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The Unexpected Reason Panhandling Bans Are Being Struck Down Across the Country

A Supreme Court ruling about regulating church signs is spurring cities to repeal their anti-begging laws.

A man panhandles on the street in Chicago.

Jailhouses Experiment With Ways to Lock Less People Up

Among the places testing new ways to keep low-risk offenders out of jail, Charleston, S.C., stands out.

How One of America’s Hottest Cities Is Making Summer a Little More Bearable

Dangerous heat isn't new to Phoenix, but its efforts to keep people safe in triple-digit temperatures are.

In Navajo Nation, Bad Roads Can Mean Life or Death

Native Americans who live on the reservation in Utah are used to having to fight for basic government services. But they’d at least like roads that can reliably transfer patients to the ER and kids to school.

Jennifer Lawless sitting in a chair.

Talking Politics With an Expert on Women in Politics

Jennifer Lawless is optimistic about the wave of women thinking about running for office -- but only tepidly.


Uncle Sam giving tax refund through the mail. COMMENTARY

Getting Public Benefits to the People Who Need Them

Low take-up is a problem at every level of government. As recent research shows, just keeping things simple can help a lot.


Advocating for the Environment When Your Rural Town Won't

Environmental advocacy is difficult in the Trump era. In rural areas, it's even harder. “To be personally attacked for speaking up, to be silenced, it was devastating to me," says one resident who tried to fight fracking in her rural Pennsylvania county.


Two people interviewing another, while looking at his resume.

In Virginia, Government Workers Are Getting Job-Search Help (From Their Current Employer)

“As far as I know, we’re the only state doing this,” says Gov. Terry McAuliffe's chief of staff.


Sessions' New Order Lets Police Circumvent State Laws on Civil Asset Forfeiture

State politicians on both sides of the aisle have increasingly worked to curb the practice. Now, the attorney general may have made their efforts pointless.


States Get Creative on Pension Funding

The latest plans in California and New Jersey have observers asking: creative solution or accounting gimmick?

Seattle Brings Emoji-Based Food Safety Ratings to America

Some cities post letter grades on restaurants. King County opted for something more visual. The person who pushed for public ratings in the first place, though, isn't satisfied.

How a Cashless Society Would Harm the Poor

Businesses and governments are going cashless. Anti-poverty advocates say the change is problematic for low-income people, but they disagree on how to solve it.

NEWS IN NUMBERS

75,000

New Yorkers who applied for free college tuition next year under the state's first-in-nation program. About 23,000 people are projected to qualify. After graduation, students must live and work in the state for as many years as they receive the benefit.

MORE DIGITS
A session at the Association of Leadership Programs' national conference. COMMENTARY

A Better Way to Teach Civic Leadership

The programs we have are pretty good, but they need to keep graduates engaged and deepen their learning.


At Governors Meeting, Trudeau Pushes to Preserve NAFTA

As the first leader of a national government to ever address the National Governors Association, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for fewer trade barriers and promised to work directly with state leaders.

COMMENTARY

Why a Border Adjustment Tax Would Be a Bad Deal for States and Localities

It would slam the insurance industry, bringing downturns in the bond market and tax revenues.

State Election Officials Fear Feds Are Making Security Worse

Secretaries of state are concerned about not just the federal government's request for voter information but also the information they're not getting about election security breaches.

Content from AARP

Creating a Fit and Healthy Community

As obesity rates rise, mayors are taking action to help citizens improve diets and get moving.

Looking Back at Trump's Win in Raw Numbers

The president's victory has been extensively explored. But a state- and county-level look at the data offers stunning evidence of just how large the shifts were in certain places.


COMMENTARY

How Much Can Cities Do About Walkability?

A lot of what fosters it is out of their control, but a little audacity goes a long way.

On Infrastructure, California Goes Back to Basics

The state's transportation chief calls a new $54 billion transportation package monumental. But the projects it funds will be more mundane than monumental.

For Opioids' Youngest Victims, Is Help Too Little, Too Late?

Drug abuse is overwhelming the child welfare system at unprecedented rates. Solutions are slowly emerging, but they aren't always adopted.

• Behind the Decision to Post That Infamous Facebook Photo of the Opioid Epidemic at Its Worst
COMMENTARY

Back in the Black, Without the Feds to Thank

Cities that faced bankruptcy not long ago have made remarkable recoveries -- all on their own.