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To Reduce Recidivism, New York City Tries a Bold New Approach

The city is eliminating short-term jail sentences for low-level misdemeanors. Other cities will undoubtedly be watching the impact.


Are Your Schools Tracking Absenteeism the Right Way?

Better data is helping schools find new ways to keep kids in classrooms.

The Women Leading the First Study of Diversity in State and Local Government

"Most local governments are run by white men, so there hasn’t needed to be a conversation about what diversity looks like."

As Congress Stalls on Children's Health Insurance, States Warn of Cuts

It's been almost two months since Congress let what's historically been a bipartisan program expire.

Some Police Departments Are Adding Staff for the First Time in Years

But while many cities are beefing up their forces, others are still feeling the effects of the recession.


Inside the Ending of Kansas' Great Tax Experiment

At a time of historic national division, two state legislators helped lead a bipartisan effort to secure Kansas' fiscal future.


This May Be the Key to Graduating At-Risk Students

It turns out that how long a mentor sticks around can have a huge impact. One organization is working with schools to follow kids from kindergarten to graduation, and it's expanding to more cities.


Amid Opioid Crisis, States Start Embracing Alternative Medicine

Some aren’t just covering yoga and acupuncture but recommending it before prescription drugs.


A woman helping a homeless veteran on the street.

The Only U.S. Agency Dedicated to Homelessness Could Be Shut Down

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness helped end veteran homelessness in some places and reduce overall homelessness. The White House and House Republicans want it gone.


Despite Slow Revenue Growth, State Spending Is Picking Up

The increase in annual spending is largely due to rising health-care costs and increased investment in transportation.

Is Trump's Presidency Actually Inspiring More Millennials to Run?

Many have predicted it would. But when younger candidates do launch campaigns, it's typically for state or local positions.

State AGs Used to Play Nice in Elections. Not Anymore.

2018 will be the first big election year when attorneys general target their peers in other states. Will it hinder the history of bipartisanship among them?

NEWS IN NUMBERS

$9/month

Proposed cost of podcasts -- which are free to the public -- for prisoners in Indiana. The tablets they would use to download them, though, would be supplied free of charge to the state.

MORE DIGITS

In Texas and Beyond, Loopholes Let Domestic Abusers Own Guns

Federal law prohibits convicted domestic abusers like the Sutherland Springs shooter from owning firearms. But enforcing the law requires proper reporting and the help of states, say gun control advocates.

• Mass. Becomes 1st State to Ban Bump Stocks After Las Vegas Massacre

COMMENTARY

The Murky World of ‘Official Time’ in Government

Allowing municipal employees to conduct union business while on the clock is widespread. It could use a dose of transparency.

COMMENTARY

First He Reinvented Government. Now He Wants to Reinvent Schools.

In his new book, David Osborne argues the best way to fix the education system is to increase charter schools and create a survival-of-the-fittest system.

COMMENTARY

A Real Opportunity for Evidence-Based Policymaking

A bipartisan proposal in Congress would go a long way toward helping to build smarter government at every level.

In Hard Times, Government Watchdogs Are Often First to Get the Ax

States have significantly fewer people dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud and abuse than they did when the recession started.


States' Financial Practices Get Graded

And the report card isn't good: Most states failed to balance their budgets without resorting to one-time fixes or underfunding pensions, among other violations.

Studies Show Voters Need a Graduate-Level Education to Understand Ballot Measures

Ballot language often spurs confusion and lawsuits. Some state election officials are trying to make them easier to understand.

Will Global Warming Make Air Conditioning a Legal Right?

Across the country, prisoners or their families are suing states for heat conditions they argue amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

GOP Tax Plan Puts Billions in Muni Market Savings at Risk

State and local stakeholders were blindsided by an aspect of the tax bill that would eliminate tax-free financing for many large government projects.