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6 Innovative Ways States and Localities Are Preparing for the 2020 Census

The decennial count is plagued by uncertainties and fears of undercounting immigrants, minorities and low-income people.

• Judge Blocks Census Citizenship Question as Case Heads to Supreme Court People make up the word "count."

If Shutdown Persists, Can States Fund Food Stamps and Welfare on Their Own?

States are scrambling to figure out how to fund the $4-billion-a-month food stamps program -- and whether to keep cash welfare going. Some say it's "probably not possible."

• How the Shutdown Affects Federal Employment in Each State

Lawmakers Eye Changes to Ballot Measures -- Passed and Future

Legislators are seeking to roll back some of the high-profile ballot measures that voters approved in November. They also want to make it harder for initiatives to pass in the future.

Why the L.A. Teacher Strike Is Different From Last Year's Protests

Educators in the nation's second-largest school district are set to strike on Monday. The dispute could impact education policy across the country.

Commuters wait for the L train in New York.

As Shutdown Stretches On, Transportation Officials Worry About Long-Term Effects

Local transit agencies are being hit harder than state highway departments. But the shutdown is only part of the problem for transportation funding.

• The Shutdown's Impact on States and Localities
Teacher working with a student with disabilities.

Do School Vouchers Only Benefit the Wealthy?

Most of the students using Arizona’s vouchers are already in top-performing schools.


The Oregon Justice Building and statue.

#MeToo Elicits More Harassment Conversations, But Not Necessarily Complaints

To address sexual harassment, it needs to be reported. State employees have been hesitant to do that.


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio holding a piece of paper up while giving a speech.

Can California and NYC Afford Their Near-Universal Health-Care Plans?

Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Bill de Blasio initiated ambitious plans this week to cover drastically more residents, including undocumented immigrants who are not currently eligible for subsidized insurance.


The 10 States That Give More to the Feds Than They Get Back

Connecticut tops the list of states whose taxpayers receive the least bang for their buck from the feds.


COMMENTARY

Why ‘Nudge’ Policies Should Be Used Gently

Behavioral economics is a powerful tool to encourage people to make certain decisions, but governments need to use it with caution.

COMMENTARY

Why This Is the Year to Begin Addressing the Infrastructure Deficit

With signs pointing to a weakening economy, we need to get ready now, and we need to do it right.

COMMENTARY

The Rise of Do-Gooder Corporations

Doing good pays dividends for both corporations and governments. Just ask Philadelphia.

NEWS IN NUMBERS

$5,000

Amount that the city of Denver will pay toward a person's mortgage if they have "experienced an income reduction due to involuntary employment change" and were making below 120 percent of the area's median income. Federal workers who are not receiving paychecks because of the shutdown can apply for this new offer.

MORE DIGITS

As Retiree Health-Care Costs Soar, Public Employers Turn to Private Insurers

Retiree health care is one of the fastest-growing line items in government budgets and, in response, some governments are scrapping their traditional health plans.


Doctors Don't Have to Tell Patients They're on Probation, Except in One State

California is the first state to require physicians to inform patients about their history of sexual misconduct, overprescribing medications, criminal convictions or substance abuse. Will others follow?

Why Don't Alaska Governors Last Longer Than One Term?

Incoming Gov. Mike Dunleavy is the sixth person to win the office in as many elections. The constant turnover has made it difficult for the state to solve its biggest problems.

All or Nothing: How State Politics Became a Winner-Take-All World

In practically every state, one party now holds all the legislative power. And once they get it, they’re keeping it.

Caleb Hanna

Young People Power Into Statehouses and City Halls

This year will see the largest class yet of millennials entering legislatures. How will they shape politics and policies?


The Biggest Issues for States to Watch in 2019

18 of the policies and proposals that will dominate state legislatures this year.

Master of the Middle: How America’s Longest-Serving Senate Leader Stays in Power

Maryland’s Mike Miller has been in charge for more than 30 years.

To Reduce Fatal Pregnancies, Some States Look to Doulas

New York is set to become the third state Medicaid program to cover pregnancy and birth coaches for low-income women as a way of lowering the maternal mortality rate.

Pro-law enforcement demonstrators and members of Black Lives Matter.

Are Cops 'Off the Hook'? How Police Reform Has Changed Under Trump

The Trump administration has shifted away from overseeing police in favor of tackling violent crime.