TABLE of CONTENTS August 2010

Cover Story

Mississippi's Corrections Reform

BY John Buntin

How America's reddest state -- and most notorious prison -- became a model of corrections reform.

Features

The 'Chris Christie' Way

New Jersey's new governor has a take-no-prisoners style, but there are signs he is learning the art of the deal. BY Josh Goodman

FEMA: Making a Comeback

An invigorated FEMA is on the comeback trail. Do the federal agency's local partners see any progress? BY Jonathan Walters

Seattle Tackles Broadband

Seattle is considering building its own fiber-to-the-home network. Should the city get involved when its residents are already connected? BY Tina Trenkner

Pension Preparedness

When it comes to retirement systems, levels of funding and liability are all over the map. BY Andy Kim

Dispatch

Dispatch

The Future of the Western States

Is the West's future half empty or half full? BY Paul W. Taylor

Politics + Policy

Lawmaking

American States That Might Have Been

The strange history of states that never were, and their arbitrary borders. BY Josh Goodman
Infrastructure & Environment

NYC Experiments with Bus Rapid Transit

The Big Apple needs some serious help to make city buses be a faster, more reliable method of transportation. BY Josh Goodman
Economic Development

Rhode Island's Slots Subsidy

Some state officials insist financially helping the Twin River Casino would be a smart move. BY Josh Goodman
Politics

Running in the Shadow of Spitzer, Cuomo

Will New York's next attorney general embrace his predecessors or blaze her own path? BY Josh Goodman
Potomac Chronicle

Marijuana: To Legalize or Not to Legalize?

Federal, state and local governments can't seem to agree whether to legalize cannabis. BY Donald F. Kettl
Economic Development

Taking a Swipe at Card-Swiping Fees

A growing source of profit for card companies took a hit in Vermont. BY Tina Trenkner
Health & Human Services

Minimizing Retiree Health-Care Benefits

Can medical trusts be the answer to the shrinking retiree health-care benefit? BY Jessica Mulholland
Energy & Environment

Banning Bottled Water

Can laws against using public money to purchase bottled water save our tap water? BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Economic Engines

Accelerating Amtrak Trains

Will superfast train service in the Northeast ever happen? BY Alex Marshall
Urban Notebook

Libraries Lose More Than Time

Hammered by budget cuts, some libraries must cut more than just hours. BY Tod Newcombe

Problem Solver

Economic Development

The Minnesota-Wisconsin Partnership

The 'Minnesconsin' adventure may not always be easy, but the two states have found that collaboration is cost-effective. BY Heather Kerrigan
Smart Management

Partnering Up: Public-Private Partnerships

Partnering for value can be great for a state or city, but the devil is in the details. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Tech Talk

Utilizing Web 2.0 Tools

State and local governments use social networks to save time and enhance collaboration. BY Steve Towns
Public Money

Going to Bat for a VAT

Tax solutions for Social Security and Medicare could also heal the states. BY Girard Miller
Politics

Fixing New Orleans

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has a rare chance to turn the city around. BY John Buntin