Kavan Peterson

Immigration Roils States

By: - January 22, 2008

State leaders are pressing President Bush and the newly elected Democratic Congress to pass comprehensive federal immigration reform. But they’ve also signaled they will not wait for the federal government to take action on illegal immigration. A record 78 immigration-control laws were enacted in 33 states last year out of 550 immigration bills filed, according […]

Are you a citizen? Prove it

By: - January 8, 2007

State of the States 2007 is off the presses.’s annual publication highlighting significant state policy developments and trends can be ordered here . When Colorado state Sen. Andy McElhany (R) championed adoption of the strictest identification requirements in the country, his aim was to keep illegal immigrants off state welfare rolls. He didn’t anticipate […]

Feds Ignore State Anti-Terror Intelligence

By: - September 13, 2006

Five years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks called into question the nation’s intelligence system, state homeland security officials say the federal government still is failing to collect and analyze terror-threat information gathered by state and local authorities. State homeland security officials in charge of new intelligence ” fusion centers ” told Congress last week the […]

States failing to secure personal data

By: - July 12, 2006

 A hacker in Nebraska last month broke into the state treasurer’s database of child-support data and gained access to the Social Security numbers, bank-account routing numbers and other personal data of 300,000 people.    Oregon taxpayers recently were notified they may have had personal data stolen from state computers when an ex-state employee downloaded a […]

Governors Push Access to Preschool

By: - May 18, 2006

Heeding studies showing that investing money in kids before kindergarten increases their chances of graduating and staying out of jail, nearly half of governors this year are pushing for — and many are getting — more funding for preschool education.   Illinois lawmakers last week approved an initiative from the governor to create the nation’s […]

Report questions severity of dropout crisis

By: - April 20, 2006

Dueling reports offered sharply conflicting claims this week on the number of high school students, especially minorities, who drop out of school and fail to earn a diploma. Widely accepted reports in recent years that two-thirds of all students and only half of minorities graduate from high school have sparked a major push by the […]

Project to vet education reports for bias

By: - April 18, 2006

A group of education researchers recently launched a project to review education reports released by private think tanks to judge the quality of their research, the accuracy of their conclusions and expose any ideological bias. But some targets of the project contend that its motives and objectivity are suspect. The project is a joint effort […]

No red ink showing on state ledgers

By: - April 11, 2006

After weathering the rockiest budget conditions since World War II earlier this decade, states appear to be well on the road to economic recovery and fiscal stability, according to a report available April 10 from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Because of stronger than expected state tax collections, 42 states will end fiscal year […]

42 states foresee a surplus this fiscal year

By: and - April 10, 2006

Forty-two states project to end this fiscal year with a surplus totaling $28.9 billion, making it easier to balance budgets and reinvest in programs cut during the fiscal downturn in the first half of this decade, according to a report available April 10 from the National Conference of State Legislatures. After weathering years of budget […]

Soaring state revenues beat expectations

By: and - April 7, 2006

State revenues are soaring beyond expectations in 38 states, making it easier to balance budgets and absorb continuing cost overruns in Medicaid and other health care programs, according to the most recent figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures. After weathering years of budget shortfalls early this decade when states fell more than $235 […]

Legislators sound warning on federal rules

By: - April 6, 2006

In a disturbing new trend, unelected federal regulators are usurping states’ powers to protect their citizens, state legislators charged Thursday (April 6) at a national gathering in Washington, D.C. At their annual spring meeting, leaders of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) ratcheted up criticism of new federal regulatory changes and legislation that would […]

Teacher Pay Reform Challenges States

By: - March 4, 2006

Paying teachers based on talent and student performance instead of seniority is gaining traction in the states thanks to support from governors and new federal incentives to tie teacher pay to student achievement. Minnesota and Florida are at the forefront of the movement. Minnesota inaugurated the nation’s most sweeping teacher pay changes last fall, and […]