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.
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Rockefeller Institute Plays Host to Congressional Hunger Hearing
The National Commission on Hunger, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), RTI International, and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, hosted a public hearing in Albany, NY, on May 13, 2015, at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The 10-member National Commission on Hunger is a congressionally-appointed bipartisan commission charged with developing innovative reforms in both public and private food assistance programs to reduce or eliminate food insecurity. The recommendations are meant to include ways to more effectively use USDA programs and funds.
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.
ACA Implementation Research Network
Twenty-One 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 36 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, 21 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 and other information on this long-term project, including C-SPAN coverage of our recent release of reports on the southern states, go to the Network’s website at the following link;
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.
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State Governments Leverage Higher Education in International Engagement
In an illuminating new report, Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow Jason Lane and colleagues Taya Owens and Patrick Ziegler analyze the emerging role that states play in promoting the internationalization of higher education institutions. Through these efforts, the researchers suggest, colleges and universities engaged in international activity strengthen economic development and public diplomacy.
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New Hampshire ACA Report Points to State’s Individual Approach to Adoption
Providence College researchers released a report that outlines the Granite State's approach to implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the research team, “implementation of the ACA continues to move forward in New Hampshire with bipartisan support from the legislature and strong support from the governor’s office, but policy makers remain committed to a ‘uniquely New Hampshire’ approach to health care reform.” The researchers highlighted New Hampshire’s “strong preference for local control and a well-established tradition of local government.” The New Hampshire report is the 22nd baseline study completed by a 36-state network led by the Rockefeller Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.
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Rockefeller Institute Researchers Present at National Public Policy Conference
Senior Fellow Swati Desai and Director Thomas Gais both delivered papers at the 2014 Fall Research Conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), held in Albuquerque, NM, on November 6-8. Dr. Desai, who also serves on APPAM’s policy council, presented “WorkFirst Works for Single Homeless Men,” based on an evaluation RIG conducted in New York City. Dr. Gais presented “Trialing for the Public Good: Building Effective Programs from the Ground Up,” which discusses the potential for continuous, small-scale experimentation in the public sector.
WorkFirst Works Paper Trialing for the Public Good Paper
Cybersecurity Crosses Sectors and Levels of Government: Learning from Recent Federal Efforts
In this Observation piece, Rockefeller College Assistant Professor Brian Nussbaum looks at how the U.S. government has recently detailed roles and responsibilities for cybersecurity involving the efforts of government players at the federal level (including the military, law enforcement, and other security agencies). It argues a comparable framework for state and local governments, as well as corporations and not-for-profits, would be valuable. Through utilization of various capabilities, often across levels of government and across sectors, the piece argues that we can take advantage of the best of the capabilities of involved actors at the same time we realize the enhanced benefit that results from “cross-sector coordination.”
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.