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Government Information: Current Topics

Use U.S., state, local or international resources to find information, research info or statistics.

End of Term archives

What happens to federal government websites when there is a change in administration?  They usually disappear, and all the research and work that is associated with that website is lost.  Federal Depository librarians across the country recognized this problem and created the End Of Term archives.  Websites from 2008 and 2012 have been captured and the team of librarians are working at capturing the 2016 federal websites before the new administration takes office.  

Recalls - this site pulls together all federal recalls, including consumer products, motor vehicles, food, medicine and environmental products.

Earthquake Information

Recent occurrences of earthquakes in the Midwest have been reported.  The US Geological Survey has released studies on this and issues revolving around "fracking".

To find information on the latest earthquakes, the US Geological Survey links to maps on California / Nevada.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has an excellent site with a pamphlet on "What to do before, during and after and earthquake".

The US Geologic Survey also has many resources on earthquakes, including the booklet, "Putting down roots in Earthquake Country".


Climate Change

The Federal Government has assembled data from various agencies to establish a Climate Data center. 

Hospital cost comparisons

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have provide a list that compares the cost of procedures at hospitals across the country. The data provided here include hospital-specific charges for the more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals that receive Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) payments for the top 100 most frequently billed discharges, paid under Medicare based on a rate per discharge using the Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Group (MS-DRG) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. 


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Jan 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.  Forty-five years later, his spirit continues to resonate.  The following links are to government publications recall his life and his influence on civil rights in the US.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Park, -- Take a virtual tour of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. home, Ebenezer Baptist Church and tomb of Dr. King.

Mountaintop speech     Dr. King gave a powerful speech to striking sanitation workers in Memphis on April 3, 1968. While much has been written about his speech and that he was assassinated the next day, the speech should be read for the spirit of Dr. King.

As part of the assassination investigation, the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives issued a report on James Earl Ray as the perpetrator of the murder:






Federal Forms - Find forms for taxes, social security, veterans, FEMA, etc.

City of San Jose Forms - Find city forms for small business, utilities, etc.


To find federal income tax forms; file your taxes and check the status of your returns, check the File Your Taxes site

For California taxes, the California Franchise Tax Board  website has forms and filing instructions.

IRS & apps!

The IRS has announced a new app, called IRS2Go for smartphones (iPhones and Droids). You can check the status of your federal income tax refund using IRS2Go. Simply enter your Social Security number, which will be masked and encrypted for security purposes, then select your filing status and enter the amount of your anticipated refund from your 2010 tax return. If you e-file your return, you can check your refund status within a few days. If you file a paper tax return, you will need to wait three to four weeks to check your refund status because it takes longer to process a paper return.

Intelligence report on Russian hacking

Current Economic Issues


California Budget - gives latest details on California's state budget, including contact information.

City of San Jose, CA budget - site includes budget discussions and contact information.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics -- from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, find data not only in San Jose, but across the nation.


Political Contributions

Political Contributions

Elections continue to be of interest and many people are interested in political contributions in terms of:

- political contributions by corporations
- corporate lobbying expenditures
- instances of and judgements/fines for legal and regulatory violations by corporations
- philanthropic contributions

Here is a summary provided by Chuck E. Malone of Western Illinois University::

VERY Good Chart from Federal Elections Commission of "How Much Can I Contribute?" I recommend looking at this first!

- political contributions by corporations

- corporations are legally forbidden to make campaign contributions
It is my understanding that corporations can then donate to Political Action Committees, PACS.

PACs database:

- additional organization and individual contributions databases:

- corporate lobbying expenditures

- instances of and judgements/fines for legal and regulatory violations by corporations

Regulatory violations and fines: Couldn't find any one database. Have to go to each regulatory agency that may have a database.
There are dozens and dozens of federal agencies with regulatory responsibilities.!aboutPartners lists some of those agencies. Many individual agencies have their own inspection/fines databases. Some examples:




EEOC has data, but not of individual companies


Legal Proceedings against a company:
Best source seems to be "Dossier" in the LexisNexis Academic database. Once in LN Academic, open "Search by Content Type" then under "Companies" open "Dossier(Company, Executive, & Industry" Then after typing in a company, and opening up the information on that company, on the left will be a link to Legal/Recent. Usually links directly to all the cases against the company.

Also, the 10-Q SEC report that companies have to file has a section, "Environmental and Legal" For SEC 10-Q reports, one can also use
or seemed to work better for me in finding the 10-Q report for a company.
and then once one brings up the 10-Q report, use the browsers Find button to search for Environmental. Sometimes this section of a company's 10-Q report is kind of general and broad. Other times specific environmental and legal issues are cited.

Also, LexisNexis Academic contains 10Q SEC reports from companies. Once in LN Academic, open "Search by Content Type" then under "Companies" open "SEC Filings" then search a company name, then look for 10Q reports, then use browser's Find button to search for the word environmental to find the "Environmental and Legal" sections

- - philanthropic contributions

Health Care in the US

October 1, 2013 is the start of the legislation known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

Not familiar with that term?  It is often referred to as Obamacare or just Affordable Healthcare. See our Research Guide for more information:


Susan Kendall

Susan Kendall
Website / Blog Page

College Scorecard

College Scorecard has an interactive pages to compare colleges as to rate of graduations, how much the average graduate makes, etc. Handy resource for high school students and parents to use when planning to apply for college.

Civil War Sesquicentennial

On April 12, 1861, the nation awoke to the news that Fort Sumter, S.C. had been attacked by secessionists. This was the start of the US Civil War. A libguide has been created using websites from government and educational sites. The libguide URL is

Census Info & San Jose

The Census Bureau released California data related to the 2010 Census. San Jose data can be found on the new American FactFinder 2