Cover Story

How Real Is the Bankruptcy Threat?

BY Ryan Holeywell

State and local leaders have taken to saying, ‘We’re broke.’ The true story is a lot more complicated.


Health & Human Services

Nonprofits Seek Relief and Support from States

Nonprofits deliver crucial health and human services to the most vulnerable populations, but state budget constraints are endangering their operations. BY
Infrastructure & Environment

Seattle Looks to Cottages for Affordable Housing

Cities are struggling to increase residential density without destroying single-family neighborhoods. That means the return of the backyard cottage. BY
Governing: State and local government news and analysis

Reconstructing Building Codes for Greater Energy Efficiency

Governments are adopting new and strengthening existing building codes, hoping others will follow their lead. BY
Public Safety & Justice

Working Prisoners Save Taxpayers' Money

States are increasingly utilizing prison labor to plug budget holes, but public employee unions aren’t happy. BY



Reinventing the Food Stamp Program

Free-market economists argue that replacing welfare programs with direct cash grants to the poor would require a smaller bureaucracy and be more beneficial to those in need. BY

Politics + Policy

Politics & Elections

New Governors Time Their Battles

Unpopular governors have good chances of winning re-election -- as long as they push their most controversial policies early on. BY

Detroit's Disappearing Population -- and Revenues

With the loss of 25 percent of its residents, Detroit could also lose its ability to levy higher income taxes. BY
Politics & Elections

Does the Popular Vote Matter?

While some states offer extra protection for statutes enacted by popular vote, legislatures can still overturn ballot initiatives in most states. BY

The Economics of Spring Training

Cities in Arizona and Florida spend millions to host baseball teams during spring training. Is it worth it? BY
Washington Watch

The Truth about Bankruptcy

Exaggerating problems is more about politics than budget balancing. BY
Politics & Elections

States Challenge Federal Land-Use Law

State and local officials in the West are filing lawsuits to overturn new policies they say will prevent development and job growth. BY
Health & Human Services

Do Smokers Have Privacy Rights?

An Ariz. county will begin testing its employees and offering health insurance discounts to nonsmokers. But is it right to find and penalize those who smoke? BY

Consolidating 'Green' Departments

More leaders are trying to cut costs by merging environmental agencies. Critics worry this will water down the impact of environmental protection. BY
Transportation & Infrastructure

Economic Development in the 1099 Economy

Temporary work is becoming the norm. Economic developers must change their focus if they want to create jobs in this new economy. BY
Urban Notebook

Cities' Access to Fresh Food Worsens

Higher maintenance costs in urban areas have led to a serious lack of grocery stores for city dwellers. States and cities are working on ways to get them back. BY

Problem Solver

Public Safety & Justice

Data-Driven Policing

With little or no additional funding, geomapping can help law enforcement fight crime while lowering traffic incidents. BY
Smart Management

When is a Shortfall a Budget Gap and Not a Budget Deficit?

The distinctions between gaps and deficits can show just how dire a city or state's condition is. BY
Public Money

The Debt Demon

Have states and localities borrowed too much? BY
Tech Talk

Solving the IP Address Shortage

The time to upgrade to IPv6 -- and take advantage of its innovative technologies -- is now. BY

Minn. Public Utilities Commissioner Keeps Colleagues Informed on Nuclear Issues

The industries that David C. Boyd regulates tend to fly under the radar until a crisis like the tsunami in Japan arises. BY


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