Center for Effective Government Applauds New Executive Order to Rein in Government Contractors with History of Labor Violations

"We applaud the new executive order requiring that federal agencies consider the record of labor violations of companies competing for federal contracts. For too long, companies with a long history of substantial violations of labor law have continued to be awarded profitable government contracts while treating employees abysmally and violating the law. Congress's investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), has reported that billions of dollars in taxpayer monies are annually awarded to companies that routinely violate our labor standards."

read in full

The Unemployed: We Need Action, Not Excuses

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2014—At the close of seven weeks of "Witness Wednesdays" events on Capitol Hill, advocates and lawmakers issued an urgent call to renew emergency unemployment compensation ahead of the August recess. As members of Congress head home for town hall meetings and listening sessions, nine and a half million unemployed Americans will have the opportunity to directly contact them.

read in full

Americans Enjoy Major Benefits from Public Health, Safety, Environmental Protections, New Study Finds

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2014—A new study released today by the Center for Effective Government adds to an expanding body of evidence demonstrating that public health, safety, and environmental protections provide significant, important benefits to the American people. These standards improve our nation's quality of life and public confidence in American products and businesses.

read in full

Center for Effective Government Applauds Senate Legislation to Strengthen Freedom of Information Act

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2014—Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and John Cornyn (R-TX) today introduced legislation to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The bill would significantly improve access to public information. The Center for Effective Government applauds the work done to develop this legislation and urges the Senate to quickly pass the bill.

read in full

"Witness Wednesdays" Advocates Stand in Solidarity with 3 Million Unemployed Americans Struggling to Find Jobs

WASHINGTON, DC—Starting today and running until July 30, leaders and advocates from a wide range of backgrounds will gather weekly on the House Triangle in Washington, DC at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time for "Witness Wednesdays." There, they will read the stories of some of the 3 million long-term unemployed Americans who have lost federal unemployment benefits and call for action to help their fellow citizens.

This summer's "Witness Wednesdays" represent a national effort to push for passage of federal unemployment assistance for the long-term unemployed.

read in full

Calls for Required Safeguards from Disasters Grow as Obama Administration Releases Report on Chemical Plant Safety and Security

While we are pleased the Working Group report included some of the recommendations made by the most endangered communities and workers, if the Obama administration is serious about protecting workers and communities, the president must stand up for prevention requirements that include safer chemicals and processes. The people of West, Texas deserve better than the voluntary half-measures in today's report. They, and millions of Americans like them, deserve real safeguards from the threat of chemical disasters that are adopted as enforceable requirements – not just voluntary recommendations that the industry can ignore until the next disaster. The true test of President Obama's call to action will come with the EPA's Request For Information (RFI), due to be issued in the Federal Register in the coming weeks.

read in full

New Report Documents Black and Latino Communities at Higher Risk for Chemical Catastrophe

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2014—The Environmental Justice and Health Alliance (EJHA), a national coalition of grassroots groups working on toxic chemical exposures that impact communities of color, released a new report today in collaboration with the Center for Effective Government and Coming Clean. The report – Who's in Danger? A Demographic Analysis of Chemical Disaster Vulnerability Zones – uses data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Census to demonstrate an association between lower average housing values, incomes, and education levels, higher rates of poverty, and that many Black, Latino, and low-income populations are living within chemical disaster "vulnerability zones" of 3,433 industrial facilities across the U.S. The risk of danger is much greater for Black & Latino communities than for the U.S. as a whole – the very definition of an unequal or disproportionate danger.

read in full

One Year after West, Texas: One in Ten Students Attends School in the Shadow of a Risky Chemical Facility

WASHINGTON, April 16, 2014—One year after the fertilizer facility explosion in West, Texas, which destroyed and severely damaged nearby schools, an analysis by the Center for Effective Government finds that nearly one in ten American schoolchildren live and study within one mile of a potentially dangerous chemical facility.

read in full

New Report: Shrinking Corporate Tax Base is Wreaking Havoc on State Budgets

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2014—A new report published today by Center for Effective Government and National People’s Action uncovers how the shrinking corporate tax base is driving critical budget shortfalls and service cuts at the state and federal level. The report outlines exactly how much revenue has been lost due to a precipitous decline in corporate income tax rates and an explosion of loopholes. The report shows that since the recession, corporate income tax revenues have shrunk considerably, despite soaring profits, leaving individuals to pick up the slack.

read in full

Open Government Scorecard Finds Agencies Still Struggling to Effectively Implement the Freedom of Information Act

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2014—In a new report published today, the Center for Effective Government grades 15 key agencies on how well they have implemented our most fundamental right-to-know law – the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). While several agencies received top scores in one of the three areas examined, no one agency earned a top overall grade of an A, and seven agencies received failing grades.

read in full