Several states have experimented in recent years with the idea of turning their economic development agencies over to semi-private management. Many of these organizations are struggling to balance job creation with public accountability.
Ten states have school finance challenges working their way through the courts, and four other states recently wrapped up legal challenges. But school-funding advocates have found that winning a lawsuit doesn’t necessarily improve the quality of education.
Top finance officials in California and New York are proposing closer state-level scrutiny of local government budgets to help prevent the distress that has plagued many cities, towns and counties over the last few years.
The practice of granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants has become rare in recent years, and the issue had dropped off most legislative agendas before the federal action thrust it into states’ laps once again
Under intense pressure from Wall Street, public utilities in a growing number of states are charging customers upfront for costly upgrades to aging gas, water and electric systems. It’s a shift in financial obligation that’s rankling consumer advocates, who say companies are shirking their basic responsibility to keep infrastructure up to date.
Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno is pressing President Obama and Congressional leaders to get the ball rolling on statehood for the island commonwealth, after his push for the island to become a state received a historic level of support from voters.