Book of the States

The Council of State Governments continues a long tradition of “sharing capitol ideas” with the publication of the 2013 edition of The Book of the States. Since 1933, CSG has served as a resource for state leaders and a catalyst for innovation and excellence in state governance. The Book of the States has been the reference tool of choice since 1935, providing relevant, accurate and timely information, answers and comparisons for all 56 states, commonwealths and territories of the United States.  

The 2013 volume includes 150 in-depth tables, charts and figures illustrating how state government operates. It also includes 32 articles from state leaders, innovative thinkers, noted scholars and CSG’s in-house policy experts that analyze and report on the transformations taking place in state government. Staff members mined more than 500 sources to obtain the information shared in The Book of the States

 Archive: 1935-2012

This article reviews developments in interstate relations pertaining to uniform state laws, interstate compacts and administrative agreements, civil unions and same-sex marriage, and other pertinent interstate legal matters since 2011.

Western states are unique in that the federal government owns and manages large portions of the land in every state in the region. The federal government is responsible for managing between 635 million and 640 million acres of land in the United States;1 roughly 592 million of those acres are located in the West.2 The federal government controls 62 percent of the land in Alaska and 47 percent of the land in the 11 mainland Western states. For comparison, the federal government controls only 4 percent of the land in the remaining 38 states.

America’s infrastructure needs are great. As concerns about federal transportation programs endure, state governments are making strides to address their needs. While major transportation funding packages got much of the attention in 2013, states are implementing numerous strategies to address needs related to bridges, highways, transit and future funding.

In December 2013, The Federal Aviation Administration selected six public entities and set a course that will lead to the development of unmanned aircraft systems and the economic,environmental, safety and security benefits that will accompany this research. Congress mandated the test sites to conduct research into the certification and operational requirements required to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace over the next several years.

As of early 2014, 20 states plus the District of Columbia have passed measures permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and two states—Washington and Colorado—have legalized the use, cultivation and distribution of small amounts of marijuana for all adult users. While the federal prohibition of marijuana remains in effect, a growing number of states are considering and implementing other regulatory models for marijuana. This article discusses these trends and looks to the future of federal-state relations in this area.

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