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Thousands of Unfilled Jail Jobs, Millions in Overtime, 'Zero Room for Error'

States across the country are struggling to staff their prisons and jails. The shortages are costing them in overtime -- and lives lost when inmates riot against conditions likely worsened by overworked guards.

A corrections officer bends down to talk to a prisoner in a cell.

Supreme Court Rules States Can Tax Online Sales. What Happens Next?

The landmark decision could boost state governments' revenues by tens of billions of dollars a year. But first, they have to decide how to take advantage of it. Some hope the ruling will spur Congress to pass national rules.

The Bipartisan Backlash That Spurred Trump's Reversal on Family Separations

His executive order, signed on Wednesday, comes after days of governors and mayors escalating their words of opposition into actions attempting to block the immigration policy announced in April.

Police Misconduct Is Increasingly a Financial Issue

Lawsuits are costing governments millions, and, in some cases, forcing them to shut down departments.

2018 Attorneys General Races: Who's Vulnerable?

For now, it's the Republicans. Seven GOP-held AG seats, compared to three for the Democrats, are being hotly contested.


Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Why Some States and Cities Want to Secede

The push to form new governments is heating up in places from Georgia to California.


Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll

The Female Mayor Who Doesn't Want to Talk About Being a Woman

At least she didn't used to. Now, she says, times have changed.


The Limits to Trump's Medicaid Freedom for States

The president promised to give states more flexibility on health care. His administration has -- but with some restrictions.


For State Budgets, What a Difference 6 Months Make

Thanks in large part to a steady economy, states are finishing 2018 better than they expected.


COMMENTARY

Mayors and the High School Graduation Imperative

Improving the on-time completion rate is critical to ensuring communities' economic health. Mayors have an important role.

COMMENTARY

The Best Way to Fix a Troubled Police Department? Put a Civilian in Charge.

Police commissioners who don't wear the uniform have the power and authority to institutionalize reforms.

COMMENTARY

A Glimpse Into the Future of P3s

The real money isn't in roads and bridges. It's in people and services.

NEWS IN NUMBERS

4.9%

Estimated revenue growth for states from fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2018, which is the most since 2015.

MORE DIGITS

The Importance (and Neglect) of America's 'Middle Neighborhoods'

When a neighborhood isn't rich -- and isn't poor -- government tends to forget about it.


She Was a Model and WWE Ring Girl. Now She's a Highly Regarded State House Leader.

Themis Klarides is defying expectations and redefining leadership in the Connecticut legislature.

Maine Tests a New Way of Voting, and Opts to Keep It

On Tuesday, the state became the first to use ranked-choice voting, a system that could prevent “spoiler” candidates from causing havoc in crowded races.

For New Generation of Black Mayors, Focus Is on Balance

San Francisco just elected its first black female mayor at a time when the number of big-city black mayors has been on the decline. Their leadership style has changed, too.

With Shootings on the Rise, Schools Turn to 'Active Shooter' Insurance

Gun violence costs lives -- and money. The financial burden can overwhelm governments, especially when they're small or struggling.

• After Shootings and Hurricanes, Where Are the School Counselors?

'Medicaid-for-All' Rapidly Gains Interest in the States

More than a dozen states either have or are still considering the idea of letting people buy Medicaid -- regardless of how much money they make.

• Virginia Just Voted to Expand Medicaid. These States Could Be Next.

How to Calculate What Opioid Overdoses Cost Government

New research provides a formula to help cities and counties know what to expect, financially, when drug deaths spike.

After Flint, Michigan Pushes Toughest Lead Water Rules in the Country

Michigan regulators want to eliminate lead service lines by 2040. But water utilities say that would be too costly, unrealistic and maybe even unnecessary.

Will Teacher Strikes Influence the Supreme Court's Union Ruling?

Comments about "labor peace" during the February hearing didn't attract a lot of attention at the time. But since then, labor protests have spread across the country.