TABLE of CONTENTS June 2012

Cover Story

The New Black South

BY Alan Greenblatt

After nearly a century of moving north, African-Americans are reshaping cities and suburbs in the South.

FEATURES

Public Universities Reach a Tipping Point

Severe funding cuts and the record-high numbers of people going to college are forcing state university systems to make tough decisions about financial aid, curriculums, research and more. BY Peter Harkness

Can Universal Health Care Work Without a Mandate?

President Barack Obama and the 26 states trying to overturn his federal health reform law say no, but some states have some real-world experience that could answer that question. BY John Buntin

Walmart Makes Its Urban Debut

In the past, cities have resisted big-box stores. But now, government leaders from New York to New Orleans are actively courting places like Walmart and Home Depot to move in. BY Ryan Holeywell

Parklets: The Next Big Tiny Idea in Urban Planning

Cities from coast to coast are giving up parking spaces (and the revenue that comes from them) to create green public places for people to sit. BY Zach Patton

POLITICS + POLICY

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New Indiana Law Gives Residents Right to Resist Police

A new law likely makes Indiana the only state where people are allowed to shoot cops under certain circumstances. The change, police officials say, not only puts officer’s safety at risk but the public’s too. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Finance

Debit Cards Replace Paper Tax Refunds in Some States

At least six states this year issued their tax refunds on debit cards, in a move they say will save money for both the taxpayer and the government. BY Ryan Holeywell
Politics

Judge Tosses Controversial Florida Election Law

A federal judge rejected part of a law that voter registration groups argued was so onerous it forced them to stop their voter drives in the state. BY Ryan Holeywell
Politics

California’s Gavin Newsom Gets His Own TV Show

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is likely the only public official who’s currently hosting a national television program while still in office. BY Ryan Holeywell
Education

Texas School District Pays $20M for iPads

The McAllen school district is within the nation’s poorest metro area, and it's reduced spending on instruction. But district officials are betting their tech investment will pay off. BY Ryan Holeywell
Dispatch

Legislative Organization Brings Political Parties Together

The State Legislative Leaders Foundation strives to provide “serious learning experiences” for its core constituency of about 500 legislative officials -- regardless of what party they belong to. BY Paul W. Taylor
Potomac Chronicle

States Have 20th-Century Revenue Systems

States can no longer rely on federal bailouts or taxes. For the latest on state revenues, click here. BY Donald F. Kettl
Infrastructure & Environment

Another REAL ID Deadline Bites the Dust

Several federal deadlines to overhaul states’ driver's licenses systems have come and gone in the past seven years. As another one approaches, should states be concerned about complying? BY Ryan Holeywell
Health & Human Services

On-Site Health Centers Save Local Governments Money

Several Florida cities have on-site clinics that are free for public employees and result in fewer long-term health problems and lower costs for everyone. BY David Levine
Energy & Environment

The Price of Greening Stormwater

Philadelphia officials hope the city’s redesigned stormwater fees will lead to imaginative private financing that will help rehabilitate watersheds. BY Tom Arrandale
Economic Engines

America Must Invest in Bigger and Better Infrastructure Projects

Have we lost our capacity to think big? Asia and Western Europe are building a series of infrastructure mega-projects that dwarf our efforts. BY Alex Marshall
Urban Notebook

With Americans Driving Less, What Will Happen to the Parking Lot?

Cities are finding creative uses for these environmentally unfriendly spaces. BY Tod Newcombe

PROBLEM SOLVER

Health & Human Services

Governments Discover Need for Mental Health First Aid

Mental disorders are more common than heart disease and cancer combined -- one reason states and localities are teaching their employees how to recognize the signs of mental health problems and how to help. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Smart Management

Performance Measurement Improves the Quality of Health Care

Quality measures are transforming everything from billing practices to patient behavior. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Idea Center

Illinois Helps Fund New Chicago Tech Center for Startups

By creating a collaborative community of entrepreneurs in Chicago's Merchandise Mart, the state of Illinois aims to increase innovation and job-growth in the region. BY Brian Peteritas
Idea Center

Michigan Businesses to Sell Exports on Chinese E-Commerce Site

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and an export services company want to help the state's businesses with unique opportunity to access on one of China's e-commerce sites. BY Brian Peteritas
Tech Talk

Michigan Shows What Can Be Achieved if CIOs and Budget Directors Get Along

In too many instances, they aren’t on the same page -- or even speaking the same language. BY Steve Towns
Public Money

Insolvency, Bankruptcy and Doublespeak

Don't plead poverty while soft-selling your bonds. BY Girard Miller
Public Workforce

How Philly’s Streets Commissioner Saves the Green

Carlton Williams has made Philadelphia’s streets cleaner while reducing the frequency of collection and the cost of garbage pickup. How did he do it? BY Daniel Lippman