WATCH IT LIVE:

 

Nigel Jacob, Urban Technologist-in-Residence at Living Cities and convener of its City Accelerator initiative, speaks at Lipscomb University's Collaboration 101 conference about leading examples of urban innovation that relied on collaboration and the emerging practice of collective impact to improve the lives of low-income residents.
Jacob is scheduled to speak at 1:50 Eastern/ 12:50 Central/ 10:50 Pacific on Tuesday, October 21.

At 1:50 p.m., former POY and leader of the City Accelerator initiative Nigel Jacob will discuss urban innovations to help the poor.

 

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AUTHORS

Penelope Lemov is a correspondent and part-time editor for GOVERNING. She writes two e-newsletters -- one on finance, the other on taxes and revenue -- and edits features and columns every month. She is the former Health columnist for GOVERNING and was senior editor for several award-winning GOVERNING features. She is also the founder and writer of the blog, www.grownchildren.net.

Penelope Lemov
October 16, 2014

Can Income Tax Cuts Boost a State's Economy?

Two researchers say the answer comes down to how a tax cut is financed.
September 11, 2014

Cut! States Are Walking Back Film Tax Credits

Many states are rethinking once-popular production incentives -- a contrast from California, which is offering more to protect one of its biggest industries.
August 14, 2014

Congress Considers Reviving Risky Bonds to Boost Small Businesses

Industrial development bonds historically have the highest default rate, but a bill in Congress would revamp them.
July 17, 2014

States Take Note: FATCA Is Here

After years of planning, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is finally in effect. How will it affect your state?
June 12, 2014

The Complexities of Taxing the Cloud

Cloud sales are expected to generate billions in revenue this year, but state and local governments are unsure whether they can (and how they would) tax them.
May 29, 2014

States Search for Retirement Security Beyond Obama’s myRA

The president’s public retirement savings account only goes so far, so about a dozen states are looking for alternative ways to help their many constituents who have no nest egg.
May 15, 2014

2 Reasons to Be Upbeat About the Muni Bond Market

Although issuance is down, there have been a few good developments on the municipal bond front.
April 24, 2014

Corporate Tax Attacks in the States

At the same time states are looking to beef up corporate tax collections, they are also cutting corporate taxes.
April 10, 2014

Is it Time to Put a New Commuter Tax in Drive?

D.C.'s Tax Revision Commission has suggested an unusual way to broaden the city's tax base -- and get around the federal government.
March 27, 2014

The Time May Have Arrived for Online Sales Tax Fairness

Partially driven by a devastating alternative, Congress appears closer than ever to passing an Internet sales tax bill.
March 13, 2014

Public Pension Portfolios vs. Hedge Funds

A group of local pension plans has a strategy to fight 2-and-20 fees and lower the costs of private equity investments.
February 27, 2014

The Future of Financing Infrastructure

With the ways for funding transportation infrastructure changing, what options do Congress and the states have left?
February 13, 2014

10 Budgeting Tips for Long-Term Financial Planning

A new report lays out several fiscal planning tools that can help officials see what's sustainable.
January 30, 2014

Will the 2014 Muni Market Be Good for Issuers?

Analysts see a better year ahead, but say there are factors that could cause a 2013 repeat.
January 16, 2014

Taking a Tax Bite Out of Bitcoin

Do states and localities have a revenue interest in virtual currencies?
October 24, 2013

The Latest on the Amazon Tax in States, Courts and Congress

While Congress stalls on federal online sales tax legislation, a growing number of states are now taking advantage of the extra revenue -- but not without a fight.
September 26, 2013

Can the Threat of Defunding Education Slow Down Tax Cuts?

A tax fight in Missouri may signify the limits to cuts.
September 12, 2013

Gay Marriage and State Taxes

States that don't recognize same-sex marriage will face a few tax complications come 2014.
August 29, 2013

Turmoil and Trouble in the Muni Bond Market

A veteran issuer gives his perspective on the mounting woes over muni bonds.
August 15, 2013

Foreclosure and the Eminent Domain Solution Explained

Richmond, Calif.’s plan -- which dozens of localities are considering -- is facing legal and legislative challenges. What are the pros and cons of seizing underwater mortgages using eminent domain?
July 31, 2013

Irvine, Calif. Plans to Prepay Its Pension Bill

The well-to-do city in Southern California will pay off 30 years worth of liabilities in a decade.
July 18, 2013

Assessing Help for Housing

A recent Brookings report evaluates their effects on the housing market.
June 13, 2013

A New, Sometimes Not-So-Nice Outlook for the Muni Market

Despite some positive developments, it seems the SEC and IRS are cracking down on the municipal bond market.
May 30, 2013

Do the States Have a Debt Problem?

States and localities have $3 trillion in debt, but the purpose and use of debt differs significantly from the federal government.
May 16, 2013

A Third Way for Public Pensions: Adjustable Pension Plans

Defined-benefit plans put all the risk on states and localities; defined-contribution plans put it all on employees. Now there's a new approach to risk sharing.
April 30, 2013

Gun Debate Revives the Pension-Investment Dispute

When there’s public outcry over something -- whether it’s gun control or apartheid -- states and cities reevaluate what their pension plans invest in. But should they be social investing at all?
April 25, 2013

Do Tax Breaks for Senior Citizens Pay for Themselves?

Cash-strapped states are questioning the tax exemptions they offer the elderly.
April 11, 2013

What's Wrong with Kansas' Tax Reform?

According to finance experts from the left and right, it's the worst reform measure passed by a state in the last two years.
March 14, 2013

What's the Medicaid Expansion Worth to a State?

The fiscal facts on what a state gains or loses by broadening its Medicaid roles.
February 14, 2013

Gun Taxes and State Revenues

A handful of states and localities are considering gun and ammunition taxes. Is there any state and local revenue in this approach?
January 31, 2013

The Muni Bond Market in 2013

Issuers may be enjoying low-interest rates when they come to market, but that doesn't mean these are the best of times.
January 17, 2013

What to Do About the Gas Tax?

Two states, two different approaches for fixing how we pay for roads.
December 13, 2012

The State of State and Local Finances

New studies afford a state-by-state or city-by-city analysis of fiscal well being.
November 30, 2012

States, Estate Taxes and the Fiscal Cliff

What is the future of the 'death tax'?
November 15, 2012

Cities, Bankruptcy Law and Pension Payments

As cities face extreme fiscal pressure, can Chapter 9 ease their pension obligations?
October 25, 2012

Looking Past Libor

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is hoping to help arm issuers with more information before they borrow money.
October 11, 2012

States and the Federal Fiscal Cliff

The effect of higher federal taxes and sequestration cuts on state budgets and revenue.
September 27, 2012

Raising Money for Education

Are there ways to open taxpayers' wallets for K-12 kids?
September 13, 2012

Dissecting State and Local Finances

A look at past, present and future issues that have been swept under the fiscal rug.
August 30, 2012

Lowering the High Cost of an Agency's Real Estate Move

A private banker has an idea for "rentalizing" upfront costs when agencies consolidate and move into smaller office space.
August 16, 2012

Bonds: A New Way to Fund Clean Energy

A new initiative hopes to pair the science of alternative energies with the power of bond financing.
August 2, 2012

Checking In On the Amazon Tax Battle

States have been battling Amazon and other online retailers over sales tax collection for years. Have they finally made progress?
July 12, 2012

Can Eminent Domain Help End the Foreclosure Crisis?

Wall Street opposes the idea, but a county in California thinks it can use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages and restructure them on behalf of homeowners.
June 28, 2012

The Very Public Private-Sector Retirement Problem

The Great Recession was hard on private workers. Will states and localities have to rescue them?
June 14, 2012

Taking Tax Cuts to a Deeper Level

Four states have already considered eliminating income or property taxes this year.
May 24, 2012

The Latest Wrinkles in the Muni Bond Market

While things appear to be looking up, new questions arise about loans, debts and borrowings from banks.
May 10, 2012

Sales Tax Zapped by Zappers

As technology improves, more and more businesses are using tax zappers to skim sales taxes.
April 12, 2012

The Case for a State-Owned Bank

One professor argues it's a way to bring revenue gushing into state coffers.
March 29, 2012

The Volcker Rule's Role in the Muni Market

A reform aimed at Wall Street is taking a shot at the bonds states and localities issue.
March 15, 2012

Fracking Tax Issues and Logistics

Hydraulic fracturing is being touted as a revenue bonanza for the 35 states that have shale gas potential, but it's not without its issues.
March 1, 2012

A Bank for Infrastructure Funding

Legislation moving through Congress could help states and localities finance public works projects.
February 16, 2012

The Pros and Cons of Internet Gambling

Will online poker be the revenue boost states are looking for?
January 12, 2012

The Muni Market in 2012

Economists and analysts are optimistic this year will be better than the last. Still, there are a few storm clouds on the horizon.
December 15, 2011

Seeking a Silver Lining to Calamities

Everyone knows the havoc disasters wreck on finances. How about the good they have?
December 12, 2011

Revenue for Road Repairs

Raise it or reform it: Is it time for states to rethink the gas tax?
November 16, 2011

The Liabilities of an NBA Lockout

Are city taxes and revenues affected if professional sports teams cancel their season?
November 10, 2011

Building a New Financial Base

Cities that retool for a global economy can set the stage for a reliable revenue stream.
October 19, 2011

States and Localities Squeeze Nonprofits

Are localities looking for revenue in the wrong place?
October 13, 2011

A Local Solution to a Bond Insurance Problem

With localities scrambling to find investors, the National League of Cities ponders jumping into the insurance business.
September 21, 2011

Death of the Mortgage Interest Deduction?

The feds are talking about ending the popular tax expenditure, which could be positive and negative for state and local economies.
September 15, 2011

The Trouble with Housing

For state and local revenues to improve, housing sales need to improve. The problem is that the outlook for housing isn't very pretty.
August 17, 2011

Sales Taxes Take A Holiday

Consumers may like back-to-school tax holidays, but are they good public policy?
August 11, 2011

Credit Rating Risks Ahead

If you thought the Great Recession was the most trying time for state and local government credit ratings, think again.
July 20, 2011

Businesses and the Property Tax

A new report scores states on how well they administer the unpopular tax.
July 14, 2011

Atlanta Pulls Off A Major Pension Overhaul

Plus, what might a lost NFL or NBA season cost your state and city?
June 22, 2011

Anatomy of a Tax Amnesty

Tax amnesties are unpopular with the public. On the other hand, they raise much-needed money in this cash-strapped climate.
June 16, 2011

The Demand for Disclosure

Municipal bond market investors want to know more about issuers -- and they want to know it on a quarterly, semi-annual and annual basis.
May 18, 2011

States Look to Collect Internet Sales Taxes

Desperate for revenue, states are trying all the tricks in the book to force Internet retailers to collect sales taxes.
May 12, 2011

What’s the Matter with the Muni Market?

Both borrowing and lending have decreased. The municipal bond market's problems run deeper than simple headline risk.
April 26, 2011

Student Debt and the Public Purse

The student loan bubble could hurt state and local revenue.
April 20, 2011

The Story Behind Tax Expenditures

They're the hottest topic in budget-balancing and deficit-cutting circles. They are also the least understood and the most controversial.
April 14, 2011

Rainy Day Funds: Did the Lifeline Work?

As revenues return, legislators and policymakers are beginning to take stock of how well their rainy day funds functioned.
March 16, 2011

Is the Hollywood Tax Credit Under Attack?

In a year when severe budget cuts are on the table, states are rethinking film tax-credit programs.
March 10, 2011

Is the Muni Bond Market Really in Dire Straits?

Some argue that the municipal bond market's recent upheaval is the fault of a single 60 Minutes segment.
February 16, 2011

Rejecting Sales Tax Exemptions on Food

Does taxing food partially or not at all make sense politically or fiscally? One University of Connecticut law professor says it doesn't.
February 10, 2011

A Measure of Financial Fitness

A new online tool in North Carolina provides a systematic approach in analyzing financial conditions for local governments.
January 19, 2011

A Lagging Local Tax

Property taxes once showed a sizable rate of growth. Not anymore.
January 18, 2011

Losing Out on Corporate Taxes

The state of state corporate income taxes is a mess.
January 13, 2011

All Fiscal Help Is Local

The list of cities in fiscal stress is growing. Will states intervene to help them work out their fiscal problems?
December 22, 2010

The Search for Lost Treasures: Dealing with Unclaimed Property

Several states not only help citizens find unclaimed property, but they also make money off of it.
December 16, 2010

Cutting Medicaid

States must make the least-worse budget cuts -- or consider dropping out of the program.
November 17, 2010

The Courts Rule on the 'Amazon Tax'

Confronting privacy and "nexus" issues, courts in several states have handed down new rulings in an escalating battle with online retailers to tax Internet transactions.
November 10, 2010

The Financial Road Ahead

The state of the union, and four positive steps states can take to improve their fiscal outlook.
October 20, 2010

The 'Amazon Tax' Battle Escalates

North Carolina is giving its online retailers an ultimatum: collect sales taxes now or risk an audit later.
October 14, 2010

Are Municipal Bankruptcies Imminent?

State and local debt is at an all time high -- governments have borrowed $2.4 trillion as of mid-2010.
September 22, 2010

Colorado Taxes Pot

Colorado didn't legalize medical marijuana to make money, but since regulations went into effect, it has raised millions.

Tough Times for TIFs?

An expert discusses whether tax increment financing (TIF), a local development tool, can withstand declining real estate values and a tough economic climate.
August 18, 2010

Revenue Roulette

Is gambling a great source of revenue for states and localities, or a peril-filled recreation?
August 12, 2010

Fannie, Freddie and the Future of Housing

Three experts share their views on efforts to reform the mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and why state and local governments should care.
July 21, 2010

Getting High on Excise Taxes

More and more states are turning to a perennial favorite, the excise tax, to weather the recession.
July 15, 2010

Budgets, Bonds and Basketball

When it comes to raising money and spending it, states and localities face formidable political obstacles.
June 23, 2010

Wallets, Recessions and Tax Commissions

In a bad economy, is a tax commission likely to have more of an impact?
June 17, 2010

Credit Rater Woes

Can new competition in the credit-rating arena reignite the municipal bond market?
June 1, 2010

A Fight Festers

GASB ups the ante on performance.
May 19, 2010

The Ultimate Revenue Raiser: Asset Sales

In these budget busting times, state-owned buildings are increasingly up for sale. But states may have better options.
May 13, 2010

Bonds, Bankruptcy and Bad Luck

When a public-purpose project fails, should taxpayers pick up the bill?
May 1, 2010

Taxing Away Exemptions

Pittsburgh's proposed tax would have been a first: a 1 percent levy on all tuition paid by the city's 100,000 college students. If it had passed, it...

A Value-Added Tax For America?

There is talk about how a VAT could solve some of the federal government's deficit problems, but could a VAT fix sales taxes?

Cities Face Double Trouble

In a race to recovery, cities fight both job loss and housing devaluation.

Taxing Away an Exemption

With revenue down, states and localities are taking a second look at tax-exempt organizations.

The Bond Bankers Weigh In

Bond dealers, senior economists and credit market strategists give their outlook on the future of state and local revenue.

Staunching a Loss

By not opting out of a federal tax deduction, states stand to lose millions in revenues.

A Fiscal Case for Medicaid?

The health-care program for the poor is always accused of busting budgets, but could slashing it actually harm budgets?

Please, Pay Your Taxes

Washington State's voluntary tax compliance effort tries friendly persuasion.

Closing the Gap: Are Pensions Next?

Cash-strapped states desperately need to close budget shortfalls. Costly pensions are an increasingly inviting target.
December 31, 2009

Primary-Care System Lags Behind Other Developed Nations

The dwindling number of primary care physicians is a dagger at the heart of health care reform. If nearly all Americans have insurance, how will...
December 31, 2009

Is Municipal Bond Insurance Dead?

It's like a page out of the Brothers Grimm. Once upon a time -- and not so very long ago -- there were four giants....

The 'Amazon Tax': Friend or Foe?

Some fear the battle to force online retailers to collect sales taxes could neutralize tax revenue.

Municipal Bonds Under the Gun

The old reliable source to borrow money for "making money" has fallen on hard times.
November 30, 2009

Unhealthy Economy, Sick People

Employers--and that includes states and localities--have been focusing on wellness and prevention as a means of keeping their employees healthy and thereby less costly to...

Are Tax Amnesties a Good Idea?

They can bring in a lot of quick revenue, but they raise some tricky issues.

A Housing Market on the Mend

There are signs that a housing recovery is on its way. That's good news for state and local revenues.
October 31, 2009

The True Cost of Treating Diabetes

Here's the problem. The number of Americans who have diabetes is growing at an alarming rate, as are the medical costs of treating the disease:...

How to Win an Income-Tax Hike

For Columbus' mayor, it was a last resort. Getting the voters on board took a lot of groundwork.

Making the Most of Muni Bonds

With interest rates about as low as they can go, this is turning out to be a very good time for governments to borrow.
September 30, 2009

Soda: the New Front in the War on Obesity

Put down that can. The sweet soda in front of you may be frosty and cold and just waiting to quench your thirst, but it...

Time for a Fat Tax?

The anti-obesity forces want to target soda pop and other sugary drinks. Two experts review the pros and cons.

In This Economy, Less-Bad News is Good News

There are hints the recession is turning around. But relief for states and cities will take a lot longer.
August 31, 2009

For California's New Pension Chief, a Huge Burden

When he headed up the Washington State Investment Board, Joe Dear oversaw a $67 billion portfolio. Now that he's the new honcho at CalPERS, the California...
August 19, 2009

Opening Up Medicaid

There's a little joke that makes the rounds whenever Medicaid directors get together. It goes like this: If you've seen one state Medicaid program, you've...

The Case for Tax Cuts

No matter how bad things are, raising taxes now will hurt in the long run, argues one tax expert.

How Bad Is It?

It will be years before we know if this is the worst recession since World War II. But the signs point in that direction.
July 31, 2009

Defining Prevention

Prevention is getting a bad rap--a growing number of health economists and providers are casting doubt on the ability of preventive medicine to squeeze costs...
June 30, 2009

The End-of-Life Imperative

The president brought it up himself. He talked seriously to a New York Times reporter in May about end-of-life health care choices--the tremendous drain they...
May 31, 2009

Diplomas Keep the Doctor Away

When it comes to surviving the swine flu, Texans, Californians and folks in other states along our southern border have fared better than their neighbors...
April 30, 2009

Find Me the Money

Winter Haven, Florida, imposes an accident- response fee-for services rendered when police officers and firefighters ride to the rescue. Wisconsin triples the price of its...
April 30, 2009

Full Interviews with User-Fee Experts

What will they think of next? Winter Haven, Florida, is imposing an accident response fee -- for services rendered when police officers and firefighters come...

The Pension Footprint

Just about every state and local public pension is back on its heels, experiencing major portfolio and prestige losses and cost threats. That's why it's pleasantly diverting to see a new study on the economic impact of state and local pension plans.
February 28, 2009

Creative Disruption

The current buzzword among MBA grads is "disruptive innovation." It may sound like a term to use when all hell is breaking loose. But what...
January 31, 2009

A Break in the Levy

As state and local revenue sources go, the property tax always has been the steady one. Its cousins -- the income and sales taxes --...

Care Calculations

Home-based care can keep the elderly out of nursing homes. But that isn't stopping some states from making cuts in the program.

Home Calls

A new idea is being touted as the next cure-all for the ills of the health care system. But it's not clear yet what a 'medical home' is.
July 31, 2008

Public Pension Prowess

CalPERS is a very big fish. When California's $250 billion employee pension plan flexes its muscle in boardrooms, corporate CEOs sit up and take notice. When...

Massachusetts Lite

Florida's new health-coverage law is health reform on the cheap, and that's not said to denigrate it.

The Insurance Lottery

When states subsidize health insurance, the hardest part is deciding whom to help and who goes without.
March 31, 2008

Muni Machinations

Blame it on Orange County. Back in 1994, the huge California county filed for bankruptcy after losing billions of dollars on a risky investment in financial...

Medicaid's New Math

Can a little cost-cutting actually improve the quality of health care? Two states are trying to find out.

The Prescription Proscription

Many states are making it hard for data-mining companies to use Rx information for marketing purposes.
December 1, 2007

Tilting Tills: A So-So Season for Revenue

State tax collections had a strong case of the milds in the second quarter of 2007--a 6.1 percent increase in tax revenue, compared to the same quarter of 2006. That said, this nominal growth rate, as measured by the Rockfeller Institute's "State Revenue Report," was weak by long-term historical standards.
December 1, 2007

Primary Interest

The West Virginia legislature recently gave the thumbs up to a radical experiment in health care: doctor-run pay-in-advance plans that provide a family unlimited primary and urgent care for $125 a month. No insurance coverage is involved.
November 1, 2007

Common-Sense Compliance

Having worked on both sides, Coughlin is passionate in his belief in the assisted-living philosophy, and that belief drives the way he approaches regulation. A key part of assisted living, he points out, is a resident's right to autonomy, but autonomy poses safety risks.
October 31, 2007

The Coverage Conundrum

They're on the rise - again. Health insurance premiums are up 6.1 percent on average this year - a relatively modest increase - but overall they're 78...
October 31, 2007

Going after GASB

When public finance officers met this summer in Anaheim, their association's outgoing president kicked off the convention with an all-out assault on an accounting board....
August 31, 2007

Health Court Advantage

Get ready for a medical malpractice crisis. The roiling stock market could drag down earnings on investment portfolios: If it does, insurance companies that issue...

Lean but Mean Medicaid

It's one thing to use the carrot to encourage healthy behavior. It's another to use the stick--especially on children.
June 30, 2007

A System in Collapse

Picture this: Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell comes to the nation's capital to tell a gathering of health care advocates, health industry representatives and health writers...
April 30, 2007

Medicaid's Breaking Point

Language is powerful. So when a negative word becomes linked to an idea or program, the result often is damaging. That's what I see happening...
April 1, 2007

The Muni Market's New Look

Changes are afoot--some welcome, others less so.
February 28, 2007

Dialogue in the Delta

It isn't a strong economy that produces healthy people. It's healthy people that produce a strong economy." Peter Johnson is standing in a meeting room...
February 1, 2007

Rough Sea's

There's a new and higher level of strain in the already-tense relationship between GASB and state and local officials.
February 1, 2007

Risk Relief: Indiana Aims to Insure Good Health

A growing number of states and localities are turning to incentives to move the employees they insure into healthier lifestyles. Indiana is going one step further. It is trying to target employees who are at risk for illnesses and offering them special services to improve their odds of staying healthy.

Health Court Advantage

The current system of blame and lawsuits is no way to deal with medical errors.
December 31, 2006

Rx Side Effects

Talk about impact. One day Wal-Mart is launching a small pilot program in Tampa to sell 314 generic drugs at $4 each for a 30-day supply. Two...
December 1, 2006

McMedical Care

The rise of health clinics in retail stores could affect both health policy and regulation.

The Biological Boom

As biologic drugs enter the mainstream, they could break the Medicaid bank--and the health care system.
October 1, 2006

Pension Pressures

These are threatening times for retirement funds and retirees.

Guess Who's Coming to the ER?

It turns out that lower-income people are not the ones clogging up emergency rooms.

A Dose of Transparency

State-sponsored Web sites are enabling consumers to compare hospital and physician prices and performance.

Risk Reduction

Government-backed reinsurance could make health coverage more affordable for the middle class.
March 1, 2006

The Job of Patients

Health savings accounts can spur consumers to shop for the best care at the lowest price. But these insurance plans also carry a lot of risk.

Capping Medicaid Costs

Florida and Kentucky are custom-tailoring the benefits package in an effort to make fiscal sense of the program.

Talk of the Town

It's time to walk people through the choices they have to make in order to get health care that works for everyone.

Drowning In Choices

Under Florida's newly approved waiver, Medicaid patients will have to slog through all the fine print that is a health insurance plan.
September 1, 2005

Wellness: Carrots and Sticks

There's danger in expecting wellness programs to work miracles and abandoning them when they don't.
August 1, 2005

From the Top: Michael Leavitt Speaks Up and Out

A few weeks ago, Governing sat down with Michael Leavitt, the U.S. Health and Human Services secretary and former governor of Utah, to talk about changes that could be in store for the Medicaid program. Here are some key points he made.

Medicaid on the Ramparts

It's time for the states to break down Congress's door with some basic solutions to the sustainability problem.

Nexium's Start Turn

As TV ads hype the demand for costly brand-name drugs, those who pay Medicaid's pill bill are fighting back.
March 1, 2005

Setting Limits on Medicaid

From TennCare's end to Florida's proposed new beginning, state Medicaid programs are working through difficult times.

Adjusting for Age

A new accounting rule could seriously undermine the health insurance that states and localities provide to their retirees.

California Dreamin'

Piecemeal reforms show the unwillingness of policy makers to take bold steps to deal with the nation's health care crisis.
December 1, 2004

Is Bigger Better?

Muni Bond Numbers Decline and Fall
November 1, 2004

Elder Scare

Health care costs for retirees are like a hurricane that's gathering strength in the ocean before it makes landfall.
November 1, 2004

Maine's Medical Gamble

Can broader insurance coverage bring health care costs under control? One state is betting on it.
September 1, 2004

Nascent Patient Power

A new approach to cutting health care costs may end up transferring medical risk to consumers.
July 1, 2004

Tenncare Tensions

Governor Bredesen aims to save TennCare, but one of his fixes flies in the face of a cherished national notion.
June 1, 2004

A Mixed Picture

Bond rating experts at odds on state of states
May 1, 2004

A Cure for Costs

rising price of health care.
March 1, 2004

The Weight Line

States have a fiscal link to the obesity crisis--it accounts for 5 percent of their overall medical spending.
January 1, 2004

Healing Health Care

The times may be ripe to form new--and surprising--alliances to solve the crisis in health insurance.
December 1, 2003

Junkyard Blues: Pittsburgh's Fiscal Problems Run It Down

Credit downgrades happen all the time: The economy turns sour, budgets are stressed, the powers that be don't want to raise taxes or slash spending.
December 1, 2003

Setting Up A New Shop

Oregon's former governor is pushing a rational way to control drug costs.
November 1, 2003

The 'Medmal' Mess

When it comes to reducing medical errors, assessing blame is less effective than identifying patterns and steps to correct problems.
November 1, 2003

Bad News Bear

Investment markets can falter. When they do, pension bonds can become a very risky business.
September 1, 2003

Online Privacy

There's no going back. Money may be short, some basic services may be in a funding freefall, but online government is a way of life. "No one would dispute that information technology has become the backbone of commerce," wrote Nicholas G. Carr (next page) in a recent Harvard Business Review article.
September 1, 2003

Rolling Medicaid Rules

Several states made changes in their Medicaid and SCHIP programs that will, in effect, push children off the rolls.
July 1, 2003

The Pros of Cons

The assault on certificates of need, put in place decades ago to control health costs, couldn't come at a worse time.
June 1, 2003

Low Grades for Deficit Financing

Sixteen states are on Moody's Investors Service negative outlook and four on negative watch, with "future credit deterioration likely," according to Robert Kurtter, senior vice president of state ratings for the credit-rating agency. Moody's had already downgraded eight states in the past two years.
May 1, 2003

Blocking Erisa

For decades, a federal law has obstructed state innovation on private health care coverage. That's finally changing.
May 1, 2003

Easing The Pain

To blunt the impact of deep Medicaid cuts, a few states are experimenting with ways to control the program's costs.
March 1, 2003

The Universal Cause

There's a dagger at the heart of any solution to the crisis in health care costs--but it's not the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs. Rather, it's the uninsured: the 41 million Americans--one in seven-- who can't afford, aren't offered or choose not to carry health insurance.
March 1, 2003

The Universal Cause

Several health insurance companies have stepped up to say they intend to promote universal health care coverage.
January 1, 2003

Can Schip Stay Afloat?

By touting its success, advocates hope to spare the children's health insurance program from the budget ax.
November 1, 2002

A Dose of Downgrades

Wall Street's opinion of state debt has been heading south this year. Local ratings may not be far behind.
September 1, 2002

The Pension Offensive

Public pension officials are getting aggressive about holding companies accountable for portfolio losses.
July 1, 2002

The Untaxables

Before Congress revisits the Internet-sales issue, states are developing a simpler and more uniform tax-collection process.
May 1, 2002

Deficit Deluge

It's been a shallow recession, yet states and their budgets are in big trouble.
March 1, 2002

More Over Nasdaq, Muni Bond Prices Are Now Online

A Web site launched in January is a big breakthrough for both investors in and issuers of municipal bonds. The site offers the closest thing yet to a real-time "ticker tape" on bond prices.
March 1, 2002

The HIPAA Headache

It's complex, costly and confusing. Most states are still trying to figure out what the law that standardizes electronic health data is all about.
January 1, 2002

A Bond That Breaks New Ground

Massachusetts and New Mexico made news three years ago when they issued bonds for construction projects and promised to repay the loans with federal highway grants they had coming their way. Now, Chicago has come to market with a variation on the grant-anticipation theme.
December 1, 2001

Drug Deals: A Pact to Lower State Employee Pill Prices

Driven by the effect of rising drug prices on state budgets, seven states are banding together to change the way they buy pharmaceuticals for their employee-benefit plans.
November 1, 2001

The Muni Market Gets a Boost

After years of benign neglect, the municipal bond market is back in the spotlight. Falling interest rates, a volatile stock market and a weakening economy created a resurgence of interest in both issuing and buying muni bonds in the first three quarters of the year.
May 1, 2001

Muni Days are Here Again

A reinvigorated municipal bond market is attracting investors, as well as helping issuers lower their costs.
July 1, 2000

Ups and Downs in the Rating Game

If you've been to Fitch for a credit rating, you may find your bonds experiencing grade inflation.
June 1, 2000

The HMO Laid Low

Two-thirds of managed care companies are losing money. When they get in trouble, states often get in trouble as well.
January 1, 2000

Tobacco Bonds Draw a Market

New York City inhaled deeply and issued the first-ever tobacco bond in November. The $709 million bond, part of a $2.8 billion debt the city will sell in the next four years, sold out immediately.