Cover Story

The Pact Changing How Governments Respond to Disaster

BY Daniel C. Vock

In moments of disaster, local and federal resources are rarely enough. But another answer is emerging.

FEATURES

Infrastructure & Environment

The Public Startup Charting Bold New Waters

Water utilities are struggling to lower their operation costs and simultaneously meet stricter environmental rules. Blue Drop, the brainchild of DC Water’s former leader, wants to help. BY
Urban

'The Oakland I'm From'

Like a lot of other places, the California city is struggling to grow without leaving longtime residents behind. BY
Finance

In Government Procurement, Buying Local Is Popular. But Is It Beneficial?

Much like President Trump, many U.S. cities make an effort to use the goods and services of companies in their own city limits. It has some troubling side effects. BY
Management & Labor

Can Apprenticeships Train the Workforce of the Future? States Hope So.

America has a skills gap. Governments across the U.S. are turning to European-style apprenticeship programs as a possible solution. BY
Management & Labor

Some States Want to Save Net Neutrality, But Can They?

On Monday, Montana became the first to reinstate some of the rules the FCC repealed. The question of whether states have the right to do that, however, will likely end up in court. BY

OBSERVER

Finance

As Prop. 13 Turns 40, Californians Rethink Its Future

Four decades after the law spurred an anti-tax movement across the country, rival efforts to weaken or strengthen it have emerged. BY
Public Safety & Justice

What Counts as a Felony? For Stealing, States Are Raising the Bar.

Some are increasing the amount of stolen goods that make theft a felony. But it can be a hard sell politically. BY
Urban

Why Rents Are Actually Lowering in Some Big Cities

But renters may not want to celebrate just yet. BY
Politics

‘Stories Are Going to Be Lost’: Mourning the Decline of Alt-Weeklies

More than a dozen alternative weeklies have shut down in the past 20 years, increasing the likelihood that local scandals will go unnoticed. BY

POLITICS + POLICY

Commentary

States' High-Stakes Game of Chicken

States are hoping to bring their case over animal welfare and interstate commerce to the Supreme Court. BY
Commentary

Hope for Car-Haters

Cities are beginning to rethink their relationship with automobiles. BY
Politics

Will 2018 Be the Year of Independents?

Several experienced or well-funded independent candidates are running for governor. In some cases, leaving the Democratic or Republican party to do it. BY
Health & Human Services

Teen Suicide Rates Are Rising

The stats are most troubling in Utah and among boys, whose suicide rate had been on the decline for almost two decades. BY
Infrastructure & Environment

Could Electric Cars Threaten the Grid?

A new study soothes worries of massive power outages but points to the need for future planning to consider EVs. BY
Commentary

A Tip for Infrastructure Builders: Fix It First

Before we invest in new infrastructure, we need to maintain and update what we have. BY
Urban Notebook

Does Demolition Equal Progress?

Clearing out blight has its benefits, but it can also erase crucial assets. BY

PROBLEM SOLVER

Management & Labor

Think Income Inequality Is Bad? Retirement Inequality May Be Worse.

The savings gap is a looming crisis, and states aren’t sure how to help. BY
Commentary

America’s 1,800 Licensing Boards and Their Countless Problems

Too many state licensing boards are not fulfilling their objectives, yet, more are popping up. BY
Commentary

The Least Understood Job in Politics

Everyone thinks they know what a mayor does, but the role of a city leader varies greatly from one place to the next. BY
Commentary

Localities Want to Make Retiree Bills More Affordable. Why Won’t States Let Them?

The cost of post-retirement benefits is threatening governments’ ability to provide vital services. BY

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REPRINTS

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