President Obama made a public push for greatly expanded access to high-quality early education programs Thursday, touting the benefits of quality pre-K programs for 4-year-olds. “This is not babysitting. This is teaching,” Obama said in a speech to educators and parents in Decatur. The President expounded on a plan for ramping up early education which he included in Tuesday’s State of the Union address.
The decision to expand Medicaid eligibility is the most consequential Medicaid decision since 1965, when states could first opt into the federal-state partnership program, said Vernon Smith, a health economist and former Michigan Medicaid director.
Smith was in South Dakota last week, brought there by Senate and House leaders of both parties and CSG Midwest for a special briefing attended by more than 100 participants.
Smith said each state’s decision will directly affect the health of many of its residents with ripple effects throughout the health care system, the state budget, the economy, employers and others paying for health insurance.
A story appeared in today's FuelFix, which is run by the Houston Chronicle, highlighting the large amounts of hazardous waste generated by the solar industry in California. According to a study conducted by the AP that used data from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, 17 of the state's largest 41 solar manufacturers generated over 46 million pounds of sludge and contaminated water from 2007 to 2011.
Be sure to mark your calendar on February 21 at 2 PM/Eastern for the latest event in CSG's webinar series entitled: "The Clean Water Act and Waters of the U.S." In light of the Obama Administration's recent announcement that a rule may be forthcoming in 2013 which may settle the high-profile dispute with the limits of federal jurisdictional authority over "waters of the U.S.", you will want to participate in this informative event.
According to a new report by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, nonpartisan research center based in Washington, DC, state and local governments are wasting billions of dollars each year on economic development subsidies given to companies for moving existing jobs from one state to another rather than focusing on the creation of truly new positions.
Yesterday at a hospital in Lansing, Gov. Rick Snyder announced that in today’s budget address he would call for Michigan to take the Affordable Care Act option to expand Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty line.
"This makes sense for the physical and fiscal health of Michigan," Snyder said according to Reuters.
The recent report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) assessed the fairness of state and local tax systems among 50 states. The report identified ten states as having the most regressive overall tax systems. The ITEP identifies these states as “Terrible Ten” states, where the bottom 20 percent pay up to six times as much of their income in taxes as their wealthy counterparts. Washington State is the most regressive, followed by Florida, South Dakota, Illinois, Texas, Tennessee, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Alabama. That is largely contributed to heavy reliance on sales taxes, which burdens the bottom 20 percent more than the top 1 percent.
Gov. Mary Fallin said in her State of the State address delivered Feb. 4 that both her parents died due to smoking-related illnesses, as do almost 6,000 Oklahomans each year. She called for restoring local control to cities and towns regarding tobacco use in public places.