This Week in the News…

Posted: December 12, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Sunday, Dec. 7, Chicago Tribune

Government Paperwork Still Plagues Small Businesses in Computer Age

“Businesses and citizens spent 8.2 billion hours and $320 billion collecting and submitting data to the government last fiscal year, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. Historical comparisons are not available, but both government and business officials say the paperwork burden on businesses, particularly small firms, is growing. While recent legislation and new technology is expected to relieve some paperwork headaches for small firms, a steady stream of new laws and regulations continues to generate more paperwork for companies. ‘It’s clearly a problem that’s gotten worse,’ said Mark Crain, an economics professor at George Mason University, who has studied the effect of regulations on small businesses.”

Monday, Dec. 8, Associated Press

Democrats Seek Independent Body to Map Political Boundaries

Twelve states have some form of independent body that redraws legislative districts, including Idaho and Arizona, the most recent states to form commissions. Six states use an independent commission to draw congressional districts. Five states have commissions that finish the process if lawmakers cannot agree by a deadline. ‘It’s a good idea, absolutely. The attempt is to remove politics as much as possible’ from redistricting, said Michael McDonald, a George Mason University professor who specializes on the subject. ‘This is one of the most highly charged political decisions that you can make.'”

Tuesday, Dec. 9, USA Today

Fed-up States Defy Washington

“States have been influencing national policy for more than a century. ‘It’s an old story,’ says Timothy Conlan, a professor at George Mason University and an expert on state and federal relations. ‘What’s different today is that the sides have flipped. You didn’t have conservatives making these complaints when liberal Democrats were dictating the agenda in Washington.’ States’ rights gained the most attention in the 1950s and 1960s, when Southern states trying to preserve racial segregation fought federal actions to enforce civil rights measures. Experts agree that states have been more effective trying to set national policy recently. The reason: State governments are more professional than in the past and have access to an increasingly powerful federal court system.”

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