Category Archives: Websites/Databases/Blogs

New Publications and Internet Sites

Source: EBRI Employee Benefit Research Institute Notes, Vol. 29 no. 5, May 2008

Web Documents:
2008 Health Care for America Survey: Summary of Findings
Changes in Family Health Insurance Coverage for Small and Large Firm Workers and Dependents: Evidence from 1995 to 2005
Consumer-Driven Impact Study
Current Strategies to Employ and Retain Older Workers
Employer “Pay or Play” Requirements–Key State and Local Health Care Reform Initiatives
EP Determination Letter Resource Guide [for retirement plan sponsors]
FMLA Practices and Perspectives: A Survey of WorldatWork Members
Hewitt FMLA Resources for Employers
Improvement in Multiemployer Pension Plans’ Withdrawal Liability Funded Ratios Continues
MetLife Sixth Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends–Findings from the National Survey of Employers and Employees
Milliman 2008 Pension Funding Study: 2007 Gains Reversed in First Quarter of 2008
Retirement Security for Women: Progress To Date and Policies for Tomorrow
The Role of IRAs in U.S. Households’ Saving for Retirement
Social Security: An Essential Asset and Insurance Protection for All
Summary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Library Systems Database

Source: Gannett News Service, 2008

Use the database to search for trends affecting public library systems between 2002 and 2006. To get started, choose a state and then a county. Select a library system from the list to learn more about changes in circulation of items such as books and videos, number of visits to the library, operating expenses and the number of computers for public use. The reports on each system include general demographic information about the counties where those libraries are located.

You can compare how your local library system with others across the country by looking at these reports:
Public library systems with the highest circulation per capita
Public library systems with the most Internet-capable public computers per capita
Public library systems with the largest operating expenses per capita

Lobbying Disclosure Databases

Source: Peggy Garvin and Deanna Gelak, Online, Vol. 32 no. 5, September/October 2008
(subscription required)

Public disclosure has come to mean availability on the internet, free of charge, for everyone. HLOGA [Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (Public Law No. 100-81)] brings lobbying disclosure records into the modern world with a requirement that the House of Representatives – via the Clerk of the House’s office – and the Senate – via the Secretary of the Senate’s office – each make the filings available online “in a searchable, sortable, and downloadable manner.”

See also:
Lobbying Law and Ethics Rules Changes in the 110th Congress
Source: Jack Maskell, Congressional Research Service, RL34166, September 2007
Regulating Lobbyists at the Statehouse
Links to State Disclosure Web Sites on Lobbying Disclosure
House Lobby Disclosure Filings Search
House Lobby Disclosure Website
Senate Lobby Disclosure Filings Search
Senate Lobby Disclosure Website
Foreign Agents Registration Act Disclosure (FARA Document Search)
Open Secrets (subscription required)

The Grapevine Project

Source: Illinois State University, 2008

The Grapevine project entails an annual compilation of data on state tax support for higher education, including general fund appropriations for universities, colleges, community colleges, and state higher education agencies. Each year we ask states for tax appropriations data for the new fiscal year, and we also ask for revisions (if any) to data reported one year ago, two years ago, five years ago, and ten years ago. Updated state reports are entered on the Grapevine web site as they are received from May through December of the calendar year. After entering all 50 state reports on our web site, we construct the following tables:

• state rankings on one, two, five and ten-year percentage changes;
• annual average five-year percent changes in state tax appropriations;
• one- and two-year percent changes in state tax appropriations by region;
• state tax appropriations per capita and per $1,000 of personal income;
• state tax appropriations for community colleges; and
• state and local (aggregated) tax appropriations per capita and per $1,000 in personal income.

OPM Launches Enhanced Telework Website

Source: U.S. Office of Personnel Management

From news release:
Office of Personnel Management (OPM)…announced the launch of an enhanced interagency telework website, The updated site features a series of user-friendly improvements designed to make telework information more accessible and understandable to Federal employees…and was developed in partnership with the General Services Administration (GSA), OPM’s partner. Users can read and download recent telework guidance and legislation, reports, and studies. A search database allows users to input telework-related questions, and if answers are not found onsite the questions can be routed to experts who will respond via email. The site offers telework guidance and direction to employees and managers, as well as telework coordinators…Additional features of the updated site include quick links to key pages, online telework training, and easy access to telework-related policies such as reasonable accommodation and emergency closure. Finally, the site displays a green color scheme throughout, chosen to reflect the environmentally friendly aspects of telework. Telework in the Federal Government has increased significantly since 2001, 110,000 employees currently telework according to OPM’s latest report to Congress. The report also found that while overall telework numbers were down slightly from 2005, a majority of agencies increased telework over the previous year, and that 42% fully integrated telework into their emergency planning.