TABLE of CONTENTS April 2015

Cover Story

Patience and Pragmatism Dominate Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s First 100 Days

BY Alan Greenblatt

For the first time in more than a century, Arkansas is completely controlled by Republicans. But the new governor has slowly and deliberately built bipartisanship in the legislature.

FEATURES

Gina Raimondo Confronts Rhode Island’s Uncertain Future

Rhode Island’s first female governor won support for her leadership during historic snowstorms, but it’s unclear whether courts or lawmakers will side with her on major pension and budget issues. BY Daniel C. Vock

Why Some Public Pensions Could Soon Look Much Worse

A Governing analysis shows how a new accounting rule dramatically changes some plans' pension liabilities and will likely force many states to finally face their obligations. BY Liz Farmer

How Bloomberg’s Still Changing the Way Cities Operate

Bloomberg Philanthropies and other organizations have poured an unprecedented amount of money into making cities more innovative and collaborative. What happens when the money runs out? BY J.B. Wogan

Aging Behind Bars

America's prison population has aged significantly, increasing the costs of incarceration. These four inmates show just some of the challenges older inmates bring. BY Andrew Burton

OBSERVER

Education

Common Core Critics Are Loud But Losing

The nationwide pushback against the education standards hasn't been very successful. BY Alan Greenblatt
Management & Labor

The City as Consultant

Most cities already freely share ideas with others, but some are starting to sell their best practices to other local governments. BY J.B. Wogan
Politics

Why Some Lawmakers Want to Abolish the 17th Amendment

Adopted in 1913, it took the job of electing U.S. senators away from state legislatures. BY Alan Greenblatt
Education

Traveling Theater Helps Communities Revisit Their Histories

In partnership with a theater company, Minnesota towns are staging on-the-go plays to tell their history. BY Daniel Luzer

POLITICS + POLICY

Assessments

When Does Politicians' Unethical Behavior Become a Crime?

Over the past few decades, it’s become easier to convict public officials for corruption but harder to know who’s really guilty of it. BY Alan Ehrenhalt
Potomac Chronicle

Are States Still 'Labs of Democracy'?

The growing role of federal waivers suggest the answer isn't simple. BY Donald Kettl
Politics

The Battle for Alamo City

The San Antonio mayoral race is crowded. BY Alan Greenblatt
Health & Human Services

Why Medicaid Expansion Has Reached a Standstill

Republican governors who want to make more people eligible for the low-income health insurance program face daunting obstacles nationally and in their GOP-controlled legislatures. BY Chris Kardish
Infrastructure & Environment

How the Most At-Risk Cities Are Preparing for More Power Outages

East Coast cities are expected to experience more hurricanes and more blackouts in the coming years. BY MARY ELLEN MCINTIRE
Economic Engines

How Airline Mergers and Deregulation Hurt Travel

It seems America has forgotten that air travel is supposed to serve the public. BY Alex Marshall
Urban Notebook

The Future of Parking in an Era of Car-Sharing

Services like Uber and Zipcar could radically change city streets. BY William Fulton

PROBLEM SOLVER

Public Safety & Justice

Case Closed? How 'Solved' Murder Stats Are Misleading

Homicide clearance rates don't always mean what they seem to mean. BY Mike Maciag
Smart Management

HR Directors Get a Personnel Downgrade

Even though states spend more on payroll than anything else, many governors no longer look to human resources for advice on their workforce. BY Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene
Better Government

The Most Important Question in Government

While politicians easily offer policy prescriptions, they often fail to ask how they will be paid for. BY Mark Funkhouser
Tech Talk

New Apps May Make Giving and Getting Government Aid Easier

Mobile technology has made a belated but much needed debut in human services. BY Tod Newcombe
Public Money

The ‘New Neutral’ Is Here

That’s bad news for those who manage public money. BY Justin Marlowe
Infrastructure & Environment

The Town That Takes the Elevator Everywhere

Residents of Whittier, Alaska, have to take the elevator or stairs wherever they go in the wintertime. BY David Kidd