Category Archives: Websites/Databases/Blogs

Healthy Marketplace Index

Source: Health Care Cost Institute, 2017

The Healthy Marketplace Index measures the economic performance of health care markets across the country. It gives local policymakers, employers, and providers a benchmark as they work to improve health care value and affordability.

Explore Local Prices Using the Map:
– See how health care prices for inpatient, outpatient, and physician services in your local market stack up against a national average
– Understand how local prices for inpatient, outpatient, and physician services have changed over time
– Compare prices in your market to prices in other communities across the country

USAFacts

Source: USAFacts, 2017

USAFacts is a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s finances, and government’s impact on society. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive. We provide this information as a free public service and are committed to maintaining and expanding it in the future.

We rely exclusively on publicly available government data sources. We don’t make judgments or prescribe specific policies. Whether government money is spent wisely or not, whether our quality of life is improving or getting worse – that’s for you to decide. We hope to spur serious, reasoned, and informed debate on the purpose and functions of government. Such debate is vital to our democracy. We hope that USAFacts will make a modest contribution toward building consensus and finding solutions.

There’s more to USAFacts than this website. We also offer an annual report, a summary report, and a “10-K” modeled on the document public companies submit annually to the SEC for transparency and accountability to their investors.

Violation Tracker – April 2017 update

Source: Good Jobs First, April 18, 2017

From the press release:
Good Jobs First today announced a large new addition to Violation Tracker, the country’s first public database of corporate crime and misconduct: more than 34,000 cases brought by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor since the beginning of 2010 for violations of overtime, minimum wage and other provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The largest violators captured by the new data are oilfield services company Halliburton, which in 2015 agreed to an $18 million settlement of alleged overtime violations, and CoreCivic (the new name of private prison operator Corrections Corporation of America), which in 2014 agreed to an $8 million settlement….

New database details White House officials’ finances

Source: Center for Public Integrity, April 4, 2017

On Friday night, the White House began releasing financial disclosures for scores of key employees — including familiar names such as Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway and Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

Reporters from dozens of news organizations, including the Associated Press, the New York Times, ProPublica and the Washington Post, then compiled and reported on the documents, which the White House released one-by-one.

The Center for Public Integrity compiled data from those disclosures into a searchable, sortable database, which provide a window into the wealth, assets and business interests of many of the people closest to President Donald Trump. The Center for Public Integrity’s news developer, Chris Zubak-Skees, extracted these details from more than 90 reports, released in PDF format, using a software tool he created….

State Education Policy Tracking

Source: Education Commission of the States, 2017

This map displays enacted and vetoed bills on a wide variety of education topics for the 2013 through 2017 legislative sessions, updated daily. You can sort this information by year, state, and/or issue and sub-issue.
– Use the year dropdown to add or remove a year’s legislative session.
– To sort by state, click on a state on the map and the bills will display below the map.
– To sort by issue and sub-issue, click an issue area bar then a sub-issue bar to display the bills.

Once you’ve sorted and found the bills, click the arrow at the right side of a bill to see the detailed summary of the bill. To reset the map, use the “reset” button at the bottom of the page. To view an archive of our old state policy tracking database for the 2010 through 2016 legislative sessions, please go here.

States Perform

Source: Council of State Governments, 2017

States Perform provides users with access to interactive, customizable and up-to-date comparative performance measurement data for 50 states in six key areas: fiscal and economic, public safety and justice, energy and environment, transportation, health and human services, and education. Compare performance across a few or all states, profile one state, view trends over time, and customize your results with graphs and maps.

The Fiscal Ship

Source: Brookings Institution – Hutchins Center, Woodrow Wilson Center – Serious Games Initiative, 2017

The Fiscal Ship challenges you to put the federal budget on a sustainable course. Measured as a share of gross domestic product, the federal debt is higher than at any time since the end of World War II and projected to climb to unprecedented levels. America is looking at a permanent, growing mismatch between revenues and spending, and policymakers are faced with difficult decisions about how to reconcile important government priorities—including retirement and health benefits promised to the growing number of old folks—with the tax revenues that the current tax code will yield. Today’s tax code won’t yield enough revenue to pay for basic services of government plus the retirement and health benefits promised to the growing number of old folks. So your mission is to pick from a menu of tax and spending options to reduce the debt from projected levels over the next 25 years. Small changes to spending and taxes won’t suffice. The choices are difficult, but the goal is achievable.

But budget decisions aren’t only about fiscal sustainability. They also shape the kind of country we live in. To win the game, you need to find a combination of policies that match your values and priorities AND set the budget on a sustainable course….

A New Panel Database on Business Incentives for Economic Development Offered by State and Local Governments in the United States

Source: Timothy J. Bartik, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, Upjohn project no. 34435, February 2017

From the http://www.upjohn.org/models/bied/maps/ReportFinal.pdf“>summary:
This report outlines a new database that contains better information on state and local business taxes and economic development incentives. It includes an explanation of how the database is constructed, and it subjects the database to some preliminary analyses to begin to answer questions about how incentives vary.

The report begins with a section providing context, including reviews of previous research. It then outlines the methodology and data sources for the database. The bulk of the report uses the database to describe incentives and how they vary by industry and state, over time, and by type of incentive. The report also considers how different policies alter net taxes after incentives, and it describes some simple correlations between taxes, incentives, and state economic characteristics and trends.

The accompanying appendices provide additional details on methodology and data, comparisons with other studies, time patterns of incentives and taxes for each state in the database, and much more.
Related:
Appendices
Database

Attention, State Government Watchdogs: You Might Need This

Source: Linda Poon, CityLab, February 9, 2017

A new search engine called Digital Democracy can comb through videos, transcripts, and records of what goes on in America’s statehouses. … Some of this kind of information is recorded, but little is released in a timely manner or can be easily accessed by the public. Blakeslee aims to change that with Digital Democracy, an online tool that archives every state hearing in California—and now, New York—since 2015 through videos, transcripts, and records of who said what. The tool also keeps track of elected officials and their financial ties to lobbyists and big corporations—all searchable by name, issue, bill number, etc. Think of it as Google for state government. … First launched in 2015 in California with cofounder and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, the tool is now being taken across the country to New York via a partnership with NAACP. Digital Democracy now has information on some 15,000 individuals involved in policymaking in those two states. Eventually, Florida and Texas will get their own platforms, expanding Digital Democracy’s reach to roughly a third of all U.S. citizens….

FedWeb.com

Source: Federal Budget Group LLC, 2017

….This website is dedicated to providing policymakers, the media, and the general public timely and reliable information that is strictly nonpartisan, rigorously factual, and explained in plain English. On the pages of this website, you will find: a chronology of key developments in fiscal, spending, tax and economic policy; up-to-the-minute real-time numbers on the the economy and monetary policy; links to the Budget of the United States and other budget docs; an overview of Federal spending and nonpartisan explanations of federal programs including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and other Mandatory spending programs; Defense Discretionary Spending, and Non-Defense Discretionary programs; Deficits and Debt projections; explanation of the Federal Debt Ceiling; and CBO Deficit Reduction Options; details on taxes, tax reform and tax expenditures; fact-checking on current spending and tax issues; a plain English explanation of the congressional budget process and links to State budgets; and FedWeb blogs (sign-up above) that drill-down on key issues…..