TABLE of CONTENTS February 2006

Cover Story

Piecemeal Parity

BY Ellen Perlman

When it comes to health insurance for mental illness, states are still wary of full coverage.


Expert Exodus

As baby boomers retire, governments are trying to keep knowledge and experience from going out the door with them. BY Christopher Conte

Many Mansions

This is a busy gubernatorial year, with contests in more than two- thirds of the states. It may also be a year of significant change. BY Josh Goodman

Rewriting the Formula

Does an unconventional coalition in Colorado offer a model for Democrats around the country? BY Alan Ehrenhalt

Faster Than a Speeding Turtle

New high-tech tools can make buses a lot more efficient than they used to be. Will that be enough to satisfy riders? BY Christopher Swope

A Bond Market In Flux

Muni bond borrowing costs may rise, as well as state and local credit ratings. BY Josh Goodman

Up Front


Mellowed Militant

Ron Dellums, the angry Berkeley radical of the 1960s, is making a comeback. But he doesn't sound so angry anymore. BY Sarah Harney
Health & Human Services

Remote Control

Newly chartered cities can outsource almost anything--and some are doing it. BY Sarah Harney
Infrastructure & Environment


Residents of Los Angeles spend an average of 93 hours stuck in traffic per year, according to the Texas Transportation Institute--by far the highest degree of congestion in any American city. Frustrated drivers who turn to L.A.'s public transportation system--historically something of a joke--don't find the going much smoother, as the feature on p. 44 of this magazine shows. BY Sarah Harney
Health & Human Services

Heavy Trash

A new book traces what happens to all our garbage. BY Sarah Harney

Challenges to Abortion

States are the main forum for debate on reproductive issues, and the trend is for greater restriction. BY Sarah Harney

Altered State

In the post-Rowland era, Connecticut is moving left. BY Sarah Harney

Altered State

In the post-Rowland era, Connecticut is moving left. BY Sarah Harney

The "Bill Mckay Effect"

We have a weakness for anointing eager young sons with modest credentials, solely on the strength of their connection to fathers we wouldn't take back if they begged us. BY Sarah Harney

The Business of Government

Economic Engines

Picking Partners

Should the building of vital infrastructure be left to big business or big government? BY Sarah Harney
Tech Talk

Rental Signs

After years of neglect and false starts, low-income housing is finally finding an online home. BY Sarah Harney
Management & Labor

Louisville's Reality Show

A Web site asks citizens to help cops solve crimes. BY Sarah Harney
Management & Labor

It's Elementary: New Jersey Demands Chemical Plant Security

New Jersey has put its chemical processing plants--all 140 of them--on notice. Under a state order signed last fall, those facilities will have to outline their security weaknesses and report them to state officials. That makes the state, which is among a handful of states with the most potentially dangerous chemical sites, the first to change from a voluntary to mandatory reporting system. BY Sarah Harney
Health & Human Services

New Mexico Goes on Call

Nurses to staff an advice line 24/7 BY Sarah Harney
Health & Human Services

Closing Time: A Master Plan for Doing More with Less

Hoping to shore up its ailing hospital industry, New York is shrinking the number of health care facilities in the state. It is doing so by using a process similar to the way the Pentagon closes military bases. BY Sarah Harney
Health & Human Services

Side Effects

Inconsistencies in how patients' bodies are marked for surgery can have serious consequences. BY Sarah Harney

Urban Bright: A Land Bank Helps Save Inner-City Homes

An innovative program in Flint, Michigan--the Genesee County Land Bank--is helping to salvage vacant and abandoned properties and transfer them to new owners for redevelopment. BY Sarah Harney

Hurricane Bonanza

Katrina and Rita shower revenue on two Gulf States. BY Sarah Harney
Energy & Environment

Wetland Wars

Millions of acres of remote bogs, fens and swamps could lose their federal protection. BY Sarah Harney
Economic Engines

Count Your Assets

The vibrant past history and current woes of Lockport, New York, are a wake-up call for struggling post-industrial regions. BY Sarah Harney