TABLE of CONTENTS November 2005

Cover Story

Paradise Insolvent

BY Alan Greenblatt

For years, people saw San Diego as a model for good government. That's because they weren't looking very closely.

Features

Rebalancing Act

The growth in rainy day accounts is not what it seems. BY Alan Greenblatt

Strong And Strategic Leadership

This has been a year of partisan polarization and institutional paralysis in Washington. The inability of Congress to provide leadership and generate consensus on major issues has been obvious not only to the nation but also to the world--from the rancorous debate over Terri Schiavo to the squabbling over filibusters and the ethics investigations that have embroiled the leadership. BY Zach Patton

A State Shapes Up

With a bureaucracy grown rigid and rule-bound, Iowa is pushing its agencies to act like entrepreneurs. BY Ellen Perlman

Disaster's Wake

The aftermath of Katrina and Rita has states and localities dusting off their disaster-response plans. But there's more they could and should be doing. BY Zach Patton

Up Front

Politics

Thompson's Warning

The former secretary of Health and Human Services offers a bleak and blunt assessment of federal policy. BY Jonathan Walters
Public Safety & Justice

Border Guard

After a quarter-century of crusading against illegal immigration, Russell Pearce has become a major player on the issue. BY Zach Patton
Politics

Fair-Weather Federalism

One critic argues that state complaints about Washington are just posturing. BY Alan Greenblatt
Education

The Classroom Numbers Lobby

If more school dollars went straight into teaching, maybe education would improve. Or maybe not. BY Alan Greenblatt
Public Safety & Justice

The Right To Go Postal

Gun owners are pushing their constitutional liberties a big step further. BY Alan Greenblatt
Education

The Classroom Numbers Lobby

If more school dollars went straight into teaching, maybe education would improve. Or maybe not. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Beyond Control

Reducing drug prices is an understandable goal, but it's hard to achieve by fiat. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

Beyond Control

Reducing drug prices is an understandable goal, but it's hard to achieve by fiat. BY Alan Greenblatt
Infrastructure & Environment

The Return of The Grid

After centuries of abuse, gridded streets are finally getting some respect. BY Alan Ehrenhalt

The Business of Government

Infrastructure & Environment

The Hushed Highway

Utah finds a sensitive way to build a road through a bird sanctuary. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Technology

Safety Net: Philly's Transit To Try Out A Bomb Tester

All eyes are on the packages and backpacks that make their way through Philadelphia's transit system. Not that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority is more of a terrorist target than any other system. Rather, it's that SEPTA is adopting SIEGMA 3E3, a transit explosive detection system. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Technology

To Catch A Thief: N.Y. Localities' New Route To Rooting Out Medicaid Fraud

New York counties, which finance $7 billion a year in Medicaid services, are tapping a new software to catch providers who lie, cheat and steal public dollars with various frauds. BY Ellen Perlman
Technology

Virtual Disaster Practice

Virginia opens a simulation center to train crisis commanders. BY Josh Goodman
Smart Management

Time For A Check Up

An independent performance audit can help an agency deliver services more efficiently and effectively. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Health & Human Services

Drowning In Choices

Under Florida's newly approved waiver, Medicaid patients will have to slog through all the fine print that is a health insurance plan. BY Penelope Lemov
Politics

Star Turn

I'm not just a mayor--I play one on TV. BY Alan Greenblatt

Muni Bonds To The Rescue?

A federal guarantee of Katrina-related debt could end up bailing out powerful interests that don't need bailing out. BY John E. Petersen
Politics

The Inside Story

Schwarzenegger rejects plan to scan bodies for danger signs. BY Josh Goodman
Energy & Environment

Voltage Charge: States Turn To Mandates For Renewable Energy

Twenty-one states now demand that utility companies operating within their borders derive a larger percentage of energy from renewable resources. Two years, ago only 14 states had such state-wide mandatory portfolios. BY Josh Goodman
Infrastructure & Environment

Bringing Home The Bacon

Some day soon, a food-tasting event at New York's LaGuardia Airport might help fund the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's budget. BY Ellen Perlman
Technology

Reaching Into The Lab: Illinois Puts An Added Value On Stem Cell Scientists

States are accustomed to poaching businesses from one another using tax breaks. In the biotech era, however, it may be enough to poach scientists. BY Christopher Swope
Politics

Prizing Efficiency

This year's Recognition Awards from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers focus on turning technology into an effective management tool. The eight award winners--from four states-- were honored for adaptations that led to substantial cost savings and revenue growth. BY Elizabeth Daigneau