- As the debate continued over Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to close 10 prisons, he said he was open to to letting lawmakers figure out which to close as part of the budget process, not afterward as he had planned.
- On the Medicaid front, Gov. Cuomo's redesign team announced 49 ideas for cutting costs.
- Mayor Bloomberg released his 2012 fiscal year budget on February 17.
- The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services released figures for the number of low-level marijuana arrests in New York City in 2010, which showed that these charges made up 15% of all arrests, the highest of any category.
- President Obama defended his budget plan this week, as details emerged and analysts raised questions about the plan's call for a decrease to Health and Human Services funding and changes to juvenile justice grants. We are reviewing specific proposals in the budget that will affect people with drug and alcohol histories, criminal records and HIV/AIDS and will circulate our analysis in the coming days.
- The proposal does, however, increase funding for some key HIV/AIDS initiatives.
- Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced HR 321, the "Equal Employment for All Act," which would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to restrict employers' use of employee credit reports; four states - Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington - already have laws restricting employer use of employee credit reports, and 13 more states are considering legislation that would impose similar restrictions.
- PreventionWorks, the leading provider of clean needles in Washington, DC, announced that it would close by the end of the month, citing financial troubles.
- In his first major piece of legislation, Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia has moved to create a council to study alternatives to incarceration.
- In upcoming weeks, advocates will be gearing up to oppose the drug testing of welfare recipients in at least 10 states and the federal level.