Capitol Comments

Yesterday I told you about our new CSG Capitol Facts & Figures brief on the Condition of U.S. Roads and Bridges. Well, if you’re looking for some better news, there’s a new annual study out this month from the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank, that gives a somewhat different perspective. The report finds that state highways are in the best shape they have been in nearly 20 years.

The federal government’s moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling—which was expected to continue through November 30th in order for the government to devise new safety regulations and environmental response measures—has faced a stumbling block in court today as the federal judge overseeing the case permitted the challenge to proceed.

According to a new report released today by the Pew Hispanic Center, the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has dropped to 11.1 million in 2009 from a peak of 12 million in 2007, an 8 percent decline.   The researchers note that this is the "first significant reversal" in illegal immigrant growth in the last twenty years.

The study found that fewer illegal immigrants came to the United States every year between 2007 and 2009 than in years in the first half of the decade.   Specifically, approximately 300,...

At a time when good news seems to be scarce, the number of U.S. children in foster care is down sharply, according to new data released by the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services. The number of foster children fell by over 20 percent during the last decade, from 540,000 in care ten years ago to 423,773 in care on September 30, 2009.

Despite billions in Recovery Act dollars spent on infrastructure over the last year and half, the nation still faces an epidemic of crumbling roads and bridges in the years ahead and a shortage of dollars to pay for it all under current funding conditions. That’s the picture that emerges from CSG’s new four-page Capitol Facts & Figures brief entitled “Condition of U.S. Roads & Bridges.”

The Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission (MIC3) has launched its new Web site,  The new Web site will serve as an information hub for military families, school officials, and other interested members of the public.

The compact was created because military families move between postings on a regular basis, and while reassignments can often be a boon for career personnel, they can be difficult for the children of military families. The average...

Two California bills creating the state health insurance exchange mandated by federal health reform law are on the way to Governor Schwarzenegger's desk. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Governor is expected to sign the bills.

The California bills are the first state legislation on health insurance exchanges since Congress passed federal reform earlier this year....

CSG health policy staff and CSG DC office staff met in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday with federal officials from the Department of Health and Human Services. DHHS staff told CSG that they fully expect federal regulations on health insurance exchanges to be released in early 2011, in time for state legislative sessions to consider enabling legislation.

Health insurance exchanges are required under the federal health reform legislation passed earlier this year by Congress. The exchanges are required to be up and running on...

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions solely for the first time on July 1, 2011 under authority of the Clean Air Act.

Nine states and D.C. will share in the $3.4 billion in federal funding to improve schools

The U.S. Department of Education announced today the winners of the second round of Race to the Top funding. They included: the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island. All of them will share in the $3.4 billion left over from the first round, in which Delaware and Tennessee were named winners.