Cover Story

A Little Sunshine

BY Melissa Maynard

After a period of eclipse, anti-secrecy and open-government laws are making a comeback.


A Counselor's Calling

If there's a way to tame long-term-care costs, a program that puts patients in control may be it. BY Will Wilson

Biofuel Boom

Move over corn. States are plowing millions into switchgrass and other sources for alternative fuels. BY Josh Goodman


When the subject of illegal immigration comes up, the states you think about first are Texas and California. Maybe Arizona. But, as of July 1, it... BY Josh Goodman

The Valley of Surveillance

You can find practically anything you need along Indian School and Thomas roads in Phoenix - at the tortillerias, the pharmacies, the supermarkets, the auto... BY Ellen Perlman

The Long and Taxing Road

For one year ending this spring, hundreds of motorists around Portland, Oregon, got used to watching their cars' odometers very closely. They had good reason... BY Kathleen Hunter

Up Front


Water Diplomat

William Ruckelshaus has had lots of tough assignments. He's got another one now. BY Sarah Harney

Shareholder Heaven

If you own stock in a company, you might want it to move to North Dakota. BY Sarah Harney

Rancor In Little Rock

The city famous for civil rights turmoil is arguing over race in schools again. BY Sarah Harney

Northern Exposure

This morning, I saw a map showing the spread of the mumps in Iowa (815 people and counting) and beyond. So far, 350 additional cases have been ... BY Anne Jordan

Auditor In Charge

Mark Funkhouser has to make the switch from pointing out problems to solving them. BY Sarah Harney
Hidden Section

New Life in Newark

Father Linder has built a small empire that offers services government has been unable to provide. BY Alan Ehrenhalt

Press 1 to Self-Destruct

With voice mail, what you say can and will be used against you. Take the case of former Florida state Representative Ralph Arza, who recently... BY Mark Stencel
Potomac Chronicle

Pills of Protest

High drug prices are pushing some states to take radical action. BY Jonathan Walters

The Business of Government

Infrastructure & Environment

Staying Afloat: Kansas Learns a Lesson About Motor Pools

In 2003, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius Eliminated The State's Motor Vehicle Pool. Cars Were Sold Off. Agencies Were Directed To Rent The Vehicles They Need. Sibelius Predicted Major Savings. BY Sarah Harney
Infrastructure & Environment

How Green Is My Blacktop

Illinois is Moving Ahead With a New Formula for Rubber-Tire Roadways. BY Sarah Harney
Smart Management

An Ounce of Encouragement

Some states and localities are taking steps to get constituents to do what they ought to do anyway. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Health & Human Services

A System in Collapse

Picture this: Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell comes to the nation's capital to tell a gathering of health care advocates, health industry representatives and health writers... BY Penelope Lemov
Economic Development

Auditors Anonymous

Cities are turning to "mystery shoppers" to evaluate how well they deliver services. BY Sarah Harney
Public Money

Kentucky Fried Bonds

A Supreme Court case on state exemptions of interest income from muni bonds could fire up big changes in the bond market. BY John E. Petersen
Energy & Environment

Ebb and Flow: Counties With Big Win On Trash

Where does local garbage go? The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in April that cities and counties can mandate that trash, haulers bring the waste they collect to publicly owned landfills. BY Sarah Harney
Economic Development

In Orbit: A Spaceport Takes Off

Economic development isn't rocket science. It's more like risk management--making strategic investments to stay competitive in the global market. BY Sarah Harney
Economic Development

Clearing a Vision For Los Angeles

A planning commission challenges city leaders on visual blight. BY Sarah Harney
Economic Development

Clearing a Vision For Los Angeles

A planning commission challenges city leaders on visual blight. BY Sarah Harney