New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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2001 U.S. Community Technology Centers Policy Overview

An assessment of federal community technology funding policy.

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OMB Watch and Community Technology

OMB Watch is a nonprofit research, educational, and advocacy organization that focuses on budget issues, regulatory policy, nonprofit advocacy, access to government information, and the effects of technology on nonprofit organizations. To a large extent, we work with and through the nonprofit sector because of its vital place in our communities and our faith that the sector can play a powerful role in revitalizing our democratic principles. Despite the growing ubiquity of the Internet, we have found that there is still a problem with low-income, minority, and rural groups gaining access to both basic and higher-end technology and communications resources. It is often argued that schools and libraries can bridge the gap in access to computers and to the Internet. But this hope is not fully borne out by the current situation. Not surprisingly, access is not distributed randomly, but correlated strongly with income and education. There is, however, growing support and an increase in the number of community technology efforts working to meet the needs of the underserved in America -- minority, low-income, homeless, elderly, people with disabilities, and immigrant populations, in urban and rural areas. These community technology centers are an integral part of the communities they serve. OMB Watch is working with an ad hoc coalition of nonprofit organizations to rectify the problem of inequity by highlighting opportunities for community technology centers to take advantage of federal funding resources, and expressing support for the proposed appropriations of $100 million for Community Technology Centers under the FY 2001 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. OMB Watch seeks to provide opportunities for nonprofits to learn about and utilize newer technologies for public policy activities; improve communication and coordination between technology and public policy professionals in the nonprofit sector; and ways to increase the accessibility to and comfort level with these tools for all citizens. In all our work, we are guided by the belief that improving access to our governmental decision-makers and energizing citizen participation leads to a more just, equitable and accountable government, and a healthier civil society civil society.

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Mixed Funding News for Community Technology

Recently-passed FY '02 appropriations present a mixed picture for federal community technology funding.

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Letter to Senator Graham on the "Leaks" Provision in the Upcoming Intelligence Authorization Bill

OMB Watch will not let the government criminalize "leaked" information. Read our letter to Senator Graham urging him to not include the provision in the upcoming Intelligence Authorization bill. Dear Senator Graham:

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Community Technology Programs Cut Back in FY '03 Budget

On February 4, 2002, President Bush released his FY '03 budget request. The proposal calls for eliminating two successful community technology programs -- one at the Department of Commerce, the other at the Department of Education -- and increasing a HUD program that allows funds to be used for community technology programs but does not require it.

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President Clinton Proposes Seven-Item Digital Divide Initiative

President Clinton has proposed a seven part initiative to move "from digital divide to digital opportunity." The objective is to not only accelerate access to computer technology, but also to "promote content and applications of technology that will help empower underserved communities."

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State of the Union 2000 Comments on CTCs

President Clinton drew attention to Community Technology Centers (CTCs) in his 2000 State of the Union Address. "Opportunity for all requires something else today -- having access to a computer and knowing how to use it. That means we must close the digital divide between those who've got the tools and those who don't. Connecting classrooms and libraries to the Internet is crucial, but it's just a start. My budget.... creates technology centers in 1,000 communities to serve adults. This spring, I'll invite high-tech leaders to join me on another New Markets tour, to close the digital divide and open opportunity for our people."

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CTCs Receive Increase In Funding to $32.5 million

On November 29, 1999, President Clinton signed into law P.L. 106-113, an Act which funds a number of Federal agencies, including the Department of Education, for fiscal year 2000 (October 1, 1999 through September 30, 2000). The final appropriation for the Community Technology Centers (CTC) program was $32.5 million.

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Vice President Gore Announces FY 1999 CTC Grants

Vice President Gore Announces 40 awards for the Community Technology Centers FY 1999 competition.

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Community Technology Centers: Closing the Digital Divide

OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy group, announces its support for President Clinton and Vice President Gore in their efforts to secure $65 million in support of Community Technology Centers (CTCs) to help close the digital divide.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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