The much-anticipated immigration reform bill has started to take shape in Washington, D.C., and states now have a better idea of what to expect.
A few weeks ago, Capitol Hill Ideas took a look at the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, known as SCAAP, which is the primary way states are reimbursed for the cost of detaining criminal illegal immigrants. Funding for the program has been in flux for the past several years, and it now appears that immigration overhaul funds SCAAP through 2015.
A conference committee between the Minnesota State House and Senate recently announced an agreement to resolve differences in two competing proposals to expand the solar energy requirement for investor-owned utilities. Under the proposal, investor-owned utilities (such as Xcel Energy and Minnesota Power) must generate 1.5 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2020.
Ohio Senate Bill 116, introduced by Democratic Senator Eric H. Kearney and co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Seitz, aims to exempt cities with populations over 50,000 from the state open container laws. Cities would be able to designate “entertainment districts”, a one-half mile square area within which alcohol could be purchased and carried on the streets. The idea is modeled after other popular tourist destinations such as New Orleans, LA, Las Vegas, NV, Savannah, GA, and Memphis, TN which allow open containers in some public places.
“That sigh of relief you heard Monday was from hospital administrators in nearly two dozen states, including Florida and Texas.”
This is how the Kaiser Health News described the reaction to the Obama administration announcement that the anticipated reduction in special Medicaid payments to hospitals for care of the uninsured will not penalize states that have not expanded their Medicaid eligibility guidelines.
Elise Gould and Natalie Sabadish at the Economic Policy Institute recently took a look at health expenditure data and found some interesting patterns – chiefly that health spending in this country is distributed extremely differently among certain groups. As their cool infographic below shows, a big chunk of what we spend as a country on health care goes to a tiny fraction of the population. In fact, half of all health care dollars are spent by only five percent of the population, while the top 20 percent of spenders consume 82 percent of all health-care dollars.