ISSUE 110 | June 9 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Hazleton Police Department ordered to remove language barrier 
The Department of Justice has completed a civil rights investigation, resulting in a settlement with the Hazleton Police Department.

The department must provide written material in both English and Spanish, as well as other “appropriate language assistance,” to community members.

These requirements must also include staff training and recruitment, and hiring of bilingual officers.  

Philadelphia forms Citizens Police Oversight Commission 
Philadelphia’s city council has passed a bill to establish a watchdog group with the goal of identifying and investigating police misconduct.

The effort is intended to boost police accountability and resident trust.

This is one component of the city’s police reforms prompted by George Floyd’s murder. 

Multiple studies suggest that Medicaid expansion is beneficial to states
The Kaiser Family Foundation has compiled results from numerous studies of Medicaid expansion and concluded that the reported benefits are valid and varied.

These benefits include positive health outcomes for residents, which in turn provide an overall cost savings in state expenditures.

Pennsylvania expanded Medicaid in 2015, under the Affordable Care Act.

Research Spotlight: The Institute's 2018 Housing Task Force Study explores the value of aging in place - particularly for Northeastern Pennsylvania's growing senior population. Use the link below and click on the red box labeled 'Housing' to scroll down and access the study.

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Columbia University researchers estimate impact of Child Tax Credit 
According to researchers at Columbia University, temporary monthly payments to be issued as part of the COVID-19 aid bill have the potential to boost 45 percent of children living in poverty above the poverty line.

The university’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy indicates that this no-strings policy can be transformative for children.

It may even and force leadership in the U.S. to rethink social policy and safety net programs in general. 

Medicare for 60-year-olds not necessarily a good alternative 
President Biden has proposed lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 years, with hopes of improving access to affordable coverage.

An Avalere Health study indicated that it may be more expensive than other plans, however.

Universal acceptance is the main benefit of Medicare. 

“Aging-Friendly” city empowers seniors and enhances quality of life
A small city in Germany has established its own Department of Future Aging (DFA), with two staff people and $24k.

Input from the aging population has informed the layouts of residential complexes, the physical design of the community, and accommodations for individuals with dementia.

The DFA has expanded to support more than 200 projects “through advice and direction, training, development, networking and collaborative funding.” 

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