TABLE of CONTENTS February 2005Cover Story
BY Alan Greenblatt
State and local revenue bases are threatened as more companies offer communication services via the untaxable Internet.
Decades ago, on a long car ride home from college, a friend of mine and I were talking about whether the liberal arts education we were getting had any practical use. He said he thought his might. He was majoring in medieval history, and in the event of a new Dark Age-- post-nuclear chaos or the aftermath of a huge natural catastrophe--he would know exactly what to do.
Terry Tamminen brings a Southern California mellowness to the un- mellow job of reorganizing state government.
Mark this in your diary: The great American free ride is fast coming to an end. In the years ahead, the solution to traffic congestion will be toll roads. From San Francisco to Houston, Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, transportation officials have decided that the next great wave of highway construction will come with an explicit price--and sometimes not a cheap one.
The Business of Government
When we decide to build a new highway or train line, we think about unclogging traffic jams. That is shortsighted.
Many states and localities collect performance measurement data but don't necessarily make good use if it. In Iowa, a group of cities has used the data to make real changes in policy as the result of a program that actively solicits input from citizens' panels.
States and localities will play a key role in developing regional systems to track medical records digitally.
In response to a dozen insurance failures following the 1992 Hurricane Andrew disaster, Florida in 2002 created the Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
Like most cities with large homeless populations, Berkeley, California, has a problem with transients abandoning bags or shopping carts of their belongings on the streets. What's unusual about Berkeley is what city officials do with all that stuff: They freeze it.
Chicago is one of the great restaurant cities in America, but some suburban residents prefer to eat out closer to home. In fact, locals have become so enamored with the new dining options at tollway rest areas that the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is working to ease pedestrian access and construct parking spaces along local access roads.
Rev your engine and floor it! Take it up to 100 mph if you can. Not only will the cops not arrest you, they'll probably be there cheering you on. They may even race with you.
Kansas lawmakers have until April 12 to increase funding for education in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling last month.