Monthly Archives: April 2008

One Penny of Every New Dollar For Children

Over the past five years only one penny of every new, real non-defense dollar spent by the federal government goes to children, a new publication by First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization revealed today.

The book, entitled Children’s Budget 2008, was made possible with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. It is an analysis of the over 180 federally funded programs that are aimed at enhancing the well-being of our nation’s children, and how their appropriations levels have changed over the past five years. After adjusting for inflation, Children’s Budget 2008 finds that just one percent of all new spending since fiscal year 2004 is helping American kids. Read the rest of this entry

One of every 39 Alaskan Homes to be Foreclosed

According to a recent article in the Anchorage Daily News, “While Alaskans aren’t seeing the number of failed loans as some places in the Lower 48, plenty of people in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough are feeling the pain of bad home-buying decisions. Real estate agents in the Mat-Su area last year said they started seeing a dramatic rise in the number of foreclosure sales.” In March of this year, for example, there were nearly 300 foreclosures in the Mat-Su area. A study just released by the Pew Charitable Trusts paints a somewhat more grim picture of foreclosures in Alaska: Read the rest of this entry

Second Chance Act Now Law

The following press release was circulated April 10th, 2008, by UAA’s Justice Center and by the Alaska Coalition for Prisoner Re-Entry:

WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) — U.S. President George W. Bush Wednesday signed the Second Chance Act, saying the legislation will help prisoners “reclaim their lives.” The act authorizes the administration’s Prison Re-entry Program, which expands job training and placement services, to help ex-prisoners find transitional housing. It also provides mentoring, including help from faith-based groups, Bush said during the signing ceremony.

“Our government has a responsibility to help prisoners to return as contributing members of their community,” Bush said. Most of the assistance provided for in the legislation happens in faith-based communities and community-based groups, he said.

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America's Debt Crisis Affects Us: Hear Presentation Ap. 15

Tuesday April 15, from 5:00pm-7:00pm at the UAA Campus Bookstore Andrew Yarrow presents “Forgive Us Our Debts: America’s Public Debt Crisis and How It Affects All Americans” at the UAA Campus Bookstore.

Andrew Yarrow teaches Modern US History at American University and serves as vice-president of Public Agenda, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that provides research for American leaders so they can better understand the public’s point of view and helps citizens better understand critical policy issues ranging from education to foreign policy to immigration to religion and civility in American life.

In his book, Forgive Us Our Debts: The Intergenerational Dangers of Fiscal Irresponsibility, Andrew Yarrow discusses why the federal debt is rising exponentially, why our government borrows, what effects it may have on Americans if it continues to grow at this rate, and what it will take to pay it all back. Read the rest of this entry

Every Worker in Alaska Should Have Paid Sick Days

Based on research by the Alaska Public Interest Research Group, only 60% percent of workers in Alaska have paid sick days, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This leaves 40% percent, or 119,280 workers, without a sickness policy allowing them to stay home with pay when they’re sick.

A modest plan ensuring a minimum paid sick days standard in Alaska would save $9.07 per worker per week. These savings would come from reduced turnover, lower productivity losses for sick workers on the job, avoiding relatives’ short-term nursing home stays, and a healthier workforce. Costs for wages, payroll taxes, and administrative expenses would be much lower: $6.47 per worker per week. Read the rest of this entry