Posted on May 27, 2014 in Government Operations
In a recent information request, the SLC was tasked with identifying state policies on rent for non-legislative organizations inside state capitols. We partnered with the National Association of State Facilities Administrators (NASFA) to conduct a multi-state survey. The results of the survey, displayed below, revealed that these policies are as different as the states that craft them.
|Does your State and/or department charge rent to non-legislative organizations and authorities who occupy office space in State Capitols?|
|Arizona||Yes, the State of Arizona, through its Department of Administration, charges rent for the buildings under its jurisdiction to Arizona’s state agencies, boards, and commissions except the Legislative branch pursuant to statute.|
|Connecticut||The Department of Administrative Services does not have care and custody of the State Capitol Building; per the response, no non-legislative organization has space within the State Capitol.|
|Idaho||The Department of Administration charges rent to cover managing the Capitol. This includes Elected Officials, the Legislature, state agencies, and organizations.|
|Minnesota||Yes. Minnesota charges a lease rate to non-legislative entities that occupy the Capitol Building.|
|Nebraska||The State Capitol houses all three branches of government and none of the branches, agencies, or departments are charged rent. Operations are funded through an appropriation from the State’s General Fund.|
|New Hampshire||The cost for all the space in the State Capitol is included in the building operating budget 100% general funds. As such, no one is charged rent in the State Capitol, either legislative or executive.|
|Oklahoma||Only one. A barber shop has a $10 a month lease.|
The following entities are charged for rent in the State Capitol:
(Anthony Ifie with Enterprise Services)
|Yes. There are five non-legislative organizations and authorities that occupy office space on the Washington State Capitol Campus (2 news organizations, one lobby consortium, and a tribal nonprofit organization, and a visitor bureau) and they all pay rent.|
(Jordan Friedberg with Enterprise Services)
|All organizations renting any kind of space in the State Capitol are charged rent, regardless if they are legislative organizations, non-legislative organizations, state agencies, or private organizations.|
|West Virginia|| |
Some, but not all, non-legislative entities occupying space in our State Capitol are charged rent. These entities are:
|Wisconsin||No. The entire State Capitol building is rent-free.|
Posted on May 20, 2014 in Health & Human Services
(The information presented here is in response to a request for details on state efforts to restructure and reorganize the agencies responsible for child welfare services)
For ease of review, this research is presented in three main sections: Section (1) refers to information compiled by the federal government in relation to state efforts to restructure their child welfare services; section (2) deals with information related to the efforts initiated by several states (Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Texas); and, finally section (3), provides details on an important trend that has emerged in the last decade: state efforts to privatize the provision of foster care services. It is also important to mention that our research reveals that over the past 15 years or so, there have been two waves of reform efforts: one that began in the early 2000s and one that is in progress currently.
Section (1) – Federal Information
The trend of social service and foster care reform in our states tends to follow the enactment of federal legislation on the subject. In the early 2000s, many states began to reevaluate and reform their social service and foster care systems. Since that time, numerous studies and reports have been produced chronicling these reforms and their effectiveness. We have provided you with a sampling of assessments of these reform efforts.
Following the enactment of the federal Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act in 2011, the newest wave of social service and foster care reform began gathering momentum. While many states are currently seeking to make changes, whether it is to improve effectiveness or address a specific problem, there is little research on the outcomes to date.
The resources included here provide reports and evaluations that offer examples of what other states have done and are doing with state foster care services. Each resource will provide some information and guidance on the problems, solutions, and outcomes since the turn of the century, encompassing both waves of reforms mentioned at the outset.
Section (2) – Information from States
During the 1970s and 1980s, Alabama’s efforts to assist troubled families and protect children were found inadequate. Forced by a legal settlement to make changes after parents and advocates filed a class-action lawsuit charging that the system failed to aid troubled families or protect children from neglect or abuse, Alabama more than quadrupled its spending on child welfare in the decade after 1990, even as it trimmed other programs in recent years. By 2005, the state’s record was most impressive and child welfare advocates across the nation lauded Alabama for implementing one of the country's most sweeping transformations of the handling of neglected and abused children.
Here are several articles that deal with the transformation process:
By the end of 2012, Arizona’s child welfare system was in need of serious reform and members of the public and officials across the political spectrum were agitating for change. The state’s child welfare agency was struggling to care for a record number of foster children amidst a shortage of foster homes, a backlog of thousands of cases and hundreds more that were not investigated, and worker caseloads that averaged twice the national standard. By early 2013, more than 2,000 of the 14,100 Arizona children in foster care were living in crisis shelters and group homes. In response, Arizona initiated sweeping reforms and these links provide some details on these efforts.
By mid-year 2012, Kansas saw a massive reorganization of the administrative and organizational structure of the state’s agencies serving children and adults. Under the reorganization, the Department for Children and Families (DCF) replaced the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS). In its new incarnation, DCF will deal with children and adult protection services, adoption services, foster care support, child support services, welfare and food assistance programs, and programs dedicated to vocational rehabilitation. Some of the former SRS functions were moved to an expanded agency now called the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. This new agency administers services to older adults; mental health, addiction and prevention programs; state hospitals and institutions; home and community-based services waiver programs and some health occupations credentialing. It will be the second largest agency in Kansas state government. Details of the reorganization are found below.
By the mid-2000s, the child welfare system in a number of Pennsylvania cities and counties faced a crisis situation. Children in the system had died needlessly because of "significant system failures" that were ailing the city and state-controlled child welfare agencies. The links below provide details on the reform effort and the significant improvements detected in several key areas.
Section (3): Privatization of Children’s Services
An important development in the last decade in the foster care system involves the call to privatize elements of the entire operation. There is increased debate and movement in states across the country towards transferring all prevention and foster care placement services to children towards private agencies.