Policy Area

Kentucky is taking the lead, by using an innovative approach to provide its 9,000 state employees and their dependents with readily accessible primary care options. Data from Kentucky’s 2014 employee health plan’s actuary, AON reported that, Kentucky saved $723,900 for 15,000 clinic visits.

Econ Piggy

The Census Bureau released data from its Annual Survey of Public Pensions today, which provides a financial overview of state- and locally-administered defined benefit pension systems. The report found that earnings on investments for those pension systems increased from $382.2 billion in 2013 to $537.5 billion in 2014 – a 38.6 percent jump. In 2012, earnings totaled just $96 billion.

Crowdfunding has been used to finance a vast assortment of projects in the last few years, but federal regulators have been slow to implement the sections of the JOBS act that allow most individuals to invest in startups financed by equity crowdfunding. In response, states have passed laws allowing companies to create crowdfunding platforms that cater to investors and entrepreneurs within the same state.

The crowdfunding industry in the United States has expanded rapidly in the last few years, growing from $2.7 billion in 2012 to an estimated $34.4 billion in 2015.  This growth has been driven by the expansion of online crowdfunding platforms that facilitate interaction between companies and potential investors.  Although the US JOBS act sought to regulate crowdfunding in 2012,...

Congress is making real progress on the first major rewrite of education law in more than a dozen years. These efforts may portend a rare legislative success for both Republicans and Democrats in a divided Washington.

Undocumented immigrants in Connecticut may soon qualify for in-state tuition and financial aid due to separate pieces of legislation passed by the state’s House and Senate in May. The House bill, signed into law by Gov. Dannel Malloy in June, expanded a 2011 law that reduced the required length of in-state high school attendance from four years to two in order to qualify for in-state tuition. The Senate bill, which has been sent to the House for review, would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for various forms of financial aid, including waivers, grants and student employment.

The U.S. Department of Labor has published a notice in the Federal Register proposing a new rule that could extend overtime protections to almost 5 million additional workers as early as 2016. Current law requires employers pay overtime for non-salaried workers. Salaried employees are defined by a set of criteria, including job duties and a salary threshold. The proposed new rule would more than double the salary threshold and tie it to inflation, which means more workers would qualify for overtime protections. The number of workers that would be affected by the changes varies by age, education level and state; middle-aged, educated workers would see the biggest impact.

Making the transition between military service and civilian life can be a difficult challenge for service members. Many find themselves without a job or the means to support a family without returning to school to further their knowledge and skills. But making the move from a battlefield to a college campus can be a difficult, isolating experience for student veterans.

A 2014 report by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law predicts that the legalization of same-sex marriage could have a combined economic impact across all states of $2.6 billion during the first three years, primarily due to increased spending on weddings by same-sex resident couples and their out-of-state guests. In addition, the report estimates that legalization will boost state and local sales tax revenue by $184.7 million and support more than 13,000 jobs. The potential economic and fiscal impact varies across states.

Although women now serve alongside men on the battlefield in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, there is one place where male and female soldiers may not be getting the same treatment. That place is after they return home and become veterans.

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