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The Fifth Amendment says no person shall be “compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” The question the Supreme Court will decide in Hays, Kansas v. Vogt is whether the Fifth Amendment is violated when a public employee’s compelled, self-incriminating statements are used against him or her at a probable cause hearing rather than at a trial. 

In Garrity v. New Jersey (1967) the Supreme Court held that public employers violate the Fifth Amendment when they give employees a choice between “self-incrimination or job forfeiture,” which is what Matthew Vogt claimed happened to him.

Climate Adaptation

Three major hurricanes have hit Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico recently and the damage was far extensive than had been planned for. The unprecedented catastrophic disasters are projected to have stunning price tags—anywhere from $65 billion to $190 billion for Harvey, $50 billion to $100 billion for Irma, and $40 to $80...

The State and Local Tax Deduction, or SALT, recently came under scrutiny amidst the debate over tax reform. Implemented in 1913, SALT allows taxpayers to deduct money paid towards state and local taxes from their taxable federal income. The deduction costs the federal government about $96 billion each year, but state and local governments argue that it is crucial for local development.

All eyes and ears were focused on Justice Kennedy during the Supreme Court’s oral argument in Gill v. Whitford. In this case the Court is asked to decide whether and when it is possible to bring a claim that partisan gerrymandering (redistricting to advantage one political party) is unconstitutional.

In the 2012 election, Republican candidates in Wisconsin received less than 49% of the statewide vote and won seats in more than 60% of the state’s assembly districts; and, in 2014, 52% of the vote yielded 63 seats for Republicans.

The Council of State Governments hosted the third annual Public Pension and Retirement Security Public Policy Academy in Lexington, KY on Oct. 4-6, 2017. Attendees heard about public pension finance, approaches to reform, actuarial principles, legal decisions, GASB, retirement security initiatives, emerging trends and more. Presentations are linked below, both to their corresponding names in the agenda and at the very bottom.

Drug abuse is a crisis in the United States that only continues to grow over time. Many states have turned to treatment plans in efforts to slow this trend. The third installment of this research series will examine what states are doing about drug abuse treatment policies.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, there were 886,814 total approved cumulative initial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) cases as of March 31, 2017. Texas (124,300) and California (222,795) have the largest percentage of cases with more than 44 percent of approved DACA recipients in total. Illinois (42,376) and New York (41,970) came in third and fourth. Four states – Maine, Montana, North Dakota, and Vermont – have fewer than 100 recipients each. An additional six states have fewer than 1,000 recipients each. The median number of recipients across all states and the District of Columbia is 6,255. 

At the Supreme Court’s “long conference,” where it decides which petitions—that have been piling up all summer—to accept, the Court agreed to hear two unrelated cases involving car searches.

Per the Fourth Amendment police officers generally need a warrant to search a car. However, per the automobile exception officers may search a car that is “readily mobile” without a warrant if officers have probable cause to believe they will find contraband or a crime has been committed.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, the Kentucky work matters task force held its monthly meeting at the Kenton County Detention Center, or KCDC, in Covington. The visit included a tour of the drug rehabilitation program, featured in the New York Times for its breakthroughs in combating both addiction and incarceration issues in Kentucky.

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Climate Adaptation

During this webinar we will look at decision-making frameworks that have been set up on the state and community levels to address the potential economic, environmental and social costs of climate change. We will also explore initiatives and strategies that are part of climate adaptation plans states and communities have adopted to interpret climate science and become climate resilient.

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