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

States need to be aware that the budget crisis for state and local governments is likely to put the 2012 presidential election—and beyond—more at risk than at any time since the 2000 election. Despite the successes of each election cycle in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, severe budget constraints have the potential to cause voting concerns in 2012. Actions, if taken soon, can lessen the strain on state and local governments. Changes in state election laws and practices can result in temporary and/or permanent savings for both state and local election offices. Some federal mandates will trigger greater expenses for both near-term and long-term future decisions.

Chapter 5 of the 2011 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

Chapter 2 of the 2011 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

The 2010 elections exacerbated party polarization and, along with it, a polarization of state federal relations, which is produced when one party controls most of the federal government and another party controls most of the states. The 2010 federal health care law aggravated this polarization and, because of its impacts on the states, produced an unprecedented challenge to its constitutionality by more than half the states. The 2010 federal financial regulation law and the U.S. Supreme Court’s application of the Second Amendment to the states also presage further federal incursions into state and local governance at a time when federal budget cutbacks and rising social welfare costs will heighten state and local fiscal stress.

Secretaries of state are warning about the increasing risk of business identity theft as the problem spreads across the states. Criminals have been altering online business records housed by their offices and using them to open up phony lines of credit to illegally obtain valuable goods and services. Secretaries of state are working to establish new safeguards against such fraud, as they alert state legislators and other key stakeholders about the magnitude of the issue.