Jennifer Burnett

Author Articles

The cost of medical malpractice litigation can contribute significantly to health care costs. States are leading the way with tort reform experimentation, seeking ways to curb soaring health care expenses. 

As unemployment rates have skyrocketed in the economic downturn, state unemployment insurance funds are being depleted at increasing rates.  As funds run out, states are borrowing from the federal government, raising taxes and cutting benefits. 

This report includes bar charts for six indicators of road and bridge conditions and safety, including percent of roads in fair or good condition; percent of bridges structurally deficient; percent of bridges functionally obsolete; traffic fatalities per 100 million annual vehicle miles traveled (VMT); percent of traffic fatalities involving high blood alcohol concentration; and seat belt usage rates. Data were sought for a number of other outcome indicators, including injury rates, congestion and customer satisfaction. However, too few states were able to provide information on these  indicators.

This report includes bar charts for outcome indicators for two major child welfare programs administered by states—adoption and foster care.  This includes the nubmer of children per thousand in the foster care system who were victims of maltreatment by a foster parent or facility staff member; the percent of children reunited with their families in less than 12 months; the median time to adoption from time of latest removal from the home; the percent of children in the foster care system for less than 12 months that had two or fewer placements; the percent of children in the foster care system for 12 to 23 months that had two or fewer placements; the percent of children in the foster care system for 24 or more months that had two or fewer placements; and the percent of children that re-entered foster care in less than 12 months of being reunited with their families.

Over the past decade, governments at all levels have increased tracking results of government services—from the federal tracking of social benefits to states closely monitoring child protective services to cities filling potholes. No attempt has been made, however, to launch a comprehensive effort to compare state service outcomes in multiple services.

Efforts across the state government community to date are piecemeal and limited to narrow issues or single service areas. Regular comparison of outcomes of individual state services across states has not been done. A new project from The Council of State Governments is intended to fill that gap. 


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