Congressional Research Service Reports - 318 Matching Results

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First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 107th and 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
ERISA’s Impact on Medical Malpractice and Negligence Claims Against Managed Care Plans
This report examines the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which provides a comprehensive federal scheme for the regulation of employee pension and welfare benefit plans offered by employers. While ERISA does not require an employer to offer pension and welfare benefits, it does mandate compliance with its provisions if such benefits are offered. Congress enacted ERISA to eliminate the conflicting and inconsistent regulation of pension and employee welfare benefit plans by state laws. The provisions at issue in the preemption debate are sections 502(a) and 514(a) of ERISA.
Social Services Block Grant: (Title XX of the Social Security Act)
The FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 110-161) maintains SSBG funding at $1.7 billion and maintains states' authority to transfer up to 10% of their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to the SSBG. The $1.7 billion in regular funds mirrors funding included in both the FY2007 and FY2006 laws, but exceeds the $1.2 billion that the President proposed for FY2008, and most recently, for FY2009. The FY2009 budget also includes a proposal to eliminate the SSBG in FY2010. This report provides SSBG background information and tracks relevant legislation and appropriations measures.
Enforcing Immigration Law: The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement
This report examines the role of state and local law enforcement in enforcing immigration law. The discussion is limited to the role of state and local law enforcement in the investigation, arrest, and detention of all immigration violators. The report does not discuss the prosecution, adjudication, or removal of aliens who violate the law. The report opens with a brief discussion of the types of immigration interior enforcement activities that the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) pursued and the current immigration activities that are now the focus of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A discussion of the legal authority that permits state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration law under certain circumstances follows. Current administrative efforts to involve state and local law enforcement in enforcing immigration law as well as selected issues are discussed. The report concludes with a discussion of the pros and cons of such a policy and an analysis of policy options for Congress.
Gasoline Price Increases: Federal and State Authority to Limit "Price Gouging"
In the aftermath of last year’s hurricane season, questions arose regarding increased prices in the areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma and the effect that the damage caused by the hurricanes would have on prices, specifically gasoline prices, in other parts of the country. As gasoline prices have continued to rise in the months since, Congress has considered legislation addressing gasoline and oil prices that includes provisions related to price gouging. The House has recently passed two bills that include a federal prohibition on price gouging (H.R. 3893 and H.R. 5253). This report discusses state laws regarding price gouging, the role of the federal government in addressing rising gas prices, and selected federal legislative proposals specific to price gouging.
Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes
In theory, state sales and use taxes are based on the destination principle, which prescribes that taxes should be paid where the consumption takes place. States are concerned because they anticipate gradually losing more tax revenue as the growth of Internet commerce allows more residents to buy products from vendors located out-of-state and evade use taxes. The size of the revenue loss from Internet commerce and subsequent tax evasion is uncertain. Congress is involved in this issue because commerce conducted by parties in different states over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The degree of congressional involvement is an open question.
State and Local Sales and Use Taxes and Internet Commerce
In theory, state sales and use taxes are based on the destination principle, which prescribes that taxes should be paid where the consumption takes place. States are concerned because they anticipate gradually losing more tax revenue as the growth of Internet commerce allows more residents to buy products from vendors located out-of-state and evade use taxes. The size of the revenue loss from Internet commerce and subsequent tax evasion is uncertain. Congress is involved in this issue because commerce conducted by parties in different states over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The degree of congressional involvement is an open question.
General Services Administration Prospectus Thresholds for Owned and Leased Federal Facilities
The General Services Administration (GSA) oversees GSA-owned and -leased federal buildings and courthouses. This report provides an overview of the funding for GSA, GSA procedures, and related legislation, especially in light of recent disasters, i.e., hurricanes, flooding, etc.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
Following the terrorist attacks of September 2001, Congress has given considerable attention to the role of first responders in the nation’s homeland security efforts. This report discusses the “First Responder Initiative”, a recent proposal by the Bush Administration to help state and local first responders prepare for possible terrorist attacks.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report discusses the “First Responder Initiative,” a proposed block grant program to help state and local first responders prepare for possible terrorist attacks. Under the Administration proposal, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would administer the program, which, if approved, would provide $3.5 billion to states and localities.
The State Children's Health Insurance Program: Guidance on Frequently Asked Questions
No Description Available.
Enforcing Immigration Law: The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement
This report examines the role of state and local law enforcement in enforcing immigration law. The discussion is limited to the role of state and local law enforcement in the investigation, arrest, and detention of all immigration violators. The report does not discuss the prosecution, adjudication, or removal of aliens who violate the law. The report opens with a brief discussion of the types of immigration interior enforcement activities that the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) pursued and the current immigration activities that are now the focus of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A discussion of the legal authority that permits state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration law under certain circumstances follows. Current administrative efforts to involve state and local law enforcement in enforcing immigration law as well as selected issues are discussed. The report concludes with a discussion of the pros and cons of such a policy and an analysis of policy options for Congress.
ERISA's Impact on Medical Malpractice and Negligence Claims Against Managed Care Plans
This report will examine the preemption provisions of ERISA, the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of these provisions, selected cases applying ERISA to state medical malpractice and negligence claims, and the congressional response to the issue.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report discusses a new block grant program proposed by the Bush Administration called the “First Responder Initiative” to help state and local first responders prepare for possible terrorist attacks
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
Optional Federal Chartering for Insurers: Major Interest Groups
No Description Available.
Information Sharing for Homeland Security: A Brief Overview
No Description Available.
Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes
State governments rely on sales and use taxes for approximately one-third (33.6%) of their total tax revenue - or approximately $179 billion in FY2002 .' Local governments derived 12.4% of their tax revenue or $44 .1 billion from local sales and use taxes in FY20012 Both state and local sales taxes are collected by vendors at the time of transaction and are levied at a percentage of a product's retail price. Alternatively, use taxes are not collected by the vendor if the vendor does not have nexus (loosely defined as a physical presence) in the consumer's state . Consumers are required to remit use taxes to their taxing jurisdiction . However, compliance with this requirement is quite low. Because of the low compliance, many observers suggest that the expansion of the internet as a means of transacting business across state lines, both from business to consumer (B to C) and from business to business (B to B), threatens to diminish the ability of state and local governments to collect sales and use taxes . Congress has a role in this issue because commerce between parties in different states conducted over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.' Congress can either take an active or passive role in the "Internet tax" debate. This report intends to clarify important issues in the Internet tax debate .
Emergency Communications: Meeting Public Safety Spectrum Needs
This report has two main sections. In the first section “Identifying Public Safety Needs,” some of the organizations involved with public safety telecommunications are introduced, and key activities dealing with wireless and spectrum issues are summarized. The second main section, “Spectrum for Public Safety,” is organized by the major spectrum bands where public safety wireless communications are in use or planned. These are at: 100-512 MHz; 700 MHz; 800 MHz; 900 MHz and 4.9 GHz. Ultra-wide band (UWB), that broadcasts across a broad range of frequencies, is also discussed. The final section of this report recaps recent activities and legislation in the 107th and 108th Congresses regarding public safety and spectrum use.
Emergency Communications: Meeting Public Safety Spectrum Needs
This report has two main sections. In the first section “Identifying Public Safety Needs,” some of the organizations involved with public safety telecommunications are introduced, and key activities dealing with wireless and spectrum issues are summarized. The second main section, “Spectrum for Public Safety,” is organized by the major spectrum bands where public safety wireless communications are in use or planned. These are at: 100-512 MHz; 700 MHz; 800 MHz; 900 MHz and 4.9 GHz. Ultra-wide band (UWB), that broadcasts across a broad range of frequencies, is also discussed. The final section of this report recaps recent activities and legislation in the 107th and 108th Congresses regarding public safety and spectrum use.
Drunk Driving: Should Each State Be Required to Enact a 0.08 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Law?
At the 0.08 BAC level of alcohol, braking, steering, lane changing, and judgment are degraded and the driving performance of virtually all drivers is substantially impaired. During the debate on reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs, an amendment that would require each state either to enact a 0.08 BAC law or face the loss of a portion of its Federal Highway Trust Fund monies passed the Senate and will likely be considered in the House. This proposal raises questions about the effectiveness and impacts of a 0.08 BAC law, the rights of states versus the federal government, and alternative ways to encourage the states to adopt stronger impaired driving countermeasures.
Federal Crime Control Assistance to State and Local Governments
No Description Available.
The Multi-State Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX) Pilot Project
No Description Available.
Information Sharing for Homeland Security: A Brief Overview
No Description Available.
Federal and State Isolation and Quarantine Authority
No Description Available.
Mandatory Vaccinations: Precedent and Current Laws
No Description Available.
Meeting Public Safety Spectrum Needs
No Description Available.
Meeting Public Safety Spectrum Needs
No Description Available.
Meeting Public Safety Spectrum Needs
No Description Available.
State Techniques to Blunt the Governor's Item-Veto Power
No Description Available.
Optional Federal Chartering for Insurers: Major Interest Groups
No Description Available.
Superfund and States: The State Role and Other Issues
No Description Available.
Information Brokers: Federal and State Laws
No Description Available.
Federal-Aid Highway Program: "Donor-Donee" State Issues
No Description Available.
Federal-Aid Highway Program: "Donor-Donee" State Issues
No Description Available.
Implications of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit for State Budgets
No Description Available.
State and Local Sales Tax Deductibility: Legislation in the 108th Congress
No Description Available.
Restructuring Electricity Markets, Public Power, and Tax-Exempt Bonds: An Economic Analysis
No Description Available.
SCHIP Financing: Funding Projections and State Redistribution Issues
No Description Available.
Gonzales vs. Oregon
No Description Available.
State Investment Tax Credits, the Commerce Clause, and Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler
No Description Available.
Medicaid and the Current State Fiscal Crisis
No Description Available.
Federal and State Laws Regarding Pharmacists Who Refuse to Dispense Contraceptives
No Description Available.
Community Development Block Grants: Legislative Proposals to Assist Communities Affected by Home Foreclosures
In response to the rising number of home mortgage foreclosures, several bills have been introduced during the 110th Congress that would provide additional federal assistance to state and local governments with high concentrations of foreclosed homes, subprime mortgage loans, and delinquent home mortgages. At least one of these proposals, H.R. 3221, as passed by the Senate, includes provisions that would use the framework of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to channel an additional $4 billion in assistance to state and local governments. This provision faces an uncertain future; objections to it have been raised by the Bush Administration and others, contending that the assistance will result in the rescue of lenders and speculators.
State-by-State Comparison of Selected Electricity Restructuring Provisions
No Description Available.
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: Program Overview and Issues
In the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 (P.L. 104-182), Congress authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to protect public health. Under the program, states receive capitalization grants to make loans to water systems for drinking water projects and certain other SDWA activities. Since the program was first funded in FY1997, Congress has provided $7.8 billion, including roughly $844 million for FY2005. The President has requested $850 million for FY2006. Through June 2004, the DWSRF program had provided $7.9 billion in assistance and had supported 6,500 projects.
Risk-Based Funding in Homeland Security Grant Legislation: Analysis of Issues for the 109th Congress
No Description Available.