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THE FUTURE OF What’s Next

Lawmakers Should Allow Sidewalk Delivery Robots to Stay

The use of robots from companies like Starship Technologies for last-mile deliveries skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and legislators would do well to make them easier to deploy on city sidewalks.

By Daniel Castro, Government Technology  |  April 11, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Next

Transforming Farms and Food Production With Solar Panels

Agrivoltaics — putting solar panels on farmland — lead to astonishing productivity gains and improved energy efficiency. Except when they don’t.

By Chris Malloy, The Counter  |  April 11, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

How California Became a Champion of Strict Gun Control

California’s history of gun restrictions started in 1967, when 30 members of the Black Panther Party marched into the Capitol with loaded handguns, shotguns and rifles. Today, gun control has turned into a legal battle.

By Ben Christopher, CalMatters  |  April 11, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Executive Order: A History of Its Rise and Slow Decline

President George Washington was the first to issue proclamations or executive orders. Their use peaked under Franklin Roosevelt, but they have been used fewer times in recent presidencies. Will Biden reverse the trend?

By Lindsay Chervinsky, Historian and Contributor  |  April 9, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

For Economic Development Directors, Happy Days Return

The economy has proven to be more resilient than could have been imagined a year ago. Making future growth more equitable is a priority without obvious solutions.

By Alan Greenblatt, Senior Staff Writer  |  April 9, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

How the New Stimulus Can Strengthen Local Governments

The American Rescue Plan can help local leaders do a lot more than cover budget shortfalls. The funds offer a chance for them to address equity issues, engage residents and create the future they want to see.

By Zachary Markovits, Results for America  |  April 9, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Vaccine Passports: Here’s How Excelsior Pass Works

Though the idea of vaccine passports has attracted criticism, the state of New York has taken the plunge as the first state in the U.S. to create one, saying it will help facilitate economic activity. Here’s how it works.

By Ben Miller, Government Technology  |  April 8, 2021
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500,000

The number of acceptance emails that the University of Kentucky accidentally sent out to high school seniors for a program that usually only accepts about 36 students per year. Some of the students who received the acceptance letter claimed to have never applied to, visited or went onto the website for the university. The university apologized for the mistake and said it was due to a “technical issue.”

THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

If Localities Want to Defund Their Police, States Should Get Out of the Way

Partisan lawmakers are moving to block cities and counties from managing their own police budgets and redirecting funding as they see fit. Decisions about public safety are best made close to home.

By Jabari Simama, Government and Education Columnist  |  April 8, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF Work

Wastewater Has the Best Green Jobs Workers Don’t Know About

Wastewater offers high-tech jobs at the leading edge of sustainability and public health. But aging workers are leaving, creating a shortage of skilled workers. Public utilities need to step up their recruitment game.

By Carl Smith, Senior Staff Writer  |  April 7, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

So, Can States Cut Taxes or Not?

The federal stimulus package provides $195 billion in aid to states but forbids them from using that money to pay for tax cuts. The law's language is broad enough to look like preemption.

By Alan Greenblatt, Senior Staff Writer  |  April 7, 2021
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Assessments

The Great Housing Debate: A Profusion of Panaceas

Just about everybody agrees that we need more affordable housing, and there are lots of ideas for making it happen. So far, though, none of them have come to much.

By Alan Ehrenhalt, Senior Editor  |  April 7, 2021
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The Promises and Pitfalls of a Modern-Day Boomtown

A decade ago, Williston, N.D., became a magnet for desperate men, thanks to oil in the Bakken Formation. In an interview, author Michael Smith talks about life in an oil patch and the human cost of fueling the nation.

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