NGA, NASBO Say Slow Economic Recovery Hinders States’ Fiscal Well-Being
Source: National Governors Association/National Association of State Budget Officers
After several years of slow recovery, states are beginning to see some fiscal relief. However, the unemployment rate is still high and the economic recovery is weak compared to other post-recession recoveries, according to the The Fiscal Survey of States, released today by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO).
Additionally, states are challenged with providing resources in critical areas that were cut during the recession, declining federal funds for state programs subject to sequestration and continued spending demands in areas directly affected by the sluggish economy such as Medicaid, higher education and corrections. Because of these challenges and other factors, most states plan to moderately increase spending in fiscal 2014.
Source: National Information Standards Organization
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the publication of a new recommended practice, Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics (IOTA): Recommendations for Link Resolver Providers (NISO RP-21-2013). These recommendations are the result of a three-year study performed by the NISO IOTA Working Group in which millions of OpenURLs were analyzed and a Completeness Index was developed as a means of quantifying OpenURL quality. By applying this Completeness Index to their OpenURL data and following the recommendations, providers of link resolvers can monitor the quality of their OpenURLs and work with content providers to improve the provided metadata—ultimately resulting in a higher success rate for end users. The project is summarized in a technical report, IOTA Working Group Summary of Activities and Outcomes (NISO TR-05-2013), which was published along with the recommended practice.
Source: American Psychological Association
Ninety-five percent of college counseling center directors surveyed said the number of students with significant psychological problems is a growing concern in their center or on campus, according to the latest Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors survey of counseling center directors. Seventy percent of directors believe that the number of students with severe psychological problems on their campus has increased in the past year.
The survey also found that:
- Anxiety is the top presenting concern among college students (41.6 percent), followed by depression (36.4 percent) and relationship problems (35.8 percent).
- On average, 24.5 percent of clients were taking psychotropic medications. However, 19 percent of directors report the availability of psychiatric services on their campus is inadequate.
- Directors report that 21 percent of counseling center students present with severe mental health concerns, while another 40 percent present with mild mental health concerns.
Source: American Veterinary Medical Association
In response to AVMA member desires for reliable information about the status of the veterinary profession, the AVMA Executive Board commissioned a study of the current and future supply of and demand for veterinarians and veterinary services by employment sector and geographic region, and established the AVMA Workforce Advisory Group (WAG) to oversee the study.
The overall goal of the study was to provide relevant veterinary workforce information to veterinarians, prospective veterinary students, educational institutions, and policymakers. Integral to this effort was the development of a computer simulation model of the veterinary workforce that could be used to estimate future supply and demand under alternative scenarios and allow the AVMA to periodically update projections as additional information became available.
Source: National Association of State Chief Information Officers
The National Association of State Information Officers (NASCIO) has launched a catalog of native mobile apps available from state governments for tablets and smartphones. Users can click on the interactive map to see what apps are offered by their state or territory. Apps are also searchable by a list of 20 different categories, including health and wellness, economic development, tax and payment information and education loans and grants.
“This tool offers a convenient way to see what other states are producing in terms of mobile apps, and allowing states to generate ideas for their own state or territory,” said Brenda Decker, NASCIO president and Nebraska CIO, in a statement. “Some states lead the way in mobile app development and can pose as models for those growing their mobile app capabilities.
Source: National Association of Realtors
Realtor.com® recently released data regarding the top countries (outside the U.S.) where consumers are the most engaged on Realtor.com® & Realtor.com® International. The data highlights the markets within the U.S. that are most popular amongst these global consumers throughout March 2013.
• Canada: Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Detroit, Naples
• U.K.: Los Angeles, Orlando, Miami, Houston, Las Vegas
• Germany: San Antonio, Los Angeles, Cape Coral, Miami, Las Vegas
• Australia: New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston, Detroit,
• Japan: San Diego, Alpharetta, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Antonio
• Mexico: San Diego, El Paso, Laredo, San Antonio, Las Vegas
• India: Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago, Dallas, Houston
• Brazil: Orlando, Miami, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach
• China: Detroit, Los Angeles, Irvine, Las Vegas, Orlando
• France: Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Miami Beach, San Diego
• Russian Federation: Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, New York, Detroit
• South Korea: Las Vegas, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Columbus
• Italy: Miami, Los Angeles, Miami Beach, New York, San Diego
• Netherlands: Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Houston, Las Vegas
• Switzerland: Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Raleigh
• Spain: Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, San Diego
• Ireland: Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Chicago, Miami
• Sweden: Los Angeles, Detroit, Parkland (FL), Miami, Fort Lauderdale
• Belgium: Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, Naperville (IL), Orlando
Pension Funding Policy; New guide provides key facts about public pensions for elected officials
Source: International City/County Management Association
The “Big 7″ state and local government associations and the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) have released Pension Funding: A Guide for Local Officials to provide key facts about public pension plans and a brief overview of the issues that state and local officials should address. The guide explores why developing a pension funding policy is essential and offers guidelines to follow when developing that policy.
AAUP releases 2012-2013 Salary Survey
Source: American Association of University Professors
The AAUP has released its new salary survey, Here’s the News: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2012-13. The AAUP’s annual report is the premier source for data on full-time faculty salaries, and this year’s report also provides updates on pay and working conditions for colleagues in contingent appointments.
The New Real Estate Mantra: Location Near Public Transportation (PDF)
Source: National Association of Realtors, American Public Transportation Association, Center for Neighborhood Technology
Fueled by demographic change and concerns over quality of life, there has been a growing interest in communities with active transportation modes. The recession added another dimension to these discussions by emphasizing the economic impli cations of transportation choices. Housing and transportation, the two economic sectors mostly closely tied to the built environment, were both severely impacted by the economic downturn. There has been a growing effort among planners, real estate professionals, and economists to identify not only the economic benefits of alternative transportation modes in and of themselves, but also the impact that they have on housing prices and value retention. The real estate mantra of “location, location, location” is more important than ever. Moving beyond the traditional arguments that good schools and neighborhood amenities impact housing prices, emerging research has indicated that urban form and transportation options have played a key role in the ability of residential properties to maintain their value since the onset of the recession.
tudies have shown that consumers are willing to pay more for housing located in areas that exemplify new urbanist principles or are “traditional neighborhood developments.” These neighborhoods are walkable, higher density, and have a mix of uses as well as access to jobs and amenities such as transit.
This analysis investigates how well residential properties located in proximity to fixed-guideway transit have maintained their value as compared to residential properties without transit access between 2006 and 2011 in five regions: Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, and San Francisco. The selection of these places for the study regions provides not only a geographic distribution, but also an illustrative sample of the types of fixed-guideway transit systems in the US. Minneapolis-St. Paul and Phoenix have newer light rail systems, while Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco are mature systems dominated by heavy and commuter rail. Additionally, Boston is also home to one of the earlier BRT lines.
Source: American Academy of Neurology
To update the 1997 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) practice parameter regarding sports concussion, focusing on 4 questions: 1) What factors increase/decrease concussion risk? 2) What diagnostic tools identify those with concussion and those at increased risk for severe/prolonged early impairments, neurologic catastrophe, or chronic neurobehavioral impairment? 3) What clinical factors identify those at increased risk for severe/prolonged early postconcussion impairments, neurologic catastrophe, recurrent concussions, or chronic neurobehavioral impairment? 4) What interventions enhance recovery, reduce recurrent concussion risk, or diminish long-term sequelae? The complete guideline on which this summary is based is available as an online data supplement to this article.
We systematically reviewed the literature from 1955 to June 2012 for pertinent evidence. We assessed evidence for quality and synthesized into conclusions using a modified Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation process. We used a modified Delphi process to develop recommendations.
Specific risk factors can increase or decrease concussion risk. Diagnostic tools to help identify individuals with concussion include graded symptom checklists, the Standardized Assessment of Concussion, neuropsychological assessments, and the Balance Error Scoring System. Ongoing clinical symptoms, concussion history, and younger age identify those at risk for postconcussion impairments. Risk factors for recurrent concussion include history of multiple concussions, particularly within 10 days after initial concussion. Risk factors for chronic neurobehavioral impairment include concussion exposure and APOE ε4 genotype. Data are insufficient to show that any intervention enhances recovery or diminishes long-term sequelae postconcussion. Practice recommendations are presented for preparticipation counseling, management of suspected concussion, and management of diagnosed concussion.
See also: Sports Concussion Toolkit
AVMA releases new stats on pet ownership, ranking top/bottom 10 states
Source: American Veterinary Medical Association
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently released its U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, revealing which states have the largest number of pet owners and which have the fewest.
The survey is conducted by the AVMA every five years and always includes a breakdown of pet ownership by state. The most recent survey, conducted in 2012 but based on December 31, 2011 numbers, reveals that the top 10 pet-owning states are: Vermont where 70.8 percent of households owned a pet, New Mexico with 67.6 percent, South Dakota with 65.6 percent, Oregon with 63.6 percent, Maine with 62.9 percent, Washington with 62.7 percent, Arkansas with 62.4 percent, West Virginia with 62.1 percent, Idaho with 62 percent, and Wyoming with 61.8 percent.
The 10 states in 2011 with the lowest percentage of pet-owning households are: Rhode Island where 53 percent of households owned a pet, Minnesota with 53 percent, California with 52.9 percent, Maryland with 52.3 percent, Illinois with 51.8 percent, Nebraska with 51.3 percent, Utah with 51.2 percent, New Jersey with 50.7 percent, New York with 50.6 percent, and Massachusetts with 50.4 percent. The District of Columbia had a far lower rate of pet ownership at 21.9 percent.
Source: American Society of Civil Engineers
From Executive Summary:
Every family, every community and every business needs infrastructure to thrive. Infrastructure encompasses your local water main and the Hoover Dam; the power lines connected to your house and the electrical grid spanning the U.S.; and the street in front of your home and the national highway system.
Once every four years, America’s civil engineers provide a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s major infrastructure categories in ASCE’s Report Card for America’s Infrastructure (Report Card). Using a simple A to F school report card format, the Report Card provides a comprehensive assessment of current infrastructure conditions and needs, both assigning grades and making recommendations for how to raise the grades. An Advisory Council of ASCE members assigns the grades according to the following eight criteria: capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience, and innovation. Since 1998, the grades have been near failing, averaging only Ds, due to delayed maintenance and underinvestment across most categories.
Now the 2013 Report Card grades are in, and America’s cumulative GPA for infrastructure rose slightly to a D+. The grades in 2013 ranged from a high of B- for solid waste to a low of D- for inland waterways and levees. Solid waste, drinking water, wastewater, roads, and bridges all saw incremental improvements, and rail jumped from a C- to a C+. No categories saw a decline in grade this year.
State Higher Education Finance (SHEF) Report for FY2012 Released
Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers Foundation
The association of State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) has released its annual State Higher Education Finance (SHEF) report, which provides a comprehensive review of state and local funding, tuition revenue, and enrollment trends for public higher education.
This is the fourth SHEF report since the 2007-2008 academic year when state and local support for higher education was $88.8 billion, enrollment in public institutions reached 10.3 million full-time-equivalent students, and the national economy entered a recession. In 2012, the effects of the recession continue with total state and local support at $81.2 billion–down 7 percent from 2011. In 2012, enrollment declined slightly from the prior year to 11.5 million full-time equivalent students but still 1.2 million more FTE students (12.4 percent) enrolled than in 2008. Although enrollment stabilized in 2012, the reduction in state and local support combined with an increase in inflation contributed to a 9 percent decrease in state and local support per student in constant dollars from 2011. Per student support in 2012 is $5,896, the lowest level in the 25 years shown in the SHEF report.
Due to both enrollment growth and higher tuition rates, net institutional revenue from tuition and fees grew from $41 billion in 2008 to $59.9 billion in 2012. The enrollment growth reflects continuing student demand and real progress toward the goal of restoring U.S. postsecondary attainment to a position of world leadership. But growing student tuition and fees as well as shrinking per student resources, especially where enrollments are expanding most rapidly, are cause for concern.
Adjusted for inflation, total educational revenue (net tuition plus state and local funding) per student dropped by 8 percent, from $12,067 in 2008 to $11,085 in 2012. Net tuition revenue per student reached $5,189 in 2012, an all-time high. Over the past 25 years, the percentage of educational revenue supported by tuition has climbed steadily from 23.3 percent in 1987 to 47.0 percent in 2012.