TABLE of CONTENTS December 2007

Cover Story

Healthy Handouts

BY Josh Goodman

Borrowing a page from private health insurers, state Medicaid programs are testing the wellness waters.

Features

Tougher than Wall Street

Jon Corzine worked miracles at Goldman Sachs. Doing it in Trenton is a different story. BY Alan Greenblatt

The Big Benefit Base

A recent survey finds that state and local employees have certain compensatory advantages. BY Josh Goodman

Local Warming

It's a blue-sky morning in Seattle, which means that Ron Sims can see the Cascades all the way from his downtown office. The mountain range... BY Christopher Swope

Digital-Age Digs

For more than 200 years, St. Mary's Catholic Church Cemetery has anchored the corner of Washington and Church streets in Alexandria, Virginia, while several enterprises have... BY Ellen Perlman

In the Green

Viking Terrace Apartments, a low-income housing complex in rural Worthington, Minnesota, boasts some amenities. Thanks to an extensive renovation completed this summer, the four-building, 60-unit... BY Ellen Perlman

Up Front

BY Ellen Perlman
Politics

Evening Star

Steve Beshear once hoped to be Kentucky's wonder-boy governor. Now, he's coming in as an elder statesman. BY Alan Greenblatt
Infrastructure & Environment

Zoned Out

D.C.'s cab system will soon cease to be an irrational anomaly. Not everyone approves of that change. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

The Wrong Message

Governments shouldn't consider it inevitable that they will get bad press. BY Alan Greenblatt
Economic Development

Defined Confusion

Cutting pensions saves states money, right? Maybe eventually. BY Alan Greenblatt
Economic Development

Cut a Tax, or Kill it?

Los Angeles faces a tricky revenue decision. BY Alan Greenblatt
Hidden Section

Reconsidering Suit Ability

There's a longstanding impression that something is seriously out of control in the civil justice system. BY Alan Ehrenhalt
Potomac Chronicle

No Political Traction

Federalism isn't irrelevant to the 2008 presidential campaign. It's just that no candidate is framing ways for the feds to deal with the big issues. BY Donald F. Kettl
Economic Engines

The Streetcar Surge

Streetcars, popular again in a growing number of cities, have the potential to be a vital part of urban transportation systems. BY Alex Marshall

The Business of Government

Health & Human Services

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. BY Penelope Lemov
Tech Talk

Crazy Cool in L.A

A fire department taps into microblogging to keep itself on top of situations. BY Ellen Perlman
Tech Talk

Crazy Cool in L.A

A fire department taps into microblogging to keep itself on top of situations. BY Ellen Perlman
Economic Development

Fee Fight: Public Employees Have Hidden Costs in Their Investment Plans.

The lack of "fee transparency" in 401(k) plans has caught the attention of the U.S. Congress, which may require defined-contribution (DC) plan providers to disclose all service fees. That's because fees in public and private DC plans are seldom presented clearly. BY Girard Miller
Management & Labor

Buyouts in the Balance

The elusive savings of retirement incentives BY Alan Greenblatt
Health & Human Services

The Doctor Is Out: Minnesota Cracks Down on Gift Giving

Minnesota is the only state to limit gifts drug companies can give doctors, but its cap of no more than $50 a year in free food or other presents may catch on elsewhere. In September, New Jersey created a task force to examine ways to set similar limits. The freebies are seen as unduly influencing prescription-writing and raising costs. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Infrastructure & Environment

Boarding Calls

Airports are catering to busy travelers and their animals with kennels fit for Fideaux. BY Zach Patton
Infrastructure & Environment

Boarding Calls

Airports are catering to busy travelers and their animals with kennels fit for Fideaux. BY Zach Patton
Finance

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. BY Penelope Lemov
Economic Development

Power Puffs

From my neighborhood in Livingston, Montana, you can watch three wind turbines spin with the gales that rush down from the Rocky Mountains. The towers... BY Tom Arrandale
Economic Engines

The New Industrial Age

Cities on the cutting edge of the new economy are taking steps to retain their stock of industrial land. BY William Fulton
Technology

Colorado Consolidates

The governor moves to streamline the state's IT systems. BY Ellen Perlman