Capitol Research

Zero tolerance policies mandate certain punishments for offenses at school regardless of the circumstances. But questions about how those policies are enforced are being raised due to the high number of minority students and students with disabilities that are suspended each year.

These insurance plans were created in summer 2010 as part of federal health reform to bridge the gap for adults with pre-existing conditions until 2014 when insurers will be prohibited from excluding them from coverage. 27 states run their own plans, and in 23 states and D.C., the federal government administers the programs. As of November 2010, more than 8,000 had enrolled. The federal government has announced lower premiums in 2011 to encourage more enrollment.

Unemployment rates remain high and people are unemployed for longer, exhausting state unemployment trust funds quickly. More states are borrowing from the federal government to cover costs, which could have an impact on future fiscal stability.

Getting a handle on the nation's graduation rate has been difficult because states use different criteria to measure the percentage of students leaving high school with a diploma. However, starting this year, new federal guidelines will require states to use a unified definition and to set graduation rate targets.

With freight demand expected to double over the next 40 years, it's more important than ever to consider the impact of freight transportation on the environment. This policy brief examines the opportunities for state government to enact policies, get behind federal initiatives and support industry efforts to make freight transportation greener.