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December 2013 edition: State/local budgets, local vendor preferences, sentencing reform, private corrections, managed lanes, and more
December 2013 edition: State/local budgets, local vendor preferences, sentencing reform, private corrections, managed lanes, and moreDecember 3, 2013
- STATE/LOCAL BUDGETS: New Reports Highlight Fiscal Shape of States, Cities
- CONTRACTING: Are Local Vendor Preferences a Good Thing?
- CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Reforming Mandatory Minimum Laws in Louisiana
- CORRECTIONS: Responding to Critiques of Correctional Privatization
- TRANSPORTATION: Reviewing the First Year of the I-495 Express Lanes
- FEDERAL: Divesting the Tennessee Valley Authority
- INNOVATORS IN ACTION: Pursuing Fiscal Self-Reliance in Utah
- News & Notes
Study recommends reforming mandatory minimum laws to right-size prison system, lower costsDecember 3, 2013
Louisiana today has the highest incarceration rate among the states, with 868 of every 100,000 of its citizens in prison. A major cause is the expansion of determinate sentencing laws in recent decades, which have been disproportionately applied to nonviolent crimes. Further, the trend has been costly for taxpayers—the state prison population has nearly doubled over the past two decades, with a commensurate increase in correctional spending of over $300 million. Yet, these laws have failed to reduce Louisiana’s violent crime rate. While Louisiana policymakers have enacted some modest sentencing reforms, a recently released study by Reason colleagues Lauren Galik and Julian Morris recommends that they take additional steps to reform the state’s sentencing laws to right-size the prison population and get better results from its criminal justice system.
Policies can reduce competition, increase costs to taxpayersDecember 3, 2013
Some municipal governments have adopted ordinances that give preferential treatment to local businesses in procurements, often via requirements that non-local bidders come in 3-10% lower on their pricing relative to their locally-based competitors. Elected officials often argue that such local preferences benefit cities by boosting local businesses and economic activity and increase municipal tax revenues. But is preferential treatment for local businesses a good thing in municipal contracting?
Hard-hit by Great Recession, states and local governments face ongoing fiscal pressuresDecember 3, 2013
Earlier this year, three separate reports by major national organizations suggested that states and local governments are going to face continued fiscal headwinds into the future. Two new reports by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) and the Pew Charitable Trusts, respectively, shed additional light on the fiscal shape of state and local governments in the wake of the Great Recession and similarly suggest persistent fiscal pressures.
Overall, it is unlikely that the protectionist, arbitrary, and unnecessary system of occupational licensing is going away anytime soon. As a result, more and more people looking for work are going to have to face the embarrassment of being arrested because they don't have the resources to jump through irrelevant hoops set forth by the CSLB.
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