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. 9, October-November

5 Trends Shaping Redistricting: New Dynamics Are Transforming the Once-a-Decade Exercise of Drawing Political Boundaries
In just a few weeks, candidates across the country will be elected to newly redrawn state legislative and congressional districts. Over the past two years, state legislatures have painstakingly redrawn district boundaries to reflect the population...
A Bold Approach to School Reform: Sweeping Changes to Idaho's Education Policy Turned into a Hot Potato Issue That's Landed in the Voters' Laps
Idaho Senator John Goedde (R) compares the changes under way in Idaho's schools to how the printing press changed religion. A thousand years ago, elaborate stained-glass church windows told the story of faith to illiterate crowds. "Then came the...
A Fiscal Cliffhanger: Uncertainty about How Congress Will Address the Fiscal Cliff Leaves States Playing a Guessing Game
What may either stunt economic growth or cost the federal government up to $8 trillion? The answer depends on how Congress deals with the fiscal cliff, a topic casting a long shadow over conversations about how to reduce the nation's growing debt....
A Flood of Voter ID Laws
The number of voter identification bills over the last two years is unprecedented in the world of elections. No single election issue has garnered this much attention without a federal mandate. Not only is the volume of legislation notable, so too...
A PEA for Proof
Call it a post-election review, evaluation, inspection, analysis or audit--the label doesn't matter. But elections results do. No surprise, then, that officials, candidates and citizens want to make sure voting equipment and procedures are working...
A Roundhouse of Art: New Mexico's Circular Capitol Is Home to an Ambitious Showcase for the State's Artists
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Some say Santa Fe, N.M., is more famous as an art capital than a state capital. And there's evidence that's true. Santa Fe is one of the oldest seats of government in the Americas, yet its rich artistic heritage is evident...
A Wave or a Ripple?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The bruising battle for the White House between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney has consumed virtually all the media's attention. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on TV, radio and Internet ads targeted at specific...
Gary Olson
Gary Olson had a gift for numbers. Whether it was how many strokes he took on the golf course (he counted every one) or the bottom line on state revenues, Gary's numbers had integrity. He was a nuts and bolts, business kind of guy who didn't believe...
Kill the Company
By Lisa Bodell Bibliomotion 256 pages; $27.95 ISBN-13:978-1937134020 "It's all about culture," says Lisa Bodell, founder and CEO of future-think, an innovation research and training firm. She believes the inefficiency and complacency common...
NCSL Legislative Summit Snapshots from Chicago
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Industry Leaders on the Business of Job Creation If the question is jobs, the answer is education. An inadequately prepared workforce is the biggest hindrance to long-term job growth, the CEOs of Caterpillar and State Farm...
Online Invasion
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I fan employer asks for your Facebook password, is it the same as if they'd asked to read your diary or open your mail? Some lawmakers think so, and are sponsoring bills to make such inquiries illegal. "If 50 years ago,...
Power Struggle: The Supreme Court's Recent Term Focused on Whether the Constitution Limits Federal Authority and Power
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Supreme Court's decision upholding the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care law made headlines this summer. But for states, its ruling allowing them to opt out of the Medicaid expansion is likely to...
"State and Local Governments Have an Extraordinary Opportunity to Be Game-Changers."
Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago, is listed among the top economic forecasters in the nation annually and is regularly quoted in consumer and financial media. She addressed the opening session of NCSL's 2012 Legislative...
The People's Choice: Once Again, There's Something for Everyone on Statewide Ballots This November
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Back again this year are many of the same issues that appeared on ballots throughout the first decade of the 2000s: marriage, marijuana, gambling and of course, taxes. There are, however, a handful of new issues,...