Costs of E-Verify: In a major study  of the E-Verify pilot project to verify the eligibility of Americans to work, the Congressional Budget Office found that expanding the program to cover every workplace would cost $40 billion over ten years, largely in enforcement costs and lost tax revenue due to employers paying more undocumented immigrants under the table and no longer withholding taxes for the government. The implications are that expanded E-Verify use will cost states a similar magnitude of state income, unemployment and other payroll tax losses.
Business Costs of Health Insurance: A new Rand study  finds that health insurance costs for small business are rising faster than for larger ones, with small businesses seeing a 30% increase in percentage of payroll going to health care costs between 2000 and 2005. Surprisingly, few smaller firms dropped coverage in the period studies, although it's unclear whether they can sustain coverage if costs continue to rise.
Gains from Drug Treatment: Expanding drug treatment for arrestees would yield $46 billion in benefits to society, according to a new study  by the Urban Institute. Unfortunately, current rules in most states limit eligibility for most arrestees participation in community-based treatment programs, so policy changes are needed to achieve these cost savings.
Rural School Needs: Low-income rural students are more at risk of becoming high school dropouts than their city and suburban peers, but rarely get the media or policy attention to address their needs, according to a new study  by the Center for American Progress.
Trying to Make Ends Meet: A new study  by the NC Budget and Tax Center finds that a typical North Carolina family with children must earn $41,184 to actually afford needed housing, food, childcare, health care, transit and other necessities-- yet 37% of families in the state fall below that income threshold, usually because they are paid a living wage at work.
Closing Corporate Loopholes Doesn't Cost Jobs: Two useful state reports countering the myth that tax giveaways are key to job creation:
- The Iowa Fiscal Partnership highlights in a new report  that many of the businesses that complain about corporate tax reforms like combined reporting already comply with such legislation in other states.
A new analysis  by the Oregon Center for Public Policy finds that venture capital investments doubled from $153 million in 2006 to $302 million in 2007, without any of the tax breaks special interests were calling for. In fact, the top states for venture capital, Massachusetts and California, tax capital gains as much or more than ordinary income.
Pioneering Renewable Energy in the Rocky Mountains: Colorado has become a leader in clean energy investment, generation and use and a new report  by Alice Madden, the state's General Assembly Majority Leader and sponsored by the Center for American Progress, details those successes and how the state achieved this leadership in recent years.