State Legislatures

This magazine covers policy and politics through articles on trends, legislative in the United States, best practices, the legislative process and institution and leadership and federal initiatives that affect the states.

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 8, September

As They See It
"It's a little bit like being in 'Alice in Wonderland.' What is up is down, and what is down is up--that we are being the fiscal conservatives and he's the borrow-and-spend Republican." --New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D), to...
Beyond Bars: States Are Looking to Reduce Youth Violence by Addressing Its Causes in a More Comprehensive Way
The equivalent of about 10,000 busloads of kids end up in emergency rooms for violence-related injuries every year. The journey ends there for the more than 5,500 children murdered every year. Law enforcement plays an important role in reducing...
Broadening Broadband: Most Experts Agree That Broadband Would Benefit Everyone, but a Digital Divide Still Exists
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Back at the turn of the century, you could finish off a large, non-fat, decal, caramel latte with no foam in the time it took your computer to load a website. Now it happens before your second sip, virtually instantaneously,...
Challenged to the Core: Lawmakers Face the Daunting Task of Enacting the Laws and Coming Up with the Funds Needed to Bring the Common Core State Standards to Life
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It is either one of the most significant state education reforms ever or just another short-term fix, depending on who you ask. But one thing is for sure, most lawmakers would say they are tackling some of the most sweeping...
Election 2000: Before and After: From Voting Machines to Ballot Counting, Elections Have Changed Significantly in the Last Decade
Who can forget the presidential election of 2000? The one where the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in. The one that wasn't finally, firmly and forever decided until 36 days after Election Day. In the world of election administration, 2000 wasn't just...
Exercising Leadership: It's All about Relationships
Structurally legislatures are unique institutions. Unlike most corporations and businesses, they're basically flat. The members are accountable only to the voters. No House speaker or Senate president can fire a legislator. To get any business done,...
For the Record: James Guthrie
After decades as an academic in educational administration, James Guthrie made an unusual career move when he was hired as Nevada's superintendent of public instruction. Guthrie has a Ph.D. in education administration from Stanford University and...
Safeguarding against College Costs
A college degree is vital to obtaining a stable, well-paying job, yet college costs continue to escalate. A public, four-year college in 2011-2012 cost an average of $11,380 for tuition, room and board. To help parents save now for their children's...
The Latest on REAL ID
Pennsylvania in May joined 16 other states that passed laws opposing compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. The law also authorizes the governor and attorney general to file an action in court to challenge the constitutionality or legality of the...
The Texting Troubles of 911
Americans have come to rely on 911 for emergencies, but the system is showing its age. Decades old and outdated, very few 911 call centers can receive text messages, pictures or videos all standard communications in today's world. Created in a world...
Two Leaders on Respect, Bipartisanship and Public Service
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Senator Paul Bookout (D) Arkansas Senate President Pro Tempore SL: How do you work with the other party? Bookout: I work extremely well with all senators, and my ability to do so is not based on party affiliation....
Unhealthy Differences: The Health Care System Needs to Work Smarter, Not Harder, to Eliminate Health Disparities
Most Americans contribute to the $2.6 trillion spent on health care every year. Yet the health they enjoy often varies by their population group or ZIP code, not by what they spend. An uncomfortable reality exists: Racial minorities die sooner and...