Government

CSG Midwest
Of all the bills considered and signed into law so far this year in the Midwest’s state capitols, one has captured the most attention around the country: Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Passed by comfortable margins (mostly along partisan lines) in the Republican-led House and Senate, SB 101 was signed into law in late March.
What followed were calls for boycotts of Indiana (Connecticut’s governor, for example, signed an executive order banning state-funded travel there), concerns raised by top business leaders, and a front-page editorial in The Indianapolis Star to “Fix This Now.” The backlash over Indiana’s RFRA centered on its potential impact on gay and lesbian rights. Would a business, for example, be legally protected if it refused to provide services to a gay patron or same-sex couple?

Young v. United Parcel Service presents a dilemma most employers, including state and local governments, can relate to.  What should an employer do if a pregnant employee’s job requires that she lift an amount well above what her doctor has approved during pregnancy? 

The specific issue the Court had to decide in this case was whether an employer violated Title VII because it accommodated many but not all nonpregnancy-related disabilities but...

Econ Piggy

In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress officially designated the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” In honor of this month, here are a few stats about women in the United States.

According CSG's analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at its peak in August 2008 state government employment stood at 5.21 million, or around 3.8 percent of total nonfarm employment. Over the next five years, state governments shed 187,000 jobs, landing at 5.03 million in July 2013. As of December 2014, state governments had regained 53,000 positions after hitting a low in July 2013, but have only recovered a little over one-quarter of the positions lost since the August 2008 peak.  In December 2014, state government employment made up 3.6 percent of total nonfarm employment.

During and after the Great Recession, job losses in the private sector were more pronounced than losses to state government employment. For example, from Dec. 2007 – Dec. 2008, private sector employment contracted by 3.2 percent and from Dec. 2008 – Dec. 2009, it fell by 4.5 percent. For state government employment, losses did not begin until 2009, when employment fell by 0.8 percent (Dec. 2009-Dec. 2010), 0.3 percent (Dec. 2009 – Dec. 2010) and 1.8 percent (Dec. 2010 – Dec. 2011).

According CSG's analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, throughout 2014, state government employment grew by 0.5 percent overall compared to 2.6 percent growth in the private sector. State government employment grew in 32 states, remained the same in four states and shrunk in 14 states.

According CSG's analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 21.9 million government workers in December 2014, or 15.6 of total nonfarm employment. Nearly two-thirds of government employment is at the local level and 55 percent of local government jobs are in education. About one-quarter of government employment is at the state level and 12 percent is at the federal level.

In 2006 the Department of Labor (DOL) stated in an opinion letter that mortgage loan officers were eligible for overtime but then changed its mind in 2010 in an “Administrator’s Interpretation.”

In Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association the Supreme Court held unanimously that federal agencies do not have to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) before changing an interpretive rule, like the...

According CSG's analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, state government employment remains below the peak level reached in August 2008, but has seen net gains for four consecutive months.

While oral argument is hardly a fool proof indicator of what the Supreme Court will do, it seemed the majority of the Justices favored the Arizona legislature in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

The issue the Court will decide in this case is whether Arizona’s Proposition 106,...

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