TABLE of CONTENTS July 2012

Cover Story

Panama Canal Expansion Has U.S. Ports Rushing

BY Ryan Holeywell

States are seeking to spend billions of dollars to build bigger ports to accommodate the massive ships that will soon be traveling through the canal. Can they move quickly enough?

FEATURES

Cathy Lanier Changes Policing in D.C. and Maybe Nation

The police chief's rejection of zero-tolerance policing that’s driven urban crime fighting for a generation may change the future of public safety in America. BY John Buntin

Legislating Social Media in the States

States are confronting the challenges of protecting passwords, regulating status updates and other issues surrounding a new world with Facebook and Twitter. BY Dylan Scott

David Walker’s Plan to Fix America

After stepping down as head of the Government Accountability Office, David Walker started drawing the nation’s roadmap to fiscal sustainability that’s also applicable to states and cities. BY Zach Patton

Southern States Have Become Job-Training Leaders

Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina have quietly positioned themselves as leaders in the job-training effort. Each state’s program is unique, but they share some commonalities. BY Dylan Scott

Disclosing Public Employee Pay Troubles Some Officials

A new GOVERNING survey finds some public officials do not think their compensation should be public as governments work to make the information more available. BY Mike Maciag

POLITICS + POLICY

Lawmaking

Social Issues Overshadow Tennessee Legislative Session

Tennessee made a bid (again) to become the nation’s most socially conservative state by voting on bills regarding school prayer, sex education, climate change and abortion. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Infrastructure & Environment

Los Angeles Transit Needs Taxpayers' Money to Rebuild

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is asking voters to pay a half-cent sales tax longer so he can finish his plans to improve the highway and subway systems quicker. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Health & Human Services

Does Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Save Money?

Seven states have enacted drug testing for welfare applicants in an effort to cut costs and combat fraud -- but it’s not clear the move does either. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Public Safety & Justice

More Trees Equals Less Crime

In Baltimore, a new study showed that a 10 percent increase in tree cover yielded at least a 12 percent decrease in crime. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Economic Development

Chatype: The Nation’s First Municipal Font

Chattanooga, Tennessee raised more than $10,000 to support its efforts to become the first U.S. city with its own font. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Dispatch

North Carolina Politics Get in the Way of Governing

Gov. Bev Perdue and at least 30 state lawmakers have decided not to run for reelection this fall, many of them citing the loss of civility and willingness to compromise when it comes to doing the public’s business. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Potomac Chronicle

The Politics of Rising Tuition Costs

Obama blames the states, but the problem is more complicated. BY Caroline Cournoyer
FedWatch

House GOP: Who Needs Data, Anyway?

State and local governments have joined the fight against a House plan to stop collecting demographic data. BY Ryan Holeywell
Health & Human Services

Medical Tourism Saves Government Money

Even when you include airfare and meals, having public employees travel abroad for health care -- which a growing number of public entities are offering as an option -- can be significantly cheaper. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Energy & Environment

What Birds Indicate About Home Values

New research shows that lots of birds in an area can mean higher property values. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Economic Engines

Rick Snyder Takes a Venture Capitalist’s Approach to Governing Michigan

The governor is redirecting economic development incentives. Will it work? BY Caroline Cournoyer
Urban Notebook

Chicago Brings Participatory Budgeting to the U.S.

Participatory budgeting, which started in Latin America, lets citizens determine spending priorities. BY Caroline Cournoyer

PROBLEM SOLVER

Citizens & Performance

Reducing Pet Populations in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has begun to shift funds away from impounding and euthanizing cats and dogs toward a free spaying and neutering program. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Smart Management

The Public’s Problem with Performance Measurements

The average citizen isn’t interested in government-tracked measurements. But if it’s results-based data that directly affects their lives, they might be. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Idea Center

Colorado Program Connects Inventors to Patent Attorneys

A new plan will target low-income inventors, allowing them greater opportunities and protection BY Tina Trenkner
Idea Center

NYC to Pilot Multifunction Phone Booths

Smart screens will collect data for the city while providing neighborhood information to users. BY Brian Peteritas
Tech Talk

Lessons from Utah's Massive Data Breach

Utah's former CIO Steve Fletcher says cybersecurity is everyone's job. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Public Money

"Say on Pay" for Public Pension Funds

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. BY Zach Patton