Government Operations

State Governments Look to Entrepreneurs for Creativity, Efficiency

BY: - May 13, 2014

Assembly member Ian Calderon (second from left) wants California to have a state entrepreneur-in-residence program. Some cities and states are seeking the advice of entrepreneurs. (AP)   Follow on Twitter Entrepreneurs in government? The idea may sound like an oxymoron to government bashers. Yet a move is on to bring successful entrepreneurs into state agencies, city […]

States Brace for Shutdown That Could Hit Revenue and Businesses

BY: - September 26, 2013

Jonah Hilgert plays as his mother, first-grade teacher Toni Fry-Hilgert, gets her classroom ready for the first day of school, in Alton, Ill., this fall. Federal aid to schools is among the items that could be hit by a federal government shutdown. (AP) With the federal government on the brink of a shutdown next week, […]

Alabama’s Past, Future on the Ballot

BY: - August 13, 2012

Alabama voters will get the chance this fall to rid their state constitution of antiquated references to the “telegraph” and use of the gold standard and eliminate racist language adopted during the time of Jim Crow laws that were added to keep black voters disenfranchised. These proposed changes on the ballot this fall are just […]

Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law Repeal Headed for Ballot

BY: - August 6, 2012

The Michigan Supreme Court has resolved a dispute about whether opponents of the state’s emergency manager law had used the correct type size on their ballot initiative petitions, which was challenging their validity. In a 4-3 ruling Friday (August 3), the court ruled that the question to repeal  the 2011 law can go on the […]

Detroit and Its Unions Fight Over Work Rules

BY: - July 6, 2012

Fire Captain Steve Kirschner is willing to be cross-trained to help respond to medical emergencies, but he worries whether he would be given the proper equipment and training to do so. DETROIT– Labor  relations here haven’t been rosy since the last time local finances were in good shape. That’s been quite a while. But now […]

Troubled Times at the State Fair

BY: - May 31, 2012

Maggie Clark, Stateline  DOSWELL, Va. – On a rainy Monday afternoon in mid-May,  Jeff Carpenter gazed out on the grounds of the State Fair of Virginia, of which he was the sole remaining caretaker. After a life of more than 150 years, the fair had closed. The grounds were about to be auctioned off to […]

Oklahoma Rejects Bonding for Capitol Renovation

BY: - May 25, 2012

Among the business left unresolved as Oklahoma’s legislature winds down its session today is what to do about expensive, long-delayed repairs for the state Capitol building and nearby state office buildings. The House rejected a $200 million bond issue on Wednesday (May 23) amid legislators’ worries that their status as true fiscal conservatives would be […]

Report Touts Privatization Momentum

BY: - April 26, 2012

A new report from the Reason Foundation finds that state governments are increasingly using private contractors to help provide state services as a way to deal with budget shortfalls. The libertarian think tank, which often advises state and local governments on privatization, provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into these initiatives at various stages of development and […]

Crime Labs Struggle With DNA Test Demands

BY: - March 8, 2012

Twelve years ago, Congress passed a bill aimed at bolstering the capacity of state and local crime labs. It was known as the “DNA Backlog Elimination Act.” The ensuing effort now bears the more modest title of “DNA Backlog Reduction Program.” But even with the new name, it is an ambitious venture. Since 2006, Congress […]

Oregon Looks to Shrink Middle Management

BY: - March 5, 2012

Oregon state agencies may soon be asked to reduce the number of managers as a proportion of their overall workforce with the goal of shrinking government without harming key services. The state last year set a long-term target of having at least 11 state workers for every manager, but a bill passed by the legislature […]

States Push to Shake Up Personnel Practices

BY: - February 16, 2012

  iStockphoto Civil service rules that haven’t changed in decades are being  re-assessed by governors bent on major changes in the system. Your boss offers you a 5 percent raise. The only catch is that in return you risk being fired at any time, without any right to an explanation. Would you take it? This […]

Seven Questions for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

BY: and - February 8, 2012

AP Photo/Al Goldis Rick Snyder hasn’t followed the confrontational path of many Republican governors elected in 2010. In a Stateline interview, he explains some of his strategies.   Rick Snyder had never held or even sought any public office when he was elected governor of Michigan in 2010. As a venture capitalist and former Gateway computer […]