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  1. Learning from Abroad: A Framework, Working Paper [Download]

    Title: Learning from Abroad: A Framework, Working Paper
    Author: Wolman, Harold
    Description: How can US local governments learn in order to better address their jurisdiction’s problems and their residents’ needs? One of the most effective methods is to look at the experience of local governments elsewhere that face problems similar to their own. This is an effective approach because it in effect constitutes a “policy experiment” in which an interested local government can actually observe whether a policy or practice in place elsewhere works.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 06/14/2016
  2. Learning from Abroad: Multi-Purpose Special Districts in British Columbia as a Possible Model for Governance Innovation for Local Governments in the United States, Working Paper [Download]

    Title: Learning from Abroad: Multi-Purpose Special Districts in British Columbia as a Possible Model for Governance Innovation for Local Governments in the United States, Working Paper
    Author: Wolman, Harold
    Description: Would regional districts or their equivalent work in the United States? The report considers several possible differences in setting that might affect transferability to regions in the U.S., including differences in institutional, legal, political, cultural, historical, and demographic contexts. The report concludes that the major contextual concerns are political in nature and particularly the fear local governments have of surrendering their autonomy and decision making to external institutions. However, it also emphasizes the voluntary nature of RDs and the ability of individual local governments to either opt in or opt out of each service delivery agreement provides a new and innovative feature that should greatly reduce a local government’s political reluctance. The report also notes that questions of membership, representation and voting rights and weights will have to be worked out on a region by region basis.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 06/14/2016
  3. Developing Legitimacy for Action by Connecting Citizens and Government: Lessons for U.S. Local Government Leaders from a Citizen Engagement Process in Australia, Working Paper [Download]

    Title: Developing Legitimacy for Action by Connecting Citizens and Government: Lessons for U.S. Local Government Leaders from a Citizen Engagement Process in Australia, Working Paper
    Author: Barnes, William
    Description: The four-year “Geraldton 2029 and Beyond” initiative effectively addressed the entwined challenges of "legitimacy for action on sustainability” and “trust in government” that the City of Greater Geraldton faced in 2009-2010. The 2029 citizen engagement process navigated substantial difficulties. The City government discovered and acted to address a “trust in citizens” problem of its own. As of late 2015, two years beyond the project’s planned duration, the citizen engagement effort continues and aims for additional, longer-term, improved governance on many topics. This report concludes that the practice that emerges from the Geraldton experience, which is not without risks, can be considered for adaptation by US local governments. The practice is not limited to the “sustainability” focus. Comparison with other localities that used similar approaches suggests that the practice can produce useful results in many kinds of places and on many kinds of topics. This is an approach, not a mechanism or a tool or an event. It can be described as follows: 1. It is to be used in governance situations where the functional issue is significant, complicated, contentious, and stalled, and is entwined with trust-in-government and legitimacy-for-action issues. The goals are thus both to address the functional issue and also to produce systemic, enduring improvement in local governance. 2. It requires a City Hall leadership committed to hard thinking about and a clear grasp of the “problems” to be addressed (including problems internal to the government) and the goals to be sought, as well as a resolve to address difficulties and unpleasant facts as they arise. 3. It conducts governance–in the short-term engagement processes and also aimed at building a better governance for the longer-term –that tries to be more inclusive of ordinary citizens; more deliberative; and, for the citizens’ engagements, more influential. 4. It requires very strong process design, selection and assembly of apt tools and tactics, and adaptive management of the activities as they occur. Careful consideration should be given to how the processes will involve citizens in dealing with budget constraints or other hard choices.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 06/14/2016
  4. The TANF Resources Problem [Download]

    Title: The TANF Resources Problem
    Author: Meni, David
    Description: 2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). Among other things, PRWORA replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC) with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Whereas a federal support for AFDC was an open-ended matching grant, TANF is funded with a block grant from the federal government combined with a “Maintenance of Effort” obligation for states. The block grant and MOE contributions are set for the most part at nominal levels from the mid-1990s. This paper looks at recent trends in TANF funding compared to trends in prevalence of child poverty. Compared to other work with similar intent, the novelty here lies in use of a more comprehensive poverty measure, incorporation of adjustments for interstate variation in prices, and a minor exploration of the connection between TANF resources and state fiscal capacity. Over the past decade inequality in state resources per poor child has increased. The disparities are great, making application of common performance standards without adjustment for resources questionable. Options for reform include separation of federal support for income maintenance from support for the various other programs that now garner well over half of TANF funding.
    Keywords: Public policy, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF, Child poverty
    Date Uploaded: 04/15/2016
  5. Information Resources to Facilitate Middle Skills Workforce Development, Working Paper [Download]

    Title: Information Resources to Facilitate Middle Skills Workforce Development, Working Paper
    Author: Reamer, Andrew
    Description: The aim of this paper is to suggest improvements in information resources that would enable a well-functioning supply chain for middle-skill jobs, i.e., jobs that require some postsecondary education but not a four-year degree. The paper begins with a summary of the types of labor market participant decisions that require good information, follows with an overview and assessment of currently available information resources, and then offers recommendations for enhancing these information resources so that labor markets function well and participants have a reasonable likelihood that their decisions work as intended.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 04/07/2016
  6. Urban Politics Revisited: A Policy-centered Look at Local Political Ecologies [Download]

    Title: Urban Politics Revisited: A Policy-centered Look at Local Political Ecologies
    Author: Stone, Clarence
    Description: This paper elaborates the policy-centered research program proposed by Hacker and Pierson (2014) by exploring how policy-centered research contributes to an understanding of urban politics and how the urban subfield contributes to a policy-centered research program. Using a bi-level analysis of the drug war and local union organizing, we highlight the local consequences of national policies and show that the consequences of national initiatives vary substantially, particularly for marginalized groups.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 02/12/2016
  7. Homestead Exemptions and Credits: An Examination of an Approach for Tax Expenditure Budgeting [Download]

    Title: Homestead Exemptions and Credits: An Examination of an Approach for Tax Expenditure Budgeting
    Author: Collins, Catherine
    Description: Homestead exemption programs, incorporating exemptions and credits, are by no means the only programs state and local governments use to provide property tax relief to residents. They are, however, the only programs directed at all homeowners who claim the property as their primary residence . Unlike the other residential relief programs, homestead exemptions have no further eligibility criteria. While all states provide some sort of residential relief, as shown in Table 1, only 28 states and the District of Columbia have adopted a homestead exemption program. In each case, however, these states (and D.C.) have also adopted residential relief programs for targeted populations, such as being a senior citizen or a veteran, or having limited income.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 01/08/2016
  8. Innovative Data Sources for Regional Economic Research and Analysis: Conference and Symposium Report [Download]

    Title: Innovative Data Sources for Regional Economic Research and Analysis: Conference and Symposium Report
    Author: Reamer, Andrew
    Description:
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/10/2015
  9. Innovative Data Sources for Regional Economic Analysis [Download]

    Title: Innovative Data Sources for Regional Economic Analysis
    Author: Reamer, Andrew
    Description: Recent advances in information technology provide an unprecedented opportunity to collect, organize, analyze, disseminate, and visualize large volumes of data generated from private and public administrative records. In addition, new statistical methods make possible the creation of microdatabases that allow new ways of studying economic behaviors while, when necessary, fully protecting confidentiality. Further, greater policy emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurship, clean tech, and other such building blocks of a 21st century economy is leading to new data collection efforts in these realms. A plethora of innovative data sources and tools are emerging from a variety of sources, spanning federal statistical and mission agencies, commercial firms, universities, and nonprofit research organizations. These data sources have the potential to transform our understanding of the phenomena that provide the basis for economic well-being. Improved understanding should lead to better designed, more effective policies and programs for stimulating economic growth.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/10/2015
  10. Information Resources to Facilitate Middle Skills Workforce Development [Download]

    Title: Information Resources to Facilitate Middle Skills Workforce Development
    Author: Reamer, Andrew
    Description:
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/10/2015