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The Fight Against Global Warming: Another Way States Can Rein in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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. 

States Rejecting Bad Immigration Policies

The Illinois legislature recently amended the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to prohibit employers from enrolling in the federal Employment Eligibility Verification System (E-Verify), a voluntary program to supposedly identify the employment eligibility of new hires and verify Social Security numbers. The problem is that the system has estimated error rates between 5% and 10% and does not detect identity fraud or theft, inevitably leading to discrimination and unfair treatment of employees misidentified as lacking proper documentation.   

Promoting Affordable Housing through State Policy

The effects of the sub-prime lending disaster are still being felt as the stock market has been rocked in recent weeks and many families find themselves locked out of the mortgage market.  As we highlighted in the past, the subprime mortgage market was largely aimed at economically-strapped families trying to find some way to afford homes.  For low-income renters who never had the money to even be in the game, rising rents have increasingly priced them out of their homes. 

States May Get Federal Help to Modernize Unemployment Insurance

http://www.progressivestates.org/dispatch

Thursday, July 26, 2007

States May Get Federal Help to Modernize Unemployment Insurance

The Sky is Falling: Manhattan's Aging Infrastructure Causes Explosion and Concern

Last week, an explosion beneath a street near Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan sent a giant stream of scalding, brownish steam up through the street and into the sky. The explosion caused a large crater, roughly 35-40 feet wide, and was so strong that it flipped over a tow truck. The cloud of steam and hail of debris from the explosion lasted more than two hours and raised concerns of asbestos contamination. The cause of the blast? Not as some rushed to assert, a terrorist attack, but an underground steam pipe constructed in 1924 that exploded when too much cold rain water leaked on it. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged this when he stated, "There is no reason to believe this is anything other than a failure of our infrastructure."

Did Lead Paint Abatement Lower Crime in the 1990s?

It's a puzzle that has driven heated arguments among social scientists and policymakers. Why did crime rise precipitously in the decades following the 1960s, then fall dramatically in the 1990s?

NY: Increasing Funds for Legal Services for the Poor

 

New York Governor Elliott Spitzer announced new regulations that will increase fourfold state spending on civil legal services, critical help in protecting the working poor's legal rights regarding housing, protection from domestic abuse, child support and essential heath care.

Overcoming Racial Discrimination

Despite real progress over the last generation in overcoming discrimination in our society, the reality is that Americans are still regularly refused employment, housing or equal treatment under the law because of their nationality or the color of their skin.  The numbers highlighting this racial discrimination are stark: