Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina Reconsidered 10 Years Later
From 2006 through 2008, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government partnered with the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana to conduct a regional analysis of the recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The Institute and the Council assembled a network of field researchers from throughout the region to examine how local and state governments, as well as the nonprofit sector, were dealing with the many challenges of recovery. In addition, the Institute drew on the reports and other research to examine the role of the federal system in the recovery. At the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Rockefeller Institute researcher Marc Landy revisits a proposal developed by him and a co-researcher, former Institute Director Richard Nathan, for the establishment of a federal officer in charge to coordinate federal response to major disasters.
Observation News Release
State Leaders and Health Reform Experiences Shape Minnesota ACA Experience
The State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) at the University of Minnesota has released a report chronicling the launch and initial implementation of the ACA in Minnesota. The report considers how the decisions of the state’s key players and the state’s own reform efforts shaped Minnesota’s response to the ACA during its early years. According to Richard Nathan, senior fellow at the Rockefeller Institute and the creator of the national network, “Minnesota is an example of a state that has aligned itself with the goals of the ACA. This report describes how the state has responded to federal reform, as well as the challenges it has faced and continues to confront. Through the implementation of the ACA, Minnesota has continued to be a leader in expanding health insurance access and coverage,” he said.
Report News Release
Blinken Report: States Struggling With Slow Fiscal Recovery
Despite the rising U.S. stock market and the fifth year of continuous growth in employment, state and local governments still face enormous fiscal challenges, including slow growth in tax revenues, cuts in most areas of spending, and difficulties in performing essential functions. Conditions will likely be inadequate to restore state government spending cuts, fund infrastructure expansion, pay for growth in Medicaid, and cover insufficiently funded public pensions, making the choices available to states even harder. This is the second of an ongoing series of reports funded by former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Donald Blinken and his wife, Vera, longtime supporters of the Rockefeller Institute.
Report News Release
Windfall “April Surprises” Despite Weak Withholding and Weak Fiscal Climate
States that collect personal income taxes faced widespread income tax shortfalls last year and income tax windfalls this year, according to a Rockefeller Institute report. The study — Windfall “April Surprises” — examined January to April tax collections for 38 of the 41 states that impose broad-based personal income taxes. It showed income tax growth of 11.5 percent, or $13.2 billion, compared to the same period a year earlier. However, state forecasters should be careful not to overestimate revenues for future years and elected officials should not build budgets based on windfall revenues.
Report News Release
Partnerships with Private Sector Fuel Arkansas’s Expanded Health Care Coverage
A report released by the Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) reveals significant collaboration between Arkansas’s public and private sectors to expand health care coverage through the Health Care Independence Program (commonly known as the “private option”) and the federally facilitated marketplace partnership. The political environment in Arkansas that led to decisions related to the ACA are detailed in the report, along with the fluid status of the state’s pioneering decisions in light of recent leadership transitions and uncertainty at the federal level.
Report News Release
ACA Implementation Research Network
Twenty-Five Baseline Reports In, with More to Come
The Rockefeller Institute of SUNY, the Brookings Institution, and the Fels Institute of the University of Pennsylvania are coordinating a network of indigenous field researchers in 40 states to analyze the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The Network aims to provide accessible, user-friendly, clear, and objective reports that can assist the public, governments, service providers, and experts in the process of reforming American health care. To date, 25 baseline state reports have been published, along with two regional overview reports on state experiences in the West and the South. More reports will be uploaded soon. To access the reports, go to the link below and click on the map for the states that have issued reports. Other information on this long-term project, including C-SPAN coverage of our recent release of reports on the southern states, is also available.
Revenue Collections Show Solid Growth; Good “April Surprises” on the Horizon
Total state tax collections showed growth at 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. Preliminary data for the January-March 2015 quarter suggests continued growth in overall tax collections. Moreover, early data on personal income tax collections for April suggest that revenue from tax returns is up considerably over last year and most states should expect good April surprises.
Report News Release
State Policies Have Virtually No Effect on U.S. Organ Donation/Transplantation Rates, Researchers Say
In a new article in the JAMA Internal Medicine, Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow and Director of Health Policy Studies Erika G. Martin, Ph.D., M.P.H., and co-authors point to the failure of a range of policy approaches now used in all 50 states to significantly increase rates of organ donation. Only where individuals could contribute to a protected state fund for donation promotion activities did there seem to be an improvement in donor commitment. The article points to the need for exploration of new policy designs to help ease this critical national health challenge.
Article News Release
Institute Seeks Public Involvement with New Edition of NYS Government
The Institute is preparing a third edition of its best-selling textbook on New York State government to reflect major changes since the book was last updated in 2006. New York State Government by Robert B. Ward, first published in 2002, is widely considered the leading text on the subject for citizens, students and government employees. The Institute will use a form of crowdsourcing to invite perspectives and factual information for the new edition.
NYS Government Editing Project
The End of College? Or Science Fiction?
C-SPAN’s BOOK TV featured the Rockefeller Institute’s March 18th forum on Kevin Carey’s much-debated new book, The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere. After Carey summarized his manifesto for a fundamental transformation of our higher education system, the Institute’s Ben Wildavsky moderated a spirited discussion among four panelists, including SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.
State Revenues from Gambling Show Weakness Despite Gambling Expansion
States’ revenues from gambling showed soft growth at 0.6 percent in fiscal 2014, despite expansion of various gambling activities in recent years. In fiscal 2014, revenue collections from lotteries and racinos grew by 0.6 and 1.5 percent, respectively, while revenue collections from casinos declined by 1.4 percent. The expansion of gambling across the nation created stiff competition for certain regions of the nation and heightened rivalry for the same pool of consumers.
The Learning Evolution: How Technology is Transforming the Classroom of Tomorrow
What’s next for technology-driven teaching and learning? Ben Wildavsky, director of higher education studies at the Rockefeller Institute, and Jeffrey Selingo, professor of practice at Arizona State University, offer a cheat sheet for understanding changes that lie ahead in the higher ed technology world. They argue that technological changes to higher education, from blended learning to personalized measurement of how students learn best, will take place incrementally yet result in a very different higher education landscape within the next decade or two. To engage the next generation of students, leaders of bricks-and-mortar institutions must keep an eye on opportunities provided by the fast-approaching digital future.
The Pew Charitable Trusts and Rockefeller Institute Report on Managing Volatile Tax Collections in State Revenue Forecasts
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Rockefeller Institute have released a report designed to help policymakers better understand how volatile state taxes affect the accuracy of revenue projections. It examines data from 1987 through 2013 and reveals that predicting how much money state governments will raise has become more difficult than ever. The increase in revenue forecast errors is due largely to the growing volatility of tax collections across the states. From 2000 to 2013, the size of fluctuations in tax revenue rose in 42 states. And although no state can entirely eliminate forecasting errors, this study identifies three ways to help them manage volatility.
Report News Release
About the Open Health Data, Open Opportunities Workshop
How can releasing millions of data points improve the health of New Yorkers? This interactive workshop brought together researchers and practitioners to explore how open health data can be a viable new resource for health research and developing innovative health interventions.