The State of the States: Challenges and Opportunities


The State of the States: Challenges and Opportunities

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Many of today’s most important policies are being made by states, as Washington has shifted responsibility and been paralyzed by partisanship. The states have taken the lead on immigration, health care, global warming, and other pressing issues. At the same time, states face severe budgetary constraints and intensifying pressures from an aging population and global economic competition. One of the country’s leading experts on state government, Peter Harkness, discussed the challenges and opportunities facing states. Mr. Harkness is the editor and publisher of Governing Magazine, one of the most widely read and respected publications on state and local government. Peter Harkness has been editor and publisher of Governing, a magazine for leaders of state and local governments, since it was founded 19 years ago. Before that, he was editor and deputy publisher of the Congressional Quarterly, a Washington information company known for publishing what is regarded as the unofficial and independent "bible" covering the U.S. Congress. Mr. Harkness has watched government at all levels, from Washington to the states, cities and counties, for 35 years. His reporting assignments for CQ included the White House, Congress and national politics. In 1987, he founded Governing magazine on the premise that much of the responsibility and authority for governing the country had moved down to the state and local level, yet no one in the national press was paying any attention. He is a recipient of the Raymond Clapper Award for investigative reporting, awarded by the White House Correspondents Association, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, one of the few journalists to be inducted into its membership. Governing’s circulation has grown to more than 85,000 state, city and county leaders across the nation. Governing has been nominated four times as a finalist for the National Magazine Award, the highest honor in the industry. Traffic on, the magazine’s robust website, is approaching 800,000 page views a month.

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Jacobs, Lawrence R.. (2007). The State of the States: Challenges and Opportunities. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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