TABLE of CONTENTS May 2013

Cover Story

How Generation X is Shaping Government

BY Rob Gurwitt

Overshadowed by baby boomers on one side and millennials on the other, it’s Generation X that’s actually shaping the way government and citizens interact.

FEATURES

What Happened to Federalism?

Washington used to know how to listen to the states; there was even a commission for intergovernmental relations. Can Washington overcome politics and partisanship to work together again? BY Ryan Holeywell

The Future of Insurance in an Era of Health-Care Reform

Nobody knows exactly what the Affordable Care Act will do to the insurance industry. But many in the private sector, including Aetna’s CEO, are saying it’s time for the industry to change. BY Dylan Scott

Has High-Speed Rail Been Derailed?

Four years after President Barack Obama declared high-speed rail a national priority, the financial hurdles seem higher than ever. BY Ryan Holeywell

Water-Powered Electricity Flows Through Santa Rosa

In Santa Rosa, Calif., the electricity powering a lamp may very well come from recycled wastewater. BY David Kidd

POLITICS + POLICY

Education

Should School Boards be Expelled?

Local boards were designed to take politics out of education. But increasing politicization of the boards themselves has led to calls to eliminate them. BY Brian Peteritas
Management & Labor

Gavin Newsom on How Citizens Can Use Technology to Influence Government

California’s lieutenant governor, widely seen as a potential gubernatorial candidate, writes about the importance of citizen engagement in his new book “Citizenville.” BY Brian Peteritas
Public Safety & Justice

Los Angeles Builds Mini Parks to Drive Away Sex Offenders

Many municipalities prohibit sex offenders from living near parks. L.A. and Miami are taking it one step further and calling patches of grass “parks” in order to rid their cities of the offenders who currently reside there. BY Brian Peteritas
Politics

States Look to Reduce Part-Time Lawmakers’ Bias

Most state lawmakers supplement their legislative job with one in the private sector. To reduce the conflicts of interest that inevitably arise from this, states are considering revising their ethics laws. BY J.B. Wogan
Columns

Innovation’s Unexpected Return to States

The laboratories of democracy have reopened after the recession. But they’re not delivering the results that most experts have been conditioned to expect from them. BY Brian Peteritas
Dispatch

Supreme Court Looks at State Public Records Rules

A case before the nation’s highest court could change the way citizens, journalists and entrepreneurs access government-held information. BY Brian Peteritas
Potomac Chronicle

How Boomers, Millennials and Immigrants Are Changing America

These demographics will have a profound effect on the needs of the country, and state and local officials need to take notice. BY Brian Peteritas
FedWatch

Will the Marketplace Fairness Act Succeed in 2013?

The legislation fizzled last year as Congress became mired in the fiscal cliff debate. But advocates are hopeful for a different result this time. BY Ryan Holeywell
Health & Human Services

Medicaid Fraud: Is it Worth States’ Time to Fight it?

As health care for the poor expands, so does the potential for Medicaid abuse. Three states’ experiences with fraud prevention give insight into its value. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Infrastructure & Environment

How Milwaukee Became a Center for Water Innovation

The world needs water. Milwaukee not only has lots of it, but it also has transformed itself into a hub for water research and technology. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Economic Engines

Is Texas’ Economy Really Better Than California’s?

Gov. Rick Perry often touts Texas’ economic success, which he attributes to lower taxes and fewer regulations than cash-strapped California. But if Texas is so compelling, why did Perry go to California looking for new companies? BY Brian Peteritas
Urban Notebook

Preservation Tax Credit’s Uncertain Future Puts Local History in Danger

The historic tax credit, which has helped preserve thousands of old buildings in cities across the country, is at risk of being eliminated. BY Caroline Cournoyer

PROBLEM SOLVER

By the Numbers

America’s Rural-Urban Divide is Growing

Rural populations are shrinking as Americans migrate to cities and suburbs. As a result, rural areas are mobilizing to grow and convince residents to stay. BY Brian Peteritas
Smart Management

How to Keep Costly Road Repairs to a Minimum

Coordination between public agencies and utilities will keep streets from being torn up, again and again. BY Brian Peteritas
Better Government

Governing for a Rainy Day

Healthy reserve funds allow governments to be careful and smart. BY Mark Funkhouser
Tech Talk

How New Jersey Weathered Superstorm Sandy

Thanks to a little bit of luck and a lot of preparation, the state’s important computer systems and network withstood the storm. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Public Money

Gun Debate Revives the Pension-Investment Dispute

When there’s public outcry over something -- whether it’s gun control or apartheid -- states and cities reevaluate what their pension plans invest in. But should they be social investing at all? BY Penelope Lemov