Efforts around the country to revitalize downtowns and create economically vital and aesthetically pleasing communities, often centered on transit hubs, have created a greater need for a private-public entity that can manage these areas to ensure their long-term sustainability. While most states have laws on the books to enable these special districts, some experts say they are still too difficult to establish and that some of the decades-old laws may need to evolve to reflect the expanding mission of these districts and the changing nature of the communities they serve.

America’s water infrastructure is at a crossroads. Water lines installed, in some cases, more than 100 years ago are nearing or past their useful lifespans. In addition, an estimated 6.5 million water lines across the country contain lead, which as exhibited by the current crisis in Flint, Mich., can have devastating consequences to communities if not appropriately managed. Combined with a growing population that demands new infrastructure as new communities are built, the cost of maintaining and expanding the country’s water infrastructure has outpaced available funding. The following infographic provides a snapshot of the state of the nation’s water infrastructure.

On January 29, President Obama announced an executive action that will require companies with 100 employees or more to report to the federal government how much they pay their employees, broken down by gender, race and ethnicity. The action is part of a larger effort to close the pay gap between men and women.

On February 7, the eyes of sports enthusiasts from around the world will turn to Santa Clara, California for Super Bowl 50. The road to hosting a Super Bowl is long, often very expensive for host states and cities, and possibly very financial rewarding. Kickoff for Super Bowl 50 will take place in a two-year-old, $1.3 billion dollar stadium, $114 million of which was funded using public dollars. With Super Bowl 50 estimated to have an economic impact of between $200-$800 million dollars in the San Francisco Bay Area, hosting may prove to be the best investment the region could hope for.

Product stewardship laws have a goal of reducing the environmental, safety and health impacts of consumer products. These laws typically focus on the end-of-life management of these products and generally require the manufacturers to take responsibility for recycling or safely disposing of these products when consumers cease using them. This FREE eCademy webcast featured Chaz Miller, director of policy and advocacy for the National Association of Waste and Recycling, who discussed emerging issues and trends in product stewardship laws in the states.

In 2014, overdose deaths numbered 47,055, approximately one and a half times as many deaths as from motor vehicle crashes, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in December 2015. For the nation, the 2014 death rate from drug overdoses is significantly higher than the rate in 2013 and since 2000 has more than doubled.

For decades, Iowa has served as the national kickoff event for the presidential election season, hosting the first caucus of the year. But who actually informs the process? Iowa hardly provides a demographic snapshot of the nation--with a population that is 94% white and with high proportions of Evangelical Christians. Who are the Iowa caucusgoers who set the stage for the national presidential election season? Here's a snapshot of who participates in the Iowa Caucuses.

With the melting of the last remnants of snow from Winter Storm Jonas and another major winter storm set to impact millions of Americans in the southern Rockies, central plains and western Great Lakes this week, it seems as good a time as any to check in on how states are dealing with winter weather transportation concerns so far this season. There are numerous examples of states turning to technology, investing in equipment and trying to improve on past performance. Here’s a roundup.

Winter Storm Jonas swept through Washington, D.C., last week leaving behind icy roads and a quiet city. Due to the storm, which left 250,000 people without power and may end up costing the U.S. economy more than $1 billion according to several media reports, major legislative action was stalled on Capitol Hill.  The House of Representatives cancelled all legislative activity last week, and the Senate returned on Wednesday to continue debate on a bipartisan energy reform bill.   

If you’re a sports fan, you’ve probably seen those ubiquitous advertisements for daily fantasy sports websites ramp up with Super Bowl 50 fast approaching. As these websites’ popularity surges, state officials have to contend with the uncharted legal territory that surrounds their operations.

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