Nearly anywhere you look, there are signs of expanding budget pressure for state and local governments.
Florida lawmakers braced for a contentious battle over spending cuts triggered by the state's worst fiscal crisis in a decade. Colorado Senate President John Andrews recently branded the state's budget situation a "perfect storm of adversity," and California officials are grappling with a huge state budget gap that's expected to top $26 billion.
Bad news at the state level has local jurisdictions preparing for the fallout. County officials from Los Angeles to Hartford, Md., worry that shrinking state aid will force layoffs. New York City already has begun that process -- in April, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his intention to reduce the city's work force by 3,400 employees to help balance the budget.
Clearly, public officials face a significant challenge in coping with fiscal drought while maintaining operations and critical services. Just as clearly, some jurisdictions view technology as one key to meeting that challenge.
The following series of articles examines innovative techniques that state and local officials are using to survive the current dry spell.
Something for Nothing?