Email is old school

87% of American teens are online, according to a new PEW/Internet study. As more teens adapt the newer technologies such as instant messaging, text messaging and peer to peer file sharing (P2P) to their everyday life, Pew also found that teens view email more as a business tool to relate to adult authority, such as teachers and schools, than as a means of communication with friends or of personal expression. Not only has use of the internet grown 24% among teens in the past four years, but their going online to play games, to shop, to read news, and for entertainment has significantly grown. PEW concludes the internet and the new communication technologies are "a central force that fuels the rhythm of daily life" of American teens, defining their community, making them the leaders to a wholly networked society.

Teens and Technology: Youth are Leading the Transition to a Fully Wired and Mobile Nation
(available in PDF, 456K, from Pew Internet and American Life Project)


Eminent Domain...abuse or progress

The New York Times (NYT) reports in a July 30 story on the intense reaction to the 6/23/05 Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut, which acknowledges the right of governments to seize a person's property and sell it to another party for development in the name of public interest. The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) has called the decision disastrous. According to the NYT story, both California and Texas have proposed constitutional amendments to limit property seizure by government, with at least a dozen other states and cities considering similar changes.

The PLF which helped draft constitutional language for the proposed California amendment writes, "The amendment would be one of the strongest bans on eminent domain abuse in the nation. PLF attorneys stand ready to help lawmakers nationwide to craft language to protect against eminent domain abuse." They further say, "only our state constitutions can protect us from having our land taken away and given to private groups with more political influence."

NYT reports that some cities view the Kelo decision favorably. Cities are claiming eminent domain to seize homes, businesses and vacant lots to sell to developers for shopping centers and condominium projects. They feel eminent domain used judiciously is a tool for revitalization and urban renewal.

Cool site...NOAA's Undersea Research Program

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Undersea Research Program (NURP) operates the nation's only manned underwater observatory and conducts research relating to NOAA's oversight of corals, fisheries, and other seafloor ecosystems. NURP has launched a revamped web site that provides links to a multimedia gallery, research, and publications. The web site currently leads off with two articles on Hawaii: one describing encounters with Great White sharks during two October 2002 submersible dives off Molokai and Oahu, and another on Hawaiian bottomfish. NOAA's Undersea Research Center for Hawaii and the Western Pacific region, the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL), is involved in projects ranging from monitoring Loihi volcanic activity to deepwater precious coral reproduction and genetics to the pharmaceutical potential of marine organisms.

Visit NOAA's Undersea Research Program (NURP)
and the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL)


Growing scourge of methamphetamine abuse

The National Association of Counties (NACo) testified before Congress Tuesday on the devastating spread of methamphetamine use across the nation. Chairperson of the NACo, Valerie Brown, presented the results of NACo's July 5 released surveys (reported here earlier) and concluded, "A comprehensive and intergovernmental approach is needed to combat the methamphetamine epidemic. Necessary components must include law enforcement, treatment, prevention, education, public health, cleanup, research and precursor control."

Meth abuse spread eastward from the west throughout all communities of the country, with 87% of reporting counties reporting an increase in meth drug arrests according to the surveys. A Tuesday Reuters news release reports that in San Diego alone over 400 children were taken into protective custody from homes where there was meth use, with 10% of the children testing positive for the drug. The drug is easy to manufacture from non regulated substances and is so addictive that 58% of law enforcement agencies see meth use as the number one drug problem they face.

Supervisor Valerie Brown Testifies On Capitol Hill In Washington
(available in PDF, 44K, from NACo)

The Meth Epidemic In America, Two Surveys of US Counties: The Criminal Effect of Meth on Communities and The Impact of Meth on Children
(available in PDF, 104K, from NACO)


2005 state Rx laws

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) issued, on July 25, 2005, an update of its comprehensive report, 2005 Prescription Drug State Legislation. (As noted on its last page, this report is a "work in progress," with new bills, major amendments, and change in status to be updated at least twice a month during the calendar year.) Two tables are presented: Table 1 lists legislation by topic, e.g., bulk purchasing, drug importation, state Rx subsidy program; and Table 2 lists legislation by state.

2005 Prescription Drug State Legislation
(available in HTML from NCSL)

See also from NCSL:
Pharmaceuticals Menu Page, 2005 (HTML)
State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (HTML)
2005 State Pharmaceutical and Medicare Coordination Legislation (PDF, 336K)

Statehouse blogging

Governing magazine in its July edition covers state capitol blogging. Featuring Texas, Governing reports on the editorial and informational aspects of state political blogs. From private citizens to paid journalists to members on the floor, bloggers offer a focused view into the local state legislative process once only provided by political newsletters and newspaper reporting, but with the added value of immediacy favored by younger and the more real time constituents.

Even though it is now thought that blogs are more editorial and entertainment in nature than news reporting, this could quickly change. To compete with the blogging popularity, the dailies, such as the Austin American Statesman's Postcards from the Lege, are beginning to launch their own group blogs with journalists writng more informed and unbiased posts than those published by private individuals. Texas State Representative Aaron Peña is careful to evaluate just what information he can publish on his blog. "Trust is the most valued commodity on the floor," Peña states in the Governing article. "Legislators need to know that when they talk to me, I won't just go and put whatever they said on the blog." However, he also feels that his constituents can get a better sense of who he is from his blog than from what they read in regular press releases.

Instant Influence - A new generation of web scribes is shaking up state capitol politics.
(available in HTML on governing.com)


Update: National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR)

An earlier post here reported on measures taken by states to track sex offenders and provided links to the FBI's National Sex Offender Registry and State Sex Offender Registry Web Sites. Yesterday, July 20, the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a dedicated web site, the National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR). It is a portal to the sex offender registry databases of 21 participating states and the District of Columbia. Hawaii is included. Each state's web site is displayed in a frame within the DOJ web site. Although the FBI's State Sex Offender Registry Web Sites links to each of the 50 states, one must search the states individually. The NSOPR allows a collective search of all 21 states (thus far), a regional search, or a state search. A map with participating states shaded gives a visual sense of the location of those states, and the user can begin a search there with a click on the map or the National Search button. Search options include searching by name or zip code. DOJ makes it clear that it is not responsible for the information from the individual state sites and strongly advises users to communicate with the responsible state agencies to verify information.

See National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR)

Uncertain hospital care

The Washington Post today Thursday reports on the inconsistencies in the quality of basic care provided by US hospitals. Based on two analyses published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), it was found "that despite overall improvement, care varies dramatically around the country, with those in the North and Midwest generally outperforming those in the South and West;" and that even within regions and types of hospital (e.g., city medical centers, non-profit hospitals, or those associated with medical schools) quality of care greatly varied. The two separate studies, by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and by the Hospital Quality Alliance, are the first to use nationwide data instead of the former approach of studying individual institutions or patient groups.

Ashish K. Jha of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston is reported as stating, "Overall in many hospitals the care is still not nearly as good as it should be. These are important therapies, and these are easy to deliver. It really should be close to 100 percent."

Quality of Care in U.S. Hospitals as Reflected by Standardized Measures, 2002–2004
(abstract provided by NEJM)

Care in U.S. Hospitals - The Hospital Quality Alliance Program
(abstract provided by NEJM)

See also, Hospital Compare
(online database by US Dept of Health and Human Services)


Elder financial abuse

The Council of State Governments (CSG) has issued a report on the growing crisis of financial exploitation of the elderly, which comprises forty percent of elder abuse cases. Seniors are "uniquely vulnerable" because many are isolated, they are trusting of strangers, and they have quick access to signficant cash. They can be victimized by telemarketers, caregivers, and their own family members. Like other forms of elder abuse, few victims come forward. For seniors, a loss of financial security can be permanent and life-threatening. If they become dependent on public assistance, from housing to Medicaid, taxpayers bear those costs. States are addressing this complex problem through legislation and innovative programs. Mandatory reporting laws have been linked to greater investigation of elder abuse. Some states are getting banks involved, recognizing that frontline bank employees can spot suspicious cases.

Elder Financial Exploitation: The Silent Epidemic
(available in PDF, 5.5MB, from CSG)

Mixing alcohol and drug abuse data

Although the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Office of Applied Studies (OAS) reports a drop in people treated for alcohol or drug abuse in 2003, officials warn not to conclude substance abuse is less a problem. "The drop occurred primarily because of a significant decline in admissions for alcohol abuse," the AP story reports. The data was collected in 2003 from publicly funded treatment centers and notes not only a decrease in alcohol related cases but a five-fold increase from 1993 in cases relating to methamphetamine abuse. According to the news story, officials surmise that lower alcohol treatment figures may actually reflect states shifting funds from treatment of alcohol cases to drug cases. SAMHSA administrator Charles Curie says, "Clearly, from the data, fewer people are in treatment for alcohol as their primary drug of abuse. The majority of people come to treatment with more than one drug of abuse, and alcohol may well be one of them."

Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Highlights: 2003
(available in PDF, 320K, from OAS)


Security breach notification laws (WSJ)

In a consumer alert on information security, the Wall Street Journal of July 18, 2005, R6, examines the far-reaching effects of California's law that requires its residents to be notified if the security of their personal data has been breached. At least 30 states have passed similar laws, and a national notification standard is being considered in Washington. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), citing this issue as "the largest single growing crime in America," has introduced a measure requiring institutions to notify all consumers of breaches, regardless of state borders; after a breach, institutions must give consumers contact information for credit-reporting agencies and a description of the data compromised; and companies must quickly inform consumers of breaches or face steep fines. (WSJ is available in the Library)

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides a web page on this subject, 2005 Breach of Information Legislation. It gives summaries of legislation introduced in 35 states and the laws enacted in 16 of those states this year.


Governors agree to uniform education standards

The National Governors Association (NGA) issued today Sunday a news release of a 45-state agreement to develop a uniform standard that allows comparison of state graduation rates. The compact includes "implementing a standard four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate," efforts to improve data collection and evaluation, and annual progress reports "on the improvement of their state high school graduation, completion and dropout rate data."

Hawaii is a signatory to the pact. Puerto Rico and a dozen groups, including the Education Commission of the States (ECS) and the Educational Testing Service (ETS) also signed. California, Texas, Florida, Maryland, and Wyoming did not sign the pact.

In a related release on June 22 of this year, ETS announced the results of a survey showing Americans believed that high schools are not challenging students enough to equip them for the global economy. Survey results revealed adults desired teachers to be experts in their subjects, the No Child Left Behind reforms extended to high schools, and a statewide graduation test created. The survey also finds 80% of adults agree we should "increase teacher salaries to hire and retain more well-qualified teachers even if it means increased taxes."

Ready for the Real World? Americans Speak on High School Reform
Executive Summary
(available in PDF, 51K)
PowerPoint Presentation
(available in PDF, 174K)
From ETS

Graduation Counts: A Compact on State High School Graduation Data
(available in PDF, 194K, from NGA)

See also, Graduation Counts: A Report of the NGA Task Force on State High School Graduation Data
(available in PDF, 1.1M, from NGA)

and a related First Reading posting here.


Just in...CRS report on SCHIP

A recent iClips AP item, "Child insurance program may face crunch," reported that several states will use up their share of federal money for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) which covers poor children. Once states spend their federal share, they must use their own money for insurance coverage or cut services. "Neither is a particularly attractive option for state legislatures."

The article cites a report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) which the Library just obtained, State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP): A Brief Overview (HG9396 H47 2005). Approximately 6.2 million children were enrolled in SCHIP during FY2004. At the end of FY2004, about $1.3 billion in unspent funds expired. In "Forthcoming SCHIP issues," the report identifies federal financing as the main SCHIP issue facing Congress -- dealing with insufficient unspent funds to prevent state shortfalls and identifying the best method of distributing unspent federal funds among states. The report includes 50-state tables on SCHIP enrollment data, status of FY1998-2004 SCHIP funds, and status of FY2005 SCHIP funds.


States seek more estate taxes (WSJ)

"States move to beef up estate taxes; efforts by legislatures counter federal attempt to kill levy." The Wall Street Journal of July 13, 2005, D1, reports that even as Congress considers cutting or eliminating the federal estate tax, "revenue-hungry" states are shoring up their estate-tax systems. The 2001 federal tax amendment which repeals the federal estate tax in 2010 also included phasing out a federal estate-tax credit for state death taxes. The credit disappeared this year, and states that had tied their taxes to this credit faced losing billions of dollars. About one-third of the states have taken steps to strengthen their estate-tax systems, even separating from the federal estate-tax system. Connecticut and Washington recently enacted new estate taxes, and more states may follow, depending on what Congress does with the federal law. (WSJ is available in the Library)

Objections to other Medicaid proposals

In addition to its report questioning Medicaid cost-sharing proposed by the National Governors Association (NGA) (see yesterday's post) to reform Medicaid, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Center for Children and Families (CCF), issued a report raising concerns about other NGA recommendations. According to CCF, the NGA package would allow states to offer tiered or targeted benefits to different groups of people, thereby possibly excluding coverage for needed care; to allow different coverage rules in different parts of the state, again possibly excluding coverage for needed care; and most critically, it would eliminate Medicaid's comprehensive coverage of children by excluding some children from receiving EPSDT (Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment) services. CCF sees possible higher costs due to delayed care, and for children, their ability to develop and function to their potential could be compromised.

Federal Medicaid Benefit Standards: Questions and Issues Raised by the NGA's Preliminary Recommendations
(Executive summary available as PDF, 9KB)

Medicaid Benefits for Children and Adults: Issues Raised by the National Governors Association's Preliminary Recommendations
(Full report available as PDF, 136KB)
Both from CCF


Objections to Medicaid cost-sharing

Reported here earlier, the National Governors Association (NGA) has issued recommendations for Medicaid reform. One of the proposals is a major restructuring of federal cost-sharing rules which would allow states to substantially increase what Medicaid beneficiaries must pay. In recently published papers, two public policy groups, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Center for Children and Families (CCF), raise serious concerns that NGA's cost-sharing proposal would eliminate affordable Medicaid coverage. The NGA recommendation would allow Medicaid cost sharing for the first time by poor pregnant women and children and for emergency care. Small copayments currently charged would rise dramatically. Studies show that even modest increases in payments by the poor would have a negative impact on their use of essential health care services.

Assessing the National Governors Association's proposals to allow increases in cost-sharing charges to Medicaid beneficiaries
(available as PDF, 44KB, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

Cost Sharing in Medicaid: Issues Raised by the NGA's Preliminary Recommendations
Executive Summary
(available as PDF, 40KB)
Full report (available as PDF, 226KB)
Both from CCF

First state report on hospital-acquired infections

Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) discloses in a research brief that 11,668 confirmed hospital-acquired infections in 2004 resulted in 1,793 preventable deaths, 205,000 extra hospital days and an extra $2 billion in hospital charges. Washington Post news article quotes Marc P. Volavka, executive director of PHC4, as saying, "Pennsylvania is 4 percent of the population, which means you may have an additional 100 people dying per day," nationwide because of hospital-acquired infections. "That comes to an additional $50 billion" in medical charges in the United States annually.

Pennsylvania is the first state to begin collecting and reporting the hospital-acquired infections data. The Post reports:
Several other states, including Virginia, have passed laws requiring similar reporting by hospitals. Thirty states, including Maryland, are considering similar legislation but do not currently collect data on hospital-acquired infections.

Research Brief - Hospital-Acquired Infections in Pennsylvania
(available in PDF, 108K, from PHC4)


Tracking sex offenders

In light of recent news of convicted sex offenders suspected of further sex crimes, the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) of July 11, 2005, reported on states' efforts to track these offenders. According to Parents for Megan's Law, a child advocacy group, of over half a million registered sex offenders in the US today, 24 percent are not complying with registration requirements. Since their recidivism rates are "alarmingly high," states have taken specific measures to monitor these criminals. For example, 28 states require community notification. In regional press reports, other ways in which states are tackling this problem are by requiring the "worst" offenders to wear global positioning system (GPS) tracking devices, and establishing buffer zones to keep offenders from living near where children gather, such as schools, day care centers, parks, and school bus stops.

Various bills have been introduced in Congress to address this issue. Two bills, HR95 and S792 in the current 109th Congress, called Dru's Law after Dru Sjodin, specifically establish a national sex offender registration database.

On its web site, the FBI describes the National Sex Offender Registry and provides State Sex Offender Registry Web Sites.

Calling for disaster

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), today Tuesday, issued a news release (pdf) which cites a British Medical Journal (BMJ) study as "1st evidence of effects of cell phone use on injury crashes: crash risk is four times higher when driver is using a hand-held cell phone." The research finds an increase in injury crash risk across groups of drivers, with 75 percent of crashes occurring in clear weather conditions, and 89 percent involving other vehicles. The BMJ study concludes, "when drivers use a mobile phone there is an increased likelihood of a crash resulting in injury. Using a hands-free phone is not any safer."

Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study
(available as a PDF, 91K, from the British Medical Journal, bmj.com)

See also the cover story in Vol. 40, No. 6, July 16, 2005 of Status Report:
If You Drive While Phoning
(available in PDF, 900K, from IIHS)


Lawmaking live

Today Monday, Stateline.org reports on the nationwide trend of state legislatures offering TV and Web coverage of their proceedings. Only five states provide no live coverage, yet many at least deliver Internet updates.

"The spread of digital cable may bolster states’ efforts by drastically expanding the number of channels available, eliminating existing competition for slots, " journalist Hayley Wynn writes. As high speed access becomes more popular, streamed webcasts of proceedings also offer an inexpensive alternative for those states with budget constraints.

View, Lawmakers allow voters to see it now
(available from Stateline.org)


Governors on Medicaid reform

In June the National Governors Association (NGA) issued a policy paper with recommendations for comprehensive Medicaid reform. NGA's press release on the report highlights its major points. The scope of the recommendations is broader than simply Medicaid, encompassing quality and costs in the overall health care system, strengthening employer-based and other forms of private health care coverage, slowing the growth of Medicaid long-term care, and state contribution to the Medicare drug benefit. While the paper briefly discusses the long-term restructuring of Medicaid, it details short-term reforms for states to improve their Medicaid programs, such as prescription drug improvements, asset policy reforms, cost sharing provisions, and comprehensive waiver reforms.

Medicaid Reform: A Preliminary Report
(available as PDF, 124K, from the National Governors Association)

Living on Lava

Would you believe the "hot" real estate market includes fee simple lots located on lava fields with sensational views of the ocean and perhaps a glimpse of an active lava flow? An article in the New York Times, dated June 30, 2005, D1, stated that the pace of development on the Big Island is of concern to scientists and civil defense people. There are 60,000 lots lying in areas where "there is a high degree of certainty they will be covered with lava flows in the near future, whether it's 5, 50, or 5,000 years from now," according to Don Thomas, director of the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Richard Chadwick, whose house is located amid a lava field, stated, "It's a different kind of beauty." (NYT is located in the Library.)

States' revenues improve

"Only five states revenues were below their budget projections" in fiscal 2005, according to a survey conducted by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). Survey results further say that Medicaid is the major component of state spending and continues to outpace revenue growth. Data for the survey are reported by states on their general fund budgets which make up about half of state expenditures.

Scott Pattison, executive director of NASBO, states, "As states look forward to 2006, governors are facing revenues that will likely perform above estimates, less profound expenditure growth, and a decline in total balances."

Fiscal Survey of States, June 2005
(available in PDF, 210K, from NASBO)


Hokulia and the Big Island (WSJ)

In "Land-Use Ruling Shakes Hawaii Developers," the Wall Street Journal of July 6, 2005, p. B1, links the stalled Hokulia project on the Big Island to "potentially ominous implications" for the local economy and the island's past and future development. Environmentalists won a state circuit court ruling that Hokulia's luxury subdivision is an illegal use of agriculturally-zoned land, and construction was halted in 2003. With this ruling, some 1500 homes already built on agricultural land on the Big Island, many owned by mainland and Japanese investors, could be subject to legal challenges. The Hawaii Supreme Court has not set a hearing date for the Hokulia developer's appeal. (WSJ is available in the Library)

No phishing

In survey results released Wedenesday, Pew/Internet claims nine out of ten Internet users have changed their online behavior in response to the threat of Spyware and unwanted applications surreptitiously downloaded onto their computers.

In reporting the news release, Reuters writes:
The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that an overwhelming majority of Internet users have stopped opening questionable e-mail attachments, or taken other steps to avoid a plague of stealthy, unwanted programs that can disable computers or secretly monitor online activity.

Nearly half said they have stopped visiting particular Web sites that they suspect may deposit unwanted programs on their computers, while 25 percent say they have stopped downloading music or movies from "peer to peer" networks that may harbor spyware.

In a related memo released in April, Pew/Internet had found that "email users get more spam, but the harmful impact of unsolicited messages is diminishing for them. More than a third of email users have gotten phishing solicitations."

Survey: Spam and Phishing (PDF, 400K))

Spyware: The threat of unwanted software programs is changing the way people use the internet (PDF, 112K)

(both available in PDF from Pew/Internet & American Life Project)


Just in...Oral histories on Hawaii politics

Although published in 1996, the Hawaii Political History Documentation Project was just obtained by the Library. In three volumes totalling 1618 pages, it was produced by Hawaii Public Television and the Center for Oral History, Social Science Research Institute, University of Hawaii. Forty-two former office holders, aides, appointees, party organizers, union officials, lobbyists, and political observers share their views and recollections on politics in Hawaii, as well as personal backgrounds. Some of those interviewed: Tadao Beppu, Thomas Gill, Richard Henderson, Herman Lemke, William Quinn, William Richardson, Daniel Tuttle, Masaru "Pundy" Yokouchi. (Ref. JK9335 H36 1996)

Meth abuse cited as top drug problem

News stories (New York Times and Wash Post) report the National Association of Counties (NACO) has released two surveys citing methamphetamine abuse as the top drug problem facing law enforcement. The surveys were conducted in 500 agencies in 45 states. The Association further pleaded with federal lawmakers to restore monies for the 2006 proposed elimination of the $804 million drug-fighting program. NYT reports:
Of 500 law enforcement agencies in 45 states, 87 percent reported increases in methamphetamine-related arrests in the last three years, and 62 percent reported increases in laboratory seizures.

Fifty-eight percent said methamphetamine was their largest drug problem. Nineteen percent said cocaine was, 17 percent said marijuana and 3 percent said heroin.

However, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has only recently reported that marijuana is still the country's biggest drug problem. (see also, ONDCP's Profile of Drug Indicators for Honolulu, PDF, 508K).

The Meth Epidemic In America, Two Surveys of US Counties: The Criminal Effect of Meth on Communities and The Impact of Meth on Children
(available in PDF, 104K, from NACO)


Poor writing costs states $250M

States spend nearly $250 million annually on remedial writing training for their nearly 2.7 million employees. This is one of the findings in a report issued today by The National Commission on Writing, established by the College Board. The National Governors Association conducted the survey of state human resources directors for the Commission. Forty-nine states responded.

Topics covered in the Report include: How important is writing in the state workplace? Is writing an important hiring consideration? What kind of writing is expected in state government today? How do state officials define good writing?

Both within and without state government, writing must serve a wide spectrum of constituents. Government notices must be comprehensible to school dropouts and university graduates. Within state agencies, government funtioning depends on clear writing. Legislative analyses must respond to complex questions of public policy. "In government, writing is the servant of many masters."

Writing: A Powerful Message from State Government, July 2005
(available as a PDF, 535K, from The National Commission on Writing)


Hawaii base closure; GAO reports

In major news today, the Star Bulletin reported that the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission wants to add Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard to the Dept. of Defense's (DOD) base closure list. A shutdown would affect 4200 civilian and 800 military workers and the $1 billion added to Hawaii's economy annually. Next comes a July 19 meeting where seven of nine commissioners would have to vote to amend the base closure list that was released on May 13.

As required by law, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) today issued a report on DOD's selection process for 2005 base closures. BRAC's goals are: (1) reducing excess infrastructure and producing savings, (2) furthering transformation, and (3) fostering jointness. This is the latest in GAO's list of Base Realignment and Closure Reports. Earlier reports this year cover prior and current BRAC rounds and give an updated status. Besides the full reports, abstracts and highlights are available.

Base Realignment and Closure Reports
(available from the GAO)

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