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As More Prisons Shutter, Governments Wonder What to Do With Them

Distilleries? Homeless shelters? Museums? There are lots of creative ideas for repurposing old lockups. But finding one that's good for the economy -- and wins approval -- isn't easy.


In School Funding Court Battles, There's Been a Winning Shift

The legal strategy to get states to provide adequate education funding has changed -- and it's working in schools' favor.

A Downsized Public Workforce May Be a Permanent Consequence of the Recession

State and local governments still haven't regained many of the jobs they cut, and they're unlikely to anytime soon.

Improper Influence? Who, Us?

Wisconsin's Supreme Court justices refused to tighten the rules about when they should recuse themselves from cases. It has sparked a battle between old judges and new ones.


A young black woman taking notes during a meeting.

How Some Cities Are Getting Millennials' Aid for Free

The David Bohnett Foundation is funding a pipeline -- albeit, small -- of young people who want to work in local government.


A Tale of Two Recoveries a Decade Since the Recession

The largest metro areas and those with highly educated workforces have rebounded well, but many other regions have struggled to recover job losses.


Study: Housing the Homeless Can Drastically Cut the Government's Health Care Costs

It adds to the growing body of evidence that addressing homelessness saves money elsewhere.


Where Have All the Black Mayors Gone?

Depending on the outcome of a potential recount, Atlanta's election on Tuesday could either counter or worsen the nationwide decline in the number of big-city black mayors.


Don’t Rush New Sexual Harassment Policies, Some Women Lawmakers Warn

The Illinois legislature was one of the first in the country to confront the fallout of the #metoo movement. Lawmakers there worry that going too fast could result in faulty policies.

Meet the Moderates

These politicians and candidates are breaking with today's aggressively partisan times to advocate a more centrist line.

A First Among States, California Plugs the 'Carbon Loophole'

The new Buy Clean California Act is the world’s first legislative effort to address supply chain carbon emissions.

Supporters of Medicaid expansion celebrate their victory in November.

Maine's Obamacare Vote Revives Expansion Debate in Some States

Last month's election has re-energized Obamacare advocates. Meanwhile in Maine, the matter is being complicated by Gov. Paul LePage, who has vowed not to implement an expansion until lawmakers show how they'll fund it.


The GOP Tax Bills Are Infrastructure Bills Too. Here’s Why.

Congressional Republicans are pushing a major overhaul of the country’s tax code. Many of the ideas they’re debating could have a big impact on infrastructure.

• GOP Tax Plan Puts Billions in Muni Market Savings at Risk

NEWS IN NUMBERS

$90 million

Savings that Missouri's largest pension system is estimated to get from offering former employees the chance to choose between a smaller lump sum payment now and monthly pension checks later. Almost 4,000 people took the buyout.

MORE DIGITS
A woman helping a homeless veteran on the street.

The Only U.S. Agency Dedicated to Homelessness Could Be Shut Down

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness helped end veteran homelessness in some places and reduce overall homelessness. The White House and House Republicans want it gone.

• Cities Have a New Target for Ending Homelessness: Landlords

Welfare Programs Appear Safe From Trump's Cuts, for Now

Even if Congress passes a spending bill without the president's proposed cuts to programs that help the poor, it's likely to consider more serious changes next year.

Central Florida Already Struggled to Provide Health Care and Affordable Housing. Then Hurricane Refugees Poured In.

The region is coping with one of the biggest influxes of Puerto Ricans fleeing the hurricane-ravaged island.

The Opioid Files: More Than 100 States and Cities Are Suing Drug Companies

Lawsuits are being filed practically every week. Will governments prevail over the pharmaceutical industry like they did the tobacco industry in the 1990s?

• Amid Opioid Crisis, States Start Embracing Alternative Medicine
COMMENTARY

Governing in the Age of the Artificially Intelligent City

The public sector needs a discussion about issues of transparency, fairness and the preservation of human values.

COMMENTARY

A Comprehensive Approach to Equitable Procurement in Government

Minnesota's efforts to bring diversity and inclusivity to its contracting and purchasing are setting the pace.

COMMENTARY

Shaking Up Sleepy Bureaucratic Processes

It's called 'service design.' The idea is to combine behavioral science with a participatory approach to making public services work better.

Our 2017 Public Officials of the Year

This group of honorees serves as an outstanding example of the strong determination, the bold ideas and the incredible amount of grit it takes to get things done in government.