TABLE of CONTENTS February 2014Cover Story
BY Liz Farmer
Failure to understand financial outcomes is more dangerous to states and localities than ever, and there’s a big gap between what public leaders know about finance and what they need to know.
In the 1980s, San Francisco faced a court order similar to the one the state is facing now to reduce overcrowding. Rather than simply throwing the book at people, the city now often treats jail as a last resort and focuses on reintegrating ex-offenders back into society.
The Attorney General is poised to beat Democrat Wendy Davis in the state's nationally watched and heated governor's race, but most Texans know very little about him.
In the past year, several states have either created or rekindled grant programs dedicated to improving freight service.
Some of the most promising experiments to improve quality of care while cutting expenses are taking place at the local level.
Instead of looking for better results through data analytics, new technology or paid consultants, Denver looks to its own employees for simple, straightforward reforms.
POLITICS + POLICY
After Mayor John Cranley campaigned on opposition to the project, he announces "we're going to have a streetcar."
In 2012, the federal government issued $5.2 billion in tax refunds to people who falsified their identity. Georgia found a way to keep that money out of scammers’ pockets.
How one agency handled a tragedy as it unfolded live on Twitter.
It’s a tempting idea, but cities simply don’t have the power to do what most of their residents want them to do.
The feds set a goal of reducing crime on tribal reservations by 5 percent. Here’s how they brought it down by more than 700 percent.
Officials in Salt Lake City say that by the end of this month, they will have zero chronically homeless veterans.
For every future project the District of Columbia undertakes, it will ask the same question: How does this impact the public’s health?
The United States once dreamed of building great things – like a library in every city – and made those dreams come true. But not anymore.
Late-night transit options may make a city more attractive to younger generations, but running trains around the clock has its drawbacks.
An analysis of retirement data finds that pension reforms contributed to significantly more workers filing retirement paperwork in at least six states.
For one town, dealing honestly with its unions paid off.
Most agencies can’t match private-sector pay, and governments can no longer depend on superior benefits packages as a recruiting tool.
If there’s a bright side to governments’ money problems, it’s that it’s forcing them to use plain English to talk about their finances.