Eric Kelderman

Turf Wars Rage Over Fake Grass

By: - April 22, 2008

State legislators are used to political turf wars. Now, debates in a handful of states really are about turf, pitting those who back the artificial variety against supporters of natural grass for playgrounds and athletic fields. Bills in Minnesota , New Jersey and New York would bar the installation of additional artificial turf until those […]

WORTH NOTING: Tax refund hardly a windfall

By: - April 18, 2008

It’s the thought that counts, right? Hawaii lawmakers approved a tax refund last week – a move required by the state constitution after the budget has had a surplus for two consecutive years. But Aloha State residents shouldn’t get too excited: Each taxpayer will get a whole $1 back, credited to their 2008 taxes, reports […]

WORTH NOTING: Lt. Governors May Pass on New York

By: - March 14, 2008

While the country was fixated on New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s (D) dramatic fall from grace, his successor, Lt. Gov. David Paterson (D), was supposed to be in Washington, D.C., at a   National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) meeting and preparing for its annual gathering in Buffalo, N.Y., this summer. Naturally, Paterson did not attend, […]

Managing Govt. Is Key in Fiscal Downturn

By: - March 4, 2008

The best, worst states State governments overall earned a B-minus average in managing their budget, workforce, infrastructure and information in the Grading the States 2008 report. Below is a shortlist of states with the strongest – and weakest – performances in each category. MONEY States were evaluated on whether they had a long-term outlook, transparent […]

Most State Fleets Sidestep Ethanol Use

By: - February 27, 2008

The state of New Jersey owns more than 2,200 cars and light trucks that run on a cleaner-burning fuel mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, called E85. But a state worker in Trenton, N.J., would have to drive nearly 30 miles one-way to get that special fuel in downtown Philadelphia. New Jersey’s […]

Governors’ Talks Target Clean Coal, Carbon Tax

By: - February 24, 2008

The nation’s governors have few questions about whether global warming is a looming threat, but some major differences about how to address the problem. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), this year’s chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA), is seeking consensus with his peers on actions states should take to encourage more renewable energy and […]

Economy to Dominate Govs’ Meeting

By: and - February 22, 2008

  Hot topics for NGA meeting The nation’s governors have a full plate of policies and politics to consider during their 2008 winter meeting. Here’s a rundown of what to expect during the Feb. 23-25 session: Energy – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), NGA chairman, will spearhead a series of discussions on “securing a clean […]

WORTH NOTING: Tough as the Wild North

By: - February 22, 2008

In the musical “Guys and Dolls,” New York gangsters scheme to carry on illegal gambling at a Salvation Army meeting. But in South Carolina, legislators are considering a bill allowing churches and other non-profits to host card and dice games to raise money, according to a story in The Post and Courier of Charleston. The […]

WORTH NOTING: Lawmaker Loses to a Cockroach

By: - January 4, 2008

Did you hear the one about the state legislator who tussled with a cockroach at a political debate? No joke here. Kansas state Rep. Vaughn Flora (D) paid $2,500 to settle a $75,000 lawsuit filed by an anti-abortion protester who wore a cockroach costume to a September 2006 gubernatorial debate, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports. In […]

Govs’ e-mail purges raise hackles

By: - December 6, 2007

E-mail has become the communications tool of choice in the past decade, but imbroglios involving the governors of Missouri and Texas show that the rules of paperless messaging are still evolving and can create problems for state government. A newspaper columnist’s request in August for e-mail records triggered a political maelstrom in Missouri, and an […]

States take on alien species!

By: - November 20, 2007

Fast-growing hordes of invaders are crossing the nation’s borders by land, sea and air and threatening to devastate the economy, spread contagion and wreak havoc on the environment. That could be a science fiction plot if it weren’t for the most part true. Thousands of invasive plants, animals, bacteria and viruses cause major problems across […]

Can ghost towns vanish?

By: - October 26, 2007

Just in time for Halloween, Colorado’s Secretary of State Mike Coffman is considering whether 10 of the state’s historic “ghost towns” still exist. Officials in Douglas County, Colo., where all the towns are located, say the communities should no longer be recognized as municipalities because they haven’t held elections in at least five years as […]