Capitol Research

States are increasingly turning to tolling not only as a revenue source to assist in funding improvements to highways but also as part of efforts to reduce congestion on the nation's roads. Although tolls appear to be more popular with the public than taxes for now, that popularity may be tested with continued expansion in the coming years. States are partnering with private companies to build and operate new toll roads. They're also turning to all-electronic tolling to increase efficiency, eliminate bottlenecks, save money and make payment of tolls more convenient. This brief explores the current state of tolling in the United States and prospects for future growth.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will regulate greenhouse gas emissions for the first time.  Power plants and other large-scale facilities must use the latest technologies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to meet the EPA’s air quality standards.  States are required to modify their permitting rules or the EPA will step in and issue permits under the new rule.  Meanwhile, Congress prefers legislative action rather than command-and-control regulation.

More than half of all states have laws on the books restricting minors’ use of tanning beds, although only 6 have outright bans. Parental permission and parental accompaniment requirements vary by state. CDC warns against children’s and teens’ use of tanning beds and sunlamps, which can lead to increased risk of melanoma.

With 45 percent of roads in less than good condition and 12 percent of bridges structurally deficient, the U.S. faces severe infrastructure needs that significantly impact the nation's economy. State governments face huge gaps between how much they need to spend to repair roads in the coming years and how much they expect to have under current funding. While there are some state success stories, the infrastructure in other states is in danger of backsliding. This brief makes the case for encouraging Congress to consider legislation reauthorizing federal transportation programs soon and for taking steps to ensure infrastructure improvements are adequately funded.

Research shows that children who attend pre-K programs are more successful in later grades. However, state funding and policies regarding pre-k programs vary widely.

 

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