Pew Research Center Feb. 5, 2007

Mega-donors Get Mixed Election Returns

A bevy of big donors poured some of their personal fortunes into last year’s gubernatorial, state legislative and ballot-measure contests. But the super-rich had a mixed record in their single-handed efforts to sway election outcomes. In some cases, the motives of wealthy donors even backfired against their candidates or causes.

Pew Research Center Jan. 24, 2007

Bush Builds on States’ Agenda

It’s too soon to know how far the new Congress might go in accepting the president’s State of the Union proposals on health care, energy, immigration and education, but states aren’t waiting to find out – they’ve taken the lead on these domestic issues.

Pew Research Center Jan. 10, 2007

Want to Buy the Brooklyn Bridge?

It’s not for sale yet, but in the latest trend of revenue generating strategies, states have taken to selling off, leasing out and cashing in on some of their most valuable assets, primarily toll roads. Several big deals were consummated in 2006, including a $3.8 billion deal in Indiana to lease a state toll road to a private Australian-Spanish consortium.

Pew Research Center Jan. 8, 2007

Are You a Citizen? Prove It

Worries about voter fraud, terrorism and illegal immigration are driving a surge in stiff new identification requirements. To weed out those who aren’t citizens, all Americans increasingly need a paper trail to qualify for some of the perks of citizenship — from driver’s licenses to Medicaid help.

Pew Research Center Dec. 28, 2006

States Step Ahead on Health Care Reform

Massachusetts has accomplished the improbable: It got Democrats and Republicans to agree on how to provide nearly every resident with health insurance. And it did so without boosting taxes or pushing aside private health plans. Other states – from Vermont to California — are also trying to close the uninsured gap.

Pew Research Center Dec. 27, 2006

Surpluses, Social Issues Mark 2006

Statehouses awash in surpluses ventured into new projects in 2006, from first-in-the-nation preschool for all 3-year-olds in Illinois to a space pad in New Mexico plus advances on such issues as health care, immigration, the minimum wage and global warming that stymied Congress.

Pew Research Center Dec. 21, 2006

Season’s Greetings

Governors spiced up their annual greeting cards with a mix of sacred and secular themes, personalizing holiday messages with family recipes, Bible verses and even some original artwork.

Pew Research Center Nov. 8, 2006

Democrats Score in Statehouses and Governors’ Mansions

For the first time since 1994, Democrats won control of a majority of the nation’s governors’ mansions, wresting away five Republican seats with unofficial results of the Nov. 7 election putting Democrats in charge in 28 states. Democratic gains also vastly outnumbered Republican gains in the nation’s state legislatures, enough to take control of legislative chambers in at least six states — including the New Hampshire House for the first time since at least 1922.

Pew Research Center Nov. 6, 2006

Election ’06 – GOP Edge at Stake

Heading into Election Day, at least a dozen governors’ races and 14 of the most competitive statehouses are still up in the air, as Democrats aim to overturn the edge Republicans gained at the state level in 1994.

Pew Research Center Nov. 6, 2006

Longer Ballots Pose Many Questions

Voters will be confronted with a near-record number of citizen-generated questions at the polling place Nov. 7. The questions range from the politically explosive – such as whether to ban gay marriage and abortion – to the quirky, such as whether to let grocery stores in Massachusetts sell wine.