TABLE of CONTENTS September 2011

Cover Story

What Experts Think of Five Medicaid-Savings Strategies

BY John Buntin

States are testing several strategies in an effort to reduce Medicaid costs. Experts assess those approaches.


The Price of Medical Illiteracy

Not understanding what doctors say is costly for patients' health and for health care itself. BY Jonathan Walters

Curiosity's Mars Landing Highlights State Space Race

The successful landing of NASA’s rover Curiosity on the surface of Mars is a reminder that America’s space exploration program is in a state of transition. BY Russell Nichols

The Logging Industry and Conservationists Partner to Restore Forests

After decades of fighting, forestry stakeholders have a reconciliation of sorts. BY Linda Baker


Public Workforce

Were Connecticut Workers Duped?

State union leaders blamed a conservative organization for intentionally spreading misinformation about a labor agreement -- one that was voted down by workers. BY Ryan Holeywell

Critics Try to Knock Down Eisenhower Memorial Before It Goes Up

The design for the 34th president’s monument is too trendy and cold, critics say. BY Ryan Holeywell

Counties Sue Fannie and Freddie for Back Taxes

Michigan municipalities want to clear up the confusion over the two mortgage giants’ status. Are they government agencies or private companies? BY Ryan Holeywell

The Nasty, Ineffective World of Politics

Politically-involved high school students could teach legislators a thing or two about compromise. BY Paul W. Taylor
Potomac Chronicle

Severe Budget Cuts Ahead

With stimulus funding gone, a misinformed citizenry is unprepared for the funding cuts on the horizon. BY Peter Harkness
Citizens & Performance

Municipalities Challenge Census Numbers

Dozens of cities and counties insist that not all their residents were counted. They may be fighting a losing battle. BY Ryan Holeywell
Health & Human Services

State Health IT Coordinators Brace for Health-Care Reform

Overhauling how the health-care industry uses technology is already a difficult job. Meeting the new requirements under the health reform act is an even greater challenge for states. BY David Levine
Energy & Environment

Mini Nukes Could Help Meet Electricity Demands

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a public utility in the Southeast, is testing small nuclear reactors as a source for cheaper, cleaner energy. BY Elizabeth Daigneau
Economic Engines

Jobs Aren’t Enough

Economic development’s key measure of success is not the only approach to turning lagging economies into prosperous communities. BY William Fulton
Urban Notebook

Houston’s Green Revolution

America’s oil capital embraces the sustainability movement. BY Tod Newcombe


Health & Human Services

How A County Reduces Homeless and Jail Populations

Unlike most shelters, this one offers a place for people with mental illness and substance use problems to avoid jail and better their situations. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Smart Management

Small Energy-Efficiency Investments Add Up

States and cities are finding that even the simplest tasks, like switching to LED streetlight bulbs, can result in significant savings. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Tech Talk

Overcoming the Fear of Facebook

Governments must interact using both traditional websites and social media. BY Steve Towns
Public Money

States and Localities Can’t Afford Big Government Projects

The fiscal situation will likely make huge capital projects like the space shuttle program and Boston’s Big Dig a thing of the past. BY John E. Petersen
Homeland Security & Disasters

Florida’s Unlikely Emergency Management Director

Many are watching to see how former Wal-Mart executive Bryan Koon will adapt his private-sector knowledge to aiding the Sunshine State. BY Tina Trenkner