BOS 2011


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 » State Constitutions

Chapter 2 » Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations

Chapter 3 » State Legislative Branch

Chapter 4 » State Executive Branch

Chapter 5 » State Judicial Branch

Chapter 6 » Elections

Chapter 7 » State Finance

Chapter 8 » State Management, Administration, and Demographics

Chapter 9 » Selected State Policies and Programs

Chapter 10 » State Pages

State governments play an important role in national and regional economic conditions and are subject to prevailing economic conditions. The Census Bureau’s official statistics provide a full picture of the early impact of the most recent recession from tax revenues to expenditures to employment.

Financial reporting and auditing professionals ensure that the public has a clear view of the health and viability of state governments. They are keepers of the public trust. Today, however, these professionals face more demands than ever and have fewer resources than ever to support their important efforts. Cumbersome, and often burdensome, processes and financial limitations are now colliding with a multi-faceted push for financial reporting that is faster, cheaper and better. Can states sustain current efforts, and even go beyond, pushing the limits of their capacity to provide speed, economy and quality?

None of the 116 constitutional amendments enacted in 2010 attracted as much attention as California’s 2008 same-sex marriage ban or other high-profile amendments in recent years. Nevertheless, some notable amendments were adopted. Voters approved rights amendments regarding health care, union organizing, affirmative action, guns and voting. Institutional design amendments were enacted regarding legislative redistricting, party primaries, legislative sessions and the gubernatorial recall. Policy amendments dealt with budgeting, rainy day funds, taxation, debt, education and veterans’ benefits, among other issues.

The 2010 state legislative elections brought major change to the state partisan landscape with Republicans emerging in the best position they have had in more than 50 years. Voters shifted majority control to the GOP in 20 legislative chambers. By the time the proverbial smoke had cleared in early March of 2011, three more chambers had moved to Republican control due to special elections and party switches by sitting legislators. Republicans emerged with control of 26 state legislatures compared to only 15 held by Democrats, with eight divided between the two parties.

Chapter 7 of the 2011 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables: