Periodically, we hear elected leaders promoting what seems like a free
lunch: hand-over control of government services or government assets to
private industry and services will improve at a lower cost. Like most
promises of a free lunch, privatization of government services ”“ also
known as "contracting out" or "public-private partnerships"”“ has
rarely delivered on its promises, with most studies showing little gain
and often substantial losses for the public.
In the age of Google, citizens expect to be able to find core
information on the Internet about government operations, but as a major
new report being released today highlights, most states are failing on
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared this
year's Nobel Peace Prize with Al
Gore, recently released a
report detailing the negative environmental changes that will result from
climate change, including higher temperatures leading to increased deaths
from more severe heat waves, increased incidence of infectious
diseases, and severe damage to ecosystems. The IPCC report
warned that there were only eight years left to act to prevent the
worst effects of global warming.
in July, the compromise legislation to reauthorize and expand the
State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that is emerging in
Congress is more like the weaker Senate bill than the House's
broader proposal. Still, the compromise would bring
enrollment to 10 million children, up from 6.6 million and cover an
million uninsured children. SCHIP is an important state-federal program
to state efforts to ensure children have the health care they need when
they need it.
The unemployment insurance (UI) system is broken in states across the country.
Large numbers of low-wage, part-time and women workers don't get help when
they are laid off; in fact, only 35% of laid-off workers are able to collect
jobless benefits, a rate far below protections offered decades ago.
The National Abortion Rights Action League
(NARAL) is holding a conference call this Friday, June 1st, at
3:00 p.m. (EST), designed to help state legislators preempt
and fight renewed attempts in states to limit women's reproductive
We may say as a country that we value families and mothers, but a rise in job
discrimination complaints by moms highlights how far most workplaces are from
that ideal. Yesterday, to help clarify the responsibilities of
employers, the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) issued
guidelines on what kinds of discrimination against parents is