AUTHORS

Caroline Cournoyer -- Senior Web Editor. Caroline covered federal policy and politics for CongressNow, the former legislative wire service for Roll Call, has also written for Education Week's Teacher Magazine, and learned the ins and outs of state and local government while working as an assistant editor at WTOP Radio.

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January 8, 2013

Immigration Makes Up Most of Federal Law Enforcement Spending

The United States spent nearly $18 billion on immigration enforcement in fiscal 2012, about 24 percent more than it spent collectively on the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Secret Service and all other criminal law enforcement agencies, according to a report.
September 28, 2012

Parents Owing Child Support Avoid Jail (Not For Free)

In Virginia, where parents owe more than $2 billion, a program helps solve the underlying issues that keep them from paying up.
September 28, 2012

Helping the Elderly During Disasters

As baby boomers age and more older Americans choose to live at home, governments face new challenges trying to plan for and respond to disasters.
August 31, 2012

States Struggle to Identify Disabilities in Older Drivers

Older drivers are keeping their licenses for longer and getting behind the wheel more often than ever before. Should this worry all the other drivers?
July 31, 2012

High School Majors Help Some States Cut Dropout Rate

Requiring freshman to “specialize” in particular subjects helped Florida significantly increase its graduation rate and decrease its dropout rate. Georgia is hoping for similar results.
May 31, 2012

Governments Discover Need for Mental Health First Aid

Mental disorders are more common than heart disease and cancer combined -- one reason states and localities are teaching their employees how to recognize the signs of mental health problems and how to help.
May 18, 2012

Incumbent Governors on the Campaign Trail

At least seven governors are facing reelection this year.
April 26, 2012

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Speaks about Rise of Government Collaboration

Though most public officials focused on only the negative effects of the Great Recession, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed looks to the positive -- the rise of regional government collaboration that has become the norm in many municipalities throughout the state and country.
April 20, 2012

New Indiana Law Gives Residents Right to Resist Police

A new law likely makes Indiana the only state where people are allowed to shoot cops under certain circumstances. The change, police officials say, not only puts officer’s safety at risk but the public’s too.
March 30, 2012

Meth Lab Cleanup Program Contains Costs for Tenn.

Meth labs are on the rise again and federal funding can’t keep up. Now states have to pick up the mess -- and the bill.
March 21, 2012

St. Louis Firefighters Vote to Hire Lawyer Regarding Mayor's Pension Bills

Five trustees voted to hire a lawyer to potentially sue the city if one of Mayor Francis Slay's pension overhaul bills to control and reduce pensions goes into effect.
March 19, 2012

Los Angeles OKs Redistricting Maps Despite Race Concerns

Two black local representatives in Los Angeles have accused the city’s Redistricting Commission of violating the federal Voting Rights Act.
March 19, 2012

California Elections Expected to be Difficult for Incumbents, Third-Party Candidates

Incumbents and third-party candidates in California are going to have a tougher time getting re-elected this year thanks to new redistricting lines and new rules.
March 17, 2012

Spring Break! How Cities Prepare for an Increase in Tourists

Fun-loving college students present some public safety challenges for local officials.
March 16, 2012

Arlington, Va., Fire Chief: Cities' Emergency Response Could Suffer Due to Funding Change

Over 120 cities use a Metropolitan Medical Response System to create plans for homeland security threats in their community. Their ability to respond, however, may be inhibited with the loss of direct federal funding.
March 14, 2012

New Tools Estimate Potential Cost Savings for Upgrading Public Safety IT

Last month, IBM released two tools that give police, fire and emergency medical services an estimate of the direct and indirect savings that could come from upgrading their IT infrastructure.
March 8, 2012

Court: Boston Doesn't Have to Pay State's Share of Quinn Bill

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unamimously ruled that municipalities don’t have to pay college educated police officers what the state owes them, reports the Boston Globe.
March 7, 2012

Abstinence-Only Bill Sent to Utah Governor

The bill overcame its last legislative hurdle when it passed the state Senate 19-10 -- mostly along party lines.
March 6, 2012

Utah, Arizona Lawmakers Try to Eliminate Polygamous Town's Police

While former polygamy sect leader Warren Jeffs is serving his time in prison for marrying and sexually assaulting minors, lawmakers are trying to take down his town’s authority.
March 6, 2012

FBI Busts Six 'Anonymous' Hackers

The computer hacker group Anonymous that’s compromised dozens of state and local government websites is no longer true to its name.
March 5, 2012

Local Pilots Divert Nonemergency 911 Calls

Pilot programs in the Pacific Northwest distinguish between emergency and nonemergency 911 calls.
March 3, 2012

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier on Post-9/11 Info Sharing

Speaking at the annual AFCEA Homeland Security Conference, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier discussed the importance of information sharing in public safety and the improvements the region has made since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
March 1, 2012

IT Security Conference Responds to Threat from Anonymous

This week, government and industry representatives are convening at the annual AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C. to discuss among other issues, cybersecurity and how to protect the government from hacker groups like Anonymous.
March 1, 2012

Experts: Dropouts Could Help Fight Cyberwars

Preventing and fighting cybersecurity threats has everything to do with having a well-trained workforce that could include high school and college dropouts, said a panel of IT and homeland security officials who met in Washington this week to discuss the issue.
February 29, 2012

David Bragdon: New York City’s Sustainability Man

David Bragdon is responsible for making sure the city meets more than 400 sustainability goals before next year.
February 27, 2012

Indiana-IBM Trial over Welfare Modernization Contracts Begins

Today marks day one of a six-week trial to settle a dispute between Indiana and technology mogul IBM.
February 24, 2012

Arizona Gov. Asked to Testify Before Immigration Law Heads to Court

Before the U.S. Supreme Court hears the arguments for and against Arizona’s controversial immigration law, the leader of a Senate immigration panel wants to hear the governor’s opinion on the issue.
February 23, 2012

South Dakota Bill to Limit Inmate Appeals Awaits Gov.'s Signature

Sitting on the governor’s desk is a bill that would limit the number of times people can appeal their serious criminal convictions.
February 22, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Day-Laborer Ban Case

Against the wishes of the Redondo Beach City Council, day laborers will continue to gather on public sidewalks in search of work.
February 21, 2012

GOP Candidates Travel to Arizona

The four Republican presidential candidates still standing will take the stage in Mesa, Ariz., tomorrow -- just under one week before the state's primary.
February 21, 2012

Arkansas Gov.: GOP Budget Could Lead to Layoffs

The state’s Republican party wants to chip away 3 percent from 11 agencies -- a cut that, according to Gov. Mike Beebe’s office, could send at least 76 state workers packing.
February 16, 2012

Montgomery County, Md., Fire Replacing 900 Radios

The process of replacing 900 shoulder microphones for firefighters in Montgomery County, Md., is underway, according to public information officer Scott Graham of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.
February 15, 2012

'Unprecedented' Bills to Downsize Michigan Courts Head to Governor

For years, the Michigan Supreme Court has urged communities to reduce the size of their courts -- and for years, most communities ignored this recommendation. So lawmakers took the matter into their own hands.
February 15, 2012

Michigan Senate OKs Voting Law Changes

One of the bills would require people to show photo IDs to register to vote, another would make people who volunteer to help with voter registration drives complete training, and the other would require people applying to vote to prove their citizenship.
February 15, 2012

L.A. Mayor Picked to Lead DNC in Charlotte

Antonio Villaraigosa is one of the nation’s most well-known Latino politicians, and the Latino vote is expected to be key in this election.
February 14, 2012

Judge OKs California DOJ Layoffs

California Department of Justice employees argued that Gov. Brown only ordered the layoffs as political payback, but the judge disagreed. Now, 81 people will soon be out of a job.
February 14, 2012

Arizona, Washington to Seek NCLB Waivers

Arizona and Washington state have both decided to seek waivers from the federal No Child Left Behind law, which mandates every student to be proficient in math and reading by 2014.
February 13, 2012

Obama Administration Requests $39.5 Billion for Homeland Security

In the fiscal year 2013 federal budget proposal released Monday, the Obama administration proposed pouring $500 million more into state and local governments this fiscal year, but also wants to make sure they spend what has already given them.
February 13, 2012

Public Safety Bolstered Under Obama's Budget

The White House seeks $290 million for the Justice Department's COPS Program.
February 10, 2012

Developer's Potential Run Heats Up Sacramento Council Race

The Sacramento mayor’s chief fundraiser is planning to join the city council race, but before he can, he has a lot of packing to do.
February 7, 2012

Appeals Court: California's Gay-Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

The court's ruling likely sets the stage for a U.S. Supreme Court showdown.
February 7, 2012

Do Police Departments Save Money By Making Officers Work Longer?

Many police departments moved to 10- and 12-hour shifts to cope with the recession. A new study shows that 10-hour shifts are best to reduce expenses and preserve quality of life.
February 6, 2012

Uninsured Artists Swap Health Care for Performances

New York City artists can now earn health credits for doctor visits and more if they offer their time and talents to hospital patients.
February 2, 2012

California Gov. Picks Panel to Dismantle L.A. Redevelopment Agency

Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed three people to breakup the city’s redevelopment agency. Some worry about conflicts of interest arising.
February 2, 2012

Univ. of Vermont is Latest to Ban Plastic Water Bottles

Hoping to save money and the environment, a dozen colleges have stopped selling bottled water on campus.
February 1, 2012

Denver Post Reporter Wins 2012 Hovey-Harkness Award for Public Service Journalism

Chris Osher has earned a journalism award, presented by Governing, for his investigative series of Colorado's poorly-managed state enterprise zone program that sparked proposed legislative change.
January 31, 2012

Asst. Labor Secretary: States Need to Communicate with Employers to Create Jobs

The U.S. Labor Department's Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Jane Oates said the places with the best job outlook are those that have direct communication with businesses.
January 31, 2012

School-Based Health Centers Reap Benefits

Studies have found that SBHCs improve students’ health-care access and school success. Now, the Obama administration is helping more states finance them.
January 30, 2012

Maryland Considering Incentives for Work in ‘Health Enterprise Zones’

The idea of offering financial incentives to boost services in select areas is common for economic development -- but rarely used to improve health care.
January 26, 2012

New York City Uses ARRA Funds for Hybrid Street Sweepers

They’re expected to improve the city’s finances and carbon footprint.
January 25, 2012

Obama Calls on Congress to Pass DREAM Act

In his third State of the Union address, the president asked Congress to bring the DREAM Act, which would make it easier for illegal immigrants younger than 16 to become citizens and afford college, back to life after it failed last year.
January 23, 2012

Minneapolis Uses Foursquare to Share Tips with Citizens

The city aims to promote its services and programs with people who check-in around the city.
January 23, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Overturns California Slaughterhouse Law

The justices unanimously struck down a state law that would have required slaughterhouses to euthanize animals that can't walk and kept the meat from being eaten.
January 19, 2012

Courtroom Violence on the Rise

A Minn. courthouse shooting and a judge's decision to refuse cases in unsafe buildings sheds light on the increasingly unsafe conditions of many courtrooms around the country.
January 19, 2012

EPA Quiz Gives Answers for Financing Green Projects

The “Financing Program Decision Tool” shows state and local governments their best options for paying for energy upgrades.
January 18, 2012

Top Montana Ethics Leader Resigns Amid Allegations

Commissioner of Political Practices Dave Gallik resigned after every member of his staff accused him of making the state pay for time he was working on private matters, which he denies.
January 16, 2012

One R.I. School Goes Paperless in 2013

The state will supply an electronic device for every student in one school, cutting down on heavy and easily outdated textbooks.
January 13, 2012

Competition for Montana Supreme Court Seat Heats Up

District Judge Laurie McKinnon, who was named judge of the year in 2010, has announced that she’s joining the race to take retiring Justice James Nelson’s seat.
January 12, 2012

Colorado Governor Delivers State of the State

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper touched on a host of divisive issues in his State of the State address today, including the budget, economy and civil unions.
January 12, 2012

Woodbridge Housing Authority Is First to Turn to Wind Energy

The agency in Woodbridge Township, N.J., is using wind energy to save more than $6 million and keep greenhouse gases out of the air.
January 11, 2012

Energy, Pipeline Policies Center Mont. Governor's Race

Mont. state Sen. Larry Jent, who's trailing behind his challenger in campaign fundraising, may be turning the tide of what's so far been a quiet gubernatorial race.
January 11, 2012

Montana Lawmakers Want to Save Supreme Court Ballot Measure

In Montana, a group of voters are trying to strike a measure from the June primary ballot and a group of Republican lawmakers want permission to stop them.
January 10, 2012

States Consider Following Calif.'s Suit and Banning Tanning

Several states may soon join California, which at the start of this year became the first state to make it illegal for teenagers to use cancer-causing tanning beds.
January 9, 2012

Conn. Gives Private Medicaid Insurers the Boot

The “insurance capital of the world” is only the second state to assume the health program’s financial responsibility in the last decade.
January 6, 2012

Mass. Scrambles to Fund Health Coverage for Legal Immigrants After Ruling

The Bay State's highest court ruled that all eligible legal immigrants must get the option of low-cost subsidized health insurance.
January 5, 2012

Utah Legislator to Consider Charging Medicaid Users for Smoking

A Utah state lawmaker wants to make Medicaid users who smoke pay higher co-payments. If enacted, it might be the first law of its kind.
January 5, 2012

A Library for Helping Limited English Speakers

This online Language Portal holds thousands of government documents designed to help people who speak limited to no English.
January 2, 2012

Mich. Program Gets Prisoners Out of Costly Isolation Cells

Some states are putting prisoners in isolation at increasing rates. A Mich. penitentiary program that has caught the attention of other states is looking to do the opposite.
December 30, 2011

Legislative Issues to Watch in 2012

These nine topics will shape debate in state legislatures in 2012.
December 22, 2011

The Best Government Ideas of 2011

Governing reviewed all its Idea Center entries throughout 2011 to share a select few for their unique approach to common problems.
December 20, 2011

Former Utah House Speaker Resigns to Run for Congress

A few resignations are passing through the Utah Legislature this month. The reason? State law bars lawmakers from fundraising for public office during the legislative session, which is just around the corner.
December 19, 2011

Wyo. Reality TV Show Aims to Get Kids Outside

"Wyoming's Call of the Wild" aims to get more kids interested in hunting, fishing and other outdoor pursuits.
December 16, 2011

Dan Liljenquist Resigns from Utah Senate for Possible U.S. Senate Run

Just weeks after accepting Governing’s Public Officials of the Year award, Utah Sen. Dan Liljenquist has resigned -- a move that many speculate is because he plans to run for Congress.
December 15, 2011

New Colo. Education Website Gives Schools Letter Grades

A new system backed by 18 community groups gives parents and educators an easy-to-understand system to compare schools.
December 12, 2011

USDA Offers Insurance to Mont., N.D. Farmers to Grow Oilseed Crop for Biofuel

The camelina crop can be converted into renewable energy, possibly bringing new jobs to rural America. But until now, farmers lacked the incentive and insurance to grow it.
December 8, 2011

Schools Can Finally Give Leftovers to Food Banks

A recent change in federal law gives schools an alternative to throwing unused food in the trash.
December 5, 2011

Several States May Open Horse Slaughterhouses

Four years after the last horse slaughterhouse in the country closed, President Barack Obama paved the way for new plants to pop up.
December 5, 2011

Transferring 911 Mental-Health Calls Could Reduce Harm

An Oregon county will begin transferring 911 calls from people having mental-health crises to qualified professionals who can keep callers out of jail and danger.
December 1, 2011

Nashville Library Delivery Service Boosts Literacy

Instead of waiting for students to go to the library, which can be difficult since most aren't of driving age, Nashville Public Library is bringing the books to them.
November 30, 2011

Training for Free

A Georgia program that President Obama wants to expand nationwide shows that businesses might hire more workers if they don’t have to pay for training.
November 28, 2011

Sending Sunlight Down to an Underground Park

A proposal to transform an inoperative New York City trolley terminal into an underground park could bring in money for the city.
November 21, 2011

N.Y. Credits Military Experience for Jobs, Education

The Cuomo administration strives to make military experience transfer into college credit and job certifications.
November 18, 2011

Utah May Offer Health Insurance in Exchange for Community Service

Utah health officials are mulling over the idea of giving health insurance to cash-strapped people in exchange for community service.
November 17, 2011

More States Offering Low-Interest College Loans

Some students have sought every form of financial aid possible and still can't afford college. Some states are stepping up to help.
November 16, 2011

Oil Pipelines at Risk of Failure in Mont., Wyo.

Federal inspectors have found hundreds of problematic pipelines in Montana and Wyoming that are at risk of causing another oil spill in the region.
November 15, 2011

Advocates Urge Congress to Fight State Voting Changes

Advocates want Congress to pass legislation to combat new state laws that they say will disenfranchise young, elderly, minority, disabled and low-income voters.
November 14, 2011

Cops' New Weapon for Accountability: Cameras

More and more police officers are walking around with body cameras on their uniforms in hopes of increasing transparency and accountability.
November 14, 2011

Supreme Court to Hear Health Care Reform Law

The nation's highest court will hear the case in March, but a ruling isn’t expected until June – in the midst of the 2012 presidential campaign.
November 11, 2011

Almost-Retired Lawmaker to Run for Utah Governor

State lawmaker Ken Sumsion will run on a campaign to reform public school spending and gain access to the state's federally controlled lands.
November 11, 2011

EPA Finds Fracking Chemical in Wyo. Drinking Water

But the agency is hesitant to link the natural gas drilling process to the contaminated water.
November 10, 2011

Oregon Is First State to Vote by iPad

The technology helps people with disabilities cast their ballots easily and more privately.
November 9, 2011

Eight States Launch Anti-Meth Websites

The websites feature graphic images and chilling statistics about the risks associated with methamphetamines.
November 8, 2011

Idaho, Mont. Wolf Hunts Head to Court

After two failed attempts to temporarily halt the hunting of wolves in Idaho and Montana, wildlife advocates are trying a third time today.
November 8, 2011

Idaho Works Out Details for Online Class Requirement

After Idaho became the first state to require high school students to take two online credits last week, state education officials are working on ways to keep as much of the taxpayers money in schools as possible.
November 7, 2011

Massachusetts Makes Use of Leftover Crops

The Massachusetts Gleaning Network will connect growers and volunteers in efforts to provide food in case of emergencies.
November 3, 2011

Judges Negotiate Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

In New York courts, which face a swarm of liability lawsuits, medically trained judges and attorneys work together to reduce the money and time spent on such cases.
November 1, 2011

Supreme Court Rejects Utah Church-State Case

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request yesterday to revisit the constitutionality of religious symbols on government property.
October 31, 2011

States Link Databases to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

Drug dealers and addicts often jump borders to beat the system. Several states are trying to keep that from happening.
October 28, 2011

SCOTUS Preview: From the Courthouse to the Slaughterhouse

Many of the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court cases may affect state courts.
October 27, 2011

More Cities Will Get 'Smarter' in 2012

IBM will give $50 million in grants and expert advice to cities that want to solve their problems using data-based solutions.
October 27, 2011

Great Lakes States Ask High Court to Block Waterways

After the U.S. Supreme Court twice rejected requests from Michigan to close off Chicago area waterways to the invasive Asian carp species, the state is hoping there’s influence in numbers.
October 24, 2011

Finding Jobs on Facebook

The site is for more than social networking now. It could be how someone lands their next job.
October 20, 2011

Greening Public Housing

Indianapolis is among a few cities in the country making public housing a sustainable way to live.
October 17, 2011

Sacramento Offers 'Wheels to Work' for All

People can't secure jobs without showing up to interviews. Sacramento County is making sure homeless people can.
October 13, 2011

New Online Tool Tracks Personal Taxes

The City of Houston has created a new tool to show taxpayers how their dollars are spent -- down to the very last cent.
October 12, 2011

A Quick Lesson in Job Statistics

There seems to be confusion about jobs and the workforce in Illinois, so let’s clear it up a bit.
October 10, 2011

Calif. City Wants to Take Day Laborer Ban to U.S. Supreme Court

After years of judicial back and forth over a so-called day laborer ban, the Redondo Beach City Council plans to ask the nation’s highest court to hear their case.
October 10, 2011

Google Helps Local Businesses Get Online

At no cost and in under an hour, businesses in ten states can create a website with the help of a web marketing pro.
October 6, 2011

Phoenix Metro Area Recycles Waste, Buildings to Fight Sprawl

Waste and rundown buildings are helping the region improve its neighborhoods at an affordable rate.
October 5, 2011

Medicaid, Criminal Justice Cases Start Supreme Court Term

While it's still uncertain whether the fate of the Affordable Care Act will be in the hands of the nation's top nine justices, a number of cases involving Medicaid and criminal justice could impact states.
October 3, 2011

Calif. Expands Recycling to Renters

A new state law requires apartment buildings to offer the option that many take for granted.
September 30, 2011

Students' Green Solutions Save Governments Money

Tapping into young peoples’ creativity in search of green improvements has paid off for an Alaskan school district and its taxpayers.
September 29, 2011

Veterans Fight Unemployment with Fire

The California Conservation Corps is the latest to offer returning military personnel training in wildfire prevention, making them attractive candidates for firefighting and forestry jobs.
September 27, 2011

States Get Federal Funding to Employ People with Disabilities

Seven states are set to receive federal funding to create employment networks for people with disabilities.
September 26, 2011

Adding Asian Carp to Peoples' Palate

Illinois wants to serve the invasive species as a healthy, cheap option in food banks. But first, people must be willing to eat it.
September 22, 2011

Wash. and Va. High School Students Get IT Certified

Following North Carolina's lead, both states will offer computer technology training and IT certifications to all public high school students.
September 21, 2011

Report: First Time in 10 Years, More State Tax Reductions Than Raises

Despite budget deficits, states reduced more taxes than they raised in 2011, a recent National Conference of State Legislatures report found.
September 19, 2011

Hiring the Homeless to Build Their Own Houses

A Washington, D.C., program could be a model for weaning people off welfare, reducing the homeless population and improving the look of cities.
September 15, 2011

Prisoners Refurbish Recycled Computers for Agency's Use

A South Carolina prison is taking advantage of a new recycling law to save on IT spending.
September 12, 2011

Planning the Future -- for Free

MIT just released a program that shows city planners and policymakers how their decisions would affect urban growth.
September 8, 2011

Making Smart-Meter Stats Even More Accessible

People could pay more attention to energy data if it's displayed alongside personal photos in a digital frame.
September 1, 2011

Political Boot Camp for South Florida’s Leaders

A new program offers rookie elected officials a crash course in government, hoping they’ll avoid predecessors’ mistakes.
August 31, 2011

How A County Reduces Homeless and Jail Populations

Unlike most shelters, this one offers a place for people with mental illness and substance use problems to avoid jail and better their situations.
August 29, 2011

Terminal Bee

The nation’s first beehive farm, located at O’Hare, is creating some buzz by providing ex-convicts jobs, increasing bee populations and keeping runways clear.
August 25, 2011

Schools Start Cooking from Scratch Again

After years of serving factory-made food to students, Colorado schools have found an affordable way to offer healthy, freshly cooked meals.
August 22, 2011

The Hearing Impaired Get Involved in Emergency Response

For the first time in Texas, special-needs groups are being targeted for community emergency response training.
August 18, 2011

Making Use of the Shoulder Lane

Hoping to improve public transit's reliability and encourage its use, Illinois will allow selected buses to drive in the shoulder during rush hour.
August 15, 2011

Turning Toilet Water into Drinking Water

Facing extreme drought, municipalities in west Texas are beginning to recycle wastewater.
August 11, 2011

Therapy Dogs Bring Comfort to the Courtroom

Courts in several states allow stress-detecting dogs to face the stand with child witnesses.
August 8, 2011

Second Municipality to Allow People to Text 911

The "text-to-911" pilot will allow citizens who can't call 911 in Durham County, N.C., to connect with emergency operators.
August 4, 2011

Finding Summer Employment for Crossing Guards

Having crossing guards write parking tickets ends their paycheck-less summers and generates more money for the city.
August 1, 2011

America's First All-Electric Car Sharing Program

With 1,500 charging stations already in place, San Diego was selected to be the first city with such a service.
July 29, 2011

Providing Work Opportunities and Food to the Hungry

A county in North Carolina created a community garden so the unemployed can work for benefits, training and food.
July 28, 2011

'Secret Shoppers' Keep Tabs on NYC Supermarkets

A new initiative educates customers about their rights and allows them to easily report any violations that may result in overcharges.
July 25, 2011

Wellness Insurance Plan Improves State Workers' Health

Nebraska's public employees reportedly ate healthier, smoked less, exercised more and experienced less stress since enrolling in the new plan.
July 21, 2011

Medically Equipped Motorcycles Increase Response Time

The bikes enable paramedics to weave through traffic faster than ambulances.
July 18, 2011

The Northeast's First Cyber Disruption Team

Rhode Island has assembled a team to battle cyber disruptions that result from natural disasters, viruses or attacks.
July 14, 2011

Creating Competition for Charter Schools

Massachusetts is opening more “innovation schools” this fall to keep kids from transferring to charter schools and taking education dollars with them.
July 7, 2011

Learn Here, Live Here

Connecticut lawmakers want to offer its graduates a homebuyer tax credit to keep them from fleeing the state.
July 7, 2011

Funkhouser Leads The GOVERNING Institute

International auditing expert and former Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Mark Funkhouser will lead The GOVERNING Institute, a new research and advisory institute for state and local leaders.
June 30, 2011

Hoping for Brighter Budgets

The Arizona Department of Transportation is using solar-powered technology to reduce its fuel consumption and save money.
June 30, 2011

Do Superintendents Need Classroom Experience?

In recent years, state legislators and school boards nationwide have been paving the way for people with little or no education experience to lead districts.
June 29, 2011

N.Y. Union Negotiations Not Quite a Victory Yet

It is true that leaders of New York's Civil Service Employees Association agreed to a major pay and benefits contract. But this should not be mistaken as a victory for Gov. Cuomo or a concession from the union yet.
June 27, 2011

Seeing Solar Energy's Impact in Numbers

A new map calculates the potential, annual savings and environmental impact that solar panels would have on every building in New York City.
June 23, 2011

Lessening the Impact of Small Fines

Marin County, Calif., launched a community court to void certain unpaid fines for homeless and low-income people.
June 20, 2011

Providing and Protecting Volunteer Dentists

New laws in the Midwest remove disincentives for retired dentists to volunteer their services to low-cost clinics.
June 16, 2011

Cleaning the Way Out of Homelessness

In San Jose, homeless people who assist in cleaning local creeks can receive food, shelter and employment in return.
June 13, 2011

Keeping Misdemeanor Offenders Out of Jail

A new law in Kentucky gives police officers more power to judge offenders, hoping it will free up space in jails.
June 6, 2011

Infrared Technology for Repairing Roads

Several municipalities have found a quicker way to reduce the costs and traffic associated with road repairs.
June 2, 2011

An Educational Use for Cooking Oil

Instead of urging residents to throw their used cooking oil away, Dallas converts it into bio-fuel for school buses.
May 31, 2011

Is It OK to Text While Lawmaking?

The legality of texting while lawmaking has been cause for debate, but Texas may be the first state to ban the practice altogether.
May 26, 2011

Prioritizing Homes for LA’s Homeless

Members of the Hollywood community banded together to find homes for the homeless – making those in the greatest danger their top priority.
May 23, 2011

Txting Ur State Gov’t

Arkansas is the first state to allow citizens to text the government with questions.
May 19, 2011

From Michigan Farms to Your Plate

MSU researchers are developing a way for conscious consumers to track their beef down to the individual animal.
May 16, 2011

Making Emissions Testing Less of a Hassle

Tennessee is reigniting the use of remote sensing technology to test emissions while vehicles are on the road.
May 12, 2011

Minn. Counties Push for More Pilot Program Flexibility

A bill in the Minn. Legislature seeks to expand counties’ power so they can launch innovative programs without dealing with red tape.
May 9, 2011

CA Investigating Sewage as Potential Energy Source

A two-year, $1 million pilot will determine if this renewable source can be used for electricity.
May 5, 2011

Top 25 Innovations in Government Selected

From the facilitation of video chatting with inmates to planning for the next natural disaster, here’s a look at the nation's best problem-solving programs.
May 2, 2011

'Neighborhood Courts' to Reduce Crowding, Cut Costs

San Francisco’s one-of-a-kind program puts nonviolent criminals to work for clean records.
April 28, 2011

Reducing Repeat 911 Callers

A pilot program that saved the Baltimore City Fire Department money and increased their efficiency has become a permanent fixture.
April 26, 2011

Report: Economic Downturn Widened Pension Funding Gap

Newly released data show how the Great Recession exacerbated states' ability to fund pensions.
April 25, 2011

Reducing Pollution -- One Bulldozer at a Time

N.J. will retrofit construction equipment and impose stricter emissions standards to improve air quality.
April 21, 2011

Online Courses Help Students Manage Money

School districts are teaming with credit unions to help students meet financial literacy requirements in a flexible way.
April 18, 2011

Jobs on Wheels

Tennessee will roll out three vehicles to rural areas, bringing job-search assistance to those who need it most.
April 14, 2011

New Phone App for Filing Federal and State Taxes

With a few days left, iPhone and Android users can file their taxes with a few clicks.
April 11, 2011

Rebirth of the American Farmer

A pilot project in Washington state aims to attract more youth to farming by making internships safer and more educational.
April 7, 2011

Phasing Out The Big, Red Fire Truck

Notoriously gas-guzzling SUVs are being used in place of fire trucks to reduce fuel usage and costs.
April 4, 2011

Program Aims to Prevent Gun Violence ‘Disease’

A New Orleans initiative identifies those in contact with shooting victims and tries to keep the violence from spreading.
March 31, 2011

'Talking Bus' Technology Prevents Pedestrian Accidents

In several cities, buses alert pedestrians when they are making a turn.
March 28, 2011

Prepaying for Electricity in Ocala, Fla.

Residents will have the option to pay their electricity usage similar to the way they pay for gas -- upfront.
March 24, 2011

Drive-bys Reduce Western Mass. Residents’ Heating Costs

A new state pilot program is using thermal imaging technology inside SUVs to evaluate and improve the energy performance of homes.
March 21, 2011

Failing High Schoolers Get a Dose of Reality

A new program in Hawaii high schools shows students what their life could be like if they don’t improve their grades.
March 17, 2011

Five Localities Aim to Eliminate Junk Mail

One program has the potential to save municipal governments up to $10 per household in collection and landfill costs.
March 14, 2011

Online Citizen Profiles Improve Emergency Response

Citizens that upload vital information into online profiles allow emergency call centers to improve their speed and quality of assistance.
February 24, 2011

Mental Health Court Cuts Spending and Reduces Crime

A program to treat, rather than jail, the mentally ill in Colorado has saved the county and state $600,000.