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Stateline.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Center on the States that reports and analyzes trends in state policy.

September 16, 2014

No One Really Knows How Much Money Marijuana Will Bring to States

Many states are watching to see how much tax revenue legalized marijuana brings in – so far in Colorado, sales have been far under projections.
September 15, 2014

Southern States Face an AIDS Problem

The face of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. is increasingly black or Latino, poor, often rural—and Southern.
September 12, 2014

More People Living Alone, Posing Challenges for Communities

The proportion of people living alone has grown steadily since the 1920s, raising a host of health and safety issues for government and community groups.
September 12, 2014

States Implementing More Safety Rules for Kids

More states, high school sports associations and individual schools are adopting measures to protect student athletes from heat stroke and other serious risks to their health.
September 9, 2014

Ag Schools Reinvent Cooperative Extensions for the 21st Century

State cooperative extensions are transforming themselves in an effort to remain relevant.
September 5, 2014

States Work Together to Take School Attendance, on a Large Scale

Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Hawaii are collaborating to keep track of students who move out of state.
September 4, 2014

Even as More Enrolled, Most States Reduced Food Stamp Error Rates

In 37 states, SNAP error rates fell between fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2013.
September 2, 2014

Record Amounts of Cash Going into 2014 State Races

Campaign contributions for state races this year likely will surpass a record $2.1 billion collected in the last election.
September 2, 2014

Different States Have Implemented DACA Very Differently

Two years after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals action, state responses vary.
August 28, 2014

'Performance-Based Budgeting' Takes Off in States

States are trying to budget with an eye on results.
August 27, 2014

Like Ferguson, Many Suburbs See Rising Poverty

Rapidly increasing poverty, scarce jobs and even scarcer resources are now a feature of suburban life.
August 27, 2014

The Obamacare Exchanges Don't Work So Well for Small Businesses

Why small firms are slow to embrace ACA business exchanges.
August 26, 2014

Being Unemployed Makes It Harder to Get a Job. Can States Fix the Problem?

There's a hiring bias against people who aren't already working. Some wonder if there should be a law to correct that.
August 25, 2014

With No Federal Fix, States Are Addressing Immigration on Their Own

Some are offering in-state tuition and financial aid to unauthorized students and others are approving more spending to enforce immigration laws.
August 21, 2014

States Try to Make It Easier to Raise Money with Crowdfunding

A dozen states have changed laws to help startups raise more money.
August 20, 2014

States Look to Religious Leaders to Fill Mental Health Gap

Kentucky recently became the sixth state (joining Arkansas, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Tennessee) to allow pastoral counselors to become licensed mental health counselors.
August 19, 2014

Veterans to Get In-State Tuition in Any State

Starting next year, recent veterans in every state should be able take advantage of in-state tuition rates, thanks to a little-publicized provision in a $16 billion federal law signed by President Barack Obama earlier this month.
August 18, 2014

States Fight Financial Scams Aimed at Seniors

State legislators have become increasingly concerned about financial crimes against seniors and vulnerable adults.
August 12, 2014

Too Sick for Prison Health Care

As the number of elderly inmates needing long-term care rises, some states are looking for alternatives beyond prison walls
August 11, 2014

Vermont Tries to Go Beyond Obamacare

The Green Mountain State could be a single-payer trailblazer.
August 11, 2014

Cities Are Fighting States over Municipal Broadband

Many small communities want to create their own high-speed broadband, but they've run into resistance from state officials who don’t want municipalities competing with private companies that pay taxes.
August 8, 2014

The English-Only Debate Heats Up Again

Cities and states are responding to the growing number of Americans who speak other languages in radically different ways.
August 5, 2014

Why States Can't Manage Private Contractors

A recent study blasted New Jersey officials for doing a poor job of overseeing state contractors handling recovery funds. Other states have had similar problems overseeing contractors.
August 4, 2014

Obamacare Court Decisions Could Jeopardize Billions in State Subsidies

Recent court rulings add urgency to state exchange decisions.
August 1, 2014

How U.S. Anti-Gang Efforts Led to the Central American Immigration Surge

The way U.S. cities and states dealt with such gangs 20 or more years ago may have contributed to the recent surge in Central American kids crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone. The gangs these kids are fleeing got their start decades ago in the U.S.
July 30, 2014

States Focus on Rail and Energy Pipeline Safety

Sharp increases in U.S. oil production has caused safety problems transporting the liquid. Now states are trying to fix the problem.
July 29, 2014

How New Jersey Stopped Unemployment Fraud

"Identity proofing" makes it much harder for potential fraudsters to collect money.
July 28, 2014

The States' Pesky Bitcoin Problem

With about $7.8 billion in circulation, states are still trying to figure out how to regulate digital currency.
July 25, 2014

Automatically Renewing an Obamacare Policy Could Cost Someone Thousands

For the 8 million people who managed to sign up for coverage this year, their policies will probably automatically renew. But that may not be the best choice.
July 24, 2014

Social Media from the Grave?

A growing number of states are enacting laws that grant loved ones the right to access your digital information when you die.
July 24, 2014

Drought Forces Many Places to Figure Out How to Recycle Wastewater

States and cities get creative about recycling water, since they've run out of other options.
July 22, 2014

Many States Have Their Own Immigration Policies

Without any national movement on immigration reform, many states are crafting ways to assist undocumented immigrants.
July 22, 2014

How King County Saves on Health Costs: Making Employees Healthier

Washington state's King County's Wellness Plan beats the odds and actually works to improve health and reduce costs.
July 16, 2014

States Aren't Willing to Tax the Super Rich More

Two states considered – and rejected – higher taxes on people who earned more than $1 million a year.
July 15, 2014

The Savings-Prize Solution

To encourage people to save, some states turn to prizes.
July 11, 2014

Will Businesses Lose Terrorism Coverage?

The federal backstop for terrorism insurance set to expire.
July 10, 2014

States: Who Needs Lobbyists?

Eschewing lobbyists, states advocate for themselves to try to get federal transportation funding.
July 8, 2014

States Are Trying to Protect Privacy

Some 17 states have passed anti-snooping laws.
July 8, 2014

The Shrinking Public Union

After Supreme Court ruling, fewer state workers are likely to organize.
July 7, 2014

How States Are Fixing the Long-Term Care Part of Obamacare

Without federal action, states are moving in to address problems in care for the elderly and disabled.
July 2, 2014

For States, the Roads End Here

States are hitting the brakes on road projects as federal fund goes broke.
June 30, 2014

After Years of Austerity, Many States Are Cutting Taxes Again

On July 1, many U.S. states will cut residents' taxes.
June 27, 2014

How Cities Learned to Love Bicycles

Cities and states promote cycling to appeal to millennials.
June 23, 2014

Why Governments Are Promoting Open Data

Many state and local governments believe opening raw government data files can spur a multibillion-dollar industry.
June 23, 2014

More Students Will Get Free Lunch Next Year

Under a law passed in 2010, districts with free or reduced-price lunches can offer the meals to every student at the school, regardless of household income. It's finally expanding to all 50 states.
June 18, 2014

How Governments Are Trying to Tax the Sharing Economy

Ride services and room sharing are targets for taxes.
June 3, 2014

The Latest Health Care Reform: Planning for Death

Feds to consider paying doctors for end-of-life planning.
May 27, 2014

State Parks Need Money, So They're Pushing People to Buy Passes

As the 2014 summer vacation season opens, state parks have had to get creative about ways to raise money because budget officers are being chintzier with tax revenue.
May 21, 2014

Students Pay More and More to Attend Public Colleges

State colleges get 47 percent of their revenue from tuition, compared to 24 percent in 1988
May 20, 2014

Why It's a Lot Better to Be a State Legislator in California Than New Hampshire

Pay for state lawmakers varies widely across the country.
May 14, 2014

Why Are Property Taxes so Unpopular in Many States?

Many states also are grappling with how to lower property taxes or make them fairer.
May 13, 2014

Can Entrepreneurs Help State Governments?

State governments are increasingly looking to entrepreneurs for creativity and efficiency.
May 6, 2014

Some States Want to Put Hunting and Fishing Rights in Their State Constitutions

Perceiving threats to America’s hunting heritage, sportsmen push for constitutional hunting and fishing rights.
May 5, 2014

Why Can't States Fix Payday Lending?

States are trying to crack down on payday lenders.
May 5, 2014

After Years of Recession, Some School Districts Are Hiring Again, But Many Still Aren't Interested

Some schools are hiring teachers as revenues increase, others struggle.
April 30, 2014

Medicaid: the Best Health Care Option for Former Foster Children?

Under the Affordable Care Act, young adults who have been recently released from foster care can get Medicaid coverage until age 26, regardless of their incomes. For states, the trickiest part may be finding them.
April 28, 2014

Why States Are Fighting the FDA on Painkiller Approval

In the midst of an epidemic of painkiller addiction, states are flabbergasted by FDA’s approval of a new one.
April 24, 2014

How State Lawmakers Control State Universities

State lawmakers frequently try to tell public colleges and universities what to do through the power of the budget.
April 23, 2014

Many States Are Helping the Unemployed Find Work

With the jobless rate as high as 8.7 percent in some places, many states are getting personal by offering one-on-one or group counseling and training to help people with the mechanics of a job search.
April 22, 2014

What Should We Do with That Budget Surplus?

Most states are seeing budget surpluses this year, setting up competition among legislators about how to spend the extra money.
April 17, 2014

Some Advocates Now Pushing for Federal Paid Family Leave

The results of state-based paid leave have been mixed.
April 14, 2014

Mentally Ill and Still Without Health Insurance

Nearly 4 million seriously mentally ill people in America are still without insurance.
April 14, 2014

Some States Working to Protect College Students' Rights as Consumers

States are trying to crack down on for-profit colleges and the student loan industry.
April 9, 2014

Everyone Loves Electronic Tax Filing

This tax season is breaking records in many states for the swiftness of electronic filings and refunds.
April 7, 2014

Maryland Creates Job Training Program to Try to Get People Back to Work

The state has created eight-week sessions to train and test potential workers in financial literacy and anger management.
April 4, 2014

States Have Lost $5 Billion in Unemployment Aid

Nearly 100 days after extended unemployment benefits expired, states are feeling the loss in federal money.
April 2, 2014

The Aerospace Manufacturing Business Is Booming in Many Southern States

The region’s lower costs, generous state incentive packages and laws making it hard for unions to organize make the region attractive to many companies.
April 1, 2014

Should it Be Easier to Fire Teachers?

Teacher tenure and dismissal are on trial in California.
March 31, 2014

Finding Out-of-State Toll Cheaters

Didn’t pay a toll? Enforcers might track you across state lines.
March 28, 2014

The Trouble with the 'Private Option' for Health Care Expansion

Private option Medicaid expansion would cut some benefits.
March 24, 2014

A New Reason to Save for College?

In some states there are new benefits for 529 college savings plans.
March 21, 2014

Can Results-Based Preschool Funding Work?

Under “results-based financing,” private investors provide funding for social programs that are expected to save taxpayer dollars down the road. If the policy goals are met and the savings materialize the investors receive their money back with interest.
March 19, 2014

The Real Problem with Medical Records? Lots of States Don't Maintain Them Electronically.

Many states lag in using electronic health records.
March 18, 2014

States Try Many Different Tactics to Improve Population Health

How are states tackling health disparities?
March 13, 2014

Half of States Have Bills About Labeling Genetically Modified Foods

In 2014 67 GMO labeling bills have been introduced in 25 states.
March 12, 2014

Is it Time for Free Community College?

A few states are working on plans to eliminate tuition at community colleges. Advocates like the sentiment behind this, but question the possible consequences.
March 12, 2014

Record Cold Increased Demand for Fuel, Straining Freight Lines

The oil boom is creating problems for farmers, as both the oil and grain industries put huge strains on rail service on the Great Plains.
March 10, 2014

Public Transit Ridership Reaches Highest Level Since 1956

Public transit ridership in the United States last year hit its highest level since 1956, in what transit officials say is a sign of how much Americans’ everyday travel habits have changed.
March 7, 2014

Why Physician Licensing Is a Problem for Telemedicine

Many states are embracing telemedicine by encouraging it in their Medicaid programs and requiring private insurers to pay for it. But doctors still have to get separate licences to give medical consultation in different states.
March 6, 2014

Many States Trying New Drug-Testing Programs for Welfare Applicants

A recent federal court ruling makes states wary of continuing their old way of testing for illegal substances.
March 4, 2014

Why Don't Students Understand Personal Finance?

States lag in educating students about personal finance. Only four states even require that high school students take a course in it to graduate.
March 3, 2014

New Hepatitis C Drugs Are Really Expensive for States

The new drugs offer a better chance of a cure, shorter periods of treatment and fewer side effects than older drugs, but they could be very hard on state budgets.
February 27, 2014

More Food Stamp Cuts Coming

A fresh round of food stamp cuts at the state level are underway. Anti-hunger activists say state food stamp cuts on top of earlier federal cuts is stressing food resources.
February 26, 2014

Is it Time to Lift the Ban on Interstate Tolls?

As highway money runs dry, Congress considers lifting the ban on tolls on tolling existing interstates.
February 25, 2014

Why Anyone Can Do Your Taxes

Most states have no rules for independent tax preparers.
February 25, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Appears to Question EPA Approach to Greenhouse Gases

Those challenging the EPA say the agency is reading too broadly into its authority to regulate emissions.
February 21, 2014

Kentucky May Let Felons Vote

The state moves closer to abolishing its law banning felons from voting.
February 19, 2014

Utility Companies Have a Solar Power Problem

States are bracing for a clash between public utilities and solar advocates.
February 18, 2014

Suing for School Quality

Students and parents around the country are suing states for failing to give schools enough money to help students reach high standards.
February 14, 2014

How Dangerous Are American Buses?

More buses bring more scrutiny from state regulators.
February 13, 2014

Many States Move to Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit

Legislators in 9 states have a renewed push for the earned income tax credit.
February 13, 2014

Many States Interested in Liberalizing Alcohol Laws

State legislatures consider changes in liquor, beer, and wine laws.
February 12, 2014

States Find Melding Medicare and Medicaid Under Obamacare Saves Money

Many states will take advantage of an Affordable Care Act initiative designed to give dual eligibles better care at a lower cost.
February 11, 2014

American Governors Try Creative Tactics to Get Jobs to Their States

From luring immigrants to paying to paying off student loans, governors are trying everything.
February 7, 2014

Textile Manufacturing Is Back

The textile industry seems to be coming back to life, especially in the South.
February 4, 2014

Many State Governors Have Budget Problems with Their Own Parties

Governors' tax plans get pushback from their political allies.
February 4, 2014

Transportation Funding Very Uncertain in Many States

Transportation needs are piling up as funding remains uncertain.
January 30, 2014

States Could Lose Millions in Federal Job Money

States risk losing out on federal work-share dollars if they don't act by the end of the year.
January 28, 2014

The National Guard Fights a New War

The nation’s governors want to mobilize the Guard to take on cyberattacks.
January 24, 2014

How Obamacare Will Keep People Out of Nursing Homes

The Affordable Care Act will spurs a state shift in long-term care.
January 15, 2014

Many State Attorneys General Will Be Involved in U.S. Supreme Court Cases in 2014

This year the states will air their differences at the Supreme Court.
January 15, 2014

Which States Have the Best Vaccination Rates?

The vaccination rate for the flu is disappointing.
December 13, 2013

How State Gun Laws Have Changed Since Newtown

A Year After Sandy Hook Shootings, Many States Have Made Changes
November 13, 2013

Cities Set Their Eyes on Light Rail

Cities turn to streetcars to spur economic development.
October 14, 2013

How States Evaluate Teachers Varies Widely

States are ramping up their evaluation of teachers. But what they measure is very different across the states.
September 24, 2013

Some States Nixing CHIP as Obamacare's 'Family Glitch' Ups the Need for It

If the Children’s Health Insurance Program is not reauthorized by Congress when it expires in 2015, or states decide not to continue it, Obamacare could result in fewer children covered by insurance.
September 20, 2013

When ACA Expands Mental Health Care, Peer Specialists Can Help States

The federal health law will cause a surge in demand for mental health care that combined with an already severe shortage of mental health workers has many worried there won’t be enough providers to serve everyone in need.
September 20, 2013

Watchdog Group Complains Oregon's Malpractice Law Hides Bad Doctors

A new Oregon law establishing a medical malpractice mediation process will undermine patient safety by withholding the names of negligent doctors from a national database, the watchdog organization Public Citizen has complained to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
September 17, 2013

States Address Chronic Absenteeism in Schools

Until recently, schools mostly looked at the student body’s overall attendance rate and the truancy—or unexcused absences—of individual students. Now a growing number of states and school districts are increasing their focus on students who are “chronically absent” from school—whether the absences are excused or unexcused.
July 30, 2013

States' Self-Driving Car Laws Open Door to More Questions Than Answers

In California, Nevada, Florida and the District of Columbia, companies are allowed to test their self-driving vehicles on private roads, then public roads. But legislation is just the beginning.
July 26, 2013

States Explore New Compact to Increase Renewable Energy Availability

Lawmakers in Kansas and several other states are pitching an interstate compact to streamline the process of building new power lines so that renewable energy can be added to the grid more quickly.
July 25, 2013

States Make Changes to College Remedial Education

With large numbers of students needing to take non-credit developmental courses in their first year of college, states are paying more attention to the problem by asking who is really responsible and attempting to reform their education systems accordingly.
July 22, 2013

Large Costs Loom for Upgrades to U.S. Water Infrastructure

The U.S. water infrastructure system needs expensive upgrades in the next decade, but many states and localities have failed to set aside the funding or come up with a timeline to make them happen.
July 18, 2013

Immigration Plan Could Increase Costs for States and Localities

The immigration overhaul passed by the U.S. Senate could put a big squeeze on the budgets of state and local governments because it does not help states pay for costs incurred by required policy changes.
July 18, 2013

Medicaid Limits Access to Medications for Recovering Addicts

Many private insurance companies and state Medicaid agencies across the country impose sharp limitations on access to medications used in the treatment of the addiction to prescription painkillers known as opioids.
July 12, 2013

States Seek Flexibility Under New Obama Climate Plan

President Obama's new climate action plan requires a lot of cooperation from the states, but there will be numerous challenges in getting all of them on board given the diversity of their current environmental and energy profiles.
July 9, 2013

North Carolina Protesters Undeterred by Hundreds of Arrests

Over 700 activists have been arrested at the North Carolina capitol building for protests against the conservative agenda being enacted by the Republican-controlled legislature. Some have charged the arrests are purely political, but the activists have vowed to continue protesting what they believe is an extreme conservative agenda.
July 9, 2013

Study: ACA Leaves Current Medicaid Patients Out of Better Preventive Care

The requirements in the Affordable Care Act pertain only to private insurers, Medicare and Medicaid expansion programs.
July 1, 2013

States Reconsider Parent Trigger Laws

Parent trigger laws are a controversial and drastic step when schools are failing, but are being increasingly talked about. Bills to either create new parent trigger laws or modify existing ones – in some cases expanding them to potentially include more struggling schools -- are still alive in about a dozen states.
June 24, 2013

States Keep Renewable Energy Incentives Despite Push to Repeal

No state this year repealed its renewable energy requirement, lowered its percentage mandate or extended utilities’ deadlines for meeting it, though several lobby groups pushed state legislatures to repeal them.
June 21, 2013

States Look to Address Rising Student Debt

As college students across the country are watch anxiously to see if Congress will prevent an interest rate hike on federal student loans on July 1, several states are looking at ways to ease the financial burden of college costs.
June 7, 2013

China is America's 3rd-Largest Export Market

U.S. relations with China are important to states, many of which have seen exports to China triple and, in some cases, quadruple in the last 10 years. Those trade relationships are sure to be discussed by President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping at meetings starting today.
June 6, 2013

States and Localities Look to Regulate Short-Term Rentals

As the popularity of short-term rental websites like Airbnb, FlipKey and HomeAway grow states and localities are struggling with how much regulation is needed.
June 4, 2013

Wind Industry Expands in Midwestern States

Despite the still uncertain long-term fate of the wind energy tax credit, the industry has plans to develop more turbines in states like Iowa and Nebraska.
June 3, 2013

Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira Resigns

Steve Abraira has come under fire from his underlings after he refused to take charge at the Boston Marathon bombing scene.
May 30, 2013

Georgia Has Nation's Highest Foreclosure Rate

Foreclosure sales accounted for 35 percent of all home sales in Georgia, the highest percentage in the nation.
May 23, 2013

State Agencies Increasing Availability of Mobile Apps

States are increasingly offering more mobile apps to citizens in the hopes of connecting better with them and improving the efficiency of service delivery.
May 16, 2013

Oklahoma Law Bucks Trend in End-of-Life Care Debate

A new law in Oklahoma severely restricting end-of-life options for patients raises a number of questions for doctors and is adding fuel to the national debate about end of life care.
May 15, 2013

Majority of States Show Positive Performance on Cutting Carbon Emissions

Over the past decade, 32 states have successfully cut their carbon emissions, while 18 states have seen increases.
May 14, 2013

Legislation Aims to Save State Mineral Revenues From Sequestration

Wyoming Republicans Sen. Mike Enzi and Rep. Cynthia Lummis plan to introduce bills next week allowing states to collect royalties directly from companies that develop oil, gas and coal on federal lands.
May 13, 2013

Cities Fight States Over Mandatory Sick Leave Policies

Mandatory sick leave is being championed by several localities across the nation. At the same time the progressive public health measure is sparking fierce opposition in several state legislatures.
May 10, 2013

Voting Rights Activists Strike Back on Elections Laws

Trying to stem the tide of restrictive voting measures passed in recent years by Republicans, voting rights activists have successfully targeted states controlled by Democrats to win reforms expanding voting rights.
May 8, 2013

North Carolina Carefully Weighs Fracking Options

As the legislature considers lifting a decades long ban on unconventional drilling which would allow hydraulic fracturing the state's unique geography is prompting concerns about disposal of the wastewater the drilling produces.
May 6, 2013

States Make Needed Upgrades to Capitol Buildings

At least ten states are considering renovations to their capitol building. Though repairs and upgrades are expensive and can take years, more than two-thirds of the states have carried them out since 2000.
May 6, 2013

U.S. Forest Service Asks States to Return Funds Due to Sequestration

The U.S. Forest Service has asked a dozen states to return $17.9 million in federal revenue-sharing funds, so the agency can meet its sequestration budget cut obligations.
May 1, 2013

Use of Mortgage Interest Deduction Varies by State

The mortgage interest deduction, widely viewed as a tax break for a broad slice of middle-class America, benefits the residents of some states far more than others, according to a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
April 30, 2013

Small Businesses Fear Fines from Affordable Care Act

Small businesses in states that choose not to expand Medicaid could be liable for billions in federal tax penalties that companies in states that do expand will not have to pay.
April 25, 2013

Texas-Oklahoma Water War Could Have National Implications

A decision in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court could unleash a flood of litigation asking courts to crack open some of the more than 30 compacts that determine how states share water.
April 24, 2013

States Consider Drug Testing Lawmakers

In connection to the ongoing debate about drug-testing welfare recipients, lawmakers in Minnesota, Alabama, Illinois and Texas are considering requiring it of state legislators too.
April 24, 2013

States Press Ahead on Bills Expanding Voter Access

Amid the legal battles over Voter ID laws and the Voting Rights Act, legislation to expand voter access and decrease election day lines is active in 21 states.
April 18, 2013

Western Governors Tell Feds to Use P3s to Protect Forests

Western Governors Association wants the U.S. Forest Service to do more to protect millions of acres of federal forests ravaged in recent years by invasive pests and wildfires by expanding its use of public-private partnerships.
April 15, 2013

Unions Seek New Ways to Combat Declining Membership

No longer in denial about its dwindling numbers and diminished political power, organized labor unions are exploring new, potentially risky approaches for growing their memberships.
April 11, 2013

States' Free Online Tax Filing Services Going Underused

More than 20 states allow you to file your taxes online for free, if you follow some very precise instructions.
April 9, 2013

Uncertainty Follows Failure of Utah-Nevada Water Pact

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has refused to sign a decades-in-the-making deal that would have divvied up billions of gallons of water beneath the two states.
April 8, 2013

Which States Accepted the Most Refugees in 2012?

Millions of federal dollars flow every year through the states and a network of relief organizations to help refugees find housing, health care and jobs.
April 5, 2013

More States Explore Tanning Bed Bans for Teens

California, Vermont and New York all enacted their bans in 2012, and in the current legislative session, lawmakers in 29 states have introduced measures that would tighten restrictions on teen tanning.
March 29, 2013

States Lose Millions in Mineral Revenue Under Sequestration

The sequester will cost energy states tens of millions of dollars in mineral revenues, a move that has sparked anger — and surprise — among some state officials who say they should have been informed sooner.
March 29, 2013

Florida Governor Calls for Obama to Pay Up on Port Improvements

Ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to the Port of Miami, Florida Gov. Rick Scott criticized him and the federal government for not paying their share of port improvement projects costs in the state.
March 28, 2013

Where Are State Travel Taxes the Highest?

State and local politicians would rather avoid raising taxes on locals who can boot them out of office, but they also know that tourists can still “vote with their feet” and go where taxes are lower.
March 27, 2013

EPA Warns of Poor U.S. Water Quality

More than half of the nation’s thousands of miles of rivers and streams are plagued by poor water quality, including harmful nutrient pollution and mercury, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
March 22, 2013

Colorado Joins 5 States with Same-Sex Civil Unions

Colorado became the sixth state to allow civil unions for same-sex couples when Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the legislation Thursday. Another nine states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.
March 11, 2013

Governors Prioritize Employing People with Disabilities

The nation’s governors have turned their attention to helping more people with disabilities find jobs by building partnerships with companies that are willing to help accommodate them.
February 25, 2013

Fracking Debate Heating Up in States

Some lawmakers want to open up their states to fracking, while others hope to impose moratoriums.
February 22, 2013

States Seek Legal Limits on Domestic Drones

Ready or not, the drones are coming home: Nine law enforcement agencies in six states already use drones, and another nine have applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to do the same.
February 20, 2013

State Officials Urge Insurers to Join Climate Change Debate

Some state officials and environmental groups are pushing the insurance industry, which has successfully lobbied for laws designed to minimize risk, to join their calls for comprehensive solutions to climate threats.
February 15, 2013

States Struggling with Oversight of Online Schools

The rapid growth of online education is raising concerns -- especially as more for-profit companies launch online programs. While unscrupulous or incompetent online educators may be rare, there are enough of them that many states are considering ratcheting up their oversight.
February 12, 2013

Bill to Give Felons Voting Rights Dies in Virginia

Despite a push by Republican Gov. Bob McConnell, a bill that would have allowed non-violent felons the right to vote and serve on juries after completion of their sentences has failed to gain passage.
February 8, 2013

Governors’ Pardons Are Becoming a Rarity

Many governors are now reluctant to grant pardons. The reason, according to analysts, is mostly political.
February 4, 2013

Republicans Rethinking Strategy for Social Issues

In state capitols all across the country, Republicans are coming to terms with a 2012 election in which social and cultural issues worked decisively against them.
January 28, 2013

Collective Bargaining Likely to be a Big Issue in Legislatures This Year

The AFL-CIO, a federation of labor unions, expect at least 20 states to consider some type of restriction on payroll deductions of union dues by public employers as well as restrictions to the bargaining process.
January 25, 2013

New Mexico Governor Renews Fight to Repeal Immigrant-License Law

New Mexico is one of two states that issues unrestricted licenses to undocumented immigrants.
January 24, 2013

Public Union Membership Drops Again in 2012

While a few states increased their union membership last year, the states where unions suffered recent political defeats saw a decline.
January 22, 2013

New Legislatures Revisit In-State Tuition for Immigrants

While President Barack Obama pushes an overhaul of the country’s federal immigration laws, states are likely to decide whether undocumented immigrants should get in-state tuition.
January 18, 2013

States' New Target for Tax Increases: Seniors

Lawmakers are starting to wonder whether the tax breaks for seniors have become so generous that they threaten the sustainability of state revenue streams.
January 11, 2013

Wyoming Legislators Seek to Block Federal Gun Restrictions

As the Obama administration prepares to unveil a comprehensive gun control proposal, state Rep. Kendell Kroeker introduced a bill that would block federal restrictions on guns -- any of them.
January 10, 2013

Alabama’s Dam Oversight Void Stirs Safety Concerns, Confusion

Alabama is the only state that doesn’t regulate dams, leaving thousands of aging structures never inspected or regulated in any way.
January 10, 2013

Arizona Can’t Divert Land Trust Fund, Court Rules

The Arizona Legislature violated the constitution when it tapped a trust fund earmarked for education to help plug the state’s budget gap, the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled.
January 9, 2013

Feds Give States More Time to Comply with REAL ID Law

Only 13 states issue driver’s licenses that comply with the federal Real ID law, but states that do not will have at least six months to bring their licenses up to those standards.
December 28, 2012

Bullet Tax Proposals Reemerge in Gun Control Debate

Legislators in a number of states are taking a second look at bullet tax proposals in the wake of the Newtown shooting.
December 28, 2012

Scrutinizing Economic Development Agencies

Several states have experimented in recent years with the idea of turning their economic development agencies over to semi-private management. Many of these organizations are struggling to balance job creation with public accountability.
December 27, 2012

Online Sales Tax Collection Bill Unlikely to be Voted on Soon

Despite bipartisan support the Marketplace Fairness Act, as the online tax legislation is known, is unlikely to pass as part of any fiscal cliff deal.
December 21, 2012

State Education Funding On Trial, Again

Ten states have school finance challenges working their way through the courts, and four other states recently wrapped up legal challenges. But school-funding advocates have found that winning a lawsuit doesn’t necessarily improve the quality of education.
December 17, 2012

State Officials Propose Ways to Detect Cities' Fiscal Troubles Before They Worsen

Top finance officials in California and New York are proposing closer state-level scrutiny of local government budgets to help prevent the distress that has plagued many cities, towns and counties over the last few years.
December 12, 2012

States Begin Giving Driver’s Licenses to Young Immigrants

The practice of granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants has become rare in recent years, and the issue had dropped off most legislative agendas before the federal action thrust it into states’ laps once again
December 3, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Debate Puts Jobless Benefits at Risk

At the end of this year, unemployment benefits that were greatly expanded during the recession are set to expire unless Congress acts to extend them.
November 30, 2012

Downwind Delaware Seeks Relief From Cross-State Pollution

Delaware’s top air regulator has challenged federal officials to find a way to limit harmful pollution blowing across state lines.
November 29, 2012

States Grant Utilities Extra Rate Increases

Under intense pressure from Wall Street, public utilities in a growing number of states are charging customers upfront for costly upgrades to aging gas, water and electric systems. It’s a shift in financial obligation that’s rankling consumer advocates, who say companies are shirking their basic responsibility to keep infrastructure up to date.
November 28, 2012

Concerns Mount over State Handling of Mortgage Funds

States have siphoned mortgage settlement funds for purposes seemingly outside the realm of housing, raising some red flags.
November 26, 2012

The Last Tax-Free Cyber Monday for Online Retailers?

As states are estimated to lose out on as much as $23.26 billion of revenue today, a coalition of small business leaders is lobbying Congress to require most online retailers to collect sales taxes.
November 19, 2012

Study Shows Most Innovative States

An ambitious new study judges how innovative states are relative to one another and how their willingness to innovate has varied over time, reports Stateline.
November 15, 2012

Puerto Rico Unlikely to Become 51st State

Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno is pressing President Obama and Congressional leaders to get the ball rolling on statehood for the island commonwealth, after his push for the island to become a state received a historic level of support from voters.
November 14, 2012

Governors Pressure Congress to Renew Wind Tax Credit

Several governors are reapplying pressure on Congress to extend a tax credit whose looming expiration has prompted layoffs.
November 13, 2012

Hawaii’s Solar Tax Credits Have Soaring Price Tag

The widespread popularity of Hawaii’s solar energy incentive -- and mass confusion over how to implement it -- have dealt a blow to the state’s treasury and become a major topic in state politics.
November 12, 2012

Nation's 1st Homeless Bill of Rights Slow to Cause Change in Rhode Island

The new law prohibits landlords and employers from discriminating against the homeless when they apply for apartments or jobs, and affirms their right to be in public spaces such as parks and libraries.
November 9, 2012

Unions Won Key Election Victories in 4 States

Labor won big contests this week in Indiana, Idaho, California and New Hampshire, while results were mixed in Michigan.
November 8, 2012

Voters Approve More State Debt

Voters approved statewide bond measures on the ballot November 6.
November 2, 2012

Sandusky Case Influences Pennsylvania Contest for Attorney General

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's endorsement of Republican Attorney General candidate David Freed has allowed the phantom of Jerry Sandusky to play a factor in his race against Democrat Kathleen Kane.
November 1, 2012

Tax Pledge Permeates New Hampshire Politics

A look inside the state's anti-tax dynamic and how it plays out in statewide races.
October 31, 2012

Bond Measures Put Some Governors’ Clout on Line

Voters in nine states will consider borrowing more than $3 billion for schools and roads in statewide bond measures on the ballot November 6, including a few that could test some governors’ influence.
October 30, 2012

Idaho Education Changes Under Attack

In a conservative state where the presidential vote isn’t in doubt, the fate of the education laws has taken center stage on the November ballot.
October 24, 2012

The Impact of Obama's and Romney’s Tax Plans on States

State taxes, which are closely tied to the federal tax code, could change dramatically depending on the outcome of the election.
October 23, 2012

Should State Education Chiefs Be Elected?

Thirteen states choose their top education official in a partisan campaign. Some people think that makes little sense, but it’s very hard to change.
October 18, 2012

Pennsylvania Legislature Sends Bill Reducing Juvenile Sentences to Governor

The Pennsylvania Legislature has sent a bill to the governor that would dramatically reduce sentences for juveniles convicted of murder, seeking to bring the state in line with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
October 17, 2012

Montana Oil Boom Reshapes Gubernatorial Race

Montana’s next governor must capitalize on the current oil boom, build infrastructure to keep it going and develop industries that will make Montana less susceptible to market highs and lows.
October 15, 2012

Police Predict Dire Impact from Sequestration Cuts

Cuts to federal criminal justice grants will mean that substance abuse programs, victims’ advocates, drug task forces and other law enforcement programs could be eliminated now or in the near future.
October 10, 2012

Are Voter ID Critics Winning the Battle But Losing the War?

Voter ID opponents have won high-profile court battles, but may be losing ground on the longer-term legal fight against the laws.
October 9, 2012

Early Voting in Ohio Reinstated

Ohio counties can keep polls open for early voting the three days before Election Day, a federal appeals court ruled, handing Democrats another victory in their battle to undo new restrictions on voting passed by Republican-led state legislatures.
October 8, 2012

Affirmative Action on Trial in U.S. Supreme Court

The outcome could spell the end to affirmative action programs across the country that provide some advantage to applicants from underrepresented minorities.
October 8, 2012

States Struggle to Pay Unemployment Trust Fund Debt

The more than $26 billion in lingering debt has gained little notice, but forced states to scale back unemployment benefits, raise taxes, tap general funds and even turn to the private bond market.
October 5, 2012

States Defend Counterterrorism 'Fusion Centers' After Harsh Senate Report

State homeland security leaders and the local law enforcement community are disputing a Senate subcommittee’s charges that a network of 77 anti-terrorism centers, set up after 9/11 to share information, has “not produced useful intelligence to support federal counterterrorism efforts.”
September 27, 2012

Arizona Conservatives Face Triple Threat in November

New legislative district maps are expected to help Democrats pick up seats; Arizona is voting on a ballot initiative to install a top-two primary system intended to help elect more moderates; and even if conservatives remain in charge, another ballot initiative could force the legislature to spend more on education than it otherwise would.
September 25, 2012

New Health-Care Initiative Has an Unlikely Partner

Arkansas Gov. Beebe's plan sounds like other cost-saving alternatives to fee-for-service, but there's one big difference: It teams private insurers with Medicaid.
September 24, 2012

Christie Vetoes Anti-Fracking Bill in New Jersey

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have banned the disposal of hydraulic fracturing waste in New Jersey.
September 12, 2012

Right-to-Die Debate Comes to Massachusetts

Whether voters make it the third state to approve physician-assisted suicide could have national implications.
August 30, 2012

Puerto Rico Gets Romney's OK to Become 51st State

Luis Fortuno, the island commonwealth’s Republican governor, said Mitt Romney assured him of his support for Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state.
August 27, 2012

Performance Pay Comes to College Campuses

While it’s unclear how many public universities use a similar system, a survey this year by executive compensation consultants Yaffe & Company suggests that just over one-third of presidents at private universities have some of their pay tied to performance.
August 22, 2012

ACT Shows 60% of High School Seniors Not College-ready

Only one in four high school seniors met college readiness benchmarks in English, reading, math and science this year.
August 15, 2012

Calif. Climate Change Website Challenges Skeptics

As conservative legislators in some states are fighting efforts to address climate change, California Gov. Jerry Brown has unveiled a new website that attacks skeptics head-on.
August 10, 2012

Fracking, Farmers and Scarce Water Supplies

As drought plagues more than half of the nation, concerns about hydraulic fracturing's effect on available water are increasing.
August 10, 2012

Report: Juvenile Justice Reforms Emphasize Rehabilitation

For a variety of reasons, including cutting costs, state legislatures are moving away from the punishment-focused policies for young offenders and moving towards rehabilitation, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
August 8, 2012

NRC Freezes Licensing for Nuclear Plants

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission won’t approve licenses for new or existing nuclear power plants until it figures out what to do with hazardous waste that's been piling up at storage sites across the country.
August 7, 2012

DNA's Role in Police Cases Disputed in Courts

Taking DNA samples from suspects immediately upon arrest is an increasingly common law enforcement practice. But some courts have ruled it unconstitutional.
August 6, 2012

General Assistance Program Comes to an End in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania became the latest state to end its general assistance program, revoking benefits for nearly 70,000 of its citizens after a one-month extension ran out Aug. 1.
August 3, 2012

Dire Warnings in Alabama Budget Vote

Hospitals and nursing homes shutting their doors. Doctors fleeing the state. Prisons closing and thousands of inmates walking free. That is the doomsday scenario being sketched by officials at the highest levels of Alabama government.
August 3, 2012

With Drillers at the Door, Some Towns Say ‘Keep Out’

An oil drilling rig is set up on the outskirts of a neighborhood in Frederick, Colorado. No longer confined to remote lands, oil and gas companies are increasingly entering populated areas. In nearby Longmont, the city council has tried to ban drilling near residences.
July 30, 2012

'3-Strikes' Bill Sent Back to Massachusetts Legislature

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told lawmakers that he supports a “three-strikes” policy for criminal sentencing, but only with a “safety value” that would give judges get more flexibility.
July 30, 2012

Incumbents Losing at Higher Rate in State Races

Though incumbents continue to hold vast advantages over political newcomers, entrenched legislators in 2012 are losing primaries at a higher rate than they did in 2010, according to a Ballotpedia study.
July 27, 2012

States Reconsider Juvenile Life Sentences in Wake of Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life without parole for juveniles convicted of murder is unconstitutional. But the court left little guidance for states on what to do next.
July 26, 2012

'School Choice' Programs Have Limited Choices

A Stateline analysis found that students who participate in state 'School Choice' programs actually have very limited choices.
July 25, 2012

9 States Address Military Spouses' Unemployment

Governor Bev Perdue signed legislation aimed at helping military spouses land jobs after they arrive at military bases, making North Carolina the ninth state this year to enact a law addressing the issue.
July 23, 2012

Alabama Immigration Law Enforcement Off to a Slow Start

Alabama is off to a slow start in rolling out its law requiring police to check the immigration status of suspects. But it is ahead of the other states, including Arizona, that approved similar measures.
July 20, 2012

States Consider HHS Welfare Waivers Proposal

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department announced it would grant states waivers to give greater flexibility in their TANF (commonly known as welfare) programs that financially support poor Americans as they look for work.
July 20, 2012

Sports Concussion Laws Are a Headache for States

Youth in 38 states who show signs of concussion will no longer be returned to play without clearance from a health care professional. But which professionals are truly qualified to make that call?
July 18, 2012

College Mergers Bring Big Changes But Questionable Savings

Merging colleges is usually a last resort. And yet a few states, constrained by the lackluster economy and tight budgets, are reluctantly traveling down that road.
July 17, 2012

Romney's VP List Includes Several Governors

Mitt Romney is expected to soon announce his pick for a running mate, and several governors remain on the short list of possibilities.
July 17, 2012

Report: State Fracking Regulation Laws Need Overhaul

Most states aren’t doing enough to ensure the water safety and health of communities near gas wells where hydraulic fracking takes place, according to a new report by a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy group.
July 16, 2012

43 States Get Share of $3B Health Fraud Settlement

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay a record $3 billion to resolve charges of illegally marketing certain prescription drugs and overcharging government programs including Medicaid.
July 13, 2012

Iowa Governor Blasts Pentagon Air National Guard Cuts

Just days before he and other governors are scheduled to meet with Pentagon brass, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad attacked the Defense Department for failing to work with governors on plans to drastically cut the size of the Air National Guard.
July 12, 2012

Pennsylvania Struggles to Help Financially Distressed Cities

Pennsylvania has an ambitious program aimed at fixing the finances of troubled cities. In most cases, it doesn’t accomplish a lot.
July 11, 2012

Nearly 1/2 of GOP Govs May Reject Medicaid Expansion

More than a dozen Republican governors, including Rick Perry of Texas, have said they will or suggested they might decline to expand their Medicaid program.
July 9, 2012

New Anti-Abortion Strategy Successful in States

The past few months have seen a flurry of new state laws restricting abortion, most of them based on the concept of “fetal pain.”
July 6, 2012

Union Work Rules at Issue in Detroit

As the city's workforce shrinks, labor and political leaders face tough questions about how to make do with the employees they have left. Antiquated work rules are at the heart of the dispute.
July 5, 2012

Detroit and Michigan Attempt to Work Together

The state of Michigan and its largest city have pledged cooperation to keep the city afloat. But neither quite trusts the other.
July 3, 2012

Pennsylvania Bars Harrisburg Bankruptcy

The financially strapped city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, will have to wait until at least November 30 before it can file for bankruptcy — that’s the decision from the state legislature and Governor Tom Corbett.
June 27, 2012

Teach for America Alums Run for Office over Union Objections

Some alumni from the teaching program are making runs for state office. Many are facing opposition from teachers’ unions.
June 25, 2012

Nuclear Cost Recovery Laws at Issue in States

Charging ratepayers for nuclear plant construction made sense to many legislatures a few years ago. Attitudes have shifted since then.
June 21, 2012

Fueled by Oil Boom, North Dakota Surplus to Hit $2 Billion

Thanks in large part to a boom in oil production, the state’s budget reserves are expected to top $2 billion by the end of June 30, 2013, the end of the two-year budget cycle, according to new figures.
June 20, 2012

Natural Gas Boom Strains State Regulators

To keep pace with a surge of natural gas drilling, Ohio is looking to triple its staff of well inspectors. In many other states, though, inspection teams remain small while wells go unchecked, Stateline reports.
June 18, 2012

Florida, West Virginia Protect Against Stalkers

State lawmakers took aim at stalkers this session by creating more ways for victims to get protection. But questions remain about enforcement of the orders.
June 13, 2012

North Dakota Voters Avoid Tax, Sioux Controversies

The state's voters shied away from several controversies at the polls Tuesday, including bids to end property taxes and to prevent the University of North Dakota from dropping its “Fighting Sioux” mascot, Stateline reports.
June 12, 2012

Civil Service Reform Passes in 3 States

Arizona, Colorado and Tennessee have made major changes to the personnel policies that govern the public workforce.
June 12, 2012

200 Candidates Kicked Off South Carolina Ballot

Two decisions by the South Carolina Supreme Court — one in May and another earlier this month — removed more than 200 challengers for state legislature and local offices from today’s contests.
June 11, 2012

New Hampshire Lawmakers Compromise on Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The Legislature last week passed a bill that would remove New Hampshire from the New England cap-and-trade agreement (RGGI), but only if two other states leave first.
June 8, 2012

Maryland Casino Opens to Long Lines and Controversy

Maryland’s third and largest casino, Maryland Live!, opened amid glittery showgirls, a woman dressed as a giant dessert table, a gaggle of politicians, lines of eager gamblers stretched outside the building and the cacophony of 3,200 fully engaged slot machines and electronic gaming tables — music to a battered economy.
June 8, 2012

State Nuclear Waste Storage Issue Still Unresolved

A U.S. Congressional subcommittee addressed a question states have long hoped the federal government would answer: Where will nuclear power plants permanently store their growing stockpiles of spent fuel and other hazardous waste?
June 7, 2012

Funeral-Regulations Ruling in Pennsylvania Could Have Nationwide Impact

A federal judge last month ordered the Pennsylvania state board of funeral directors to rewrite their “outmoded” regulations that limited the numbers of funeral homes any one director could own, restricted the naming of homes, and prohibited funeral homes from serving food. Industry experts say the ruling could have broad implications for other states.
June 6, 2012

Local Governments in North Carolina Better Off Because of Unique State Agency

Local governments are doing better in North Carolina than in other fiscally challenged parts of the country. They have a little-known instrument of state government to thank for that.
June 4, 2012

States Get Federal Money to Improve Aging and Disability Centers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced a $25 million grant to help states improve and develop more Aging and Disability Resource Centers, which help low-income adults remain in their communities by using local home health care services.
June 1, 2012

Gas Companies Give to Lawmakers Amid North Carolina Fracking Debate

As North Carolina lawmakers consider opening up the state to hydraulic fracturing, the controversial method used to extract natural gas from shale deposits, a good government group says that natural gas-related industries are unduly influencing the debate.
June 1, 2012

School Schedules Get a Makeover Across the Country

Tourism and budget cuts have dictated, and in some cases shortened, the school year in a number of states. But a growing movement thinks students need more time in school, according to Stateline.org.
May 31, 2012

Struggling State Fairs Go Private

State fairs are facing a budget crunch, and one solution is to turn them over to private ownership.
May 29, 2012

Red Tape Threatens Innovative Jobs Program

The federal government has made money available for a new approach to unemployment, but states have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to get it.
May 24, 2012

Grandparents Raising Children Need More State Help

More than 2.7 million children in America are being raised by relatives, and states need to do more to make "kinship families" aware of the benefits and programs available to them, says a new report examined by Stateline.
May 23, 2012

New Race to the Top Funds to Reward Personalized Instruction

The latest round of the Race to the Top grant competition will be open to school districts for offering more personalized instruction for students.
May 21, 2012

Gov. LePage Battles Unions in Maine

Governor Paul LePage recently called some of Maine’s state workers “about as corrupt as you can be.” They’re not pleased with him, either.
May 21, 2012

Hawaii Has First Statewide Plastic Bag Ban

Honolulu recently banned retailers from offering plastic bags in the checkout aisle, making Hawaii the first state with such regulations statewide, according to Stateline.org.
May 18, 2012

After Seeking to Abolish Income Taxes, Kansas and Oklahoma Settle for Cuts

Kansas may soon finish a large tax cut and Oklahoma is likely to approve a smaller one, but both will be short of some lawmakers’ initial aspirations: ending the income tax entirely.
May 18, 2012

Delaware Gov. Markell Defends Common Core Standards

Delaware Governor Jack Markell defended the new Common Core English and math state standards, dismissing the contention that national benchmarks for what students should be learning are part of a “high-level conspiracy from the federal government” to impose its standards on states.
May 17, 2012

States Rethink Trying Juveniles in Adult Court

In Colorado, prosecutors have had full power to try juvenile offenders in adult courts. Now the state is restricting that power.
May 16, 2012

Longtime State Pension Chief Resigns, Calls 401(k) Experiment a 'Failure'

After more than two decades heading pension systems in Colorado and Kansas, Meredith Williams tells Stateline that Americans are woefully underprepared for retirement.
May 14, 2012

Public Employees May Choose Between Raises and Job Protections

State employees in a number of states are expecting to soon see their first pay bumps in years. But for workers in Arizona and Virginia, those bonuses or salary increases may come with conditions.
May 9, 2012

States Scramble to Regulate, Ban Fracking

As natural gas drilling expands throughout the country, states are trying to balance economic and environmental interests. Finding agreement isn’t easy, Stateline.org reports.
May 3, 2012

Should Drug Court Be Mandatory?

Would a mandatory program for treating drug-addicted nonviolent offenders help or ensnare more people in the criminal justice system?
May 2, 2012

Prescription Drug Databases Pit Access vs. Privacy

Balancing patient privacy rights and law enforcement’s access to prescription drug databases proves a difficult task, reports Stateline.org.
May 2, 2012

Courthouse Upgrades Hampered by Political Controversies

Many courthouses around the country are in dreadful physical shape. But spending the money to replace them can be a politically dicey proposition, Stateline.org reports.
May 1, 2012

Natural Gas-Powered Vehicles a Priority for Some Governors

A group of 13 governors is hoping to interest automakers in a plan aimed at boosting demand for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas.
May 1, 2012

States Struggle to Slow Tuition Increases

While average college tuition increased in every state in 2011, early returns suggest the number won’t be that high in 2012. But in some states, it's only going to get worse, reports Stateline.org.
April 30, 2012

Why Are Fewer Moms Applying for WIC When Food-Stamp Use is so High?

You might expect that a federal program to help needy mothers buy food for their children would be seeing increased participation these days. But the opposite is true.
April 30, 2012

Community College Completion Measured Differently by States

A new tool released by the College Board shows that states differ widely in how they track community college completion.
April 23, 2012

Digital Textbooks Gaining Traction in States

Despite enthusiasm for digital textbooks at the national level, states have been slow to get on board. But the movement is gaining strength, according to Stateline.org
April 20, 2012

Coal States Uncertain of Industry's Future

This is an unsettling time for states whose economies revolve around coal. But the future may not be as bleak as doomsayers predict, reports Stateline.org.
April 17, 2012

Arizona Immigration Case: Which Side is Your State On?

More than half of the states weighed in on a U.S. Supreme Court case scheduled for a hearing this week over an Obama administration challenge to Arizona’s latest anti-immigration law, according to Stateline.org.
April 12, 2012

States Could Stop Safety Net 'Double Dipping' with Computer System

When people move from one state to another, they often continue to collect the same benefits in both. Technology exists to control that problem -- if states can be persuaded to use it, Stateline.org reports.
April 10, 2012

Financing Energy-Efficient Upgrades May Get Easier in Some States

Several states are experimenting with an “on-bill” loan financing program that aims to spur investment in energy efficiency for homes and businesses -- even for owners who lack capital.
April 2, 2012

State Radon Programs May Lose Federal Funds

States worry that the federal government's 2013 budget will severely weaken, and in some cases, eradicate state education and testing programs for radon, which kills more than 21,000 Americans each year
March 29, 2012

Charter-School Debate Takes Different Turns in Georgia, New Jersey

Legislators in Georgia want to the state to be able to create new charter schools without local approval, while legislators in New Jersey would like to slow down the process by requiring local consent.
March 21, 2012

Business Playing Key Role in Gay Marriage Push

Corporations worried about recruiting a high-skill workforce to their states are gradually supporting the same-sex marriage movement, reports Stateline.org.
March 19, 2012

GOP Legislatures Try to Limit Local Government's Power

Conservative state lawmakers who rail against federal mandates often find themselves using the same weapon in dealing with their own cities and counties, Stateline.org reports.
March 13, 2012

West Virginia is First State to Put Tax Revenue Toward Retiree Health Costs

The state makes an unusual down payment on its massive health benefit debt to retired public employees.
March 9, 2012

Fate of Ballot Measures Often Depends on the Wording

Stateline.org examines the priorities of the people who write the language describing proposals on ballots. Sometimes, it's more than simply making it clear.
March 8, 2012

Crime Labs Struggle with DNA Test Demands

State laboratories are being asked to handle more DNA samples every year. They use federal funding to meet part of the expense, but backlogs persist nevertheless, Stateline.org reports.
March 7, 2012

A Year After Japan Tsunami, U.S. Nuclear Plans Stalled

Safety concerns following the fatal Fukushima disaster are among several factors keeping the industry in limbo in the U.S., Stateline reports.
March 6, 2012

Laffer's Supply-Side Economics Staging a Comeback

Arthur Laffer, who helped Ronald Reagan write federal tax policy in the 1980s, is a force to be reckoned with these days at the state level. A large group of Republican governors is listening to him.
February 28, 2012

Election Is About Economics, Governors Say

The nation’s governors say that the 2012 presidential race will likely turn on how well the economy is performing by the middle of October, reports Stateline.org
February 24, 2012

Pregnancy Medical Homes Gain Momentum in North Carolina

Linking high-risk mothers with caregivers earlier in pregnancy may be a way to save both lives and money.
February 22, 2012

Tax Breaks for Films Go Undisclosed in Many States

States are eager to use financial incentives to attract Hollywood productions. But they're less enthusiastic about revealing which films got how much help.
February 17, 2012

Illinois Tightens Medicaid Without Federal Approval

The 2010 federal health law has a so-called “maintenance of effort” requirement, which expressly prohibits states from doing anything that would reduce the number of people who qualify for Medicaid. But it’s not clear whether the ban includes measures aimed at winnowing out people whose incomes are too high or who don’t actually live within the state’s borders.
February 17, 2012

What Do Record Low Natural Gas Prices Mean for States?

Thinned budgets and shifted energy production for some, Stateline.org reports.
February 16, 2012

States Push to Shake up Personnel Practices

Civil service rules that haven’t changed in decades are being re-assessed by several governors bent on major changes in the system.
February 15, 2012

Courts Block Efforts at Public Pension Change

Two judges have ruled that their states cannot make existing employees contribute more toward their retirement benefits.
February 15, 2012

More Questions Than Answers Pepper Wisconsin Politics

Predicting outcomes of Wisconsin politics in 2012 is a bit like consulting a Magic 8 Ball — interesting, amusing, but ultimately, a shot in the dark. Will there be recalls? “Signs point to yes.”
February 10, 2012

Maryland Governor O'Malley Takes a Risk on Gas Tax

The governor’s proposal would tie the state’s gas tax rate to the price of the product, rather than the amount a consumer buys. Motorists would likely pay more over time.
January 31, 2012

In Oil-Rich Alaska, Will the Good Times Last?

High oil prices are a boon for Alaska, whose credit rating recently went up to the coveted triple-A level. But waning oil production, unpredictable prices and looming pension costs remain challenges.
January 24, 2012

State Special Education Rates Vary Widely

States differ widely in how many students they designate for special education. Those differences could have a financial impact in the face of possible cuts to federal aid.
January 18, 2012

Water Rights Shift in Fla. Could Foreshadow Debates to Come

Who owns recycled water? As states get more creative with scarce water resources, that debate could be among the first of many across the United States.
January 17, 2012

Ala. Governor's Education Plan Draws Controversy

Gov. Robert Bentley wants to shore up the state budget by moving money from an education fund to general revenue accounts. Both parties wonder whether that's such a good idea.
January 6, 2012

Nevada Leads Gambling Race

States can act quickly now that the federal government has reversed its ban on Internet gambling. But one state may have an advantage over the others.
January 4, 2012

More Water for Las Vegas Means More Resentment in Rural Areas

One state bureaucrat has the power to decide whether Las Vegas can draw extra water from underneath the state’s eastern counties, a question that has long concerned environmentalists and aggravated a political rift.
December 15, 2011

How Texas Conquered Food-Stamp Apps

Texas was slower than any other state at responding to food-stamp applicants. Today, the state ranks near the top.
December 8, 2011

R.I. Pension Vote Shows Changing Political Times

How did an overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature and a union-backed governor come to approve the toughest public pension cuts in the nation?
December 5, 2011

States Struggle to Update Toxic Chemical Regulation

The burden to investigate many chemicals that could endanger human health has fallen to states, which have enacted a patchwork of regulations that environmentalists, policymakers and industry leaders all consider inadequate.
December 1, 2011

States Rethinking Indigent Defense Systems

Governments can save on legal costs by setting flat fees for those who defend the poor. But many wonder if the practice is fair to defendants.
November 15, 2011

In Neb., A Pipeline Reprieve and Lessons Learned

Many lawmakers in Nebraska don’t want oil flowing past the state’s scenic Sand Hills. They’ve persuaded the federal government and the company behind the pipeline to reconsider the proposed route.
November 10, 2011

San Francisco Voters Approve Pension Cutbacks

A coalition of business and labor groups won passage of a ballot measure reducing pension benefits. The question is how far it will go in solving the city's serious long-term pension problems.
November 2, 2011

In Texas, Prop. 6 Would Tap Trust Fund for Education

Facing $4 billion in education cuts over the next two years, voters will decide whether to authorize dipping deeper into the state’s $25 billion education trust fund to make up some of the difference.
October 28, 2011

Colo. Ballot Measure to Test Voters' Willingness to Raise Taxes

This year’s most high-profile tax measure on the ballot goes to a vote next week. The outcome will provide clues to the public’s mood about raising taxes.
October 26, 2011

Foreclosure Probe Explained: What State AGs Want from Big Banks

A year ago, all 50 states launched an investigation into some of the nation’s biggest banks, accusing them of using illegal practices to cheat homeowners and worsen the foreclosure crisis.
October 18, 2011

Medicaid Expansion Seen Covering Nearly All State Prisoners

Some state prison inmates can stay in a local hospital at federal expense. Starting in three years, almost all of them will be able to.
August 29, 2011

Tax Supporters Turn to the Ballot Box

As it becomes more difficult to get state legislatures to pass tax increases, people who think cash-strapped states have cut budgets too much are taking their case straight to voters.
August 23, 2011

Pentagon Cuts Have Military States Worried

The debt-reduction deal has at least $350 billion in defense spending cuts. Some states see serious problems for their military-dependent economies.
August 9, 2011

Comeback Governors Try to Rekindle Their Power

After a long period out of office, three governors are discovering that experience can take them only so far.
July 28, 2011

Medicaid Explained: How a 'Blended Rate' Would Work

The Obama administration has floated an idea that would shift a greater share of Medicaid spending to the states.
July 7, 2011

The Disappearance of Multi-Member Constituencies

Should legislators appeal to a broad, diverse group of people, or should they represent a narrow, cohesive constituency?
July 5, 2011

States Find New Ways to Tap Alcohol for Revenue

Most Republicans don’t want to raise taxes on beer, wine and liquor. But they’re seeking to generate extra revenue with measures aimed at boosting sales.
June 20, 2011

Deportation Record Has States Reconsidering Secure Communities

Three governors have pulled their states out of a federal immigration enforcement program because few of the people being deported were convicted of serious criminal offenses.
June 14, 2011

The Year School Budget Cuts Went Straight to the Classroom

This has been a season of changes in school funding and policy unlike any in recent memory. There may be nothing like it for a long time.
June 3, 2011

State Government Shutdowns: A Dangerous Game

This is the time of year when many state capitols are consumed by talk of budget stalemates and possible closure of government agencies. But the worst rarely happens.
June 1, 2011

Business Tax Cuts Pass in Mich. But Falter Elsewhere

GOP governors are trying to fulfill their promises to cut corporate taxes, but some are finding more resistance than expected.
May 24, 2011

Missouri's Puppy Mill Politics

Animal welfare activists won a victory at the polls last November. They say some of that victory has already been taken away by the Legislature.
May 23, 2011

Do States Control Their Fiscal Destiny?

State leaders love to make promises about healing a sick economy, but economic success often depends on factors far beyond their reach.
May 10, 2011

The Stubborn Gasoline Tax: It's Hard to Increase, Hard to Reduce

More states are starting to explore new ways to fund transportation that don’t count on the gas tax. But every possible solution comes with perils of its own.
April 29, 2011

Republican Governors Push for Biennial Budgets

For decades, states have been moving toward an annual budgeting process. Now, a GOP strategy is emerging in several states that focuses on budgeting over longer periods of time.
April 26, 2011

Connecticut's Dan Malloy Seeks Balance

This is a time of angry ideological showdowns in budget-writing all over the country. But you wouldn't know it to look at Connecticut. There, the governor is convinced he can prevail by sticking to a centrist course.
April 7, 2011

Governors' Salaries Show Decline in Pay

After steadily inching upward, the average pay for states' chief executives slid a bit in 2010.
March 29, 2011

Utah on Immigration: 'We aren't Arizona'

Business leaders and the Mormon Church helped one of the nation's most conservative states enact a compromise immigration package.
February 9, 2011

State Conservatives Seek to Amend U.S. Constitution

An attempt to give itself veto power over any enactment of Congress exemplifies a renewed activism toward the U.S. Constitution that has been emerging among conservatives in Virginia and other state legislatures.
January 27, 2011

Not All Tax Increases Are Off the Table for Republicans

Some Republican governors are open to raising some taxes.
January 24, 2011

States Weigh Later Dates for 2012 Presidential Primaries

In 2008, states held their primary elections early because they wanted a greater say in choosing the candidates for president. For 2012, a number of factors have states looking at moving the dates back.
January 3, 2011

Secretaries of State Up the Political Ante

In most American states, the job of secretary of state has long been seen as a largely non-partisan post, invested for the most part with administrative and caretaker duties. A new crop of activists is working hard to change that.
December 21, 2010

Arizona's Next Immigration Debate: Babies Born in U.S.

Lawmakers in Arizona want to pass laws that will force courts to decide whether to revoke the automatic citizenship of babies born in the U.S., including those whose parents are in the country illegally.
December 6, 2010

Newcomers Will Hold Sway in Many State Legislatures

The 2010 state elections didn't just bring in a flood of Republican lawmakers — they brought in hordes of first-term members who have never held a comparable post before.
November 30, 2010

Republicans Take the Reins in Maine

Maine is one of two states — along with Wisconsin — that flipped from all-Democratic to all-Republican rule on Election Day. On Wednesday (December 1), the state's new GOP-dominant Legislature begins work.
November 22, 2010

Chris Christie Is a Role Model to New Governors, But Do His Cuts Add Up?

As New Jersey’s governor finishes a wild first year, a number of new Republican governors say they want to govern in his mold. But Chris Christie’s philosophy of budget cuts without revenue increases has been easier said than done.
November 19, 2010

Trickle of Democratic Legislators Become Republicans

Fewer state-level Democrats are becoming Republicans than in 1994, new Speakers of the House are elected in Montana and Tennessee, and other news of the historic shift in power in the states.
November 16, 2010

With Rick Scott As Governor, Merit Pay Plan for Florida Teachers May Pass

Florida conservatives are eager to revisit merit pay, Arizona's Republican Senate President breaks with business groups on tax incentives and other news of the historic shift in power in the states.
October 26, 2010

D.C. Hacking Raises Questions About Future of Online Voting

Security remains an obstacle to voting over the Internet. But more states may be tempted to experiment in order to comply with a new law concerning the rights of military and overseas voters.
October 19, 2010

Republican Wave Expected in Statehouses

There's a lot riding on state legislative races this year because both parties want to be in control when the legislatures get to work on redistricting in 2011. While Democrats could lose chambers in nearly a dozen states, they are hoping for – important victories in New York, Ohio and Texas.
October 15, 2010

Should Finishing First Guarantee a Candidate Victory?

North Carolina is trying a radical new vote count system. It’s an instant runoff — one that doesn’t require a second trip to the polls.
October 11, 2010

Four States to Weigh Calls for Constitutional Conventions

Every so often, voters in some states get to decide whether to write a new constitution. With Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and Montana set to take their turn next month, some worry that calling a convention amidst an angry political environment could do more harm than good.
October 8, 2010

Will 2010 Repeat 1994 in Governors' Races?

A lot is similar this year to the environment of the last GOP landslide. A lot is different as well.
October 4, 2010

Fiscal, Not Social Issues, Draw Ballot Attention

It's not abortion and gay marriage that citizens will be voting on at the polls this year. It’s taxes and spending.