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Category Archives: Legislation

Trends in Prevailing Wage Laws, 2017

Council of State Governments: “Prevailing wage laws are laws created by state governments or local municipalities to set a rate of pay that is thought to be standard for a labor group contracted to do public-sector projects in that area. The standard rate of pay is oftentimes determined by analyzing local wage data and identifying… Continue Reading

Treasury launches upgraded federal spending website

“Beta.USAspending.gov is the new official source of accessible, searchable and reliable spending data for the U.S. Government. Treasury released this new version of the USAspending.gov site in accordance with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) requirements. The “Beta” site will run concurrently with the previous version of the USAspending.gov website over the summer… Continue Reading

CRS – Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects

Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects. May 5, 2017. [via FAS] “Then federal agencies and programs lack funding after the expiration of full-year or interim appropriations, the agencies and programs experience a funding gap. If funding does not resume in time to continue government operations, then, under the Antideficiency Act, an agency… Continue Reading

Creating more accessibility to legislative data focus of think tank Congressional testimony

“The Center for Data Innovation has submitted written testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Legislative Branch regarding ways to improve the accessibility of legislative data. The Center recommends that Congress begin publishing legislative data via application programming interface (API) in addition to publishing this data in bulk format. As the Library of Congress… Continue Reading

Consumer Reports – How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy

How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy Expanded health insurance helped cut the number of filings by half by Allen St. John May 02, 2017: “As legislators and the executive branch renew their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this [past] week, they might want to keep in mind a… Continue Reading

Bill in NY legislature seeks release of Trump tax returns

CNN Money: “Some Democratic state senators in New York are trying an end run to get Donald Trump’s taxes into the public view by introducing legislation that would reveal his state tax returns for the last five years. The legislation — dubbed the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act (or TRUMP Act) — would require… Continue Reading

Report – High Finance, Political Money, and the U.S. Congress Report

The Roosevelt Institute: “Social scientists have traditionally struggled to identify clear links between political spending and congressional voting, and many journalists have embraced their skepticism. A giant stumbling block has been the challenge of measuring the labyrinthine ways money flows from investors, firms, and industries to particular candidates. Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Chen directly tackle that… Continue Reading

Sabin Center Launches Database of State Environmental Actions

Earth Institute: “The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has launched a new database to track environmental actions undertaken by state attorneys general. The center partnered with StateAG.org, a research and education website, to build the database, which includes legal actions initiated by state attorneys general against the federal government, private actors and other public… Continue Reading

The Nation’s Fiscal Health: Action is Needed to Address the Federal Government’s Fiscal Future

The Nation’s Fiscal Health: Action is Needed to Address the Federal Government’s Fiscal Future, GAO-17-579T: Published: May 3, 2017. Publicly Released: May 3, 2017. “A plan is needed to put the nation on a sustainable long-term fiscal path. But in the near-term, Congress and executive branch agencies have opportunities to improve the government’s fiscal condition,… Continue Reading

DATA Act: As Reporting Deadline Nears, Challenges Remain That Will Affect Data Quality

DATA Act: As Reporting Deadline Nears, Challenges Remain That Will Affect Data Quality, GAO-17-496: Published: Apr 28, 2017. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2017. “Under the DATA Act, federal agencies must improve the federal spending data that are available to the public through the USASpending.gov website. We’ve reviewed the implementation of the DATA Act and found… Continue Reading

New bill would preserve public access to public data online

Sunlight Foundation – “Today, Sunlight joins a diverse coalition of government transparency, data innovation, scientific groups and environment defense advocates in supporting new bipartisan bill in Congress to preserve public access to public data. The Preserving Data in Government Act speaks to a matter of of heightened public interest in the spring 2017, as open… Continue Reading

Cybersecurity: Critical Infrastructure Authoritative Reports and Resources

CRS – Cybersecurity: Critical Infrastructure Authoritative Reports and Resources, Rita Tehan, Information Research Specialist, April 21, 2017. “Cybersecurity: Critical Infrastructure Authoritative Reports and Resources Congressional Research Service Summary Critical infrastructure is defined in the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56, §1016(e)) as“ systems and assets, physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the… Continue Reading