State of the States 2013 A Preview of Key Issues Driving State Agendas

January 25, 2013

Stateline’s 13th annual State of the States report looks at key issues legislatures are debating this year, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between states and the federal government. It covers politics, social issues, health care, environment, and budgets.

Politics: Republicans and Democrats strengthened their respective majorities in 2012 in many of the states where they hold power. While Democrats made gains at both the state and federal level, Republicans still are on top in terms of overall state control. Read the article

Budgets: State budgets are finally in the black again, but budget dithering in Washington might imperil the fragile gains states have made. Read the article

Social Issues: States are making big changes on social issues such as gay marriage and marijuana. Will Washington be forced to follow their lead? Read the article

Environment: A severe drought and Hurricane Sandy were just two of the environmental disasters that befell states in 2012. With similar expectations for this year, states are working on solutions to better predict and respond to the next round of disasters. Read the article.

Part Five: Health Care: The Affordable Care Act is still standing after several challenges, but its success depends on how much states are willing to participate. Read more on January 28.

Click the link below to see the entire feature of the State on the States 2013, including infographics, commentary and analysis.