Author Archives: afscme

How States Raise Their Tax Dollars: FY 2019

Source: Pew Charitable Trusts, Data Visualization, June 22, 2020

Taxes make up about half of state government revenue, with two-thirds of states’ total tax dollars coming from levies on personal income (37.9%) and general sales of goods and services (30.9%).

Broad-based personal income taxes are the greatest source of tax dollars in 30 of the 41 states that impose them, with the highest share—70.5%—in Oregon. General sales taxes are the largest source in 15 of the 45 states that collect them. Florida is the most reliant on these taxes, at 62.5%. Other sources bring in the most tax revenue in a handful of states: severance taxes in Alaska and North Dakota, property taxes in Vermont, license taxes and fees—such as franchise taxes that companies pay to incorporate in a state—in Delaware, and selective sales taxes on particular goods and services—such as tobacco and hotel rooms—in New Hampshire.

This infographic illustrates the sources of each state’s tax revenue.

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Corporate Culprits Receiving Covid Aid

Source: Philip Mattera and Mellissa Chang, Good Jobs First, September 2020

This new report combining data from Covid Stimulus Watch and Violation Tracker shows how many CARES Act recipients have a history of corporate misconduct.

More than 43,000 businesses and non-profit organizations that received CARES Act funds have a history of misconduct, collectively paying $13 billion to settle civil and criminal penalties over the last decade.

Together, the same companies received $57 billion in grants and $91 billion in loans through the federal economic stimulus bill passed by Congress to mitigate the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the violations are workplace safety issues, leading in one case to the death of a worker, flouting of environmental standards, wage theft and defrauding the federal government. They raise the question whether greater scrutiny should be given to how recipients are using taxpayer dollars.

Mortality Rates From COVID-19 Are Lower In Unionized Nursing Homes

Source: Adam Dean, Atheendar Venkataramani, and Simeon Kimmel, Health Affairs, Ahead of Print, September 10, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
More than 40% of all reported coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths in the United States have occurred in nursing homes. As a result, health care worker access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control policies in nursing homes have received increased attention. However, it is not known if the presence of health care worker unions in nursing homes is associated with COVID-19 mortality rates. Therefore, we used cross-sectional regression analysis to examine the association between the presence of health care worker unions and COVID-19 mortality rates in 355 nursing homes in New York State. Health care worker unions were associated with a 1.29 percentage point mortality reduction, which represents a 30% relative decrease in the COVID-19 mortality rate compared to facilities without health care worker unions. Unions were also associated with greater access to PPE, one mechanism that may link unions to lower COVID-19 mortality rates. [Editor’s Note: This Fast Track Ahead Of Print article is the accepted version of the peer-reviewed manuscript. The final edited version will appear in an upcoming issue of Health Affairs.]

Collective Sensemaking Around COVID-19: Experiences, Concerns, and Agendas for our Rapidly Changing Organizational Lives

Source: Keri K. Stephens, Jody L. S. Jahn, Stephanie Fox, Piyawan Charoensap-Kelly, Rahul Mitra, Jeannette Sutton, Eric D. Waters, Bo Xie, Rebecca J. Meisenbach, Management Communication Quarterly, Volume 34 Issue 3, August 2020

From the abstract:
Uncertainty is at the forefront of many crises, disasters, and emergencies, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different in this regard. In this forum, we, as a group of organizational communication scholars currently living in North America, engage in sensemaking and sensegiving around this pandemic to help process and share some of the academic uncertainties and opportunities relevant to organizational scholars. We begin by reflexively making sense of our own experiences with adjusting to new ways of working during the onset of the pandemic, including uncomfortable realizations around privilege, positionality, race, and ethnicity. We then discuss key concerns about how organizations and organizing practices are responding to this extreme uncertainty. Finally, we offer thoughts on the future of work and organizing informed by COVID-19, along with a list of research practice considerations and potentially generative research questions. Thus, this forum invites you to reflect on your own experiences and suggests future directions for research amidst and after a cosmology event.

ollective Sensemaking Around COVID-19: Experiences, Concerns, and Agendas for our Rapidly Changing Organizational Lives
Source: Keri K. Stephens, Jody L. S. Jahn, Stephanie Fox, Piyawan Charoensap-Kelly, Rahul Mitra, Jeannette Sutton, Eric D. Waters, Bo Xie, Rebecca J. Meisenbach, Management Communication Quarterly, Volume 34 Issue 3, August 2020

From the abstract: https://doi.org/10.1177/0893318920934890
Uncertainty is at the forefront of many crises, disasters, and emergencies, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different in this regard. In this forum, we, as a group of organizational communication scholars currently living in North America, engage in sensemaking and sensegiving around this pandemic to help process and share some of the academic uncertainties and opportunities relevant to organizational scholars. We begin by reflexively making sense of our own experiences with adjusting to new ways of working during the onset of the pandemic, including uncomfortable realizations around privilege, positionality, race, and ethnicity. We then discuss key concerns about how organizations and organizing practices are responding to this extreme uncertainty. Finally, we offer thoughts on the future of work and organizing informed by COVID-19, along with a list of research practice considerations and potentially generative research questions. Thus, this forum invites you to reflect on your own experiences and suggests future directions for research amidst and after a cosmology event.

Sensemaking Around COVID-19: Experiences, Concerns, and Agendas for our Rapidly Changing Organizational Lives
Source: Keri K. Stephens, Jody L. S. Jahn, Stephanie Fox, Piyawan Charoensap-Kelly, Rahul Mitra, Jeannette Sutton, Eric D. Waters, Bo Xie, Rebecca J. Meisenbach, Management Communication Quarterly, Volume 34 Issue 3, August 2020

From the abstract: https://doi.org/10.1177/0893318920934890
Uncertainty is at the forefront of many crises, disasters, and emergencies, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different in this regard. In this forum, we, as a group of organizational communication scholars currently living in North America, engage in sensemaking and sensegiving around this pandemic to help process and share some of the academic uncertainties and opportunities relevant to organizational scholars. We begin by reflexively making sense of our own experiences with adjusting to new ways of working during the onset of the pandemic, including uncomfortable realizations around privilege, positionality, race, and ethnicity. We then discuss key concerns about how organizations and organizing practices are responding to this extreme uncertainty. Finally, we offer thoughts on the future of work and organizing informed by COVID-19, along with a list of research practice considerations and potentially generative research questions. Thus, this forum invites you to reflect on your own experiences and suggests future directions for research amidst and after a cosmology event.

The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CARES Act, Title V): Background and State and Local Data

Source: Grant A. Driessen, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, R46298, Updated August 25, 2020

The sudden decline in economic output following the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has significantly altered the fiscal outlook for state and local governments. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act; P.L. 116-136), signed into law on March 27, 2020, created the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which provides $150 billion in direct assistance for state and local governments. This report briefly summarizes the background, purpose, and allocation details of the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Table 1 provides total Coronavirus Relief Fund allocations and costs incurredby states, and Table 2 provides allocations and costs incurred for territories. A total of $149.5 billion was allocated to eligible governments as of August 12, 2020. As of June 30, 2020, eligible state and local governments (excluding tribal governments) reported $35.6 billion (or 25%) in costs incurred from allocated funds. Figure 1 and Figure 2 show state-level percentages of allocations incurred (through June 30, 2020) to state and local governments, respectively. Individual government allocations and costs incurred are provided in Table 3.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back? Gender, Power and Leadership in Troubled Times

Source: Emilia Belknap, Laura Shaw, Meryl Kenny, Political Insight, Volume 11 Issue 2, June 2020

…Why do gender inequalities in political leadership persist? And (why) does it matter? We examine these questions in the context of two recent and pivotal leadership contests: the 2020 UK Labour leadership election and the US Democratic presidential primary. We ask whether these contests represent a case of ‘two steps forward, one step back’ for women, evaluating both the opportunities for, and obstacles to, women’s political leadership. We then evaluate why gender (in)equality at the top matters, assessing the gendered dynamics of political leadership, and evaluating the implications for women’s political participation. We conclude by reflecting on the future prospects for women’s political leadership in troubled times….

What Is the Remedy for State and Local Fiscal Squeeze During the COVID-19 Recession? More Debt, and That Is Okay

Source: James W. Douglas, Ringa Raudla, The American Review of Public Administration, Special issue: Double Issue Dedicated to COVID-19, Volume 50 Issue 6-7, August-October 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The COVID-19 crisis is placing a tremendous fiscal squeeze on state and local governments in the United States. We argue that the federal government should increase its deficit to fill in the fiscal gap. In the absence of sufficient federal assistance, we recommend that states suspend their balanced budget rules and norms and run deficits in their operating budgets to maintain services and meet additional obligations due to the pandemic. A comparison with Eurozone countries shows that states have more than enough debt capacity to run short-term deficits to respond to the crisis.

Deepening Interlocal Partnerships: The Case of Revenue-sharing Infrastructure Agreements

Source: Stephanie D. Davis, Meghan Z. Gough, State and Local Government Review, Volume 51 Issue 4, December 2019
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
….New partnerships between individuals or organizations tend to form when the risk-adjusted expected benefits of collaboration outweigh the expected transaction costs and other costs of collaborating. How can localities, especially urban and rural areas, create or deepen and expand collaborative relationships? What factors are necessary to change localities’ expected costs and expected benefits to lower transaction costs or to raise mutual trust levels so that they begin to collaborate or deepen and expand an existing collaboration?

In this article, we address those questions via two cases of successful interlocal collaboration in a state where deep and extensive interlocal partnerships, such as revenue-sharing agreements, are not the norm—Virginia. To understand the motivation for localities to collaborate on economic development opportunities, we studied the history and context of intergovernmental relations and conducted in-person interviews with elected officials and the city or county managers in each jurisdiction. In each case, the localities changed their views of expected costs and benefits and availed themselves of a long-standing state policy to establish a new level of cooperation…..