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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Thursday, May 01, 2003
Technology. Minnesota "state food" banned in one state, probably in more. That's right, Minnesota's own "spam" (although not the delicious pork product, but rather the unsolicited e-mail) is illegal in Virginia and set to be come illegal in Arizon. Commercial or bulk e-mail, the new tool for businesses to attract customers is better at frustrating citizens whose inboxes get filled with the unwanted e-mails. Now, Arizon is set to make the disrtibution of "spam" a misdemeanor while it is a felony in Virginia. The Arizon bill carries some heafty penalties if the spammer is caught: fines of $10 per message or $25,000 (whichever is less) for individuals or $10 per message or or $25,000 for internet providers (whichever is greater). (346)

Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Public Service Delivery. Rent vouchers may be a thing of the past President Bush is proposing a new plan to provide housing assistance to the poor by replacing the rent voucher system with a new system of blok grants which will be operated by the states. Under the plan, the states will get a lump payment to use for housing vochers, but the states will have greater administrative authority over the programs. This will permit the possible combination of housign and welfare policies. Administration officials state it will be easier for the department to administer the funds to the states rather than deal with the 2,500 housing agencies across the nation. (346)

Monday, April 28, 2003
The Economy. States get $437 million from Wallstreet settlement. In a recent settlement from conbflict-of-interest charge against Wallstreet analysts is expected to net the states $437 million; most of the settlement will go to the states and will help with the budget shortfalls. The funds will be divided up among the states based on population, so California will be the big winner with a settlement of about $42 million. The smallest states will receive the least. Although this will come nowhere near solving Minnesota's shortfall, it will be a part of the solution. For more information, go to (345)