Staffing Ratios, Retiree Benefits Sticking Issues as California Nurses Strike Sutter Health

Source: Eileen Prendiville and Mischa Gaus, Labor Notes, #344, November 2007

Leading a strike that one hospital administrator said cost her $1 million a day, 5,000 registered nurses at 10 Northern California hospitals in the Sutter Health chain walked off their jobs for two days in mid-October. Five facilities locked out striking nurses for an additional one to three days when the strike, the largest among nurses in a decade, was over.

As Gaming Grows, Many Tribes Get Left Behind

Source: Tom A. Peter Christian Science Monitor, November 1, 2007

A casino plan in Massachusetts is pushing two Connecticut tribes to expand their gambling operations.

… In New England, all eyes are on Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is proposing that the state allow three resort casinos to be built by 2012. He claims the casinos would create 20,000 permanent jobs and generate at least $400 million a year in tax revenues. By some estimates, the plan could cost Connecticut’s tribal casinos $700 million a year in lost business.

Transportation for a Metropolitan Nation

Source: Robert Puentes, Brookings Institution, Metropolitan Policy Project, Congressional Testimony, Committee on the Budget United States House of Representatives, October 25, 2007

Debate on the nation’s transportation policy focuses narrowly on new revenues needed to bolster the federal program. In recent testimony before the House Budget Committee, Fellow Robert Puentes argues that we should start with a clearer articulation of the goals, objectives and desired outcomes.

Putting Patients First: Developing and Maintaining Patient-Centered Medical Practices

Source: Martha Ross and Kathy Patrick, Brookings Institution, October 24, 2007

Focus groups of low-income Washington, DC residents conducted by the DCPCA Medical Homes DC project identified multiple barriers to health care access and problems within the system. The identified barriers are common across the country, especially among low-income and minority populations, and the paper recommends several promising practices that health centers can enact to improve access to care and the patient experience.

2007-2008 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard

Source: Corporation for Enterprise Development, 2007

From the summary:
The 2007-2008 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard contains evidence that even profound and enduring ownership patterns can change and change fast. In the two years since the release of the 2005 Scorecard, median net worth jumped 20% nationwide, while it jumped 68% for women and more than doubled for minorities. Most of these gains have come as a result of increasing homeownership and home values, and are therefore at risk that as interest rates rise and grace periods end, foreclosure rates will also rise. The results underscore the efficacy of housing finance and credit innovation and the need for policing and reigning-in predatory lending.

Yet, the most important message of the 2007-2008 Scorecard, like its two predecessors, is the disparity in asset ownership – and, consequently, economic opportunity–among states, and by race, gender and income.

Guide to the Scorecard

The Alternative Minimum Tax: Assault on the Middle Class

Source: Leonard E. Burman, Urban Institute, October 29, 2007

From the abstract:
In a tax code with no shortage of ironies, the alternative minimum tax (AMT) stands out. Created by Congress in 1969, it was aimed at millionaires, but relatively few millionaires pay it. It is billed as a low-rate levy, but most of its victims face higher taxes because of it. It undermines two widely lauded reforms of the income tax–restoring both bracket creep and the marriage penalty. And though nobody favors keeping this Frankenstein alive, it will be very difficult to kill. Welcome to the tax policy twilight zone.

Breaking the Code of Silence: Correctional Officers’ Handbook on Identifying and Addressing Sexual Misconduct with Offenders

Source: Brenda V. Smith and Jaime M. Yarussi, National Institute of Corrections, American University Washington College of Law Project on Addressing Prison Rape

This handbook is based on training we have conducted on staff sexual misconduct over the past eight years, and the feedback and comments that we have received from correctional professionals who have attended those trainings and implemented changes in their system to prevent sexual abuse of individuals under custodial supervision.

This publication is a critical step in reaching out to rank-and-file correctional staff in order to address the code of silence that surrounds staff sexual misconduct with offenders. We hope that it will deepen the dialogue between line staff, administrators, community leaders, and criminal justice advocates about strategies to eliminate staff sexual misconduct with individuals under custodial supervision.

This handbook aims to educate correctional professionals at all levels on:
• why correctional staff and administrators need to be concerned about staff sexual misconduct with offenders
• how agency culture and the workplace environment influence staff sexual misconduct
• the tools that will help identify and address staff sexual misconduct
• the consequences of staff sexual misconduct with offenders
• the investigative process that should follow an allegation of staff sexual misconduct
• how correctional staff members can keep the workplace safe

Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants in the United States

Source: Aaron Terrazas, Jeanne Batalova, Velma Fan, Migration Policy Institute, October 2007

The US debate over immigration policy has raised many questions about immigrants — their origins, numbers and characteristics, as well as who has settled in which states.

This Spotlight provides answers to many of these frequently asked questions by bringing together resources from the Migration Policy Institute, the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and Decennial Census, US Departments of Homeland Security and State, and Mexico’s National Population Council.