Research Roundup

Jan 17, 2008
Fourteen states face a total budget shortfall of at least $29 billion, with twelve others expecting budget problems, according to a state budget update from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. The brief outlines a number of options for those states and cautions against cuts in services that would undermine long-term economic investments and calls for greater federal support as part of an anti-recession package.
Jan 03, 2008
Unlocking America: Why and How to Reduce America's Prison Population, published by the JFA Institute, details the explosive growth in prison populations from just 196,000 in 1970 to 1.5 million in state and federal prisons today-- with an additional 750,000 in local jails. The report emphasizes that there is little evidence that this mass incarceration reduces crime and outlines recommendations for changing current sentencing laws and correctional policies to reduce incarceration rates.
Dec 20, 2007
The Drum Major Institute has released its 2007 Year in Review, which highlights the ten best and ten worst public policies of 2007, a reading list for progressives, what the Right has been up to, and a States of the Union profile of key policy and success measures that compare the states, from availability of preschool to structurally deficient bridges to health care access.
Dec 13, 2007
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), one of the most prominent anti-immigrant groups, is funded by racist foundations and has ties to white supremacist groups through its key staff members, according to a new report, FAIR: Crossing the Rubicon of Hate, by the Southern Poverty Law Center. SPLC argues that reporters in the media should stop taking a hate group like FAIR seriously as a reputable mainstream commentator on the immigration debate.
Dec 06, 2007
When cities see a construction boom, workers in the industry should benefit as much as the developers. But in New York City, according to a new report by the Fiscal Policy Institute, Building Up New York, Tearing Down Job Quality, at least 50,000 construction workers are employed off the books or misclassified as independent contractors to cheat them out of fair wages. On top of lost wages, all levels of government lost out on an estimated $489 million in unpaid taxes in 2005 alone.
Nov 15, 2007
A study of Indiana's voter ID rules finds that many registered voters in Indiana lack the required photo identification required under the law, meaning legally qualified voters are being disenfranchised.  The report by the Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity and Race finds that African Americans, the elderly, less educated, and lower-income voters are disproportionately disenfranchised under the law.
Nov 08, 2007

Good jobs - jobs that pay at least $17 an hour and provide health insurance and a pension -- declined by 3.5 million between 2000 and 2006 according to a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.  Key to the decline was the erosion of employer-provided health insurance (down 3.1%) and employer-sponsored pension and retirement-savings plans (down 4.9%).

Nov 01, 2007
A number of new immigration-related reports were released this week: