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California’s recall election gave voice to voter dissatisfaction with the state’s direction and resulted in a return to the type of moderate Republican governor that had led the state throughout much of the 1980s and 1990s. While exciting, it does not represent a sea change in California politics.

State treasurers are the chief financial officers of the states, and in this capacity, they are collectively responsible for management and investment of more than $1.5 trillion in state funds. From management of state investments in a time of profound budgetary grief to taking an active and central role in defining what is greater corporate governance, state treasurers are vital players in the healthy management of not only state budgets, but federal policy on a multitude of issues that affect citizens in each and every state of the union.

Congress enacted the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002. Supporters of HAVA would indicate that it is one of the few times that the federal government has established a national program that relies on the states to determine the best methods of implementing the mandates and goals, while opponents would point to its lack of clear direction and clear authority of the federal government to determine whether a program is meeting its objectives.

While recent economic news suggests that the short-term cyclical fiscal hemorrhage is healing, long-term structural challenges still exist that must be examined to enable states to weather the next fiscal storm. State officials will have the opportunity and challenge to pursue durable strategies that will improve fiscal stability.

The difficulty in drawing meaningful comparisons and identifying trends in standards created as a remedy to ethics concerns within the states is compounded by significant differences in the manner in which jurisdictions define “ethics” and regulate oversight. Conflicts of interest related to gifts and gratuities, and arising from family and unique private sector relationships, represent continuing ethics trends across the nation.

In 2003, governors brought their citizens up short, recognizing the precarious position of their governments and then calling on the federal government to provide relief. The federal government did come forward with some $20 billion in funds to states. These funds, along with numerous other tax and spending initiatives allowed the states to stay afloat, albeit just barely. Today, the revenue picture is a bit brighter, but not strong enough for governors to snap fiscal ships into autopilot. Many governors have now gone back to their public after a stormy year, and few are talking about federal relief.

While 2002 was a year of tremendous change for the emergency management community, year 2003 represents a “settling in” period for the implications of homeland security on the nation’s level of preparedness for all hazards. Threats to traditional funding for emergency management and an influx of federal grants funds for everything from haz-mat suits to radio equipment are creating unique challenges for states as they try to maintain a focus on  allhazards preparedness.

Women have significantly increased their numbers among state government officials over the past several decades. However, despite a recent increase in the number of women governors, women’s progress, especially at the statewide elective and state legislative levels, has slowed.  The future for women in state government would seem to depend, at least in part, upon the strength of efforts to actively recruit women for elective and appointive positions.

Several systematic factors contribute to the variation in faculty salaries. Institutional type is the most significant factor in determining faculty salaries overall; faculty members are also differentiated according to academic rank. Two other important factors are gender and region, and several individual factors are also identified. This article also discusses two policy issues: the widening gap between salaries at private institutions and those in the public sector; and the continuing salary disadvantage faced by women faculty.

New migration data reveal the distinct contributions of immigration and domestic migration to population change across the nation. Large numbers of immigrants continue to concentrate in major “immigrant magnet” areas, at the same time that domestic migrants are gravitating to a wider range of areas, and local destinations within them.

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