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The Long- and Short-Term Impacts of the Recession, Voting Rights in Indian Country, Reports on the Foreclosure Crisis, and More

The short- and long-term impact of the recession and what states can do about it-

  • Economic Scarring: The long-term impacts of the recession - This Economic Policy Institute briefing paper highlights long-term impacts of the recession on families, including how child education and nutrition suffer, and that since the downturn, 20% of young adults have delayed or dropped out of college.  One study found that employees entering the workforce during a recession have lower earnings even 15 years later.

  • The Impact of the Recession on Work and Family - This policy brief by the Sloan Work and Family Research Network outlines how the recession is effecting families, from jobs lost, lost health care coverage, and decreased time for care-giving among those who still have jobs.  The brief recommends increased benefits for part-time workers, more focus on pay parity for women who are the sole wage earners now in many families, and paid family leave/paid sick days for working caregivers.

  • Recommendations for Addressing Poverty in Tough Economic Times - While states have less revenue to help families and individuals, this CLASP brief outlines some low-cost policy changes (including options made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) states can make to help those who are struggling most, including ensuring child care is available, removing barriers to SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits, tapping into TANF Emergency Funds, adopting Unemployment Insurance reforms, connecting people in work sharing programs to part-time training programs, and establishing paid sick days policies.

  • Tracking American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds - CLASP is tracking how much each state has drawn down in Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funds made available through the recovery act.  As of Sept. 18, 2009, states, territories, and tribes have drawn down $183.6 million, or 9 percent of available funds. 

The Cost of Failure to Enact Health Reform: Implications for States - In the absence of health care reform, the Urban Institute projects that in all states, employer sponsored insurance will fall, and Medicaid enrollment and the number of uninsured would increase.  Additionally, employer and government spending would continue to increase. In 29 states, the number of people without insurance would increase by more than 30 percent.

New reports on the foreclosure crisis-

  • Foreclosures: A Crisis in Legal Representation - This study by the Brennan Center for Justice shows that disturbing numbers of families, often as many as 86% in particular communities,  face foreclosure proceedings without the aid of legal counsel.  The report recommends that restrictions on the federal Legal Services Corporation be removed to encourage more help for the foreclosed upon, expanding alternative dispute mechanisms, and ensuring that all families facing foreclosure have a chance to consult with a trained housing counselor and, if needed, a lawyer.

  • State Anti-Predatory Lending Laws: Impacts and Federal Preemption - The UNC Center for Community Capital finds that states that adopted tough anti-predatory lending laws had lower foreclosure rates than states without those laws. The report also found that, after 2004 when the federal government exempted national banks from such state laws, those banks increased their subprime lending the most in states with those laws.

 Voting Rights in Indian Country - Based on litigation in a number of western states, the ACLU Voting Rights Project outlines the numerous barriers faced by Native Americans trying to exercise their right to vote, and makes recommendations for ensuring the right to vote in Indian Country.

Declining Public Assistance Voter Registration and Welfare Reform - Academic researchers affiliated with Demos debunk Heritage Foundation claims that decreases in voter registrations through public assistance agencies are due to welfare reform.

Migration Policy Institute is currently accepting applications for its E Pluribus Unum prizes for groups and individuals involved in immigrant integration initiatives.