Governmental Operations

A new Supreme Court case says state boards don’t automatically get immunity from antitrust laws. This ruling could reduce the authority of governors and state legislatures to compose state agencies, boards and commissions or create massive headaches for state leaders trying to decide what active supervision means. In North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC, the Supreme Court held 6-3 that if the majority of a state board’s members are active market participants, antitrust immunity applies only if the state actively supervises the board. The State and Local Legal Center filed an amicus brief in this case, which CSG joined, arguing that active supervision was unnecessary.

The question the Supreme Court will decide in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores is simple:  who must ask about the need for a religious accommodation—the employer or the...

Chapter 8 of the 2014 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

In Harris v. Quinn the Supreme Court held 5-4 that the First Amendment prohibits the collection of an agency fee from home health care providers who do not wish to join or support a union. 

Medicaid recipients who would otherwise be institutionalized may hire personal assistants.  In Illinois, the Medicaid recipient is the employer and is responsible for almost all aspects of the employment relationship.  But the personal assistant is a state employee for collective bargaining purposes.  A number of personal assistants did not want to join the union or pay it dues. 

Imagine yourself going through a security screening. Annoying, right?  Now imagine yourself getting paid to go through a security screening.  Better, right?  But what if you are a state government with a security screening process that as a result of a court decision must now pay employees to go through security screenings?  Sometime in the next year, the Supreme Court will affirm or reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision to this effect in ...

Policymakers today have no shortage of information when considering a specific topic or legislation.
Supporters and opponents both use a wide range of information when arguing a position, and it is not always easy to tell if that information is based on sound science....

The Pew Charitable Trusts recently released its latest Elections Performance Index, or EPI, which now includes an interactive tool that allows states to compare their election administration performance to one another and across similar elections. The annual Pew study measures election administration by evaluting indicators like wait times at polling locations and voter turnout. The report found that, between 2008 and 2012, state election performance overall improved by 4.4 percentage points, and 40 states plus DC improved their score over the same time frame. 

There are 21.8 million government employees—federal, state and local—which make up 16 percent of total, non-farm employment.

Capitol Hill IDeas

Following the federal government shutdown, Congress reached a deal to go to budget conference, which it hasn't done for years. Since it's been a while since the traditional budget process was followed, here's a refresher for what is supposed to happen.

Two weeks and a day after the federal government shut down, and the day before a default on the national debt, Senate leadership reached a deal to reopen the government and avoid default. The shutdown was lengthy and, had the government defaulted on its debt, it would have been the first time in history—except for a technical, computer-glitch-inspired default in 1979.

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