TABLE of CONTENTS August 2007

Cover Story

Tough Times For Locals

BY Christopher Swope

Florida lawmakers make deep cuts in the property tax and leave it to voters to OK even deeper cuts.


eHealth confidential

Can health information exchange systems keep snoops out of patients' online records? BY Ellen Perlman

Teaching Past the Test

Anyone who shops online knows how one purchase can quickly lead to another. It's not just the ease of clicking on an item and having... BY Alan Greenblatt

Higher Purpose

California is home to slightly more nurses than lawyers, but that's about to change. According to state projections, there will be a glut of attorneys... BY Alan Greenblatt

The Struggle to Streamline

Texas' first foray into a high-profile streamlining of social and health services delivery paid off impressively: In 1993, the Lone Star state won an Innovations in... BY Jonathan Walters

The Young and the Restless

Two years ago, the American workforce passed a major milestone. A majority of the nation's workers now come from Generation X, born between 1965 and 1977, or... BY Zach Patton

Confluence of Interest

Back in the summer of 1966, a rock group named the The Standells enjoyed their only major hit, "Dirty Water." The words were inspired by Massachusetts'... BY Tom Arrandale

Up Front



As Chicago's transit chief, Ron Huberman is playing some dangerous games. He may not have much choice BY Sarah Harney

Nothing but a Street

For some functions of government, two Texarkanas may be one too many. BY Sarah Harney

Suburban Strains

In many legislatures, suburbs have the votes to prevail--if they can find a way to work together. BY Sarah Harney

Rod Reeling

Bashing the legislature is one way to get elected governor. It's a lousy way to govern. BY Sarah Harney

A Regional Mess

Cooperation can end in corruption. Iowa learned that the hard way. BY Sarah Harney
Infrastructure & Environment

Electric Exuberance

A commuter-train experiment in California may have big implications BY Sarah Harney
Hidden Section

The Morphing Megalopolis

In the 1950s, the urban corridor from Boston to Washington looked like a radical innovation in human settlement. BY Alan Ehrenhalt
Health & Human Services

Health Court Advantage

Get ready for a medical malpractice crisis. The roiling stock market could drag down earnings on investment portfolios: If it does, insurance companies that issue... BY Penelope Lemov
Potomac Chronicle

Privatizers' Predicament

States face a Congress increasingly hostile to outsourcing. BY Jonathan Walters

The Business of Government

Management & Labor

The Elusive Long-Timer

David Litchliter is an unusual creature in state government - a longtime chief information officer, whose 13 years on the job make him as rare as... BY Mark Stencel
Infrastructure & Environment

Sense of a Slowdown

Local governments have been automating the process of catching speeders and red-light runners for years, but traffic scofflaws on state highways always knew they'd be pulled over by a trooper. Now, Arizona is changing that. BY Sarah Harney
Infrastructure & Environment

SIC Transit Gloria: A Toll Story in Pennsylvania

As of mid-July, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's perpetual funding crisis was over. A few weeks later, it's back. BY Sarah Harney
Smart Management

An Accidental Outcome

When officials act quickly to solve a problem, they may fail to look at the long-term effects -- and those can create new complications. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Public Money

Tax and Abuse

. BY John E. Petersen
Energy & Environment

The Big Spill

When trucks lose their loads, cleaning up gets creative. BY Sarah Harney
Energy & Environment

Water Wellness: Taking the Measure of Lakes

Nearly 1,000 lakes across the country are having their health tested for the first time in years, as states and localities take part in a first-of-its-kind survey by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. BY Sarah Harney
Economic Development

A Twin City Tradeoff

Minneapolis sees a triple play in the sale of its parking lots. 09 BY Sarah Harney
Economic Development

Job Jot: Alabama's Winner of a Car Deal

Now that Mercedes-Benz has been assembling vehicles in Alabama for 10 years, the state can crow about the wisdom of its 1993 decision to woo the company with tax breaks. BY Sarah Harney

Legislators and IT

When Ken Svedjan arrived in the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1991, something was missing: computers. Legislators, whose desks serve as their offices, didn't want their scarce space cluttered. BY Sarah Harney

Leadership's Challenge

When it comes to solving the problems of state and local governments and delivering services to citizens, cutting-edge technology isn't the answer. BY Sarah Harney