Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Hispanic Task Force
OSHA’s Hispanic Task Force developed these English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English dictionaries. The dictionaries include over 2,000 general OSHA, general industry, and construction industry terms. They are intended to assist OSHA, Susan Harwood Training Grant applicants and recipients, and others in their Spanish-language translations. Phonetic pronunciation guides are included in the dictionaries for frequently used general industry and frequently used construction industry terms.
Source: Melissa Maynard, Governing, Vol. 20 no. 10, July 2007
… The Taurus case is part of a modest but growing revival of interest around the country in open-government issues and sunshine laws. It reverses a clear trend toward secrecy that prevailed at all levels from 2001 to 2005, stimulated by the actions of the federal government and fueled by concerns about terrorism and identity theft. “We’ve been getting governors and mayors who think they’re running little White Houses,” says Charles Davis, director of the Missouri-based Freedom of Information Coalition. They had support from Washington in their efforts. In the wake of 9/11, the federal government created an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act that preempted state sunshine laws. Under the Homeland Security Act, state governments were forbidden to release “critical infrastructure information” in the name of national security. But while exemptions to state open-meetings and -records laws continue to be proposed by the hundreds, the pendulum has begun to swing back in the direction of access. State-level freedom of information coalitions are proliferating and becoming more influential, especially in states that have relatively weak anti- secrecy laws on the books.
Source: American City and County, August 8, 2007
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ruled that employee contributions to a trust fund established by Bristol, R.I., to fund post employment benefits are tax exempt. The ruling sets a precedent for other cities seeking similar solutions to pay for Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB).
Source: National Immigration Law Center, August 10, 2007
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it has finalized its rule entitled “Safe Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter.”
The rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register on Monday, August 13, 2007, and will become effective thirty days after the publication. The rule sets forth the steps employers should take if they want to avail themselves of the “safe harbor procedures” upon receipt of a no-match letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or DHS.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Safe Harbor for Employers Who Receive
a No-Match Letter
Department of Homeland Security/ Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Final Rule
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) insert letter
Department of Homeland Security fact sheet about no-match letters
The New Orleans Index: Tracking Recovery in the Region
Source: Amy Liu and Allison Plyer, The Brookings Institution and the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, August 2007
Two years after Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent levee failures, the New Orleans region has recovered most of its population and economic base. Yet, in the past year, progress has slowed, especially in the city, as critical public infrastructure—schools, law enforcement, and health care—remains weak. As recovery continues, a strong federal, state, and local partnership is necessary to ensure a safe and economically robust region for all.
Greater New Orleans Community Data Center
Source: Shawn Rhea, Modern Healthcare, Vol. 37 no. 32, August 13, 2007
As hospitals plan for emergencies such as a flu pandemic, one challenge is how they’ll keep their supply shelves stocked.
Source: CoverTheUninsured.org (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), August 2007
From press release:
With the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) set to expire Sept. 30, experts say that unless Congress and the White House reauthorize the program and agree on its funding, coverage for vulnerable children nationwide will be in jeopardy. At risk are millions of children who were covered by SCHIP at some point last year and millions more who are SCHIP-eligible, but not yet enrolled.
According to an analysis of government data released today, more than 6.6 million children were covered by SCHIP at some point last year. Nearly 9 million children remain uninsured. Before adjourning for summer recess last week, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate approved separate SCHIP bills that would provide funding to cover more SCHIP-eligible children. Amidst presidential veto threats, lawmakers from both chambers must now negotiate consensus legislation to send to the White House.
Source: Council 31, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), July 2007
From press release:
Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have issued a new report documenting low wage levels that keep patient-support staff art Resurrection Health Care hospitals mired in poverty and unable to support their families. Resurrection Health Care (RHC) is the second largest non-profit hospital system in the Chicago metropolitan area. It encompasses eight hospitals, as well as nursing homes, home health services, and outpatient clinics.
Entitled Coming Up Short: Resurrection Health Care’s Distorted Pay Priorities, the report depicts a starkly skewed pay structure in which the compensation of RHC hospital executives significantly exceeds national norms while the meager wages of patient-support staff (housekeepers, laundry and food service workers) fall far short of self-sufficiency standards in the Chicago area.
Source: Josh Goodman, Governing, Vol. 20 no. 10, July 2007
When the subject of illegal immigration comes up, the states you think about first are Texas and California. Maybe Arizona. But, as of July 1, it is Georgia, a full thousand miles from the Mexican border, that is at the center of the immigration debate in the United States.
That’s because SB 529, its new immigration law now taking effect, is the most stringent statute of its kind anywhere in the country. It is the sort of law that immigration hard-liners would like to see enacted on a national basis. Under its provisions, state and local government agencies have to verify the legal residency of benefit recipients. Many employers will have to do the same whenever they make a hiring decision. Law enforcement officers are given authority to crack down on human trafficking and fake documents. In sum, SB 529 touches every facet of state policy that relates to illegal immigrants.
The central question about the law is, obviously, whether it will work as intended and reduce the impact of undocumented newcomers on the state. But an equally important question is whether the political situation that led to SB 529 can be sustained and replicated in other places. The topic of illegal immigration has bedeviled virtually every state legislature and the U.S. Congress for years, without much substantive result. What made Georgia different was a populist uprising that all but forced the legislature to crack down on the undocumented community. If that sort of pressure gains momentum elsewhere, the near future may portend a series of state laws as strict as Georgia’s — even if Congress manages to pass an immigration bill of its own. Oklahoma and Colorado have both enacted laws with some provisions similar to SB 529 — the question is how many states will follow.
Source: CQ Politics.com, Congressional Quarterly Inc.
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