The Northeast's Smoky Start to Summer
As wildfire smoke covered the mid-Atlantic this past week, the long-term effects of climate change come into focus.
Last week New York City experienced extremely unhealthy air quality as a plume from on-going Canadian wildfires settled over the region. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) metric for reporting air quality and ranges from 0 to 500 — a higher value indicates a greater level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. On Wednesday, June 7, the daily average reached a record 204 — and a peak of 460.
Canada’s wildfire season is May through October and is already on track to be the worst ever. NOAA satellites are monitoring more than 400 fires currently burning across Canada. Unusually hot and dry weather triggered an early and intense start to the season. As the wildfire season continues, similar to what has happened on the west coast in past years, the Northeast may experience further bouts of extremely unhealthy air.
Drought, Wildfires, and Other Climate News
State Budget News
Debt-Limit Bill Cancels Almost $30 Billion in Pandemic Relief Funding Wall Street Journal
Connecticut Senate passes $51 billion budget with historic tax cut Associated Press
Justice: WV revenue collection surpasses $5.9B for the year Charleston Gazette-Mail
New Book on Responding to State and Local Government Fiscal Crises
The Era of Flush State Budgets Is Over The Atlantic
Special Briefing: Avoiding Municipal Distress Volcker Alliance
The air pollution in New York City on June 7, 2023 reached historically high levels, surpassing previous records.
Concentration of Particulate Matter (PM) reached the highest level since recording began in 1999.
Pollution levels surpassed the previous worst daily average record in San Francisco during Northern California wildfires and approached levels recorded in Portland, OR during its worst pollution from 2020 wildfires.
The average level of the particles in the air across seven stations in the city was nearly 6x higher than the safe threshold set by the EPA.
What Do the Early Medicaid Unwinding Data Tell Us? Kaiser Family Foundation
Among 12 states that have reported data, over half a million enrollees have been disenrolled, with Florida alone accounting for nearly 250,000.
Procedural disenrollments, where individuals are disenrolled due to incomplete enrollment processes, are notably high in several states, exceeding 80% in Arkansas, Indiana, Florida, and West Virginia.
The median disenrollment rate among the states that reported both total completed renewals and total disenrollments is 34.5%, highlighting the substantial impact of the resumption of Medicaid disenrollments.
How Have State and Local Governments Invested SLFRF Dollars in Community Violence Interventions Over the Last Two Years? Joyce Foundation sponsored research
State and local investments of SLFRF dollars to thee community-based violence intervention programs (CVIs) spending category have been limited.
Governments may have different interpretations of the Treasury Department's “community violence intervention” category. Consequently, projects categorized under CVI spending may not necessarily align with community violence intervention tactics.
Analysis suggests state and local governments are likely incorrectly classifying a substantial number of projects as CVI.
Maximizing new federal investments in broadband for rural America Brookings Institution
A significant portion of unserved and underserved communities, particularly in rural areas, lack access to physical broadband, with 17.3% of rural Americans and 20.9% of Tribal lands without access.
Successful implementation of broadband initiatives such as the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program (BEAD) requires authentic community engagement, addressing barriers such as limited capacity, financial constraints, and low levels of trust, while integrating key principles like accessibility, inclusion, and sustained engagement.
The size and Census coverage of the U.S. homeless population Journal of Urban Economics
The size and characteristics of the homeless population in the U.S. remain uncertain due to incomplete and unreliable existing data. A comparison of different data sources reveals discrepancies and challenges in accurately measuring homelessness.
Preliminary findings suggest that approximately 400,000 individuals experience homelessness in shelters on a given night, with an additional 200,000 people estimated to be sleeping on the streets.
Over 90% of those in shelters appear to be captured in the Census data, although the classification of many as housed or in other group quarters raises ambiguity due to shelter definitions.
Capital appreciation bonds and the cost of borrowing Public Budgeting & Finance
Capital Appreciation Bonds (CABs) are a financial tool used by jurisdictions facing rapid growth or fiscal challenges, providing a bridge across multiple fiscal years.
Empirical evidence from independent school districts in Texas, the main users of CABs in the state, shows associations between CABs and fiscal pressure.
The implementation of limits on debt repayment ratios has proven to be a suitable legislative measure to address concerns associated with CABs, despite the potential exaggeration of borrowing cost threats.
Any opinions expressed herein are those of the author and the author alone.