TABLE of CONTENTS March 2006

Cover Story

Skybox Skeptics

BY Josh Goodman

Many traveling salesmen have met the fate David Samson encountered in Portland, Oregon, a few months ago. When the Florida businessman ventured to town to...

Coming Up for Air

Strong revenues spell less stress for states and localities, but budget relief may be short lived. BY Christopher Swope

Coming Up for Air

Strong revenues spell less stress for states and localities, but budget relief may be short lived. BY Christopher Swope

The Missing Link

Wikis, blogs and other interactive tools are making it easier to find out what people really think of their government and its services. BY Ellen Perlman

The Job of Patients

Health savings accounts can spur consumers to shop for the best care at the lowest price. But these insurance plans also carry a lot of risk. BY Penelope Lemov

The Job of Patients

Health savings accounts can spur consumers to shop for the best care at the lowest price. But these insurance plans also carry a lot of risk. BY Penelope Lemov

Land Rush

Inner cities are becoming hot places to live. Does government have any business telling developers to keep out? BY John Buntin

Politics

Underdog

An accidental governor takes on the Big Guy. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Politics in Bulk

Joint-purchasing deals are a win-win proposition--except for those who lose. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

The Mod Squad

Two California legislators pursue long-shot reform BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Lobby Decoration

There are some tough-sounding new lobby laws. It remains to be seen how much they amount to. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Lobby Decoration

There are some tough-sounding new lobby laws. It remains to be seen how much they amount to. BY Alan Greenblatt
Economic Development

Rational Readiness

An effective anti-terrorism program demands tough decisions about where to spend the money. BY Jonathan Walters
Politics

No Time to Rest

Whenever Doug Brown tries to retire, New Mexico comes up with another job for him to do. BY Zach Patton
Smart Management

Theory of Partisan Reality

The past decade has brought a marked increase in partisan unpleasantness in legislative bodies almost everywhere in the country. BY Alan Ehrenhalt

BY Alan Ehrenhalt
Infrastructure & Environment

Reversal Fortune: Indiana Hits a Tollway Jackpot

Over the past five years, Indiana has lost money on its toll road. In January, its fortunes changed: The state was offered $3.85 billion by a Spanish-Australian consortium for the right to maintain and operate the road. If the offer is approved by Indiana's legislature, the influx of cash would fund all of Indiana's road projects for the next 10 years with money to spare. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Technology

Tag Lines: RFID Track Katrina's Body Count

With the Gulf Coast reeling from Hurricane Katrina and the body count mounting in Mississippi, Harrison County Coroner Gary T. Hargrove turned to an entirely new use for radio frequency identification tags: to identify and track the dead. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Tech Talk

The Customer Rules

If I ever go fresh-water fishing with my nephews in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I'll have a state license. Not that I'm much of an angler. I'm a great indoors type who knows more about electronic "phishing" scams than pond fishing for crappie. But thanks to Alabama's e- government initiative, I can sit at home in Virginia and click to an Alabama Web form to purchase a non-resident fishing license. BY Mark Stencel
Smart Management

Plugging In

Performance measures are finally being taken out of the box and applied to agency plans and budgets. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Smart Management

Plugging In

Performance measures are finally being taken out of the box and applied to agency plans and budgets. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Health & Human Services

Capping Medicaid Costs

Florida and Kentucky are custom-tailoring the benefits package in an effort to make fiscal sense of the program. BY Penelope Lemov
Education

Post Script

Schools still teach cursive writing. But hardly anyone uses it anymore. BY Alan Greenblatt
Energy & Environment

Pumping Up

Here's a brief look at the benefits and downsides to alternative-fuel options state and local fleets use. BY Gary Enos
Technology

Not Your Father's Mechanic

What keeps a public fleet manager on edge? It's not just volatile fuel costs and pressing environmental mandates. There's also the little matter of having a staff of mechanics who are up to speed on the technical expertise the job demands. BY Gary Enos
Economic Development

The Gas Bill

Facing a future of rising fuel costs, fleet managers are looking to an array of options. BY Gary Enos
Public Money

Voters may be coming around to the idea that government needs their money to keep public works up to speed.

Voters may be coming around to the idea that government needs their money to keep public works up to speed. BY John E. Petersen
Energy & Environment

Let the Sunshine In: Oregon Learns Lessons In Green Construction

The Pacific Northwest isn't known for an abundance of sunny days, but that's not stopping Oregon. The state has begun reaping impressive savings from design innovations in public school classrooms that incorporate natural light and other green construction techniques. BY Zach Patton

Keeping Salt Lake Clean

Utah wants to put a number on pollution BY Heather Kerrigan
Economic Development

Space Cadets: New Mexico has its Eyes on the Skies

There's a new space race going on, but this one's not sending a human to the moon. States are scrambling to attract commercial investment in an arena many believe could yield hundreds of millions of dollars in return: private space tourism. BY Zach Patton
Economic Development

A Merger's Ripple Effect

Department store buyout will be a job close-out BY Christopher Swope