Cover Story

Who Ruined Illinois?

BY Daniel C. Vock

Everyone knows the state is a mess. It wasn’t always that way.



How Higher Ed Became a Partisan Wedge Issue

As states debate the purpose of public universities, some say politics is playing an outsized role. BY

Taking on Walmart Is No Easy Fight for Cities

Some towns have tried to force certain big-box retailers to pay higher wages. BY

How Cities Fell Out of Love With Sports Stadiums

Major league teams used to get everything they wanted from sports-mad cities. Now they have to fight for it -- and increasingly, they’re losing. BY



Is Selling Tax-Free Liquor Tax Evasion?

As out-of-staters flock to New Hampshire to stock up on alcohol, its neighboring states think so. BY

One State’s Opioid Success Story

In just one year, Rhode Island reduced the overdose death rate among former prisoners by 61 percent. BY

When Blue-Collar Jobs Disappear, White-Collar Workers Leave

Some places are losing more lawyers and accountants than factory workers. BY

Want to Work in a Morgue? You Might Already Qualify.

In some states, the minimal requirements are leading to inaccurate reports of homicides and suicides. BY



It’s Time for Governments to Try Federalism Again

Our toughest problems can’t be solved unless we learn to work together. BY

Do Traffic Cameras Really Make Streets Safer?

They are despised by drivers and many lawmakers. BY

State Lawmakers Face Most Challengers in Decades

Recent election cycles have seen more than 40 percent of state legislative seats left uncontested. Not this year. BY

Uber to the ER?

Ambulances are expensive. Some cities are beginning to offer other ways to get to the hospital. BY

The Controversy Surrounding a Fast-Growing Clean Energy Loan Program

It's meant to help property owners afford energy-efficiency upgrades. But some have concerns over lending standards and consumer protections. BY

5 Lessons From the Amazon HQ2 Frenzy

Most places were never going to land the company’s next headquarters. But there are still some key takeaways for them. BY

How Microtransit Could Transform Cities

As transit systems grow antiquated, cities should try nimbler options. BY



Big Business Tax Breaks May Worsen Income Inequality

Cities that give away the most money in tax incentives tend to be those with greater levels of income inequality. BY

Why Do So Many Governments Miss Their Project Deadlines?

Project delays are a huge problem. “Sourcing teams” could be one solution. BY
On Leadership

What People Get Wrong About ‘Political Will’

It’s not some innate quality -- good leaders must create it. BY

Millennials Pose a Major Problem for States

Demographic trends suggest trouble ahead for government revenues. BY

Behind the Lens: Out of Prison, Into a Home of Her Own

Photos and musings from our photographer David Kidd. BY

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