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Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.;
The focus of this report evolved from a 2010 conference at Babson College on "Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Massachusetts" sponsored by The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) from which two key ideas emerged. One is that there is an "immigrant entrepreneurship ecology" that includes immigrant neighborhood storefront businesses; immigrant high-tech and health science entrepreneurs; immigrant non-tech growth businesses; and immigrant transnational businesses. A second idea was that these growing, non-tech industries (including transportation, food and building services) have not attracted much attention. Interestingly, these sectors can be crucial to the expansion of the green economy. Within this context, The ILC decided to look at these three sectors in Massachusetts as well as in New York and Pennsylvania.
Moreover, the report dramatically illustrates how immigrant entrepreneurs look for niches in underserved markets. For example, vans and other alternatives to mass transit serve unmet transportation needs in urban areas. Food intended to be a "taste of home" for compatriots in local restaurants and grocery stores becomes popular and influences the eating habits of other Americans. Workers who enter industries like landscaping or cleaning because they don't require much English gain experience and see opportunities to start their own companies. Businesses like these add value to American life by expanding the economy rather than taking away from native businesses.
Pew Center on Global Climate Change;
Examines the use of portfolio standards as a policy tool to promote renewable electricity generation in all states. Provides case studies from Texas, Massachusetts, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. Explores future policy development and implementation.
National Institute on Money in State Politics;
From 2003 through 2007, teachers' unions gave $112.5 million to committees working on 88 ballot measures in 22 states. In addition, international unions NEA and AFT and their affiliates gave almost $53 million to political campaigns for state candidates and political party committees.
Incumbent legislators received $21 million of the $29.7 million given to legislative candidate committees.Nearly 97 percent of the money given by teachers' unions came from the home state of that union.Teachers' unions made up only 1 percent of the more than $4 billion given to all candidates from all sources between 2003 and 2007.Teachers' union contributions represent a small percentage of all money given to candidates or political party committees.
National Institute on Money in State Politics;
Fund raising for the 2007 and 2008 judicial elections in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin fell in line with the national trend of increasingly expensive judicial races. Highly competitive and contentious contests in both states resulted in significantly more spending than in previous elections.
In Wisconsin, the two female Supreme Court candidates in the general election raised $2.6 million in 2007, double the $1.3 million raised in the previous most-costly judicial race, which took place in 1999 when another two female candidates vied for one seat.In the 2007 Pennsylvania Supreme Court races, contributions from individuals accounted for 39 percent of the nearly $9.5 million raised by Supreme Court candidates in 2007. Attorneys made up the largest share (more than $1.3 million) of the money given by individuals.Two of the seven Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidates in 2007 were African-American; both raised less than the other five candidates and were soundly defeated in the Democratic primary.Wisconsin's first and only African-American Supreme Court justice lost his seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, despite the fact that he raised nearly one-fifth of the money raised by all other Wisconsin high court candidates in 2007 and 2008.
Economy League of Greater Philadelphia;
The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia was commissioned by Ben Franklin Technology Partners to conduct an independent, objective evaluation of the economic impact of the program from 2002 to 2006, focusing on its role in providing financing and related services to early-stage and established technology-based firms in Pennsylvania.
In 1982, the Pennsylvania General Assembly established the Advanced Technology Centers of the Ben Franklin Partnership to promote technological innovation and spur conomic growth in the Commonwealth. Since then, in a series of subsequent legislative acts, the organization took its present-day shape as the Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP). Over the years, BFTP has periodically supplemented its annual performance assessment with in-depth analyses of the impact of the program. With the arrival of its 25th anniversary since beginning operations, BFTP decided to undertake another in-depth evaluation of the impact of its funding and services on individual companies and the overall economy of Pennsylvania. This study continues BFTP's efforts to objectively measure the impact of the program and gather information that is useful for future strategy and program enhancement.
Key findings of this study include:
BFTP boosted the Pennsylvania economy (Gross State Product) by $9.3 billion from 2002 through 2006, or $8.7 billion after adjusting for inflation.Since 1989, BFTP has boosted the state's economy by more than $17 billion.From 2002 though 2006, the Commonwealth received more than $517 million in additional state tax revenues as a direct result of BFTP. That represents a 3.5-to-1 payback to the state on its $140 million investment during the same period.From 2002 through 2006, BFTP generated 10,165 additional job-years* in client firms.Client impacts ripple throughout the Pennsylvania economy, contributing to higher Gross State Product and additional employment across the state. From 2002 through 2006, BFTP generated an additional 22,667 job-years in the state beyond those in client firms.BFTP produced a total of 32,832 job-years in the Commonwealth between 2002 and 2006 that otherwise would not have existed.Since 1989, BFTP has generated 45,667 additional job-years in client firms.Since 1989, BFTP generated 80,160 additional job-years beyond those in client firms, for a total of 125,827 additional job-years.
* Job-years are equivalent to the number of years of full-time work created by the program. For example, if a BFTP client firm employed three more workers for five years as a direct result of the program, that is expressed as 15 additional job-years
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission;
This technical report presents aircraft operations estimates for three non-towered airports. Eight acoustic counts were taken at each airport, starting in April 2013 and ending in March 2014; each sample covered seven continuous days. The samples were extrapolated over the entire year, and the results are presented in this report. Results are used by multiple sources to monitor aircraft activity levels and as a base for planning and forecasting documents.
Transportation for America;
In 2015, Congress will once again debate transportation funding at the federal level. It would be in the best interests of the nation for them to fix the perpetual shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund and set the country on a path toward a 21st century infrastructure. It is important to note that all of the states that have acted thus far, and those working to do so this year or beyond, are doing so in expectation of ongoing federal support.
Governors and legislators have acted because states face growing needs and static or falling revenues. The situation has been made worse by federal funding that has remained flat as costs have risen, and could grow disastrously worse should Congress reduce federal support in the upcoming renewal of the national program.
Regardless of what happens in Washington, states know that Congress will never appropriate enough support to close the gap needed to address maintenance backlogs and build for the future. Governors and legislators recognize that they can be leaders on this issue, working across party lines, generating new funding mechanisms, and creating new coalitions in support of transportation investment. The strategies and examples discussed in this report are intended to be a helpful guide for those emerging leaders as they navigate the unique context of their own individual states to pass transportation revenue legislation, and in turn, set an example for others to follow in the future.
World Resources Institute (WRI);
This fact sheet examines how Pennsylvania can meet -- and even exceed -- its CPP standards through expanding its clean energy policies and making better use of existing power plants while minimizing compliance costs, ensuring reliability, and harnessing economic opportunities in clean energy. Pennsylvania's existing clean energy policies put the state's power plants in good position to make carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions that will help the state meet its CPP targets. Existing policies that promote renewable development and improve energy efficiency through 2020 -- 21 will help Pennsylvania meet its initial targets. If extended and expanded, these policies could provide a basis to meet the targets through 2030.
Healthy Bodies Study, The;
Disordered eating and body image dissatisfaction are common on college and university campuses, yet relative to other mental health problems common in student populations (e.g., depression and anxiety), considerably less is known about clinical and sub-clinical eating disorders. The Healthy Bodies Study (HBS) takes a public health approach by assessing a range of eating and body image measures at the population-level. HBS encompasses a number of related projects that seek to explore and address the prevalence and correlates of disordered eating and body image dissatisfaction and the help-seeking habits and attitudes of students with apparent need.
The undergraduate years coincide with age of onset for eating disorders (19-25 years), presenting unique opportunities for early intervention on college campuses. Unfortunately, this opportunity is largely missed. The treatment gap -- the proportion of affected students not receiving treatment -- is wide: 80% of students with clinically significant symptoms do not receive care. Left untreated, eating disorders typically become more severe and refractory to treatment. In response to this, the HBS team developed and implemented a 12-week online intervention to identify students with untreated symptoms of eating disorders and promote help-seeking.
The pilot study was conducted during the winter/spring 2015 semester on four college and university campuses. To ensure feasibility, the study was limited to four campuses while making every effort to ensure that these sites represented a diverse set of schools. The sites were: Appalachian State University, Bard College, Mercyhurst University, and University of Michigan.
This report is part of a series of 21 state and regional studies examining the rollout of the ACA. The national network -- with 36 states and 61 researchers -- is led by the Rockefeller Institute of Government, the public policy research arm of the State University of New York, the Brookings Institution, and the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.
Although the ACA will no doubt have real financial consequences for insurers, hospitals, and health care providers, at this early stage in implementation, it is difficult to calculate precise gains and losses. For example, the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania supported the ACA, believing, in part, that reform was necessary to reduce current levels of uncompensated care and to reduce reliance on emergency care for patients who put off treatment for as long as possible to avoid out-of-pocket costs. The association agreed to significant cuts in Medicare and Medicaid to support the bill's passage. However, because cost savings from universal coverage have not yet been realized, hospitals reported cutting staff in April 2014 to offset the loss of Medicaid and Medicare funding. Safety net hospitals, which are required to serve all populations, seem especially affected, as many of their patients who fall into the Medicaid coverage gap are still showing up in emergency rooms without insurance.
Center for American Progress;
20 years after President Bill Clinton signed the federal assault weapons ban into law in September 1994 and a decade after Congress allowed that law to lapse -- the question of whether and how to regulate particularly lethal firearms is no longer the primary focus of the national gun debate. In the wake of the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama, congressional leaders, and gun-violence prevention advocates alike made deterring dangerous people from accessing guns the top legislative priority with a proposal for comprehensive background checks for all gun sales.
This shift in focus to prevent dangerous people from accessing guns is appropriate: A broad set of research suggests that such measures are effective in reducing gun violence. Additionally, there is overwhelming support in opinion polls for expanding background checks and similar measures aimed at restricting dangerous people from accessing guns. But the debate persists about whether and how to best regulate assault rifles and other types of firearms that may pose heightened risks to public safety. For more than 20 years, there has generally been only one policy solution offered in this debate: a ban on assault weapons.
This report considers how gun laws have evolved to address different classes of firearms and looks more broadly at how federal and state laws treat rifles and shotguns differently than handguns and whether all of those distinctions continue to make sense. It also examines data on the changing nature of gun violence and the increasing use of long guns and assault rifles by criminals, with a focus on Pennsylvania as a case study.