THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

2020 Brought Legislative Progress, Pushback on LGBTQ Issues

State legislatures introduced more than 560 LGBTQ rights bills in 2020. An analysis by the Human Rights Campaign finds barriers remain to equal access to housing, employment and health care for the LGBTQ community.

By Carl Smith, Senior Staff Writer  |  January 27, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Intergovernmental Effort We Need to Vaccinate America

Supply isn't the only issue. Big logistical problems require federal leadership. How quickly can the Biden administration execute a 180-degree turnaround?

By Donald F. Kettl, Federalism Columnist  |  January 26, 2021
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2020 Data Breaches Set Cybersecurity Tone for New Year

As the COVID-19 pandemic grabbed 2020 headlines, the list of data breaches in government and the private sector quietly grew. And then came SolarWinds. What’s next?

By Dan Lohrmann, Government Technology  |  January 26, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

A Generation of Legislative Leaders Passes from the Scene

Michael Madigan and Mike Miller are the most prominent among a host of legislators who held office for decades and have recently been ousted from leadership, retired or passed away.

By Alan Greenblatt, Senior Staff Writer  |  January 25, 2021
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When It Comes to Judges, How Old Is Too Old?

Most states set a mandatory retirement age for their judges, typically 70. Does that still make sense in this day and time? The wisdom and stability of longevity are worth something.

By Alan Ehrenhalt, Senior Editor  |  January 25, 2021
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The Supreme Court Decision That Saved States Billions

States and localities tried for years to figure out ways to tax online sales, without success. The Supreme Court gave them a green light in 2018, which has proven key to surviving the pandemic financially.

By Alan Greenblatt, Senior Staff Writer  |  January 22, 2021
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Can Public Entrepreneurship Solve Government’s Complex Problems?

A new book by a founding member of Boston’s Urban Mechanics calls for changing how government addresses its problems and provides an operating manual for generating new ideas and putting them into practice.

By Dustin Haisler, Futures and Innovation Editor  |  January 22, 2021
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$11.4 billion

The current confirmed amount that California paid in fraudulent unemployment benefits last year, though an additional $20 billion in claims is currently under investigation.

THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Hispanics in State Legislatures: A State-by-State Map

Hispanics are almost 19 percent of the U.S. population, but account for only 6 percent of state legislators. Thirteen percent of these officials are Republicans.

By Carl Smith, Senior Staff Writer  |  January 22, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Why We Need to Strengthen Federalism from the Bottom Up

Distributed power remains critical in the face of governance crises and federal assaults on liberal democracy. States and localities provide a sturdy popular base for modeling better policy outcomes.

By Gerald Benjamin and Scott Minkoff, SUNY New Paltz  |  January 21, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF Community Design

How ‘Mesofacts’ — and Their Perception — Can Make or Break a City

It can take decades for slowly changing circumstances to alter the understanding of a region's strengths or weaknesses. That can have an impact on everything from revitalization to political discourse.

By Pete Saunders, Urban Affairs Columnist  |  January 21, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF Community Design

Stone, Marble and American Democracy

The attacks on the U.S. Capitol building early this month are an important reminder of why great Americans, from Thomas Jefferson to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, see architecture as a crucial component of our system of government.

By Alex Marshall, Urban Affairs/Infrastructure Columnist  |  January 21, 2021
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Book Recommendations from Officials Who’ve Been “In the Arena”

As 2020 comes to a close, we take a moment to reflect on the numerous books that government officials from across the nation have recommended over the past several years.

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