No longer just concerned with saving the state's underfunded pension system money, reform efforts now seek to stop allowing interlopers who aren't state workers into the taxpayer-supported retirement systems.
States are trying to figure out ways to stem the tide of the secret money that played an unprecedented role in the 2012 election cycle. The first step is to force tax-exempt advocacy organizations and trade associations out of the shadows.
Advocates for the poor now say that by weeding out a relatively small number of people with too many assets, the Department of Public Welfare made getting food stamps so complicated that deserving low-income people became inundated by paperwork and lost their benefits.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation providing $24 million to clear the backlog of weapons known to be in the hands of people who purchased them legally but were then disqualified from owning one. The funds will be used to hire 36 additional special agents.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott vetoed an emotionally charged bill that would have ended permanent alimony in divorce cases, but signed into law ethics and campaign finance measures that were important to legislative leaders.
A pension reform bill that would have moved new state workers and teachers into a 401K plan and blocked them from enrolling in the state pension system, failed in the Florida senate. Several Republicans joined the Democratic minority to defeat the measure 22-18.
The names of hundreds of thousands of current and former New Jersey residents who have been involuntarily committed to psychiatric facilities have been added to an FBI database used to bar firearms purchases by people with criminal records or a history of mental illness.
Lawmakers passed a law in 2009 that limits public scrutiny of the child-welfare system. With an increased number of children dying while under the care of the state, many are questioning whether the law is good policy.
Detroit's Dave Bing has taken the first steps towards exploring a bid for reelection. An already crowded field will mean an uphill battle for the unpopular mayor, who has taken blame for the city's financial meltdown that led to a state-takeover.