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Urgency of Renewing Federal Recovery Funds, How Immigrants Raise Wages for Native Workers, and More

Reports on the Urgency of Renewing Federal Recovery Funds:

  • Failing to Extend Fiscal Relief to States Will Create New Budget Gaps, Forcing Cuts and Job Loss in at Least 34 States - Failure by Congress to extend the enhanced Medicaid matching funds will lead to even more cuts in public services or raise taxes for the coming fiscal year, according to this Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report. States, localities, and school districts have cut 231,000 jobs since 2008, including 22,000 jobs in May alone, and more cuts will just further deepen unemployment and recession.

  • Local Government Job Losses Hurt the Entire Economy - Based on preliminary research on local government employment since the recession began in August 2008, the Economic Policy Institute forecasts that without additional federal funds, municipalities will be forced to lay off at least 222,500 employees in 2011 and 2012, resulting in an additional 67,000 private-sector job losses. The result could be over 520,000 layoffs due to declining local tax revenues - and possibly more considering that governments have so far focused on the least painful budget cuts.

  • Recession Takes a Slice Out of Retirement Savings - Nearly one-in-five Americans age 45 and older prematurely withdrew money from their retirement accounts in 2009 to pay their mortgage, utilities, health expenses, and other bills, according to this Economic Policy Institute snapshot.

  • Economic Stimulus: What Can National and State Governments Do To Save and Create Jobs Quickly? - The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center explores mechanisms national and state governments can employ to spur economic growth and increase employment. Rather than pursuing costly corporate tax breaks and ineffective tax credits, the report urges states to invest in infrastructure, provide adequate funding for education, and coordinate regional economic efforts with other states.

Two Studies on How Immigrants and Immigration Raise Wages for Native Workers:

  • The Impact of Immigrants in Recession and Economic Expansion - This new report from Migration Policy Institute finds immigration unambiguously improves employment, productivity and income for all workers. The study also finds immigration to the United States between 1990-2006 is responsible for a 2.9 percent increase in real wages for the average U.S. worker.

  • The Impact of Immigration and Immigration Reform on the Wages of American Workers - This New Policy Institute study finds that the number new immigrants to the US has resulted in increased average wages for native-born Americans in the short run, and even higher average wages for native-born Americans in the long term. The analysis also finds that past large-scale legalization programs have translated into higher wages for both previously undocumented immigrants as well as native-born Americans.

Trends - Tolerance in the United States - This Public Opinion Quarterly study of recent survey data highlights growing tolerance for previously unpopular groups. Gay and lesbian people enjoyed the largest shift in public opinion. When asked "which groups of people would you not like to have as neighbors" 27% of those surveyed answered homosexuals, a decrease of 11% since the 1990 survey. Unfortunately, responding to the same question, the number of respondents who said they would not like to live next to Muslims or immigrants/foreign workers went up from the 1990 survey from 14 to 22% and 10 to 19% respectively.

Supporting State Child Care Efforts With ARRA Funds - This National Women's Law Center report catalogs the innovative ways in which states are using $2 billion in increased federal funding for subsidized childcare programs made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Staying Home: The Rights of Renters Living in Foreclosed Properties - This 50-state survey by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty explores recent developments in state laws protecting tenants living in foreclosed properties. It that many tenants are still forced to vacate their homes with little or no notice once the property enters foreclosure and proposes new recommendations to federal and state governments, lenders, and advocates.

The State of Society: Measuring Economic Success and Human Well-Being - This Urban Institute study identifies 14 categories, including poverty, health, education, employment, and shelter, which go beyond gross domestic product to provide a more comprehensive picture of national well-being.

Reports on Health Care Implementation:

  • Medicaid Coverage and Spending in Health Reform: National and State-By-State Results for Adults at or Below 133% FPL (May 26, 2010) - Performed by the Urban Institute for the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, this analysis and video presentation shows that the expansion of Medicaid under the health reform law will significantly increase the number of people covered by the program and reduce the uninsured in states across the country, with the federal government picking up the vast majority of the cost. Nationally and across states this analysis shows that: increases in state spending are small compared to increases in coverage and federal revenues and relative to what states would have spent if reform had not been enacted.

  • Rite of Passage: Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act of 2010 - Representing one of the largest segments of the uninsured, approximately 13.7 million young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 were uninsured in 2008. This Commonwealth Fund issue brief describes critical provisions in the new health reform law that will help, including the ability to enroll in a parent's health plan up to age 26 beginning in September 2010; significant expansion in eligibility for Medicaid, beginning in 2014; and the creation of state or regional health insurance exchanges with subsidized private insurance for people with low and moderate incomes, also beginning in 2014.