CSG Research & Expertise in the News: Public Safety; Taxes; Education

CSG Research & Expertise in the News: 6/19-6/25, 2011

The following compilation features published news stories during the week of June 19-25 that highlight experts and/or research from The Council of State Governments. For more information about any of the experts or programs discussed, please contact CSG at (800) 800-1910 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff.  Members of the press should call (859) 244-8246.

FACTBOX-States gird for battle in 'Amazon tax' war
TD Waterhouse
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Over the last few years, new battle lines have been drawn in the war over taxing Internet sales. States where revenue is climbing back at a microscopic rate from recessionary lows are calculating the money they have forgone by not collecting sales taxes on goods sold by online mega-retailers such as Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O> and Overstock.com Inc. <OSTK.O> More...

House speaker building on corrections reform
The Oklahoman
Thursday, June 23, 2011

Having made small but significant gains on corrections reform during the 2011 legislative session, Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele wants to keep the momentum going during the interim. His latest endeavor is a good one.

Steele, R-Shawnee, plans to join others Thursday in announcing a “justice reinvestment initiative,” a collaboration with the Justice Center at the Council of State Governments to formulate a smarter approach to criminal justice in Oklahoma. The Council of State Governments is a nonpartisan public policy group that has assisted other states in the same way. More...

State leaders announce Justice Reinvestment Initiative
The Edmond Sun
Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gov. Mary Fallin, House Speaker Kris Steele and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman on Thursday announced Oklahoma’s kickoff of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a bipartisan effort to engage in a data-driven approach to public safety.

The process will be used to develop dynamic new justice system policies that hold offenders accountable while reducing corrections costs so resources can be reinvested in improved strategies to increase public safety. More...

Governor signs four public safety bills
Charlotte Observer
Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gov. Bev Perdue this morning signed four uncontroversial public safety bills, including the Justice Reinvestment Act, which is a sweeping overhaul of the state's sentencing laws. The bill, HB642 by retired chief probation officer Rep. David Guice, a Republican from Brevard, does many things, but its underpinnings put in place a system of more closely supervising those released from prison so that they don't return.

Savings from keeping people from going back to prison will come from not having to build and staff new prisons, under the theory of the legislation. The concept was developed through statistical analysis done by the Council of State Governments and others. More...

No Going Back

Inside Higher Ed

Friday, June 24, 2011

Will a House of Representatives bill intended to overturn two of the Education Department’s “program integrity” rules -- one creating a federal definition of a credit hour and another requiring colleges to get state approval to operate -- make it through both houses of Congress? Would President Obama ever sign the legislation into law, undermining his own Education Department?

When it comes to the state authorization requirements, at least, there’s another question: Would overturning the federal rule even make a difference? Probably not, observers say. More...