Designing for Success

It’s hard to imagine state lawmakers creating a slew of new government programs at a time when at least 45 states face budget shortfalls and governors across the country are weighing tough spending cuts.

But never underestimate the ingenuity of state and local lawmakers.

“Governors are trying big, bold ideas that they’ve never tried before,” Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire told Politico last month. “If nothing else, use the crisis as an opportunity to do big things.”

States are still the laboratories of democracy. From Harrisburg to Austin, state governments are working on fundamental redesigns of Medicaid and other costly entitlement programs. They’ll also continue to be fertile testing grounds for new solutions to pressing social and economic problems, from underperforming schools to crumbling infrastructure.

This article was originally published in Governing.