Tim Anderson

Author Articles

Rates of foreclosure are at levels not seen the 1930s, and some communities in the Midwest have been particularly hard hit by a rise in the number of blighted properties. States are responding with new measures and investigations designed to help troubled communities and homeowners.

Over the past decade, states have created a flurry of activity on energy policy: New renewable portfolio standards, the buildup of smart grids, and new investments in clean-energy generation, for example.

The United States doesn’t have to look far to meet a good portion of its crude oil needs.

In 2010, one-third of U.S. oil imports came from Canada and Mexico.

The relationship serves the entire North American continent well, according to Murray Smith, a former member of the Alberta legislature who now works in the private energy sector.


Every month, one of the most anticipated, widely reported pieces of federal data is released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—the nation’s unemployment rate.

It was 9.1 percent in September.

Four years ago, Colorado appeared to have a stable public employee retirement system in place.

 “Then 2008 happened,” Colorado Senate President Brandon Shaffer said during a presentation at the CSG Fiscal Chairs meeting, which was held Thursday morning at Microsoft headquarters.

At a time when the nation’s unemployment rate is stuck at 9 percent, Microsoft is having a jobs problem of its own.

About 3,000 positions are not being filled nationwide due to a lack of qualified applicants, according to Jane Broom, director of Puget Sound Community Affairs at Microsoft Corp.

As the historic Great Lakes compact made its way through state legislatures, much of the media coverage on the agreement focused on its ban of out-of-basin diversions. But the compact did much more.

In the competition for business and job growth, most Midwestern states fare better than the U.S. average on at least one measure — the burden that their overall tax structures place on businesses.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 80 new restrictions on abortion have been enacted nationwide thus far in 2011 — a total that dwarfs activity in any other previous year. And much of the activity has been occurring here in the Midwest.

In 2009, about 25,000 Minnesotans took advantage of one of the five tuition-reciprocity deals the state has with neighboring jurisdictions. These agreements allow residents to attend out-of-state colleges at the rates of comparable home-state institutions. Keeping these additional college options open to students requires states to coordinate and cooperate with one another, and this year, Minnesota and Wisconsin were able to strike a deal that will allow their long-standing reciprocity program to continue.


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