Government Operations

Mississippi Republicans Challenge Powers of Attorney General

BY: - February 3, 2012

  AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood hires lots of outside lawyers. They make a great deal of money for the state, and for themselves. Not everyone is happy with that situation.  As Mississippi’s attorney general, Jim Hood rarely shies away from litigation, especially when victory could put millions of dollars into […]

New York Poised to Make Major Management Changes

BY: - January 6, 2012

Last year, many incoming governors began tinkering with the structure of the executive branch immediately upon taking office, shuffling and collapsing the agencies under their purview to align with their policy objectives. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo bucked that trend in 2011 but is poised to make up for lost time in 2012 with what […]

Five Lessons From Overwhelmed Agencies

BY: - December 21, 2011

Last week, Stateline took an in-depth look at what’s causing growing backlogs of work at state agencies across the country. Here are five lessons gleaned from dozens of interviews with state officials, including those who are currently struggling with a backlog and some who have successfully cleared one up. 1. Prioritization is no panacea When agencies […]

Anatomy of a Backlog: How Vermont Fell Behind on Adult Protective Services

BY: - December 14, 2011

BURLINGTON, Vermont — Cerebral palsy does not thwart Chris Osborne’s passion for chess and all kinds of music, from hard rock to opera. But Chris, who is 25 and lives near Burlington, does depend on others to dress, feed and bathe him, as well as to clean and change his feeding tube. He can communicate […]

Infographic: State and Local Employment Is Down, But Not Everywhere

BY: and - October 7, 2011

There are nearly half a million fewer state and local employees now than there were three years ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. An annual employment survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau gives an indication of where some of those cuts were made. There were nearly 9,000 fewer firefighters and police […]

Infographic: How California Redevelopment Agencies Work

BY: - October 5, 2011

With strict property tax limitations written into California law, local governments have relied on redevelopment agencies for the past three decades to make up much of the difference in revenue. That’s why Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to eliminate these agencies struck many local officials as an insensitive move. Back to “In California, a state and […]

Infographic: Local Government By The Numbers

BY: and - October 4, 2011

More than two centuries of American democracy have resulted in a profusion of governments at the local level, not only cities and counties but villages and townships, park districts and sanitary districts and a host of others. To those trying desperately to bring a state’s budget into balance, many of these are useless anachronisms incapable […]

New Policy Means It’s Always ‘a Great Day in South Carolina’

BY: - October 3, 2011

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley wants to remind state employees that they work for the taxpayers. To get the message across, she is asking state workers to answer their phones with a new greeting: “It’s a great day in South Carolina. How can I help you?” Haley made the announcement during a meeting with her […]

The Arkansas Approach: How One State Has Avoided Fiscal Disaster

BY: - September 20, 2011

                                                                      Office of the Governor  Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe presides over a fiscal process that has functioned well since it was created in the aftermath of the state’s debt default in the 1930s LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — A few states have escaped the worst of the recession, and for the most part that is […]

Iowa Centralizing Hiring of State Workers

BY: - September 14, 2011

Iowa has centralized its hiring of state workers, partly in response to a series of lawsuits alleging discriminatory hiring, firing and promotion practices, reports The Des Moines Register . This week, a class-action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in human resources decisions at Iowa state agencies went to trial . The suit alleges that as many as 6,000 […]

Clerical Error Eliminates Indiana’s Largest State Agency

BY: - July 11, 2011

Indiana accomplished a stunning feat of government streamlining on June 30, when a new law took effect and abolished the state’s largest agency: the Family and Social Services Administration, which helps more than a million Hoosiers access Medicaid, food stamps and other benefits. The agency’s dismantling came as a surprise to more than just welfare […]

New Governors Drive to Reorganize Agencies

BY: - June 6, 2011

Getty Kansas Governor Sam Brownback decided to shut down several agencies, such as the Kansas Arts Commission and the state parole board, and fold their duties into other departments. Brownback says the moves will save more than $9 million. But history shows that government reorganizations are often difficult and don’t always pay off the way […]