TABLE of CONTENTS June 2006

Cover Story

Features

Where Will Sex Offenders Live?

Creating buffer zones around schools and other public places can make entire cities off-limits. BY Ellen Perlman

Real Power

The real estate lobby is under serious competitive challenge, but no pressure group is better at bending legislatures to its will. BY Alan Greenblatt

Rivals with a Cause

Comparing local government practices and performance among neighboring communities is rare but rewarding. BY Jonathan Walters

Fat City

Is there a way for a government to fight obesity? Chicago's new health commissioner is trying to figure that out. BY Christopher Conte

The High-Wire Act

Public fund investors now work in a world where risk means safety. BY John E. Petersen

Solidarity Forgotten

What started as a rift in the AFL-CIO has intensified into a fervent contest between the public employee unions over new recruits. BY Jonathan Walters

Chasing the Shadow

"527" groups are a mysterious but increasingly powerful force in American elections. One state has cracked down on them; others are trying. BY Zach Patton

Up Front

Public Safety & Justice

Unwanted Weapons

Gun violence is a problem that governments at every level wish somebody else would solve. BY Donald F. Kettl
Politics

Restless in Des Moines

Sensing trouble in the fall, Iowa's Senate Republicans have turned to Mary Lundby to bail them out. BY Rob Gurwitt
Health & Human Services

Health Care Deja Vu

Massachusetts tried universal health coverage once before. BY Alan Greenblatt
Economic Development

Wait 'Til Next Year

Utah was all set for tax reform in 2006. Then it got nervous. BY Alan Greenblatt
Economic Development

The Mother of All User Fees

Would you be happier paying taxes if you knew just what you were getting? BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Slow March to the Polls

If more Hispanics voted, they could change American politics. But there are reasons why they don't. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Slow March to the Polls

If more Hispanics voted, they could change American politics. But there are reasons why they don't. BY Alan Greenblatt
Management & Labor

The Bungalow Bind

Middle-aged suburbs with a disproportionate number of houses from the 1950s and '60s are in trouble. BY Alan Ehrenhalt

The Business of Government

View

A Bridge Too Far

My in-laws live in Greenville, South Carolina, where the downtown scene has grown much more robust over the five or six years they've lived there. ... BY Alan Greenblatt
Tech Talk

Born Digital

A handful of states are beginning to focus on the need to preserve digital documents. BY Ellen Perlman
Management & Labor

In the Zone

The pictorial approach to building codes BY Christopher Swope
Management & Labor

Domain Doctor: Utah Puts a Mediator in Charge

Most states are debating new ways of handling eminent-domain cases, but Utah already has a means: a private-property ombudsman--the first (and still only) such ombudsman in the country. BY Alan Greenblatt
Health & Human Services

Stub Snub: Setting New Limits on Tobacco

The battleground over smoking restrictions is shifting from bars and restaurants to cars and the great outdoors. BY Josh Goodman
Health & Human Services

Is There a Druggist in the House?

A Florida county brings the pharmacy to its workplace BY Christopher Swope
Energy & Environment

Allergic Tree Action

Cities' preference for planting male trees has led to the proliferation of pollen. BY Zach Patton
Finance

Getting Back Taxes

Big cities go to court over online hotel-rate deals BY Ellen Perlman
Finance

Bond Bits: Ill Winds and Water

After the devastating hurricanes of last year, Florida and the Gulf Coast states are turning to the municipal bond market to guarantee that their insurers of last resort are solvent for another potentially damaging storm season. BY Ellen Perlman
Energy & Environment

Capping a Hot Spot

Mercury released by coal-fired power plants is toxic, and some state lawmakers don't see emissions trading as the way to deal with it. BY Tom Arrandale
Economic Engines

The China Connection

The Asian giant isn't stealing our manufacturing jobs. The jobs, themselves, are evaporating. BY William Fulton