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As a nation, we now face a serious threat to the very nature of our democracy, and the core American belief that wide electoral participation by as many eligible voters as possible is central to our prosperity and success. With salacious and often unfounded allegations of efforts to vote by non-citizens, the deceased, felons and even pets, partisans, fringe organizations, and opinion makers of all kinds have pressed for strict new voter identification requirements. But the facts do not warrant these extreme proposals. All available evidence suggests that voter fraud is exceedingly rare. The few substantiated instances of actual voter fraud in recent elections involved absentee voting, fraudulent voter registration applications, and erroneous voting by those ineligible to cast a ballot--none of which would have been prevented by requiring photo ID in order to vote. Courts have recently enjoined photo ID laws passed in Georgia, Missouri and Arizona. Just as the proposals don't stop the problems, these laws also risk preventing upwards of 20 million Americans without government-issued identification from meeting the most fundamental responsibility of citizenship--exercising the right to vote.
National Institute on Money in State Politics;
Immigration issues have inspired hot debates in recent years. This was true in 2008, as four states -- Florida, Missouri, Oregon and Arizona -- had immigrant-related measures on their ballots. Only Oregon and Arizona had committees relating to these ballot measures. Take a look at who supported and who opposed these measures.
In Arizona, committees concerned with a business-backed 2008 ballot measure that would have made changes to the state's laws regarding the hiring of illegal immigrants garnered $1,141,546, over $1 million of which was raised in support of the measure.The committee supporting Arizona's business-backed Proposition 202 in 2008 raised $22,492 from individuals, or 2.2 percent of its $1 million total. The committee opposing the measure raised $28,260 from individuals, or 20.1 percent of its $140,350 total.The committee supporting Arizona's Proposition 202 in 2008, which would have made various changes to the state's laws on the hiring of illegal immigrants, raised more than $1 million. $879,634 came from the General Business sector, mostly from a $802,634 sum from an organization of business leaders called Wake Up Arizona!
Missouri Foundation for Health;
In order to address health equity, it is important to acknowledge the factors that create inequitable health outcomes, such as socioeconomic factors and other inequalities related to race and gender. Although individual responsibility and personal health behaviors have an impact on health outcomes, understanding how the social determinants of health (e.g., education, housing, employment, transportation) play a significant role in both health behaviors and health outcomes is important when attempting to achieve health equity for all Missourians.
For the purpose of this report, health equity will be discussed through the examination of Missouri's food system, including how social determinants of health impact food security and food access, as well as the connection between disparities in health outcomes and an inequitable food system.
World Resources Institute (WRI);
This fact sheet examines how Missouri can use its existing policies and infrastructure to meet its emission standards under the Clean Power Plan while minimizing compliance costs, ensuring reliability, and harnessing economic opportunities
Missouri Foundation for Health;
Missouri is the 17th most obese state in the nation. Although adult obesity rates are starting to level off, they are still high, signaling a need for a continued focus on obesity prevention in the state. This report draws on projects implemented from 2007-2013 across Missouri that combat obesity using innovative methods. Projects cultivated multi-sectoral partnerships to help implement and sustain their work across three primary activity categories:
Access and EnvironmentCommunity Engagement and EducationPolicy and Advocacy
Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED);
The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.
Violence Policy Center;
The devastation homicide inflicts on black teens and adults is a national crisis, yet it is all too often ignored outside of affected communities.
This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2012 and is the most recent data available. This is the first analysis of the 2012 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of black homicide victims.
It is important to note that the SHR data used in this report comes from law enforcement reporting at the local level. While there are coding guidelines followed by the law enforcement agencies, the amount of information submitted to the SHR system, and the interpretation that results in the information submitted (for example, gang involvement) will vary from agency to agency. While this study utilizes the best and most recent data available, it is limited by the quantity and
degree of detail in the information submitted.
Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law;
Many states are imposing new and often onerous "user fees" on individuals with criminal convictions. Yet far from being easy money, these fees impose severe - and often hidden - costs on communities, taxpayers, and indigent people convicted of crimes. They create new paths to prison for those unable to pay their debts and make it harder to find employment and housing as well as to meet child support obligations.
This report examines practices in teh fifteen states with the highest prison populations, which together account for more than 60 percent of all state criminal filings. It focuses primarily on the proliferation of "user fees," financial obligations imposed not for any traditional criminal justice purpose such as punishment, deterrence, or rehabilitation but rather to fund tight state budgets.
Across the board, it was found that states are introducing new user fees, raising the dollar amounts of existing fees, and intensifying the collection of fees and other forms of criminal justice debt such as fines and restitution. But in the rush to collect, made all the more intense by the fiscal crises in many states, no one is considering the ways in which the resulting debt can undermine reentry prospects, pave the way back to prison or jail, and result in yet more costs to the public.
Violence Policy Center;
Pennsylvania leads the nation in the rate of black homicide victimization according to a new analysis of unpublished Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC). The study, "Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2004 Homicide Data", uses 2004 data -- the most recent data available from the FBI -- and is the first analysis to rank the 50 states according to their black homicide rates. The study found overwhelmingly that firearms, usually handguns, were the weapon of choice in the homicides.
The top 10 states with each state's corresponding black homicide victimization rates are: 1) Pennsylvania, 29.52 per 100,000; 2) Louisiana, 29.48 per 100,000; 3) Indiana, 29.30 per 100,000; 4) California, 28.95 per 100,000; 5) Missouri, 28.63 per 100,000; 6) Michigan, 28.27 per 100,000; 7) Maryland, 24.64 per 100,000; 8) Minnesota, 24.45 per 100,000; 9) Nevada, 23.67 per 100,000; and, 10) Arizona, 21.54 per 100,000.
The study warns that "the toll that homicide exacts on black teens and young adults in America, both male and female, is disproportionate, disturbing, and undeniable" and concludes, "As efforts are made to reduce America's black homicide victimization toll, the unique facilitating role of firearms cannot be ignored."
Headwaters Group Philanthropic Services;
Assesses McKnight's program and funding history to improve water quality, strengthen advocacy, and conserve land; legal and political contexts; and findings and accomplishments. Recommends focusing on specific issues and threats, including farm pollution.
Describes strategies that greatly improved process-of-care measures, including communication through physician-led committees and peers, standardization through order sets, concurrent and retrospective chart reviews, and transparency and data analysis.