The 50 State Project: The Top 5 Policy Issues in Every State
But what are the public policy issues state legislatures are so busy with? Well, one bunch who really knows that answer is the reporters whose beat it is to cover them.
That’s why we recruited more than 52 local experts and authorities on state politics, and asked them one question:
“What are the top 5 policy issues in each state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico?”
Their answers are all compiled in the 50 State Project. And you can download your FREE report now!
Budget and Taxes Remain On Top
No real surprise that budgets and taxes took the top spot again this year among all the issues rated in the top five. A full 13 states named it their top issue, but it also got 34 top five mentions, making it the most mentioned across all the states.
Not all that budget talk was negative. Three states are in the throes of figuring out how to spend their surpluses, although some others are trending in the opposite direction.
Make no mistake, education continues to be front and center at state level. Of all the issues our experts mentioned in their states, more than one-in-ten centered on education.
One notable increase has been in Opioid addiction from prescription painkillers used as recreational drugs. Seven states – several on the East Coast – put the problem in their top five issues. Two states made it their number one policy issue.
Downturns in the oil industry, drought in western states, and concerns over pollution thanks to issues like Flint, Michigan, have all moved energy and the environment further up the chain of top issues at state level this year.
This is one issue that’s doubled in top five mentions since last year. That’s partly thanks to growing concerns about the prison and corrections system nationwide, and a growing spotlight on race relations and civil rights.
In contrast with the number of mentions prisons and corrections received, jobs more than halved its appearance from 16 to just seven states mentioning it this year. It also declined as the number one issue from five states last year, to just three this year.
And we could go on. But there’s so much information in this report, you can download the whole thing for FREE right now.