Outlook in the States, 2014
Published: February 19, 2014
Governing Magazine returned to the National Press Club for its annual Outlook in the States Conference in early February. The event is often a stage setter of sorts, highlighting some of the macro political and economic trends that will drive government action and spending in the next calendar and fiscal years. It also serves as a pulse check for the good ideas and calls for reform that make state and local government the laboratories of democracy. Outlook organizers do their best to promote the more successful experiments as potential models for other governments across the country. Panels are often set up around hot-button issues that affect a wide variety of regions. Marquee topics of years past include looming budget crunches, public sector pension reform, cloud computing and FirstNet. This year, collective themes formed around cybersecurity, bureaucratic gridlock and procurement reform. The panels frequently attempted to describe both the challenges and the opportunities inherent in each of these issues.