The Pulse: Citizens League Issues Scan

"The Pulse", the Citizens League issue scan looks at topics of interest to members of the Citizens League (

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Friday, January 24, 2003
Public Services: Federal Public Housing Cuts Less Than Originally Proposed. In a story from the Boston Globe, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development now says it is likely to cut the money it sends to housing authorities by about 10 percent, instead of 30 percent. Public housing is about one-third of what it was in 1975 in inflation adjusted dollars. The full story may be found at: (301)

Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Public Services: Competitive Sourcing -- Atlanta Finds Water Management Outsouring Fails To Deliver on Promises. D. L. Bennett wrote a piece entitled: "Water service audit shows goals unmet" for the January 22, 2003 Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to an audit released Tuesday showed that there were in fact savings of $10 million a year, this was about half projections claimed in 1999. The savings were used to general government operations, and not to avoid sewer rate increases. The full story may be read at: (300)

Healthcare: Federal Government Budget Proposal Not Likely to Save States on Medicaid Cost Explosion. Writing in the January 21, 2003 Houston Chronicle Karen Masterson describe the U.S. Budget Director as very unlikely to increase the federal share of Medicaid funding for healthcare. The Administration is more likely to increase flexibility to states to manage the program rather than increase funding for one of the major causes of state budget woes. The National Governors Association has a counter proposal to shift the funding of Medicaid and Medicare to benefit states. The full story may be found at: (299)

Economy. New report focuses on fiscal conditions. The Council of State Governments recently released a report, "Budget Crunch: Fiscal Conditions in the Midwestern States". The full report is available at (298)

Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Public Service Delivery. Government isn't always the best. A weekly fax called "Minnesota Government Relations Report," publiched by the lawfirm Winston W. Borden & Associates, recently came across my desk concerning a recent article in the Star Tribune about state contracts and competitive resourcing. To quantify a Citizens League budget principle that the state should attempt to use comeptitive resourcing - the idea that if the private sector can perform a service at a lower cost, than they should - the fax gave this figure, "contracting to nonprofits generally reduces direct state costs by at least 25%." (297)

K-12 Education. Study Finds Erosion on School Integration. A study at Harvard University by the Civil Rights group finds erosion in black and latino educational integration. Some explanations are offered for the finding including sheer numbers of students growing in these groups. The full story may be found at: (296)