Read about the outlook for state fiscal conditions, the effect of the drop in gas prices on states, the ethics of gifts, the debate over motorcycle helmets and state efforts to support home caregivers.Read a rundown on the top public policy issues facing state lawmakers in 2015, state-private sector partnerships for infrastructure, e-cigarettes and taxes and dealing with cuts to mental health programs.
To help meet this oversight responsibility, most state legislatures have created specialized units that conduct research studies and evaluate state government policies and programs. These studies—variously called program evaluations, policy analyses and performance audits—address whether agencies are properly managing public programs and identify ways to improve these programs and cut government costs..
Ensuring the Public Trust summarizes information about these legislative program evaluation offices, which vary greatly in size, organization, and activities—just as their states and parent state legislatures do. The report is based on a nationwide survey of legislative program evaluation offices conducted by the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES); surveys have been conducted in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2011. The surveys are sent to NLPES offices affiliated with state legislatures across the country. While some states have more than one office that conducts evaluations, some states have not established evaluation units. Generally those responding to the survey have active legislative performance evaluation offices.
The report provides detailed information about the offices’ structure, staff, products, activities, and working relationships with their parent legislatures.
Link to the full report
Number of states that responded to survey
2000 Full Report (64 pages)
2004 Full Report (53 pages)
2008 Full Report (73-pages).
2012 Full Report (71 pages)
Note: The reports are provided as PDF files; to view PDF files you must you must install Adobe Acrobat Reader.
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