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Carl Smith

Senior Staff Writer

Carl Smith is a senior staff writer for Governing and covers a broad range of issues affecting states and localities. For the past 30 years, Carl has written about education and the environment for peer-reviewed papers, magazines and online publications, with a special focus on conservation and sustainability. He has guest-edited special issues of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health focused on the Precautionary Principle and the human rights dimensions of environmental degradation. Carl attended the University of Texas and the University of Georgia. He can be reached at carl.smith@governing.com or on Twitter at @governingwriter.

Dissatisfied voters targeted election administrators in 2020. Accustomed to working behind the scenes, many were cast as villains and now fear for their personal and professional safety.
Stockton emerged from bankruptcy years ago, but a culture of caution lingered that wasn’t conducive to growth. Harry Black, its new city manager, aims to speed resurgence and innovation through data-based plans and programs.
Building enough charging infrastructure to capture the anticipated economic and health benefits will be an enormous undertaking. But can the country’s power grid handle the strain of so many EVs plugging in on a daily basis?
The average number of workers available for every open job is half what it has been for the past 20 years. The government sector faces the biggest shortage of all, with 5 times as many open jobs as workers to fill them.
The breach of a Florida water treatment system that could have poisoned citizens sent shockwaves through local government. No-cost assessment tools and low-cost fixes can increase security in this sector.
In many cases, state and local governments have more jobs than applicants. HR departments are fighting employee burnout, rising retirement and competition from the private sector to fill them.
The pandemic has significantly increased the number of students who don’t attend class. Solutions aren’t easy, but school districts can recover the chronically absent by digging deeper into data.
Two-thirds of Americans over 25 don't have a bachelor’s degree or higher. A Harvard study uncovers inconsistent efforts to give these workers skills for economic mobility and calls for improving the problem.
In the wake of unproven claims about voting fraud, a record number of bills seek changes in election law. Some could enable legislatures to interfere with election administration.
Some workers who are sick or have to care for family members will have protection against financial losses, thanks to provisions in the American Rescue Plan.