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Family Friendly Business Rules, Sales Tax Reform, Expensive Job Non-Creation, and Worker Safety in Small Businesses

Highlighting the strains on working families with kids, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) released a report on how government can encourage employers to better arrange work schedules so that families can better juggle work and family responsibilities and how such family-friendly policies can help the business bottom-line through improved job retention, increased productivity and reduced health care costs.

In a new report, Making the State Sales Tax Pull Its Weight, New Jersey Policy Perspectives (NJPP) highlights how expanding the sales tax to cover more services would allow states to keep the overall rate lower. Out of 168 services -- from dating services to tanning salons -- states apply the sales tax from fewer than 20 to covering all services.

NJPP also released a report highlighting how states are often pitted against each other, paying to relocate business offices between states without creating a single new job, a case in point being New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland paying a total of $8.1 million to AAA auto service as it played musical chairs moving offices between the states.

A new analysis by RAND finds that in all business sectors except retail, fatality rates from injury in work sites with 1-19 workers are 4 to 10 TIMES higher than larger work sites. The policy implication is that states need to encourage more focus by worker safety agencies on programs to monitor smaller establishments, especially smaller worksites within larger firms.

The good news, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, is that the number of children in foster care has declined slightly to 518,000 children in foster care across the country.  The bad news is that they are older and staying longer in foster care and 19,000 of the children "age out" of the system each year without ever being adopted.