TABLE of CONTENTS January 2013

Cover Story

Newbies Infiltrate State Legislative Chambers

BY Alan Greenblatt

Thanks to term limits and anti-incumbent fervor, half the lawmakers across the country have less than two years’ experience.

FEATURES

Top 10 Legislative Issues to Watch in 2013

Here are 10 of the biggest topics states will tackle in the year ahead. BY Dylan Scott

Millennials in the Mayor’s Seat

Young leaders -- like Holyoke, Mass., Mayor Alex Morse who was 22 years old when he took office -- are injecting cities with a new energy. BY Dylan Scott

Pension Obligation Bonds: Risky Gimmick or Smart Investment?

POBs have bankrupted cities, including Stockton, yet some are still big players. BY Eric Schulzke

POLITICS + POLICY

Politics

The Era of Divided Government is Over

For the first time in a long time, one party holds both the legislature and governorship in 37 states. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Economic Development

States Double Down on Incentives to Woo Companies

In the wake of the recession and the long, slow recovery from it, state and local governments have been even more eager to offer incentives to the few projects they have hopes of landing. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Politics

Why N.Y. Lawmakers Work When No One Else Does

Whether anyone is there or not, New York state Assemblyman John J. McEneny calls a session every three days. There’s a reason why. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Education

Teachers Rack Up Wins Against Reform Efforts

Education reform ideas that have generally received widespread support are experiencing pushback in the states, including some surprising places. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Columns

Is Universal Phone Service a Sleeper Issue to Watch in 2013?

There are conflicting pressures on the universal service fee to maintain “plain old telephone service” on one hand and help pay for a broadband future on the other. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Columns

Who Pays for Superstorm Sandy?

States don’t just want money to rebuild -- they want money to make far-reaching changes to infrastructure too. BY Caroline Cournoyer
FedWatch

Municipal Leaders Fear Deficit Reduction Could Impact Bond Exemption

The federal tax code has, in effect, subsidized the cost of borrowing for state and local governments. Some say that could be poised to change. BY Ryan Holeywell
Health & Human Services

In Wake of Meningitis Outbreak, Who Will Oversee Compounding Pharmacies?

Investigations uncovered a loophole that some compounding pharmacies exploited for financial gain. Now, regulators and policymakers must decide who’s going to close it -- the feds or the states. BY Caroline Cournoyer
View

Waiting to Exhale: GPS Inhalers Identify Asthma Hotspots

Louisville, Ky., is pushing the limits of how government can use data to create a healthier living environment. BY Dylan Scott
Economic Engines

Sandy Forces Northeast to Rethink Infrastructure

In an effort to emerge more resilient and prosperous, states and localities are rethinking power grids, roads and sewers in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Urban Notebook

11 Cities in Massachusetts Band Together to Solve Urban Ills

Can a collaborative network help 2nd tier cities? BY Kathy Gambrell

PROBLEM SOLVER

Management & Labor

Governments Resisting the Urge to Merge

Despite strained finances, there’s been no significant shift toward consolidation in recent years. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Columns

The Difficulties of Measuring Government Success

Take weatherization. It’s harder than advertised to come up with an easy way to assess the program’s success. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Idea Center

Miami Taps into Organic, Local Food Movement to End Homelessness

A community just outside the city offers homeless people a paycheck and place to live in exchange for work on a sustainable urban farm. BY Brian Peteritas
Idea Center

New Anti-Bullying Program Shows Promise in New Hampshire

Nine-week program that teaches good morals, ethics and behaviors has resulted in increased reporting of incidents. BY Brian Peteritas
Columns

How Acting Like a Tech Entrepreneur Can Improve Government Services

Letting the public test unfinished products saves agencies money and time. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Columns

The Secret to Massachusetts’ High Credit Rating

Massachusetts has the highest credit rating it’s ever had. Its secret? Discipline. BY Caroline Cournoyer