by Amanda Zamora ProPublica, Feb. 6, 2015, 3:50 p.m.
How prepared are U.S. schools for measles? Most states don’t keep those records. A USA Today analysis found just 13 states met federal standards for collecting school-level immunization records. In those states — which included California — vaccination rates fell below the minimum standard of 90% at nearly one in seven schools. “Where [data] don’t exist, I consider it a basic failure of public health,” said one expert. Related: See vaccination rates for schools in 13 states. — USA Today via @MeghanHoyer
Thousands of nursing employees hurt themselves lifting patients every year, sometimes with career-ending injuries. In fact, nursing assistants get hurt more than warehouse workers, truckers and stock clerks. But despite the high injury rate, researchers suggest hospitals are still training nurses to lift patients with “proper body mechanics” techniques that are actually dangerous. One researcher studied auto factory workers who were banned from lifting more than 35 pounds on the job, “93 percent men, heavily tattooed, macho workforce.” Meanwhile, nurses are expected to lift patients who weigh much more at U.S. hospitals “a dozen or more times every day.” — NPR via @alicyp
The arcane policy that won this $100 million penthouse a 95% tax break. New York City’s 421-a program was originally established to spur development amid an economic slump in the early 1970s. Now, developers are expected to set aside 20 percent of their projects for affordable housing in order to qualify for the huge tax exemptions. About 150,000 units qualified for more than $1 billion in tax cuts in 2013. How many were for affordable units? Less than 9 percent. — New York Times via @dabeard
“It’s an unfolding catastrophe.” California regulators are supposed to protect the state’s groundwater from contamination. Instead, regulators have “allowed companies to drill more than 170 waste-disposal wells into aquifers suitable for drinking or irrigation,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports, raising concerns of potential contamination especially in areas hard hit by drought. — San Francisco Chronicle via @joannalin
These ‘deadbeat’ politicians owe more than $1 million in never-paid penalties. But taxpayers shouldn’t expect to see the money any time soon. There isn’t much the Federal Election Commission can do besides transfer unpaid debts (some of them more than 15 years old) to the U.S. Treasury for collection. “Debtor political committees offer various reasons — no money, no staff, standing on principle against the government — for not paying money federal officials say they owe. Some offer no reason at all.” — Center for Public Integrity via @mjbeckel
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