GRA Reporter for August 2012

News and publications for GRA organizations.


Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

PARCA’s August edition of The PARCA Perspective can be read here.  In this issue, PARCA takes a look at Alabama’s economic outlook and begins a new regular section in the Perspective titled “Strange But True.” This section will provide examples of Alabama Local Acts that display the inefficiencies and peculiarities of the local acts system.


Illinois Fiscal Policy Council and Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois

During the legislative session, the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois publishes “TFI Report from the Capitol,” a weekly summary of legislative and administrative developments as well as recent reports on tax and fiscal issues.

Civic Federation

Illinois Enterprise Zones: An Issue Brief
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This issue brief examines how enterprise zones currently operate in Illinois. Enterprise zones are geographic areas designed by state and/or local governments to stimulate economic growth and create or retain jobs in economically depressed areas. The purpose of this issue brief is to describe recent efforts to reform the administration and implementation of enterprise zones in Illinois; the types of tax incentives offered in Illinois; the number and county location of Illinois enterprise zones; and Illinois enterprise zone fiscal and economic performance. The report also includes a short review of the policy literature on enterprise zones and an overview of enterprise zone operations in five selected states.

The Civic Federation’s two blogs had a total of twelve posts in August:
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Topics included discussions of a downgrade of the State of Illinois’ debt, how the Cook County Health and Hospitals System’s budget is tied to the planned expansion of Medicaid and the Chicago Public Schools FY2013 budget.


Bureau of Governmental Research

In On the Ballot: The Crescent City Connection Toll Proposition
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BGR examines tolls on the bridge in the context of the new toll proposition, which will appear on the Nov. 6, 2012, ballot in Jefferson, Orleans and Plaquemines parishes.


Citizens Research Council of Michigan

CRC Report Looks at Options for Addressing School District Deficits
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This report was issued as a follow up to a June 2012 report on the plan for Muskegon School District to solve its $12 million total deficit. The new report evaluates available options for policymakers to reform budgets and fight deficits.

New York

Center for Governmental Research

Interactive Map Shows Special Districts on Long Island
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CGR’s report introduces a new interactive map developed by the Long Island Index allowing users for the first time to see the boundaries of all local service providers, along with information about how to reach the provider via telephone or Internet and when elections are held.

Options for the Future of the Chautauqua County Nursing Home
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In this report on the future of Chautauqua County’s Nursing Home, CGR outlines questions to be asked and considerations to be weighed if the county ultimately decides to sell, and also identifies changes to reduce budget shortfalls if it retains ownership.

Malone Sets November 2012 Vote on Village Dissolution
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This report assesses the dissolution of the Village of Malone (NY). Subsequently, after amending the committee’s dissolution plan to call for a town wide police force, the village board recently set a vote on dissolution for Nov. 6.

Village of Chaumont Dissolution Study and Dissolution Plan
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Report studies the dissolution of the Village of Chaumont and its subsequent merging with the town. The Chaumont board will ask voters in November 2012 whether to dissolve the village.


Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations

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TACIR has just released new data in their County Profiles.  The update includes the 2010 Census data along with annual labor, K-12 education, 2010-2015 Public Infrastructure Needs, and health data from the state for each county. These profiles summarize 175 data points for each county, provide a convenient state rank, and also include historical data.


Public Policy Forum

The Public Policy Forum’s “Milwaukee Talkie” blog had one post in August
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The post was organized around an article in Governing that discussed whether counties are an outdated type of local government. It connected that question to a debate in southeastern Wisconsin over consolidation and service sharing as a solution to Milwaukee County’s financial difficulties as well as a 2010 research paper written by the Forum on the subject of possible county dissolution.

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