Cover Story

Why Alcohol Is Still the Most Dangerous Drug

BY J.B. Wogan

It's cheaper, legal and kills more people than opioids. But public officials are much more united in the fight against drugs than alcohol.



Amid Scandal and Explosive Growth, Nashville Ponders Its Future

Like many other Sunbelt cities, Music City is trying to figure out what kind of place it wants to be. BY

After Decades of Reform, Has Chicago Finally Learned How to Fix Education?

Some promising signs suggest the city may be turning around its troubled school system. It offers lessons for other struggling districts. BY

Rhode Island's Governor Isn't a Conventional Democrat. Will That Help or Hurt Her in November?

Gina Raimondo, a former venture capitalist with blue-collar ties who has made job creation her No. 1 priority, could face a tough reelection. BY

The New Gold Rush for Green Bonds

Investors are lining up to buy them to fund environmental projects. BY



A New Twist on an Old Health Care Idea

All-payer health care, the idea of paying hospitals a flat rate, is making a comeback. BY

Different Energy Boom, Same Mistakes?

Critics say West Virginia, which is enjoying an explosion of natural gas production and jobs, is repeating the missteps it made with the coal industry. BY

In Rural America, Violent Crime Reaches Highest Level in a Decade

The loss of jobs and the opioid epidemic are two of the biggest reasons. BY

This City Removed 2 Confederate Statues. Then the State Retaliated.

Inside the $250,000 fight between Memphis and Tennessee. BY



Why Some Cities Want Graffiti

Instead of scrubbing spray-painted tags, many places are now encouraging murals and other colorful street art. BY

Federalism Is Broken. Can It Be Fixed?

Our federal system is tied up in knots. We have to try to untie them. BY

Voting Rights Debate Moves From Statehouses to Ballot Boxes

Voters will weigh in this fall on voter registration, campaign finance and redistricting. BY

Hygiene Equity Goes Beyond Tampon Taxes

States are making products for women and children -- particularly those in prison or poverty -- more affordable. BY

California Requires Solar Power for New Homes. Will Other States?

The state has a history of inspiring environmental movements across the country. BY

What Employers Want From Cities

Is talent the most important factor? Taxes? Crime? It's a long list. BY

A Case for the Surveillance State

Flashing police cameras may make neighborhoods feel ominous, but they serve a purpose. BY



The Winners and Losers in Retail's Growing Divide

As more shopping moves online, most places are suffering job losses. But not everywhere. BY
On Leadership

When's the Next Recession? Ask Medicaid Directors.

Health care costs can tell officials a lot about a state's fiscal temperature. BY

The Fiscal Firebomb Looming for Small Cities in Illinois

A state law meant to hold municipalities accountable for pension payments may actually worsen a coming fiscal crisis. BY

Behind the Lens: A Peek at One State's Politics Hall of Fame

The Louisiana Political Museum may be the only one if its kind. BY


Bridging a Growing Gap

The concept of “maximum feasible participation,” which was written into the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 -- legislation unofficially known as the War on Poverty -- captured one of the central, enduring problems in governance: how to balance administrative expertise and effective community involvement. BY

100 Blue Ravine Rd
Folsom, CA 95630
(916) 932-1300