Reports on the the Great Recession, Health Care Tax Credits, Public Opinion on State Fiscal Crises, and More

Serving While Sick: High Risks & Low Benefits for the Nation’s Restaurant Workforce, and Their Impact on the Consumer – Improved working conditions in America’s restaurants are necessary to protect employees and patrons alike, according to a survey of over 4,000 workers by the Restaurant Opportunities Center United.  90% of restaurant workers lack health insurance, nearly 88% have no access to paid sick leave, and 63% indicated they had prepared food or served customers while sick.  The report notes that the health risk to customers is closely related to poor working conditions for employees:  “workers who experienced high levels of employment law violations in their workplace were more likely to have worked under conditions that have negative consumer health impacts.”

One Recession, Two Americas: Those Who Lost Ground Slightly Outnumber Those Who Held Their Own – A survey released by the Pew Research Center confirms that the Great Recession has directly affected the long-term financial security of most families in the country, particularly young people.  55% of those surveyed said they have “lost ground” financially, whereas 45% have remained stable or are doing better.  However, 70% of people in the 20-30 years old age bracket have seen a decline in economic footing.  And in terms of wages, 83% of those surveyed said their income has stayed the same or declined, with the majority (49%) taking pay cuts.

How Residents in Five States View Fiscal Priorities for State Government - A survey by Pew Center on the States analyzes public attitudes toward fiscal problems in five diverse states that together comprise almost a third of the nation's population and economic output -- Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois and New York. Among other findings showing widespread and troubling distrust in state government, the study reveals that majorities in all five states -- a range of 63% to 71% -- say they would be willing to pay higher taxes to keep K-12 public schools at current funding levels, while majorities in a range of 52%-57% say they would pay higher taxes to preserve funding for health and human services.

Lower Taxes, Lower Premiums: The New Health Insurance Tax Credit - New national and state-by-state reports released by Families USA find that over 28 million Americans will benefit from the health care premium tax credits which will go into effect in 2014. The credits will be help those with incomes up to four times the federal poverty level ($88,200 for a family of four in 2010) afford coverage, and will be fully advanceable, meaning that eligible families will not have to wait to file their taxes in order to receive the credit and enroll in coverage.


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