Cover Story

How Much Can Democrats Really Win in 2018?

BY Alan Greenblatt

Election results from November suggest they will have a big year. But with near record low representation in the states, Democrats need more than that to shift the balance of power.

FEATURES

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The Biggest Issues for States to Watch in 2018

Even though it's an election year, these policies and problems are too important and timely for legislatures to ignore. BY
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Has John Bel Edwards Discovered the Right Balancing Act Between Parties?

Most politicians believe moderation doesn’t help Democrats much in the Deep South. Louisiana’s governor, who's trying to fix the state's finances, isn’t one of them. BY
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Police Departments Grapple With Who Should Hold Them Accountable

Scandals surrounding abuse and corruption are spurring cities across the country to adopt civilian oversight boards. But some argue they have the opposite effect that advocates are looking for. BY
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In Cybersecurity Fight, Governments Leave Hospitals Behind

When hackers target hospitals, the consequences can be dire. Yet hospitals have little help preventing or responding to such attacks. BY

OBSERVER

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South Carolina Spent $9 Billion on Nuclear Reactors That Will Never Run. Now What?

The legislature must decide whether residents will keep being charged, possibly for decades, for the failed project. BY
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How Many Lawmakers Does a Legislature Need?

California has the most people of any state, and yet it doesn't have the country's largest legislature. A ballot measure proposes to change that -- but it's complicated. BY
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Are Progressives Giving Bill de Blasio His Due?

In a new book, one of his supporters compares the New York City mayor with other liberal mayors, and says no. BY
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The Scambuster Going to War for Military Members

Service members are often targeted for financial scams and have a harder time defending themselves. Deanna Nelson is doing it for them. BY

POLITICS + POLICY

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Should Governments Measure People's Happiness?

Their citizens' sense of well-being may tell a lot about whether a community is thriving. BY
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These 2 Men Made Careers Out of Fighting for Federalism

One of them, Paul Posner, who recently died, spent decades advocating for a stronger relationship between federal, state and local governments. BY
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Transgender Issues Energize Typically Sleepy School Board Elections

The debate over who should use which bathrooms led to record turnout in at least two elections last year. Transgender advocates expect more competition this year. BY
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STD Rates Reach Record High

The rise of sexually transmitted diseases is challenging public health departments. BY
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China's Foreign-Waste Ban Could Have Recycling Repercussions in America

Starting this month, the country's new policy will likely send more recyclable materials to the landfill. But many environmentalists also see it as a golden opportunity. BY
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It's Time to Confront Our Coastal Elite Economy

Coastal cities have disproportionately thrived thanks to economic centralization. Yes, the marketplace is to blame, but so is federal policy. BY
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Airports Need to Expand

But burdensome federal regulations are getting in the way. BY

PROBLEM SOLVER

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The Race to Be Census-Ready

It’s already hard to count certain residents. But this time around, it could be particularly difficult. BY
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Why Are Governments So Hesitant to Share Services?

It makes rational sense, but people find many reasons to be wary -- even high school football rivalries. BY
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5 Ways to Measure a Mayor's Success

In local government, success is defined by what you leave behind. BY
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15 Years Later, REAL ID Act's Vision Will Finally Become Reality

After years of fighting the post-9/11 law that added security standards for ID cards, states seem to be on board. It's going to cost them, though. BY
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Who's Slurping the Benefits of Soda Taxes?

Local governments. But they’re not just doing it for the money. BY
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Behind the Lens: Los Angeles Has a Surprising Winter Pastime

Photos and musings from our photographer David Kidd. BY

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