US Policy

Wildfire Epidemic Leaves States Searching for Answers

BY: - December 11, 2012

Destroyed homes sit beside a house left untouched in a neighborhood hit by the Waldo Canyon wildfire this past June in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Getty) SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — To some people living in the drought-scorched American West, it may seem like the fires will never stop raging. Months after forests and grasslands in much of […]

Bipartisan Coalition Takes Washington Senate From Democrats

BY: - December 11, 2012

Voters in Washington State last month elected a state Senate with 26 Democrats and 23 Republicans. But starting next month, those Republicans will serve in the chamber’s majority after a coup Monday (December 10) that will bring a bipartisan coalition to power. Two centrist Democratic senators, Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon, announced they had banded […]

Supreme Court Takes Up Gay Marriage Cases

BY: - December 10, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court will wade into the emotional fray over whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, for the first time agreeing to hear challenges to state and federal laws defining marriage as between only a man and woman. The high court has accepted two gay marriage cases for its spring term, it […]

After Obama Vow, Washington Weighs Role in Election Management

BY: - December 10, 2012

Voters wait to cast their ballots at precinct 697 in Miami-Dade County, Florida, on November 6. (Getty) Call it the sentence that spawned a thousand ideas for election reform. When President Obama stood on stage in Chicago last month delivering his victory speech, he thanked the millions of Americans who cast their ballots on Election […]

One-Party Control Comes with Power and Peril

BY: - December 6, 2012

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signs bills into law as legislators look on.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) As mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper’s signature achievement was persuading more than 30 mayors in the metropolitan area to agree to a new rail transit system. As a candidate for governor, rather than run negative ads against his opponents, the Democrat’s first ad […]

In Fiscal Cliff Talks, Governors Get White House Seat

BY: and - December 5, 2012

President Barack Obama, flanked by National Governors Association (NGA) Chairman, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, and NGA Vice Chair, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, meets with the NGA executive committee regarding the fiscal cliff Tuesday in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is at right. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) A bipartisan […]

Best of #StateReads: United States of Subsidies

BY: - December 5, 2012

This week’s collection of #StateReads highlights the size and questionable effectiveness of tax breaks that states and local governments give to companies; explores the shortcomings in Arizona’s policies for sex offenders; and explains why more than half of Florida high school graduates are not ready for college-level courses. These examples of extraordinary journalism about state […]

How Governors Govern Higher Ed

BY: - August 31, 2012

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (AP) This past June, twelve days after the surprise dismissal of its president plunged the University of Virginia into turmoil, Governor Bob McDonnell sent a strongly worded letter to the institution’s Board of Visitors. The governor criticized the board for not being more transparent about its reasons for dismissing President Teresa […]

Federal Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

BY: - August 31, 2012

A federal court struck down Texas’ voter identification law on Thursday, calling it the “most stringent” of any in the country and saying it would disproportionately burden the state’s minorities and poor as they tried to cast their ballots this fall. “That law will almost certainly have retrogressive effect,” the three-member panel in the District […]

Statehood for Puerto Rico? Romney Supports a 51st State

BY: - August 30, 2012

Would a Mitt Romney presidential win help pave the way for Puerto Rican statehood? Luis Fortuno thinks so. On Wednesday (August 29), the island commonwealth’s Republican governor said Romney has assured him of it. “I must tell you something,” Fortuno told The Daily Caller.  “He [Romney] looked me straight in the eye and he told […]

Amid Lawsuits and Controversy, States Prepare for Voter ID

BY: - August 30, 2012

(AP) Tennessee has held town halls in each of the state’s 95 counties and instituted special Voter ID-only hours in motor vehicle offices. Wisconsin has revamped its training scheme for 1,800 local elections managers. Pennsylvania just this week unveiled a new, streamlined voter ID card. Those are among the many steps states have taken to […]