Book of the States

The Council of State Governments continues a long tradition of “sharing capitol ideas” with the publication of the 2016 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 2016 volume includes 157 in-depth tables, charts and figures illustrating how state government operates. It also includes 30 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

  The 2016 edition of The Book of the States is now available! 

 Archive: 1935-2012

Chapter 4 of the 2011 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

Crystal methamphetamine, perhaps one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs in existence, has continuously plagued rural and urban regions of the country for the last three decades. States have attempted to address the growing production and distribution of the drug, along with the destructive repercussions it has wrought in the lives of those who have become addicted to it, largely through tougher laws that restrict the sale of precursor drugs used in meth production. While these measures have been as a whole effective in temporarily reducing the production of crystal meth, producers have found new ways of circumventing existing laws. For this reason, states are examining new and innovative ways to combat this terrible drug.

Chapter 10 of the 2011 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

The 75th anniversary of The Book of the States inspires a look back at the first 1935 edition to determine what we can learn about state legislatures in the 1930s compared to the 2000s, and to recount the history of change in these institutions. Most of the story of change relates to the strengthening of legislatures—the process by which they have increased their ability to make decisions independently of the executive branch and lobbyists.

Severe weaknesses in the financial health of the nation’s public retirement systems rank as yet another force currently buffeting state and local government finances. Further compounding the problems faced by these public retirement funds are the following developments: the precarious financial position of private sector pensions and the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; the looming shortfalls expected in the Social Security and Medicare programs in coming decades; and the low personal savings rates of most Americans, coupled with the high rates of consumer and household debt. Given that the baby boomer generation is rapidly nearing retirement age and that America’s senior population is growing faster than the number of younger workers needed to cover their retirement needs, policy-makers across the country are paying a great deal of attention to this unfortunate confluence of events.