Cover Story

The Unlikely Comeback of Cap and Trade

BY J.B. Wogan

With New Jersey's announcement that it will rejoin a multistate compact to limit carbon emissions, 2018 could be a banner year for cap and trade in the states -- even if the idea is dead in Washington.

FEATURES

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Fearing Trump's Trade Policies, U.S. States and Foreign Countries Grow Closer

The president's "America First" message and his new trade barriers have caused anxiety in states where the economy depends on investment from abroad. It's pushing governors to hone their diplomatic skills. BY
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All Aboard? The Uncertain Future of America's First Privately Built Railroad in Decades

Some say South Florida's Brightline can serve as a model for infrastructure development. But first, it has to be completed and prove it can make money. BY
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How Far Will the Right-to-Die Movement Go?

More states may legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. But even where it is allowed, some doctors still refuse to offer it. BY

OBSERVER

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Do Charter Schools Worsen Segregation?

They largely serve minority students, but supporters say that’s not a problem -- it’s actually the point. BY
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The Tragedy and Politics of the Legionnaires’ Outbreak in Illinois

The disease has claimed 13 veterans’ lives since 2015 and may effect the governor’s reelection chances this year. BY
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Dismissed for Competence?

Hannes Zacharias helped his Kansas county win national recognition for a variety of programs. The county commissioners had nothing but praise for him. Then they fired him. BY
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After Reforming Criminal Justice, Alaska Has Second Thoughts

The state rolled back criminal justice reforms it had adopted only a year earlier. Other parts of the country are also reconsidering similar changes. BY

POLITICS + POLICY

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A City's Collision of Histories

Can Alabama’s capital honor both civil rights and the Confederacy? It thinks so. BY
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The Truth About Rising Health Premiums

Obamacare isn’t the reason they’re going up. It’s state policies. BY
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Trump's Voter Fraud Commission May Be Dead, But His Quest Continues

The president has shifted the commission's voter fraud investigation to the Department of Homeland Security. Some see that as a boon to the cause, while others say it could be problematic, especially for immigrants. BY
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What Will You Do to Fix Our Mental Health Care System?

That’s what many Iowans, home to the state with the fewest mental health beds, are asking candidates for governor. BY
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This Map Shows What Climate Change Could Mean for Your Region

It's difficult to put a price tag on global warming, but the effort can help manage risks. BY
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A Regional Rail Revival

Efforts to bring back passenger trains are happening all over. We need them. BY
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There Are Changes Bigger Than Self-Driving Cars Coming

Online shopping and the automation of jobs are going to transform cities. BY

PROBLEM SOLVER

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The Widening Cost-of-Living Gap

Expenses in different regions are diverging more now than in the recent past. BY
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It's the Money, Stupid

There are a lot of big issues facing officials in 2018. The biggest is funding. BY
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Geeks Come to the Government's Rescue

The organization some refer to as "the Peace Corps for geeks" has launched a major effort to improve the way people apply for benefits. BY
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Can An Old Tax Tool Teach Us New Tricks?

Fiscal equalization offers three lessons in local tax policy and regional prosperity. BY
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Behind the Lens: The Town That Had No Library

Architecture students transformed an old bank into a library for Newbern, Ala. BY

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