ISSUE 148 | March 16, 2022
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
PA considers statewide needle exchange
Over 5,400 overdose deaths occurred in Pennsylvania within just 12 months.

Lawmakers are now considering a bill allowing communities to operate syringe services programs.

Such programs currently exist in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as many states across the country. 

School and child care issues hinder PA parents' employability at rate lower than national average
About six percent of U.S. parents are not working due to issues surrounding child care and/or school.

That average is five percent in the Commonwealth.

These challenges disproportionately affects women and single parents, regardless of gender. 

PA considering auto-IRA option for private sector workers
PA is considering legislation that would create auto-IRAs and encourage more residents to save for retirement.

Auto-IRAs are payroll deduction savings programs in which workers deposit money directly from their paychecks into accounts they can manage.

Although workers would be automatically enrolled, they would have the ability opt out or change their contributions or investments at any time.

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Cedar Rapids leverages friendly competition to promote sustainability
The city’s new climate action plan encourages direct participation in sustainability activities.

These activities may involve riding bikes, planting gardens, shopping secondhand, raising chickens, etc.

Community residents may access an educational portal, where they can also track their efforts earn rewards. 

Collaboration and data sharing aid eradication of homelessness
Multiple entry points for resources, as well as lack of data and tracking, mean that individuals experiencing homelessness may get lost in a system and miss available benefits.

That’s why an innovative methodology was implemented upon the launch of Built for Zero, an initiative that trains organizations instead of providing services directly.

Interagency coordination, along with a shared assessment tool, will enhance engagement and accountability.

Research indicates COVID relocation not as significant as once thought
Since the onset of the pandemic, conversations have swirled about a mass exodus from cities to suburban or rural areas.

Recent research found that only three to five percent of Americans who relocated did so because of COVID, however.

Some major cities have been adversely affected because people moved to follow availability of jobs. 

Research Spotlight!
When it comes to data sharing, The Institute is the region's leading advocate! In fact, the annual Indicators Forum is right around the corner! Register to attend in person or virtually, and gain access to the latest data as well as a new series of Task Force Research.

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