The State of the States 2006

The State of the States 2006

The following is excerpted from the report overview:

"In the celebrity, scandal-obsessed atmosphere that saturates modern America, interest in government performance is seen by many as the almost exclusive province of policy wonks.What is essentially the glue of civilized society is too often greeted with disdain. Infrastructure? A jawbreaking, my-eyes-glaze-over topic. Fiscal matters? B-o-r-rr- ing. Politics - once the art of achieving the possible through compromise - has become a soup of spin and photo ops distanced and divorced from our lives. Indeed, Grover Norquist, one of the high priests of anti-tax politics, once boasted his goal was to shrink government to the point where "we can drown it in the bathtub."

Hurricane Katrina provided a horrific reminder that government matters. Suddenly, arcane policy matters such as evacuation procedures and levee maintenance became a matter of life and death. In times of crisis, people inevitably turn to the public sector for help with solving their problems. Most of us are fortunate enough never to face such a nightmare, but our everyday lives are no less dependent on a web of public policies that make society work - or not. The aim of this publication,'s sixth annual State of the States report, is to illuminate public policy choices and changes that will touch lives in the 50 states in 2006."

Spotlight on Mental Health

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Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

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What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.