TABLE of CONTENTS February 2010

Cover Story

Health-Care Reform: Similar States, Different Views

BY John Buntin

Twenty-nine-year-old Samantha Brooks has a health problem: She just got a job. In October 2008, Brooks went into the hospital for an emergency gall bladder operation....


Health Care for the Needy

As the complex debate over health-care reform rages, local government hasn't really been figured in. While lawmakers in Washington at least considered the impact of... BY John Buntin

Southeastern Water Wars

On June 10, 2009, state officials in Georgia declared that the severe three-year drought that parched metro Atlanta and much of the Southeast was finally over. But... BY Josh Goodman

Stemming the Tide of Homelessness

Last year, when the city of Raleigh, N.C., partnered with Wake County to announce a new program to help homeless families find housing, officials... BY Zach Patton

Rushing to Pay for Education Reform

The week before Jan. 19, 2010, was a busy one for Tim Webb, Tennessee's commissioner of education. Webb and his aides were in meetings and briefings in... BY Tina Trenkner

Keeping the Streets of America's Snowiest City Clean

There are places nationwide that get more snow, but among cities with populations greater than 100,000, Syracuse's snowfall is supreme. BY David Kidd


Management & Labor

Taking Stock

Recalling 22 years of assessing the ebb and flow of states and localities. BY Alan Ehrenhalt

Politics + Policy


Reaching for a Tuition Tax?

In cities from Boston to Baltimore to Birmingham, Ala., universities and hospitals have played key roles in revitalizing urban neighborhoods. But expansions of eds and... BY Josh Goodman
Health & Human Services

Health Reform, Utah Style

Conservative Utah doesn't usually have a lot in common with liberal Massachusetts. But both states have embraced health exchanges - one of the big ideas... BY Josh Goodman

Merging Historically Black Universities

Now that American higher education has been racially integrated for decades, what's the role of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)? That's the question that... BY Josh Goodman

A Candidate Takes on Taxes

When Lincoln Chafee kicked off his campaign for governor of Rhode Island in January, he did something unconventional: He actually made news. Rather than stick... BY Josh Goodman
Potomac Chronicle

A Decade To Remember

10 years, 10 highlights for federalism. BY Donald F. Kettl
Health & Human Services

Texting to Better Health

As the days of traditional paper and file medical records start to fade, health care delivery is following suit. Patients want better access to care,... BY Jessica B. Mulholland
Energy & Environment

The Controversy About Smart Meters

Utilities in California, Texas and the Northeast are spending billions of dollars outfitting homes and businesses with these meters. Not everyone thinks smart meters are so smart. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Economic Engines

The Aughts: The Decade of Infrastructure

As the decade ends, there's little to cheer save a notable exception: infrastructure. BY Alex Marshall
Urban Notebook

Empty Lot Syndrome

Cities explore temporary uses for vacant lots. BY Tod Newcombe

Problem Solver

Hidden Section

Driving Change: Go Big or Go Home

Forget incremental improvement, create a team focused solely on change. BY John O'Leary
Smart Management

Fatally-Flawed Mortality Statistics

Inaccurate information on death certificates impacts how states allocate health-care funds. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Tech Talk

Los Angeles Embraces Google's Gmail

An innovative technology deal turns political for the Los Angeles City Council president. BY Steve Towns
Public Money

Furlough Fever

Are four-day workweeks the beginning of a permanent trend or a passing phenomenon? BY Girard Miller
Public Safety & Justice

San Francisco's Populist Public Defender

Public defenders are often seen as the Rodney Dangerfields of local government: They get respect from neither the prosecutor-loving public nor other public officials. Not... BY John Buntin