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A Premature End to Federal Assistance, Anti-Predatory Lending Laws, State Benefits of Health Reform & Much More

Premature End of Federal Assistance to States Threatens Education Reforms and Jobs and Governors Proposing New Round of Cuts for 2011; At Least 45 States Have Already Imposed Cuts That Hurt Vulnerable Residents -  In these two reports, the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities highlights that without additional federal support for state fiscal relief, states will be forced to make further severe cuts in health care, education and services for the elderly and poor.  With hundreds of billions in projected deficits, cuts may go even deeper than those enacted to date.

Two Studies from the Center for Community Capital detail How State Anti-Predatory Lending Laws Protected Consumers -- and how Federal Preemption Made the Housing Crisis Worse:

Studies on Industry Lobbying Money, the Benefits to the States from Health Reform, and Improvements on Burden of Citizenship Verification Rules:

  • Federal Government Will Pick Up Nearly All Costs of Health Reform’s Medicaid Expansion - Despite critics who claim a large new burden on states, the Medicaid expansion portion of federal reform will add just 1.25 percent to what states were projected to spend on Medicaid over the next five years in the absence of health reform, while providing health coverage to 16 million more low-income adults and children, according to this analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  And covering more of the uninsured will reduce state and local governments’ current spending on other services for the uninsured, such as mental health services.
  • Health Insurance Companies Give Healthy Donations to Political Campaigns - Helping to fund anti-health reform state legislative efforts, health insurance titans WellPoint, UnitedHealth Group, Humana, and Aetna gave a total of total of $8.7 million to candidates and committees in 42 states from 2005 through 2008, according to this analysis by the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
  • Data Matches with Social Security Administration Are Easing Burdens on Families and States -  The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities reports that new provisions from the CHIP reauthorization law (CHIPRA) of last year are helping reduce the detrimental effects of citizenship documentation requirements enacted in 2006.  As of Jan. 1, states now have the option of meeting this requirement by conducting a data match with the Social Security Administration’s database to verify an applicant’s U.S. citizenship, easing the paperwork burden on families and easing enrollment procedures.

Equal Pay Day 2010: Families Can’t Afford the Gender Wage Gap -  With the recession leaving many women supporting their families, the persistent gender pay gap is adding insult to injury for families already hit hard by unemployment, as shown in this Center for American Progress report.  State-by-state data demonstrates that mothers in every state and the District of Columbia are financially supporting their families—and many are their family’s primary breadwinner.

Green Energy and the Economic Benefits of Public Transit Reports:

  • Energy Democracy: Community Scale Green Energy Solutions - Addressing racial and economic inequities in energy use and production is key to building a stronger and ”˜greener’ American economy, according to this Center for Social Inclusion report. The report provides a policy framework for both regulation and land use that can transform low-income and usually communities of color into energy pro­ducers who contribute to the nation’s overall energy capacity, while enhancing political and economic ties within regions.
  • New York City's Green Dividend - Highlighting the gains from a strong public transit system, a new study by CEO's for Cities finds that New Yorkers save a staggering $19 billion in savings each year due to lower auto-related expenses, including owning 30 percent fewer cars than other large U.S. cities. By driving an average of 9 miles per day (versus 25 miles nationally), New Yorkers also reduce carbon emissions by 23 million tons annually.

Across the Spectrum: The Wide Range of Jobs Immigrants Do - This report, the latest in a series from the Fiscal Policy Institute that examine immigrants' roles in the economy at the city, state, and national level, details the broad range of jobs held by immigrants in the 25 largest metropolitan areas of the United States.  The analysis shatters much of the flawed conventional wisdom on immigrants being overwhelmingly conventrated in low-skilled, low-wage jobs - in fact, immigrants hold a wide variety of jobs, including those in highly-skilled sectors such as science, engineering, and the medical professions.  Perhaps most importantly, the report underlines that immigration and economic growth "go hand in hand" - in many metropolitan areas. 

Valuing Good Health in Connecticut: The Costs and Benefits of Paid Sick Days - Employers covered by a proposed paid sick days law in Connecticut would save a net $73 million, equivalent to lowering their real wage costs by an average of $0.15/hour per employee, according to a new study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research and Connecticut's Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. While providing paid sick days would add a new cost of $92 million/year to employers' payroll expenses, these employers would benefit from a $165 million reduction in other payroll and healthcare-related items.

New York Has the Ways and Means: How and Why Wall Street Should Give Back to Main Street - In light of Wall Street's major role in the financial meltdown and the massive profits financial firms have experienced in the past year, the Center for Working Families and Fiscal Policy Institute propose a temporary bonus recapture tax, temporary reduction of stock transfer tax rebates, suspension of the carry-forward provision for 2007 and 2009 net operating losses for financial firms, and a windfall profits tax as a means to confront New York's budget deficit.