATION

BILINGUAL EDUCATION

"The Big Picture: A Meta-analysis of Program Effectiveness Research on English Language Learners." By Kellie Rolstad, Arizona State University, and others. IN: Educational Policy, vol. 19, no. 4 (September 2005) pp. 572-594.

["It is shown that bilingual education is consistently superior to all-English approaches, and that developmental bilingual education programs are superior to transitional bilingual education programs.... It is concluded that bilingual education programs are effective in promoting academic achievement, and that sound educational policy should permit and even encourage the development and implementation of bilingual education programs."]

[Request #S52848]

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ENERGY

ALTERNATIVE FUELS

Report. By the Committee on Review of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Research Program, National Research Council. (National Academies Press, Washington, DC) 2005. 150 p.

Full Text at: www.nap.edu/catalog/11406.html?onpi_newsdoc08022005

["The committee studied the research program of the FreedomCAR (Cooperative Automotive Research) Partnership, a program undertaken by the U.S. government in collaboration with the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR). The public-private effort to develop more fuel-efficient automobiles and eventually introduce hydrogen as a transportation fuel is well planned. The report also identifies all major hurdles the program will face." TRB Newsletter (August, 16, 2005) 1. Note: The Report ... will be available for a three day loan.]

[Request #S52850]

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