Author Archives: afscme

Governments Readying for 2014 by Creating Health Care Insurance Exchanges

Source: Carol Regan, PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute), PolicyWorks blog, February 28, 2013

It is likely that more than half a million direct-care workers could be seeking health insurance through an exchange.

See also:
Medicaid Expansion Is Crucial for Direct-Care Workers
Source: Gail MacInnes, PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute), PolicyWorks blog, February 26, 2013

Select Medicaid Resources and Reports
Source: PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute), PolicyWorks blog, February 26, 2013

The Family and Medical Leave Act at 20: A Record of Success, But More Can Be Done

Source: Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), February 28, 2013

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) celebrated its 20th anniversary this month. It was a huge step forward for the U.S., which lags behind nearly all other high-income countries in enabling people to take the time they need, without worrying that they may be fired from their jobs, to care for themselves and their families when faced with serious illness or welcoming a new child…. Department of Labor surveys of experiences with the FMLA, released earlier this month, find ways to improve the effectiveness and increase the coverage of family and medical leave for American families. CEPR senior economist Eileen Appelbaum recently wrote a series of blog posts to review these findings of the FMLA surveys and draw lessons about what to do next.
See also:
Family and Medical Leave in 2012
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Chief Evaluation Office, February 2013

The Family and Medical Leave Act at 20, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Source: Eileen Appelbaum, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), February 2013

United States of ALEC

Source: Moyers & Company, September 28, 2012

From the summary:
Moyers & Company presents “United States of ALEC,” a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of — ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership”. But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.

Using interviews, documents, and field reporting, the episode explores ALEC’s self-serving machine at work, acting in a way one Wisconsin politician describes as “a corporate dating service for lonely legislators and corporate special interests.”

In state houses around the country, hundreds of pieces of boilerplate ALEC legislation are proposed or enacted that would, among other things, dilute collective bargaining rights, make it harder for some Americans to vote, and limit corporate liability for harm caused to consumers — each accomplished without the public ever knowing who’s behind it.

Related:
Interactive Map: Is Your State Legislator a Member of ALEC?

ALEC Rock

AASA Members Detail Draconian Impact of Sequester’s Cuts

Source: American Association of School Administrators, Leading Edge Blog, February 26, 2013

From the press release:
School superintendents across the nation are bracing for the deep cuts of sequestration, the federal policy consequence for continued Congressional inaction. In response to a call to action issued during AASA’s National Conference on Education last week, hundreds of districts across the nation provided details describing what the cuts would look like in their district, reporting jobs cut, programs eliminated, and other negative impacts…. Nearly 400 responses from 42 states paint a dreary picture as it relates to the nation’s public schools and sequestration….

… School districts are finalizing their budgets for the 2013‐14 school year; this is the school year in which federal FY13 funding and policy (including sequestration) would play out in schools. This means school superintendents are bracing for the cuts by building the cuts in to their budgets. When asked how they were preparing for sequestration last summer, more than half indicated they would build the cuts in to their budget.

With that budget now being finalized, this latest call to action asked AASA members to detail what the cuts look like:
– More than three quarters of respondents (77.9%) indicated their district would have to eliminate jobs as a result of sequestration.
– School districts will, on average, eliminate between 3.7 and 4.8 instructional positions as a result of sequestration. AASA analyzed the job cuts at two levels, averaging across all respondents (including those indicating they would NOT be eliminating positions) and averaging across only those respondents who will be making cuts due to sequestration….
See also:
Updated AASA Fiscal Cliff Toolkit
Source: American Association of School Administrators, December 2012

Reasonable Accommodation Under the new ADA: How Far Must Employers go?

Source: Linda B. Dwoskin and Melisa Bergman Squire, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 38 no. 4, Spring 2013
(subscription required)

This article discusses the breadth of what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the courts consider “reasonable” under the American with Disabilities Act and the factors an employer must consider in deciding whether to grant an employee’s request for accommodation.

Protecting Bonds to Save Infrastructure and Jobs 2013

Source: National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, United States Conference of Mayors, February 2013

From the summary:
Tax-exempt municipal bonds are the single most important tool that counties use for financing our critical infrastructure. Any change to the taxation status of often voter-approved debt issued by counties risks local public works projects that benefit communities and puts into question the nature of the U.S federalist partnership.

– ​Tax-exempt municipal bonds are the most important tool in the United States for financing investment in schools, roads, water and sewer systems, airports, bridges and other vial infrastructures. State and local governments financed more than $1.65 trillion of infrastructure investment over the last decade (2003-2012) through the tax-exempt bond market.

– Ninety (90) percent of infrastructure muni-bonds financing went to schools, hospitals, water, sewer facilities, public power utilities, roads and mass transit over the last 10 years. During that decade, $514 billion of primary and secondary schools were built with financing from tax exempt bonds, nearly $288 billion of financing went to general acute-care hospitals; nearly $258 billion to water and sewer facilities; nearly $178 billion to roads, highways, and streets; nearly $147 billion to public power projects; and $105.6 billion to mass transit.

– In 2012 alone, more than 6,600 tax-exempt municipal bonds financed more than $179 billion worth of infrastructure projects.

– State and local governments finance small and large infrastructure projects with muni-bonds. In 2012, the average municipal bond issuance varied from $338 million for bridges to $2.2 million for fire stations and equipment. 

– States and local governments across the country have been financing infrastructure projects with muni-bonds over the last 10 years. While large states hold the top spot in terms of bonds issuance amounts (California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania), states such as Missouri, Minnesota and Nebraska rank high in the number of muni-bond issuances over the years.