TABLE of CONTENTS January 2012
BY John Buntin
These nine topics will shape debate in state legislatures in 2012.
The 50 state legislatures have a lot of talent, but these 12 individuals are ones to watch.
The dramatic rise in the number of people who speak limited English has prompted very different responses from local governments.
Boston's longest-serving mayor has started to think big. (But he still sweats the small stuff.)
POLITICS + POLICY
With the ballooning cost of benefits, a poor job market and more lean-government advocates in power, states are cutting personnel more than they have in the past.
In the current 24/7 news cycle, scandals often lead to bills in several statehouses.
Puerto Rico, which will vote on whether to become a state this summer, has reduced its spending by 20 percent in just two years with the help of public-private partnerships.
Obama’s mixed approach of coercion and collaboration seems to be working, but that may not last.
The federal government is working to improve the way it administers grants. But states and localities aren't part of the council taking on the issue.
Citing safety as the reason, dentists are fighting states’ efforts to create mid-level dental providers who can provide care to underserved areas. Some speculate they just fear losing business.
The business incubator is no longer a new idea. Cities are pursuing business accelerators, a kind of incubator on steroids.
In a town with a large population of people older than 65, a program that pairs senior citizens and at-risk kids is reaping benefits for both.
Roanoke, Va., and other cities are experimenting with new technologies that capture energy from footsteps, cars and more.