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Good to Know…Week of September 26, 2011


HEALTH CARE
Young Adults Gain Health Insurance Under New Law
Nearly 1 million more young adults have obtained health insurance since the 2010 health-care law began requiring insurers to let adult children stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, according to government data released Wednesday.

To read this article, go to: WashingtonPost.com

29 States Get Grants to Boost Health Insurer Oversight
The Obama administration hopes the money will help keep premium increases in check.

To read this article, go to: LATimes.com

County Expects to Save Millions on Health care
King County employees are getting healthier, and that will save the county money–big money. Costs are so much lower than expected that the county says it will be able to save $23 million in this year’s budget and will spend $38 million less than planned in 2012, County Executive Dow Constantine said on Tuesday.

To read this article, go to: SeattleTimes.com

5 Technologies Every Hospital Should be Using
With new health IT products springing up left and right, you may find yourself swimming in a sea of apps, updates, frameworks and systems.

To read this article, go to: HealthcareITNews.com

WORKFORCE
OPM Survey Shows Feds Upbeat Despite Challenges
Nearly all of the 266,000 workers surveyed said their work is important and enjoyable. The vast majority said their supervisors treat them with respect. Seven out of 10 would recommend their organizations as good places to work.

To read this article, go to: FederalNewsRadio.com

The Best Federal Agencies, According to Their Employees
On Thusday, the Office of Personnel Management released the results of its latest Employee Viewpoint Survey.

To read this article, go to: GovExec.com

Do Regulations Really Kill Jobs Overall? Not So Much
It’s become a mantra on Capitol Hill and a rallying cry for industry groups: Get rid of the job-killing regulations. In recent days, with nearly every one of the GOP presidential candidates repeating that refrain, the political echo chamber has grown even louder.

To read this article, go to: ProPublica.org

Are Teleworkers Slacking Off?
If you ever had an inkling of doubt about the productivity claims of private-sector teleworkers, your reservations might just have been proven right: The findings of a new survey show that nearly one-fifth of those surveyed said they spend one hour or less per day actually working.

To read this article, go to: FCW.com

TECHNOLOGY AND CYBERSECURITY
Cuts to E-Gov Fund Could Slow Federal Cloud Transition
Current funding levels for electronic government initiatives in the House and Senate Appropriations committees could cripple the government’s ability to modernize federal information technology and thereby save money in the long run, a General Services Administration official told lawmakers Wednesday.

To read this article, go to: NextGov.com

For Police, Wearable Cameras are the New Blue
Police have long included cameras on the dashboards of cruisers to record events during traffic stops or other incidents. Now they are increasingly taking cameras with them on foot.

To read this article, go to: GCN.com

Do Surveillance Systems Reduce Crime?
Cities around the country have been installing camera systems in recent years, often funded by federal Homeland Security grants, and many have reported good results, but independent research on their effectiveness has been scarce, according to the Urban Institute.

To read this article, go to: GCN.com

Employee-owned Mobile Devices Cause Stress for Agency IT Shops
The use of mobile devices by government employees has become widespread and public sector IT departments are struggling with managing, securing and monitoring the devices, according to a new survey sponsored by Dell KACE.

To read this article, go to: FCW.com

EDUCATION
Obama Administration Sets Rules for NCLB Waivers
The Obama administration on Thursday afternoon said it will waive the cornerstone requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, including the 2014 deadline that all students be proficient in math and language arts, and will give states the freedom to set their own student-achievement goals, and design their own interventions for failing schools.

To read this article, go to: EdWeek.org

America’s Most Outrageous Teacher Cheating Scandals
As we reported last week, many states have failed to implement simple and effective checks for teacher cheating. Scandals involving cheating by teachers and schools to pump up ever-more-important student test scores swept the country this summer. But they’ve also been happening for years, and oversight is only now beginning to catch up.

To read this article, go to: ProPublica.org

GOVERNMENT WASTE
Americans Believe Government Wastes More Money than Ever
Americans think the federal government wastes just over half the money it spends, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday. Americans now estimate that the federal government wastes 51 cents on the dollar, a new high since Gallup first began asking the question in 1979.

To read this article, go to: GovExec.com

The Arkansas Approach: How One State has Avoided Fiscal Disaster
So it’s not that Arkansas is a rich state–it’s just that it has been able to operate pretty normally in years when most other states are suffering severe fiscal pain. And that turns largely on the way it manages its government finances.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

FOOD AND ENERGY
Let Them Eat Ethanol and Cash
How biofuels and speculation are driving food prices to scary new heights.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

The Top Five Transit Technologies for the Low-Carbon Economy
People need to move around, but we can do it in a less impactful way with these five innovations. Some are new and some are old, but together they could remake transportation.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

POLITICS
Voters Want State Government Reform
Americans believe that bold action to restrict spending is necessary to stabilize the finances of state government.

To read this article, go to: Wall Street Journal

Plan to Further Restrict Contact with Lobbyists Draws Criticism
Proposed Office of Government Ethics rule would expand limits on gifts and events to cover all civil servants.

To read this article, go to: GovExec.com

Political Ads Coming to Twitter
Twitter users will soon see political ads on the social-networking site, just in time for next year’s presidential election.

To read this article, go to: USAToday.com

INTERESTING…
The Syrian War Crowdsourcing Experiment
Amnesty International USA and the Standby Task Force have launched an ambitious campaign to crowdsource analysis of Syrian satellite imagery for military movements, demonstrations, and checkpoints. So far, volunteers have tagged more than 2,000 potential troublespots. Is DIY intelligence analysis the future of human rights work?

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

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