Lisa McKinney

Author Articles

More than a decade ago, analysts were predicting the next big challenge for state governments: The mass retirement of baby boomers. Then the Great Recession hit and those same baby boomers stayed put, delaying retirement until more prosperous times returned. Now that the economy is on the path to recovery, baby boomers are resuming their retirement plans. “Nearly all states have 30 percent or more of their employees eligible to retire within the next five years,” said Leslie Scott, executive director of the National Association of State Personnel Executives, a CSG affiliate organization.

A generation ago, retirement meant slowing down for most older adults—spending hours on the front porch swing, working crossword puzzles and playing the occasional game of Bingo. That was then, this is now. “It’s one of the great success stories of not only our country, but around the world, that people can be expected to live 20 or 30 years beyond the age of 65,” said Nora Super, chief of programs and services at the National Association for Area Agencies on Aging, or n4a. “And with this new opportunity, people are rethinking what that means and how they want to spend their time.” Super, who previously served as executive director of the White House Conference on Aging, said a growing number of seniors are searching for, and finding, purpose in retirement through volunteerism.

Multiple myeloma is the most common blood cancer among African Americans, with approximately 18,000 African Americans suffering from it in 2012, and the number of newly diagnosed cases are on the rise. One of the most effective ways for researchers to learn more about multiple myeloma is through clinical trials, which allow them to evaluate and address the differences across diverse populations. Unfortunately, African Americans are underrepresented in clinical trials, comprising only 8 percent of enrolled patients in clinical trials. The biopharmaceutical company Celgene noticed this disparity in diagnoses and treatment between the African American and other populations and decided to help.

The process for placing an adult under guardianship varies by state, but each branch of government plays a role in ensuring guardianship is a safe and effective mechanism for protecting individuals who can no longer make or communicate sound decisions about themselves and their property, or have become vulnerable to abuse, fraud or undue influence. Texas’ Guardianship Compliance Project was born out of this cooperative approach. The pilot project, which is funded by the Legislature and implemented by the Office of Court Administration, was launched in November 2015 to provide additional resources to courts handling guardianship cases. The goal of the project is to help courts make sound decisions in guardianship cases by reviewing current guardianships to identify reporting deficiencies, auditing annual accountings and reporting findings back to the court, and working with courts to develop best practices in managing guardianship cases.

With President-elect Donald Trump set to take office in January, all eyes are on the administration’s transition process, a sweeping and intensive effort that requires the participation of public servants from all levels of the federal government. While the transition looks different from president-elect to president-elect, there are a few key components that are universal to all successful transitions, Edmund Moy, the former director of the United States Mint who worked on George W. Bush’s transition team, told attendees at the “The Next Presidential Administration & Relations with the States” session Dec. 10 at the 2016 CSG National Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. 

By Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene, CSG senior fellows
The public’s sense that government isn’t serving them efficiently and effectively is particularly strong when it comes to their understanding of the federal government. But that’s little solace to those working in state governments, which are similarly targets of widespread mistrust. According to a September 2016 Gallup poll, some 37 percent of Americans surveyed had little trust or confidence in their states. Civic education serves an important role in helping young people gain the skills and knowledge they need to participate in civic activities and understand the way their government works. Civic Education: A Key to Trust in Government explores the state of civic education in the United States and potential solutions to the challenges involved in improving civic education in America's schools.

By Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum
Elder financial abuse costs older Americans $2.9 billion per year. In one year alone, reports of financial exploitation in Oregon increased by nearly 20 percent and represented almost half of all abuse investigations conducted by the state. That’s why fighting elder abuse has been a priority for me since becoming Oregon’s attorney general in 2012. Since then, I’ve worked hard to prevent and address the financial exploitation of older Oregonians.

This FREE CSG eCademy webcast centered on employment-related supports for individuals with disabilities with particular focus on issues of transportation and technology, including assistive technology and emerging technologies. In addition, experts discussed other employment supports such as health care, personal assistance services and housing. This is the third webcast in a four-part series presented by the National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy.

As Americans age, they look to live in communities where they can remain active and have transportation options once they are no longer able to drive. That’s a big concern for a state like Connecticut, which is largely thought of as a car-centric state. “By 2025, 20 percent or more of almost every Connecticut town will be 65 and older,” said Christianne Kovel, senior policy analyst on aging at the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children and Seniors. “Connecticut, while it’s a small state, has areas that are very, very rural. … Public transportation is not an option.”

Nebraska state Sen. Beau McCoy serves as the 2016 national chair of The Council of State Governments. Among the 16 percent of Nebraska’s legislators who are millennials, McCoy believes strong leaders should not be limited or defined by their age. He said leaders of all ages must come together to identify and achieve solutions to the challenges facing states—taxes, federal regulation, education and workforce development. McCoy, a 2011 Henry Toll Fellow, said he is inspired by so many public servants representing the three branches of government, with whom he has worked and forged lasting friendships over the years.

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