States of Transition
William D. Eggers and Robert N. Campbell III, editors
The subtitle to this new book, from long-time Public CIO contributor William Eggers and his colleague Robert Campbell, is "tackling states' toughest policy and management challenges." That's putting it mildly. The editors grapple with the impact of aging, underfunded public-sector pensions, fixing Medicaid, integrating health and human services, education reform, upgrading emergency preparedness and the infrastructure gap, and transforming state government.
Sounds like a lot, but with more than 12 new governors in office, these people have many policy issues to tackle. The book provides them -- and us -- with a highly readable look at the problems they face. Given how the federal government has ceded the lead on a growing number of policy issues, it's heartening to see how state government continues to function and innovate.
Problems are mounting, however, making it harder to overcome policy, funding and political obstacles to state reform. Eggers and Campbell provide an intelligent guide on how to start solving some of these significant problems, and an informative and astute analysis of some of the most compelling problems faced by state government.