May 14, 2018
In March, former Minnesota state Rep. Tony Cornish made a surprise visit to the state Capitol, where he attended committee hearings and talked to former colleagues.
May 11, 2018
Seattle “soda tax” revenue is exceeding projections, as city officials say the new tax has brought in more than $4 million in the first quarter of 2018.
May 9, 2018
A year and a half of struggle between the Trump administration and immigrant-friendly states and cities has led to a stalemate: So-called sanctuary cities and states are reducing deportations, but raids aimed at stirring fears are having their intended effect, according to a new yearlong study by the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute.
May 7, 2018
The number of people caught trying to illegally cross the Mexican border ticked up in April, and is now more than triple what it was last year.
May 4, 2018
Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., sued the Trump administration to prevent it from weakening Obama-era auto emissions standards.
May 1, 2018
Add Minnesota to the growing list of states that will no longer tolerate pet owners trying to pass off their furry or feathered friends as service animals when they have never received any such training
April 25, 2018
In the midst of a harrowing psychotic episode in summer 2009, Annie broke into her ex-husband’s house and used a hammer and scissors to lay waste to plates, knickknacks, clothing, “and honestly, I don’t know what else.”
April 23, 2018
Dania Cervantes Ayala is the kind of nurse you want when you receive a life-changing diagnosis. It’s not a task for her, it feels personal. She cares for patients at her part-time job at the Nebraska Medicine’s Buffett Cancer Center with both sharp knowledge and deep compassion — traits of a skilled third-year nursing student at the College of Saint Mary who will soon take the state’s nursing license exams and move on to a doctorate of nursing program.
April 18, 2018
The public school in Campo, Colorado, hasn’t required all its students to come to class on Fridays for nearly two decades. The 44-student district dropped a weekday to boost attendance and better attract teachers to a town so deep in farm country that the nearest grocery store is more than 20 miles away.
April 17, 2018
Less than eight months after Hurricane Harvey pelted the Texas Gulf Coast with torrential rainfall, drought has returned to Texas and other parts of the West, Southwest and Southeast, rekindling old worries for residents who dealt with earlier waves of dry spells and once again forcing state governments to reckon with how to keep the water flowing.
April 16, 2018
One of the quietest places in this noisy city is in the middle of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the largest art museums in the world, with 7 million visitors a year.
April 5, 2018
Her sentencing made headlines across the country this week: A woman, recently released from prison in Texas and still on felony probation, is set to head back to prison for another five years after she unknowingly broke the law by voting in the 2016 election.
April 4, 2018
From the moment they are arrested, people with an addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers and those who are taking medications to beat their addictions face the prospect of painful opioid withdrawal.
April 3, 2018
Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a bill that makes her state the 50th and final one to enact a consumer data breach notification law.
March 30, 2018
State colleges and universities are relying more on tuition dollars to fund their operations even as state funding rises and colleges come under pressure to keep tuition low.
March 26, 2018
From California to Vermont, mobile methadone vans have served people with opioid addiction in rural towns and underserved inner-city neighborhoods for nearly three decades.
March 26, 2018
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed into law a bill which will limit the number of youth who can be tried as adults in criminal courts.
March 23, 2018
Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown has signed a measure into law that would toughen the state’s consumer data breach laws.
March 22, 2018
Like many people with autism, Greg Demer is bright but has difficulty communicating. He has a passion for the history of military aircraft, but he can’t quite keep up a conversation with new people. When he meets someone, he’ll quote from movies or ask them about their favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
March 16, 2018
After a teenage gunman killed 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school last month, schools across the country were hit by a wave of copycat threats.
March 16, 2018
CHAMBLEE, Ga. — This Atlanta suburb is a lot like other metropolitan suburbs around the country. A manufacturing economy is giving way to new apartments and tech enterprises built around a quick commute to Atlanta.
March 15, 2018
The weakest link in any local voting system is that one county clerk who’s been on the job for three days and opens up an email file that could take down the whole system.
March 14, 2018
With the U.S. Supreme Court weeks away from hearing arguments in a landmark case on online sales taxes, several states are readying laws that would allow them to begin collecting millions of dollars almost immediately if the court rules in their favor.
March 12, 2018
When Pennsylvania sued Uber last week for waiting more than a year to alert drivers and customers that their personal information had been hacked, the state’s attorney general argued that the ride-hailing company had violated a state law mandating that companies notify people affected by a data breach “without unreasonable delay.”
March 7, 2018
TAMPA, Fla. — In an opioid epidemic that is killing more than a hundred Americans every day, many families of overdose victims feel helpless when it comes to convincing their loved ones to seek treatment.
March 6, 2018
This tiny truck-stop town, 90 miles southeast of Denver and home to fewer than 2,000 people, is flanked on all sides by endless, undulating hills. Limon’s busiest areas are its two interstate exits, where truckers and road-trippers pull over to grab gas or fast food.
March 2, 2018
In the two weeks since the Florida school massacre, state lawmakers around the country have introduced bills to ban bump stocks, ban assault weapons, and expand background checks — and also to arm teachers, lighten penalties for carrying without a permit, and waive handgun permit fees.
March 2, 2018
Scott Surovell was a baby in a stroller when his mother took him to hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment in the early 1970s, and growing up, he often heard stories about the need for the ERA.
February 28, 2018
As deaths from mass shootings have mounted across the United States, some states are moving to collect hard data to guide their decisions about guns — even as the federal government has retreated from such research in the face of pressure from pro-gun groups.
February 22, 2018
New provisional data released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that drug overdose deaths declined in 14 states during the 12-month period that ended July 2017, a potentially hopeful sign that policies aimed at curbing the death toll may be working.
February 21, 2018
Near the end of the Colorado legislative session last year, one of Democratic state Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet’s interns revealed something she had been holding inside for months: A male lawmaker had been harassing her.
February 16, 2018
Bike sharing may be the ultimate symbol of gentrification, the province of avocado-toast loving, espresso-swilling — and mostly white — millennials.
February 15, 2018
On the day of Arizona’s 2016 presidential primary, the line outside the Maryvale Church of the Nazarene, the Maricopa County polling place for 213,000 mostly Latino, low-income people, extended through the parking lot, down busy North 51st Avenue, and into a neighborhood lined with palm and eucalyptus trees on the western edge of Phoenix.
February 12, 2018
When Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and California legislative leaders needed a handful of votes last year to push a gasoline tax hike over the finish line, they turned to a well-tested, yet widely disparaged, tool: “earmarks” for wavering lawmakers’ pet projects.
February 12, 2018
When Pennsylvania state Rep. Thomas Caltagirone was accused of harassing a staff member, the Legislature settled the matter outside of court. The state’s insurance paid out $250,000 in 2015, and no one said a word — even during the next year’s elections, when Caltagirone retained his seat.
February 8, 2018
When Utah shelled out nearly $2 million to keep its national parks open during the federal government’s two-week shutdown in 2013, state leaders thought the federal government would pay them back all the money once it reopened. It didn’t.
February 6, 2018
In Washington state, a woman in Spokane named Cynthia Harvey bought health insurance from Coordinated Care, in part because the brochure promised a robust roster of physicians and coverage for an array of services, including, if needed, emergency room services.
February 1, 2018
For decades, Kathy Hoell has struggled to vote. Poll workers have told the 62-year-old Nebraskan, who uses a powered wheelchair and has a brain injury that causes her to speak in a strained and raspy voice, that she isn’t smart enough to cast a ballot. They have led her to stairs she couldn’t climb and prevented her from using an accessible voting machine because they hadn’t powered it on.
January 29, 2018
Republican lawmakers typically tout the benefits of local control. But in states across the country, they have taken action to rein in cities that want to enact progressive measures such as gun control laws and minimum wage hikes. Now plastic bags have become an unlikely flashpoint in the conflict between blue cities and their red state legislatures.
January 22, 2018
In its annual count of the city’s homeless population, New York in 2015 listed how many people fit into 10 different groups: nearly 4,000 chronically homeless, more than 8,000 severely mentally ill, 1,500 veterans, and so on. But when the list got to victims of domestic violence, the annual federally mandated count showed one striking number: zero.
January 12, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether states will be allowed to collect what could amount to billions of dollars in taxes from online retail sales.
January 5, 2018
To churn out more workers with marketable skills, an increasing number of states are offering residents free tuition to community colleges and technical schools.
January 4, 2018
Six U.S. senators have filed a bipartisan bill that would provide grants to states to help them move from paperless voting machines to paper ballots in an effort to make voting systems less vulnerable to hackers.
January 3, 2018
Western states no longer have to worry about losing millions in energy royalties due to the high cost of the new tax package.
January 2, 2018
The movement that has empowered women across the country to levy sexual assault and harassment allegations against powerful men continues to snowball, causing an uprising in many industries, including state politics.
December 28, 2017
All 50 states began the current school year short on teachers. And schools nationwide still are scrambling to fill positions in a range of subjects, from chronically hard-to-staff ones such as special education to usually easy-to-staff grades such as kindergarten.
December 20, 2017
As Congress speeds toward a vote on its massive tax overhaul, the lack of funding to cover the costs of the package means Western states are poised to lose nearly $1.3 billion in oil, gas and coal royalties.
December 18, 2017
Unless Congress provides funding before the end of the year, many of the nation’s 9,800 community health clinics will face service cuts or closure — potentially crippling a vital part of the health system that provides care in poor and underserved communities across every state.
December 12, 2017
Arkansas has joined at least 24 other states in adopting rules limiting the number and strength of opioid painkillers doctors can prescribe. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who urged the state medical board to adopt the regulations, called the move an important step in curtailing the “escalating danger” of opioid abuse in the state.
December 4, 2017
On a sunny November afternoon in this quiet college community, a steady stream of customers walks through the doors of a local cafe called Oasis for a cup of an increasingly popular herbal beverage.
December 1, 2017
State child support officials say they have struggles to get ride-hailing companies to comply with reporting requirements for new hires.
November 29, 2017
Warning to congressional Republicans who want to kill the federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, a Reagan-era program to revitalize historic buildings, as a way to save $1 billion annually: It doesn’t die easily.
November 27, 2017
The state of Minnesota has run out of federal funds for its Children’s Health Insurance Program this month, requiring the state to contribute more of its own resources to keep the health plan in operation. It appears to be the first state to run out of federal funds for the program since Congress failed to meet a September deadline to reauthorize the program.
November 27, 2017
Internships for veterans, cyber classes for high school and college students and mentoring programs — aimed especially at middle-school girls — are among the ways states are trying to beef up their cybersecurity ranks.
November 20, 2017
Detention centers to house prisoners for deportation have become a new battleground for states and cities seeking to resist the Trump administration’s push to deport more immigrants.
November 15, 2017
In most of the state capitols recently roiled by allegations of sexual assault or harassment, lawmakers have not been receiving regular anti-harassment training. But many of them will soon.
November 14, 2017
In Florida, the state’s main nonprofit health organization is sending out flyers, running radio spots, and even calling people individually to remind them to sign up for health insurance. In Texas, volunteers are fanning out across the state.
November 10, 2017
As the threat from hackers and cybercriminals intensifies, a growing number of states are buying cyber insurance to protect themselves — and taxpayers.
November 10, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va. — Here in Judge J. Traci Hong’s crammed courtroom, the jargon flows: There is talk of I-360s and I-589s, of provisional waivers and LPRs — lawful permanent residents. Those who’ve come to plead their case shift in their seats, knees jittering. Some are with attorneys; others do without.
November 1, 2017
With many teachers among the thousands of residents fleeing Puerto Rico for the mainland after Hurricane Maria, school districts in Florida, Texas and New York say they are working to streamline the certification process in the hopes of adding Puerto Rican teachers to their classrooms. But for many of the teachers, the effort has hardly meant a quick ticket to employment.
October 31, 2017
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, a Republican, is facing another lawsuit over the state’s process for removing voters from registration lists.
October 31, 2017
Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill into law that will expand the reach of a highly trained group of volunteer cybersecurity experts from the public and private sectors.
October 24, 2017
Here in the heart of one of Colorado’s most expensive cities, Isabel Sanchez bought a mobile home seven years ago for just $6,000. Her four-bedroom bungalow now sits on a lot she rents for $355 a month.
October 17, 2017
Dozens of cities and counties around the country require anyone who wants to open a public utility account — lights, gas, water, phone — to provide a Social Security number, government-issued ID or some form of proof they are in the country legally.
October 13, 2017
While Congress has failed to restore funding to the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Trump administration has made $230 million in excess funds from previous years available to five states and four U.S. territories that were in danger of running out of money the soonest.
October 10, 2017
Imagine a day when you can renew your car registration, pay your taxes and apply for Medicaid, all by clicking on to one state web portal.
October 9, 2017
The wildfires that tore through over a million acres of Montana this year damaged homes, cloaked communities in smoke, and burned a hole in the state budget.
September 19, 2017
When Stephanie Petitt was arrested for violating probation for prior drug and robbery convictions, she learned two things: She was 16 weeks pregnant, and she would probably deliver her baby while incarcerated at an Oklahoma prison.
September 15, 2017
The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that Americans either carry health insurance or pay a fine remains the law’s most unpopular feature. Nevertheless, a bipartisan group of governors is insisting that the so-called individual mandate remain in place — at least for now.
September 15, 2017
Robert Suttle clearly remembers telling his boyfriend that he was HIV positive the night they met. But after they split, three quarrel-filled months later, that became a point of contention: His “ex” pressed charges against him.
September 11, 2017
More than half the states with sales taxes are using a temporary amnesty program to corral scofflaw online businesses into their tax systems, just in time to reap sales taxes from the upcoming holiday shopping season.
August 24, 2017
The sight of white supremacists marching through the heart of the University of Virginia, carrying flaming Tiki torches and shouting “Jews will not replace us!” — followed by the killing of a counterprotester at a rally in downtown Charlottesville the next day — may put the brakes on state efforts to strengthen campus free speech protections.
August 24, 2017
Some states are taking the war on opioids into veterinarians’ offices, aiming to prevent people who are addicted to opioids from using their pets to procure drugs for their own use.
August 21, 2017
President Donald Trump says the North American Free Trade Agreement has been a disaster. “It’s been very, very bad for our companies and for our workers,” he said at the Wisconsin headquarters of an automotive manufacturer this spring.
August 17, 2017
This city has opened a new front in its effort to give black newborns the same chance of surviving infancy as white babies: training “doulas” to assist expectant mothers during pregnancy, delivery and afterward.
August 15, 2017
Six states now prohibit their employees from taking nonessential work trips to states with laws that, in their view, discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
August 10, 2017
Consumers in 16 states can take advantage of sales tax holidays this year—going on frenzied shopping sprees to buy items such as backpacks, computers and school clothes tax-free. But states confronting budget woes and a long list of spending priorities are questioning whether the hyped-up shopping events are worth the cost.
August 10, 2017
EUFAULA, Ala. — Hispanic immigrants here remember June 9, 2011, the day House Bill 56 became law.
August 9, 2017
When Dolores Loaeza was a baby and she needed medical care, her mother could call her pediatrician in Mexico for free advice, and, if needed, to send medication across the border to Los Angeles.
August 4, 2017
To ease prison crowding and rein in corrections spending, state legislatures are trying to help ex-offenders re-enter society with the goal of ensuring they don’t return to prison.
August 4, 2017
For three years, a team of highly trained volunteers from the public and private sector has been standing by in Michigan, ready to spring into action and provide technical assistance if the state gets hit by a massive cyberattack.
July 21, 2017
Two months after demonstrators demanding greater accountability from state legislators were arrested at the Pennsylvania Capitol, a bill to ban gifts from lobbyists to officials remains stuck in committee without a hearing.
July 19, 2017
Ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft already have struck a financial blow to their competitors in the taxi industry. Now many officials fear they may take a big bite out of airport parking revenue.
July 17, 2017
They are the nation’s invisible homeless population, undercounted for years, hiding out in cars and abandoned buildings, in motels and on couches, often trading sex for a place to sleep.
July 14, 2017
In this community center turned polling place, Juan Sanchis stands near an electronic ballot reader with a smile on his face, waiting.
July 12, 2017
Dr. David Fowler’s staff is scrambling to keep up with the surging stream of corpses flowing through the doors.
July 5, 2017
Child abuse victims often are frightened and intimidated if they have to testify about their experience in a courtroom.
June 16, 2017
Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, has signed a new law prohibiting prospective employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.
June 13, 2017
Louisiana and other Southern states have the highest rates of new HIV and AIDS diagnoses, the largest percentage of people living with the disease, and the most people dying from it.
June 9, 2017
The legal judgments underscore the importance of local governments maintaining a healthy reserve fund balance to absorb unforeseen expenses.
June 8, 2017
Just past the Alabama border, there’s an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 85 where new technologies are being tested for what could be a green highway of the future.
June 7, 2017
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, an effort to stem the state’s spiraling death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers and heroin. The Republican governor’s declaration follows similar announcements in at least five other states: Alaska, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia.
June 6, 2017
Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed legislation that will require new school buses to be equipped with seat belts.
June 6, 2017
The number of commuters who travel 90 minutes or more to get to work increased sharply between 2010 and 2015.
May 31, 2017
In some states, if you’re under 18 and you break the law, you’ll be treated as an adult, no matter how slight the crime — even if it’s just jumping a subway turnstile or shoplifting.
May 30, 2017
In a whitewashed cinderblock room here at the Frederick County Detention Center, each new inmate answers two questions: “What country were you born in?” and “Of what country are you a citizen?”
May 25, 2017
Several states are turning to private contractors to verify people’s eligibility for the program.
May 19, 2017
The massive cyberattack that has infected computers in at least 150 countries this past week hasn’t had a major impact on the federal government.
May 19, 2017
The opioid epidemic has killed tens of thousands over the last two years, but another deadly but popular drug, methamphetamine, also has been surging in many parts of the country.
May 12, 2017
The email or letter looks official, and it contains an attention-grabbing message: The state is holding on to your unclaimed property, which may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. All you have to do is pay a fee upfront or provide your personal information and the money is yours.
May 11, 2017
Lawmakers in California, home to almost half of the nation’s electric vehicles, decided this year to impose an annual fee on the owners of plug-in electric cars beginning in 2020.
May 10, 2017
Fear of deportation is keeping immigrants from sending children to school, showing up for medical appointments, and appearing in court as witnesses or for other reasons.
May 8, 2017
Fifty times stronger than heroin, fentanyl is showing up in more places, leaving state and local health and law enforcement officials scrambling to stanch the death toll.
May 4, 2017
When two generals signed papers here 152 years ago bringing the Civil War to a close, they ended the bid by 11 Southern states to secede from the Union. And that, most believed, was that.
April 28, 2017
The seven largest organizations that represent state and local governments — including the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the U.S. Conference of Mayors — say they strongly oppose President Donald Trump’s plan to eliminate the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes.
April 27, 2017
In Georgia, one in 16 adults is on probation. That’s almost four times the national average. And offenders there spend more than twice as long on probation as in the rest of the country, sometimes as long as 20 years or life. Meanwhile, probation officers juggle as many as 400 cases at a time.
April 25, 2017
Confronting an opioid overdose epidemic that is killing at least 90 people every day, two federal agencies this month gave more than 700 nurse practitioners and physician assistants the authority to write prescriptions for the anti-addiction medication buprenorphine.
April 24, 2017
Collie Thomas sat in the courtyard outside the Johns Hopkins Hospital and marveled at her luck. She works as an orderly in one of the most prestigious hospitals in the country. She was promoted about a year ago. She just moved into a snug new row house.
April 21, 2017
In the face of stepped-up deportation efforts, many unauthorized immigrants worry that state and local programs that are designed to help them could instead be used by federal agents to identify and expel them from the country.
April 18, 2017
Upset that people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders have been put to death after murder convictions, lawmakers in a handful of states want to bar the use of the death penalty for people with a serious mental illness.
April 10, 2017
In just the last two months, hackers may have obtained the personal data of millions of job seekers in 10 states that outsource job-search services. In Pennsylvania, Democratic state senators were locked out of their computers for two weeks after a malware attack.
April 7, 2017
Anthony Green says he woke up one morning in January and decided to quit drinking. “I said to myself, ‘If I want something better, I’ve got to do better.’ ” That’s what landed him at Gaudenzia, a residential drug and alcohol treatment center here in North Baltimore.
March 27, 2017
A recent rash of disruptions in antiquated 911 emergency-response systems points up the urgent need for new technology to save lives in the wireless age.
March 15, 2017
In April 2000, 23-year-old Floyd Bledsoe sat in an Oskaloosa, Kansas, courtroom awaiting the verdict in his first-degree murder trial in the death of his 14-year-old sister-in-law, Zetta “Camille” Arfmann.
March 10, 2017
Amid concerns that Russia helped sway the 2016 presidential election, several states are considering legislation that would bar companies with significant foreign ties from contributing money in state campaigns.
February 22, 2017
California has the most stringent equal pay laws in the nation. But among its own workers, the state is still struggling to close the pay gap between men and women.
February 14, 2017
Legislators in several states are looking to crack down on illegal immigration in one of the few ways they can: by requiring businesses to more thoroughly verify that applicants are authorized to work in the U.S.
February 10, 2017
Despite tough talk on sanctuary cities from the Trump administration, many sheriffs still fear that they lack the legal right to hold prisoners for possible deportation, even at the request of federal authorities.
February 7, 2017
In the three years since the Affordable Care Act took effect, its federally funded expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults has become the states’ most powerful weapon in the battle against the nation’s worsening opioid epidemic.
January 20, 2017
Some roads in Montpelier, Vermont, have gotten a bit rumbly.
January 13, 2017
On his first day in office, Indiana’s new Republican governor, Eric Holcomb, signed an executive order creating a new state-level position to coordinate anti-drug efforts, a move at least two other states made last year to turn back the rising tide of opioid addiction.
December 23, 2016
The seven lucky balls that popped out of the Arizona Department of Health Services lottery machine in October produced big winners — not in the state’s Powerball game, but in the competition to make money in the medical marijuana industry.
December 16, 2016
In late-October, before a restless crowd in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Republican-elect Donald Trump laid out the closing argument of his campaign.
December 9, 2016
Before she heads to her shift at a nursing home in New Haven, Connecticut, every morning, nursing assistant Elisha LaRose drops her 4-year-old son off at a day care center.
December 5, 2016
The “most wonderful time of the year” may be the hardest for tens of thousands of young people locked up for the holidays.
December 2, 2016
Smaller cities and counties may not be as willing to remain “sanctuaries” for undocumented immigrants as big cities under a Donald Trump presidency.
November 21, 2016
Nearly 100,000 Oregonians who otherwise may not have voted cast ballots in the Nov. 8 election after registering to vote in the state’s new automatic voter registration program, Democratic Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins said.
October 28, 2016
A 9-year-old girl, misdiagnosed with the stomach flu, died after a doctor failed to communicate to her Vietnamese-speaking parents that the drug he prescribed for her could have dangerous side effects.
October 19, 2016
After fighting a property tax lawsuit for five years, Princeton University, the third-wealthiest endowed university in the country, has agreed to an $18 million settlement with neighbors who claimed the university’s tax-exempt status unfairly made their property taxes higher.
October 12, 2016
Last month police in Charlotte, North Carolina, shot an African-American man and then sat on the footage from their body and dashboard cameras, refusing to release it until protesters’ demands that the footage be shared turned violent.
September 26, 2016
Can states save money on increasingly expensive prescriptions for Medicaid patients by setting prices based not on drugmakers’ wishes, but on how well the medicines control, contain or cure disease?
September 22, 2016
Answering the call of automakers who don’t want to tangle with a patchwork of state regulations, the U.S. Department of Transportation has issued its first policy for putting self-driving cars on America’s roadways.
September 6, 2016
State legislators’ support for public television is strengthening after nearly a decade of deep spending cuts and sharp ideological opposition from some lawmakers to the very idea of taxpayer-supported TV.
August 29, 2016
Many back-to-school shoppers used to be able to count on sales tax holidays at this time of year. But more states are disappointing them by rejecting or cutting back on the small tax breaks, as they seek more and steadier revenue to keep budgets balanced.
August 25, 2016
Home visits from physicians sound antiquated. But new analysis suggests the practice could save states more than $1,000 per patient each year.
August 18, 2016
Patricia Michelsen-King was observing the proceedings in a Chesterfield, Virginia, courtroom a few years ago when a man shouted in Spanish from the back of the courtroom, “I didn’t rape anybody!”
August 2, 2016
Across the country, a critical shortage of state psychiatric beds is forcing mentally ill patients with severe symptoms to be held in emergency rooms, hospitals and jails while they wait for a bed, sometimes for weeks.
August 1, 2016
Texting 911 could be valuable in emergencies like the Orlando shooting or a domestic violence incident, where it is unsafe to make any noise let alone talk out loud about the danger at hand. So far few states and cities have adopted 911 texting, but that will change over the next several years, as utility companies abandon old copper phone lines for fiber optic cables.
July 27, 2016
When Clifton Hilton decided to quit drinking this month, he called a residential drug and alcohol detoxification center in this coastal Maine city on a Friday afternoon and was told a bed was available for him.
July 25, 2016
Two teenagers walked into McGuckin Hardware in downtown Boulder, Colorado, grabbed a $600 power saw, and shoved it into a backpack, only to be apprehended by a security guard in the parking lot.
July 13, 2016
Vivian Thorp was a single mother of a 4-year-old daughter when she enrolled in California’s welfare-to-work program in 1999.
July 5, 2016
Sarah Hastings’ 190-square-foot home was on 3 acres of farmland next to a small garden in Hadley, Massachusetts. Now it’s in storage.
June 17, 2016
Ryan had a pattern: He’d enroll in college with the best of intentions, start drinking and drugging, then drop out. Three years ago, as he prepared to enroll at the University of Miami, his fifth school, he had what he called a “white light moment.”
June 8, 2016
In analyzing criminal cases in Baltimore last year, Maryland lawyer and software programmer Matthew Stubenberg found 23,386 instances in which people convicted of crimes could have had their records expunged.
May 6, 2016
In the last couple of years, the number of sex offenders living on the streets of Milwaukee has skyrocketed, from 16 to 205.
April 22, 2016
Richmond’s fraud app allows residents to report government waste, fraud and abuse. Though fraud apps can cost thousands to develop, auditors say the money they help recover can more than outweigh their costs.
April 20, 2016
States are divided on whether the U.S. Supreme Court will help or hurt them when it rules on whether the country can go forward in bestowing some legal status to undocumented immigrant parents.
April 19, 2016
Growers of fresh fruit and vegetables will be subject to food safety regulations for the first time under the federal Food Safety Modernization Act. States will start to decide this year if they will enforce the law or leave it to the federal government.
April 18, 2016
Washington is the latest state considering the move, intended to discourage the use of carbon fuel like coal and oil by making them more expensive.
April 14, 2016
After years of cutbacks, many of the nation’s state parks are facing similar situations to Wyoming's, forced to cut programming, reduce hours of operations, and sometimes shut their gates. The shrinking budgets have prompted park officials to look for new sources of funding.
April 13, 2016
Many states don’t publish records of their short-term and contract hires. Even states that do have to do a little research to determine how that share of the state workforce may be changing over time and why. A small but growing body of research suggests that work arrangements other than full-time jobs are more common across the economy, including in government. It’s hard to tell, however, how much states contribute to the so-called 1099 economy through their hiring and contracting.
April 12, 2016
The U.S. Congress is considering a bill that would add farmers to the list of occupations that qualify for a federal program that forgives student loans for public service workers, such as teachers and police officers. In the meantime, some states are already rolling out their own forgiveness programs.
April 11, 2016
Cecelia Greene came into the South Dade courthouse last Monday ready to go to trial.
April 11, 2016
Twenty years ago, four children died and more than 700 people were sickened in a deadly E.coli outbreak linked to undercooked hamburgers sold by Jack in the Box restaurants.
April 1, 2016
With far more people behind bars than any other country—including China, Russia, and India— the United States is rightly viewed as the world’s incarceration leader. But for nearly a decade, an important domestic shift has been under way.
March 30, 2016
As city councilors here discussed the local water system recently, Summer Smith, a homeowner, rose to ask a question: “Can you explain in plain English what ‘emergent water conditions’ means? It sounds kind of alarming.”
March 23, 2016
When passengers board a public bus in Maryland, chances are they’re not only on camera, but their conversations are being recorded as well.
March 22, 2016
Tim Cullen’s marijuana business brought in millions of dollars last year, but he’s had a hard time finding a bank to take the money.
March 17, 2016
It’s been about 40 years since the majority of moms stayed home, and married dads in the 21st century spend twice as much time caring for their children as they did back then.
March 15, 2016
In Kentucky, state lawmakers will consider in coming days whether to make tuition at community colleges free.
February 19, 2016
All morning at the Autism Academy of South Carolina, 6-year-old Brooke Sharpe has been doing what her therapist tells her to do: build a Mr. Potato Head; put together a four-piece puzzle of farm animals; roll a tennis ball.
February 12, 2016
After more than a decade of getting high on illicit opioid painkillers and heroin every day, Christopher Dezotelle decided to quit. He saw too many people overdose and die. “I couldn’t do that to my mom or my children,” he said.
February 11, 2016
Health care spending by state and local governments changed by the second smallest rate on record in 2014, a year in which millions of Americans gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of state Medicaid programs.
February 1, 2016
At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 11 students in Carol Jussely’s “Essential College Skills” class were talking about sex.
January 28, 2016
After two decades of “tough on crime” policies, many states are taking a hard look at the way people are charged, how much time they serve, and what happens when they are released from prison.
December 14, 2015
Ali Sinicrope and her husband would like to buy a house, but they’re not sure they can afford it. They’re public school teachers in Middletown, Connecticut, and they owe $80,000 in student loans.
December 9, 2015
The nation’s growing diversity is not reflected in state legislatures. Nationwide, African-Americans, who make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, account for 9 percent of state legislators. Latinos, who are 17 percent of the population, only account for 5 percent of state legislators.
December 8, 2015
As coastal communities are confronted with increasingly costly storms, they are turning to buyouts, to create natural buffers along the coast and help protect nearby neighborhoods and businesses from flooding.
December 4, 2015
New DEA rules in 2014 allow pharmacies to collect unwanted controlled substances; some state and local officials want drugmakers to pay for drug disposals.
December 3, 2015
States are trying to figure out how to regulate and tax fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.
November 23, 2015
For Tuscaloosa, Alabama, there are lessons to be learned from the terror that gripped Paris just over a week ago.
November 20, 2015
Communities with big homeless populations are increasingly turning to a strategy known as housing first. The idea: helping chronically homeless people to find a permanent home—and stay in it—is the best way to help them lead stable, healthy lives.
November 17, 2015
Hoping to improve safety, some cities and states are cracking down on distracted biking.
November 17, 2015
At least seven states have implemented tax cut “triggers” that give refunds, credits or a reduction in rates to taxpayers or businesses on the grounds that government shouldn’t hoard money if it has sufficient revenue to run the state. But such policies can create huge fiscal problems.
November 13, 2015
Forty-one states, plus the District of Columbia, license security officers, but requirements vary greatly from state to state. Alaska, for example, mandates 48 hours of training initially, plus another eight hours in firearms training for armed guards. South Carolina requires four hours of training and an additional four for those who carry a gun.
November 11, 2015
Oregonians have volunteered for the state’s experiment with a road usage tax, which could replace the per-gallon gas tax someday.
November 6, 2015
Governors in New York, Georgia and Tennessee have all announced plans to combat high rates of obesity among their citizens, in order to save taxpayers money. Nationwide, a third of all adults, 78 million of them, are obese,
November 4, 2015
From a string of public suicides in Alaska to assimilation anxiety among young Hispanics in Cleveland, states are faced with the need for more bilingual and culturally sensitive mental health care professionals
November 2, 2015
Twenty-one states have passed laws that allow parents or guardians to freeze their child’s credit record.
October 28, 2015
Specialized courts that focus on business disputes have been established in at least 27 states.
October 21, 2015
Many states are passing laws designed to stop minors from being sexually exploited by distinguishing between voluntary prostitutes and women who are forced into selling sex.
October 16, 2015
To remain relevant, many states are adding drones, virtual reality attractions and craft beers to traditional agricultural offerings at state fairs.
October 13, 2015
Growing demand for bilingual teachers, fed by increasing numbers of Spanish-speaking public school students, is forcing local school districts to get creative in their recruiting. A major target for their efforts is Puerto Rico: the teachers, already U.S. citizens, don’t require a visa if they decide to leave the island and its struggling economy to go work on the mainland.
October 12, 2015
Johns Hopkins University launched an initiative to fill more jobs with residents from distressed Baltimore neighborhoods, boost the use of minority contractors and vendors from those areas. Other hospitals across the country also have shown a greater inclination to address poverty in their communities.
October 9, 2015
State officials say the opiate epidemic is a reason more children are landing in foster care.
October 8, 2015
How Utah, passed a bill by the GOP-controlled Legislature that raises the existing 24.5 cents per gallon state gas tax by about 5 cents to pay for state infrastructure projects.
October 6, 2015
Governors and other state officials are traveling to Cuba to forge business ties with the island nation.
October 5, 2015
Some states have created ombudsman offices to handle the deluge of complaints between residents and homeowner associations.
October 5, 2015
Cincinnati, Atlanta; Buffalo, New York; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Indianapolis; Louisville, Kentucky; Pittsburgh and York, Pennsylvania; Springfield, Massachusetts; Toledo, Ohio; and Washington, D.C. have all made serious efforts to desegregate.
October 1, 2015
States are clamping down on “price optimization,” the practice of tying insurance rates to policyholders’ tolerance of price increases.
September 29, 2015
Is the country—along with the aid groups that help in resettlement and local communities that receive refugees—ready for an increase in arrivals? And where will the new arrivals go?
September 28, 2015
In the absence of federal laws to address the stubborn pay gap between women and men, some states are stepping in with legislation.
September 24, 2015
Many are feeling the pinch of budget impasses as programs are reduced or eliminated. More than half a dozen states began fiscal year 2016 without a budget.
September 18, 2015
But nationally, the poverty rate was 14.8 percent last year, meaning 46.7 million people lived in poverty—as many people as there have been the past four years.
September 16, 2015
Younger gamblers are shying away from slot machines, which poses a revenue problem for casinos and for states.
September 16, 2015
Many U.S. cities remain deeply segregated. Strict new federal rules require local governments to publicly report segregation in their communities and come up with a plan to combat it.
September 14, 2015
Economists say capital-intensive industries such as oil extraction have contributed to a gap between economic growth and median household income in many states.
September 14, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide has state and local governments reconsidering their domestic partner benefits to save money or avoid lawsuits.
September 14, 2015
In the absence of federal drone regulations, states rush in to pass their own laws on when and where drones can fly.
September 8, 2015
When Tina Marshall got laid off in 2014, she was confident that she’d quickly find work again. A few years earlier, she’d gone back to school to get her bachelor’s degree, so she had a recent graduation date on her resume and solid experience in her second career in manufacturing sales and operations.
September 4, 2015
Many states are embracing early education, but are supporting it in different ways.
September 3, 2015
What’s the role of auditors general?
September 2, 2015
Vermont's governor pushed to change state laws to focus on treatment instead of prosecution in attacking an epidemic of drug addiction.
August 28, 2015
The state comptroller must cut the checks for lottery winnings of more than $25,000. But because lawmakers have yet to pass a budget, the comptroller's office can't release the funds.
August 21, 2015
As more states make medical and recreational marijuana use legal, they increasingly are grappling with what constitutes DUID, or driving under the influence of drugs, and how to detect and prosecute it.
August 20, 2015
Kansas is among the states seeking to counter shrinking population in rural counties with tax incentives and other programs.
August 19, 2015
Anomalies in the tax code flummox consumers and retailers and drive state tax departments to issue complicated rulings _ all in the name of clarifying things that on the surface seem incongruous.
August 19, 2015
Some states still have barriers for married gay couples looking to adopt from foster care, despite the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.
August 17, 2015
Many of the country’s 2,300 rural hospitals are struggling. Can joining with other hospitals help them survive?
August 14, 2015
Hispanic babies born in rural enclaves are more likely to be impoverished than those in the city. And it’s harder for them to receive help from federal and state programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Consistent health care also is hard to come by
August 13, 2015
Several states have too few residency positions for the graduates of their medical schools.
August 11, 2015
States are offering special lower income tax rates on military pensions to attract retirees.
August 5, 2015
Beginning next year, the federal government will conduct a five-year, 40-state experiment to determine whether there is a better way to help elderly Americans come to grips with terminal illnesses and prepare to die.
July 31, 2015
More than half of states are funding their public colleges based on outcomes such as graduation rates,
July 31, 2015
Johnny Waller Jr.’s 1998 felony drug conviction has haunted him since the day he left a Nebraska prison in 2001.
July 27, 2015
A growing number of states are replacing full-time toll collectors with electronic systems.
July 27, 2015
The city council in Richmond, California, voted last week to cap how much rent landlords could charge tenants in the San Francisco Bay Area city where rents have increased an estimated 30 percent over the last four years.
July 22, 2015
At least 38 states that authorize the collection of medical fees from inmates.
July 21, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage could result in a financial windfall of up to $184.7 million annually in state and local tax revenue, as gays and lesbians head to the altar, creating a boom in the wedding industry and in the taxes that accompany the revved-up business.
July 15, 2015
At least 39 states now use the technology.
July 10, 2015
State lawmakers are getting more involved in the workings of colleges and universities — from establishing how accusations of sexual assault are handled to allowing concealed weapons to be carried on campus.
July 7, 2015
About two dozen states took up right-to-work bills or bills to repeal prevailing wage laws this year.
July 6, 2015
Eight states increased gasoline taxes this year to pay for roads and bridges.
July 6, 2015
States are beginning to limit what patients pay out of pocket for expensive specialty drugs that treat serious, chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
July 1, 2015
Massachusetts finds career training programs vastly improve a person’s chances of staying clean and sober.
June 30, 2015
State agencies routinely are told to meet energy-saving targets. Whether they do is often hard to determine.
June 29, 2015
In small towns, suburbs and rural corners of the country, the homeless are often hidden, out of sight and mind, hard to reach and hard to help, say people who work with the homeless.
June 26, 2015
Oklahoma Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Virginia and West Virginia require hospitals to train a designated family caregiver to tend to the medical needs of a released patient.
June 26, 2015
States and localities spent nearly $20 billion for uncompensated care in the United States in 2013.
June 16, 2015
Some school districts are billing parents for bus service to offset budget shortfalls. The move has angered parents in some communities and worried some school officials, who are concerned about children’s safety and access to education.
June 16, 2015
Congress is just now coalescing around federal standards. Pending legislation would preempt the collage of state laws and enforce a definition of personal information that is narrower than what many states use.
June 12, 2015
Can providing mental health care in exchange for reduced probation improve recidivism?
June 5, 2015
Many people who care for the elderly and disabled aren't paid enough to cover their bills.
May 20, 2015
An estimated 2 million adults with serious mental illnesses are jailed each year.
May 20, 2015
It started with a few local experiments 30 years ago, worked well in pilot programs, and went national in 2009 as part of the federal economic stimulus package. Now used in every state, rapid rehousing is considered to be particularly effective for homeless families because it provides stability for children.
May 14, 2015
States are plagued by a number of problems in hiring and retaining IT staff— especially cybercrime experts.
May 12, 2015
5 states are considering bills that would have state pension systems sell coal and oil stocks. Some 20 universities and 30 cities have already divested.
May 8, 2015
In addition to New York, Connecticut and Texas, relief proposals have been up for debate in Pennsylvania, Maine and Nebraska this year.
May 5, 2015
Cash-strapped states are looking to tax amnesty programs that give scofflaws a bit of a break on penalties and interest if they own up and pay up.
May 1, 2015
The price of a single camera ranges widely, but managing and storing the video costs many times the price of the cameras themselves.
May 1, 2015
Oregon is one of eight states that have reaped financial benefits from expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
April 28, 2015
More than 200 state legislators have participated in workshops aimed at improving civil discourse and building bipartisan trust. Can they work?
April 27, 2015
Some states are looking to give senior citizens additional saving on their taxes, although they are the richest age group and already enjoy favorable treatment.
April 27, 2015
As prescription drug overdose deaths soar nationwide, most states have failed to take a simple step that would make it harder for doctors to prescribe the deadliest of all narcotics.
April 17, 2015
Part of Indiana’s Medicaid expansion plan calls for raising reimbursement rates to try to persuade doctors to accept Medicaid patients. Fourteen other states are doing the same.
April 16, 2015
The focus has been on California’s drought, but dozens of other states are facing their own water woes.
April 13, 2015
Many states are looking to end the “double deduction” of state and local taxes from their state income taxes.
April 7, 2015
The role of lieutenant governors is expanding in many states because the role of governors has grown.
April 3, 2015
Across the country, cities such as Columbus, Philadelphia, Niagara Falls and Detroit are putting out the welcome mat for coveted professionals aged 25-34 in targeted social media and advertising campaigns, and with offers of internships, housing subsidies and student loan reimbursements.
April 2, 2015
Many states are questioning whether state lotteries have gone too far in promoting things like scratch-off lottery games.
April 2, 2015
Several states have enacted measures that would allow the use of cameras to target the dangerous action of "fly-bys" or "pass-bys" by scofflaw drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.
March 18, 2015
Even as assisted reproduction has become more common, neither the U.S. nor state governments do much to oversee the multibillion-dollar industry.
March 17, 2015
The president’s new budget would put an end to the longstanding practice of states and cities using tax-exempt bonds to finance professional sports arenas, a practice that costs the U.S. Treasury $146 million,
March 13, 2015
A growing number of cities, counties and states are trying to tackle traffic problems by improving the way lights are synchronized.
March 9, 2015
Will California and New York be the next to enact such laws?
March 4, 2015
Some scientists and government officials fear that a solar superstorm or a nuclear detonation could disable the electric grid. That has prompted legislators to sponsor grid-protection measures.
March 4, 2015
When states win legal cases, where does the money go?
February 18, 2015
The state’s teen birthrate dropped 40 percent between 2009 and 2013, driven largely by a public health initiative that gives low-income young women long-acting contraceptives.
February 18, 2015
There’s not much red states and blue states agree on these days. But lawmakers across the political spectrum are talking about boosting the middle class this year, touting tax cuts to do it.
February 11, 2015
Employed white Southerners are most likely to lose coverage if the court rules against the Obama administration.
February 4, 2015
In the past decade, heroin abuse has exploded—and it is hitting white people in suburbs and rural areas particularly hard. As the demographics of heroin use have changed, so have states’ efforts to combat the problem.
January 29, 2015
They drive drive population growth in most states, but the relatively low percentage of them earning college degrees is becoming a pressing concern.
January 28, 2015
Most often, lottery officials say, scams involve retailers who are cashing in winning tickets for a fee for people who don't want to collect their jackpots personally because they owe back taxes, child support payments or other debts that states generally deduct from lottery winnings.
January 23, 2015
Is it because of safety fears or just a desire for more revenue?
January 22, 2015
The Obama administration’s reversal last month of a 17-year-old policy should mean more Medicaid dollars for school-based health programs for combating chronic diseases, such as asthma.
January 15, 2015
A number of cities are enacting measures that have conflicted with or gone beyond state laws.
January 14, 2015
Budget shortfalls will make it difficult for some newly-elected Republican governors to keep the tax-cutting promises they made during their campaigns.
January 9, 2015
New census figures show people have started returning to recovering housing markets in the South and West.
January 7, 2015
Decades after a federal law banned discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace, some states are providing additional protections to pregnant workers who want to stay on the job.
January 6, 2015
In 2015, for the first time, a majority of states have minimum wages above the federal minimum, which is $7.25. Activists, fast-food workers and others are calling for increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour in some cities.
January 5, 2015
Colorado and other states are frustrated they cannot bring banking to the cash-heavy legal marijuana business.
December 16, 2014
Renewable energy industry has used its growing clout to push back against efforts to repeal laws that require utilities to generate more electricity from wind, solar and other renewables.
December 12, 2014
Nineteen states have "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" laws on the books and 10 states have contemplated similar legislation in the past two years.
December 11, 2014
States and cities are looking for new strategies to combat injuries and deaths among walkers distracted by their cell phones.
December 9, 2014
A lawsuit challenging Alabama’s method of taxing diesel fuel for trains comes before the U.S. Supreme Court today. Does the fuel tax unfairly favor trucks over trains?
December 9, 2014
Many courts across the country are moving to paperless systems in an effort to save money.
December 8, 2014
Health homes are intended to coordinate physical and mental health treatment for “super-utlizers” of health care, people whose complex medical problems make them disproportionately heavy users of expensive health care services.
December 4, 2014
States don't when or whether funding for the federal-state, low-income Children’s Health Insurance Program will be authorized beyond Sept. 30, when it is set to expire.
December 3, 2014
Some states have begun to focus on helping homeless children, but their efforts are being complicated by the way the federal government counts them.
December 1, 2014
Falling gas prices have taken a toll on states that link their gas taxes to the price of fuel, rather than assessing it by the gallon.
November 28, 2014
The change prompts hostility from some states, gratitude from others.
November 28, 2014
Most states now have data-driven programs to combat an exploding number of sham tax refund filings, false Medicaid and unemployment claims and public assistance fraud that can cost governments billions of dollars.
November 24, 2014
Some states are requiring officials to undergo open government training to improve accountability and reduce public records lawsuits.
November 19, 2014
A new federal rule designed to ensure care is more visitor-friendly and home-like than nursing homes could make it difficult for facilities to qualify for federal money.
November 17, 2014
Do new state laws help or hurt the homeless?
November 14, 2014
Many states and localities are pushing for more car alternatives as Americans reduce driving.
November 14, 2014
Cities and states are trying to come up with ways to combat disabled parking abuses, including stepping up enforcement and ending free parking at meters.
November 11, 2014
In authorizing casinos some states have also created funds to help address problem gambling.
November 10, 2014
People who qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called food stamps, use Electronic Benefits Transfer cards to purchase food, but some people use them to turn a profit.
November 10, 2014
The bonds tap private money for public health and human services projects. Some wonder whether such “pay-for-success” contracts are useful or cost-effective.
November 4, 2014
Californians approved a ballot initiative prohibiting farmers from confining hens in cramped cages. Six states are challenging California’s restrictions.
November 4, 2014
Almost 300 cities and counties, plus the states of California, Colorado and Connecticut have refused to cooperate with federal immigration actions.
October 30, 2014
Polices about whether employees should delete or save email vary considerably. Many open government advocates say states need to do a better job preserving electronic communications to be transparent and accountable to citizens.
October 28, 2014
States backtrack on radio frequency chips for student monitoring after breaches of government and commercial computer databases.
October 27, 2014
The group hit hardest by the economic downturn was “multiple-partner fertility” families, or families in which a woman has conceived children by more than one man.
October 14, 2014
States that heavily rely on income taxes are having a hard time crafting budgets as income tax revenue has become unstable from year to year.
October 7, 2014
Two dozen states are now working with federal officials on programs that use data to determine which intersections or roads are the most deadly and how to use low-cost fixes to make them safer.
October 6, 2014
Because of skyrocketing prescription drug prices, some state Medicaid programs and prison systems provide certain drugs to only the worst-off patients. Some states are trying to negotiate better pricing.
October 3, 2014
The Asian-American population is increasing steadily across the country, but the South has seen some of the fastest growth.
October 2, 2014
State databases are under intensifying attacks from a growing number of sophisticated hackers trolling for personal information about citizens. Can they be stopped?
September 29, 2014
Renters across the country are struggling as their incomes fail to keep up with escalating housing costs.
September 25, 2014
Some states with the lowest overall poverty rates in 2013 also had some of the highest percentages of low-income residents living very far below the poverty line.
September 23, 2014
The country has a remarkable variation in surgery rates that can't be explained by differences in age, gender, race, ethnicity, insurance status or even local disease prevalence.
September 22, 2014
Advocates say the best way to prevent domestic violence is to use culturally-specific programs aimed at individual demographic groups, but states have been slow to adopt that strategy.
September 19, 2014
Some vacation cities and states make “summer people” pay higher property taxes than year -round residents. Is that fair?
September 19, 2014
Income growth has been stagnant since the recession, but the country's pasterns are very different. From booms in the District of Columbia and the oil-producing states of North Dakota and Wyoming to shrinking paychecks in Nevada, Georgia and Arizona, economic recovery looks pretty complicated.
September 17, 2014
In many states, determining control of their top courts has resulted in political and ideological battles.
September 16, 2014
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
The face of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. is increasingly black or Latino, poor, often rural—and Southern.
September 12, 2014
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
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
State cooperative extensions are transforming themselves in an effort to remain relevant.
September 5, 2014
Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Hawaii are collaborating to keep track of students who move out of state.
September 4, 2014
In 37 states, SNAP error rates fell between fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2013.
September 2, 2014
Campaign contributions for state races this year likely will surpass a record $2.1 billion collected in the last election.
September 2, 2014
Two years after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals action, state responses vary.
August 28, 2014
States are trying to budget with an eye on results.
August 27, 2014
Rapidly increasing poverty, scarce jobs and even scarcer resources are now a feature of suburban life.
August 27, 2014
Why small firms are slow to embrace ACA business exchanges.
August 26, 2014
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
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
A dozen states have changed laws to help startups raise more money.
August 20, 2014
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
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
State legislators have become increasingly concerned about financial crimes against seniors and vulnerable adults.
August 12, 2014
As the number of elderly inmates needing long-term care rises, some states are looking for alternatives beyond prison walls
August 11, 2014
The Green Mountain State could be a single-payer trailblazer.
August 11, 2014
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
Cities and states are responding to the growing number of Americans who speak other languages in radically different ways.
August 5, 2014
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
Recent court rulings add urgency to state exchange decisions.
August 1, 2014
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
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
"Identity proofing" makes it much harder for potential fraudsters to collect money.
July 28, 2014
With about $7.8 billion in circulation, states are still trying to figure out how to regulate digital currency.
July 25, 2014
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
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
States and cities get creative about recycling water, since they've run out of other options.
July 22, 2014
Without any national movement on immigration reform, many states are crafting ways to assist undocumented immigrants.
July 22, 2014
Washington state's King County's Wellness Plan beats the odds and actually works to improve health and reduce costs.
July 16, 2014
Two states considered – and rejected – higher taxes on people who earned more than $1 million a year.
July 15, 2014
To encourage people to save, some states turn to prizes.
July 11, 2014
The federal backstop for terrorism insurance set to expire.
July 10, 2014
Eschewing lobbyists, states advocate for themselves to try to get federal transportation funding.
July 8, 2014
Some 17 states have passed anti-snooping laws.
July 8, 2014
After Supreme Court ruling, fewer state workers are likely to organize.
July 7, 2014
Without federal action, states are moving in to address problems in care for the elderly and disabled.
July 2, 2014
States are hitting the brakes on road projects as federal fund goes broke.
June 30, 2014
On July 1, many U.S. states will cut residents' taxes.
June 27, 2014
Cities and states promote cycling to appeal to millennials.
June 23, 2014
Many state and local governments believe opening raw government data files can spur a multibillion-dollar industry.
June 23, 2014
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
Ride services and room sharing are targets for taxes.
June 3, 2014
Feds to consider paying doctors for end-of-life planning.
May 27, 2014
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
State colleges get 47 percent of their revenue from tuition, compared to 24 percent in 1988
May 20, 2014
Pay for state lawmakers varies widely across the country.
May 14, 2014
Many states also are grappling with how to lower property taxes or make them fairer.
May 13, 2014
State governments are increasingly looking to entrepreneurs for creativity and efficiency.
May 6, 2014
Perceiving threats to America’s hunting heritage, sportsmen push for constitutional hunting and fishing rights.
May 5, 2014
States are trying to crack down on payday lenders.
May 5, 2014
Some schools are hiring teachers as revenues increase, others struggle.
April 30, 2014
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
In the midst of an epidemic of painkiller addiction, states are flabbergasted by FDA’s approval of a new one.
April 24, 2014
State lawmakers frequently try to tell public colleges and universities what to do through the power of the budget.
April 23, 2014
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
Most states are seeing budget surpluses this year, setting up competition among legislators about how to spend the extra money.
April 17, 2014
The results of state-based paid leave have been mixed.
April 14, 2014
Nearly 4 million seriously mentally ill people in America are still without insurance.
April 14, 2014
States are trying to crack down on for-profit colleges and the student loan industry.
April 9, 2014
This tax season is breaking records in many states for the swiftness of electronic filings and refunds.
April 7, 2014
The state has created eight-week sessions to train and test potential workers in financial literacy and anger management.
April 4, 2014
Nearly 100 days after extended unemployment benefits expired, states are feeling the loss in federal money.
April 2, 2014
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
Teacher tenure and dismissal are on trial in California.
March 31, 2014
Didn’t pay a toll? Enforcers might track you across state lines.
March 28, 2014
Private option Medicaid expansion would cut some benefits.
March 24, 2014
In some states there are new benefits for 529 college savings plans.
March 21, 2014
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
Many states lag in using electronic health records.
March 18, 2014
How are states tackling health disparities?
March 13, 2014
In 2014 67 GMO labeling bills have been introduced in 25 states.
March 12, 2014
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
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 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
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
A recent federal court ruling makes states wary of continuing their old way of testing for illegal substances.
March 4, 2014
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
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
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
As highway money runs dry, Congress considers lifting the ban on tolls on tolling existing interstates.
February 25, 2014
Most states have no rules for independent tax preparers.
February 25, 2014
Those challenging the EPA say the agency is reading too broadly into its authority to regulate emissions.
February 21, 2014
The state moves closer to abolishing its law banning felons from voting.
February 19, 2014
States are bracing for a clash between public utilities and solar advocates.
February 18, 2014
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
More buses bring more scrutiny from state regulators.
February 13, 2014
Legislators in 9 states have a renewed push for the earned income tax credit.
February 13, 2014
State legislatures consider changes in liquor, beer, and wine laws.
February 12, 2014
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
From luring immigrants to paying to paying off student loans, governors are trying everything.
February 7, 2014
The textile industry seems to be coming back to life, especially in the South.
February 4, 2014
Governors' tax plans get pushback from their political allies.
February 4, 2014
Transportation needs are piling up as funding remains uncertain.
January 30, 2014
States risk losing out on federal work-share dollars if they don't act by the end of the year.
January 28, 2014
The nation’s governors want to mobilize the Guard to take on cyberattacks.
January 24, 2014
The Affordable Care Act will spurs a state shift in long-term care.
January 15, 2014
This year the states will air their differences at the Supreme Court.
January 15, 2014
The vaccination rate for the flu is disappointing.
December 13, 2013
A Year After Sandy Hook Shootings, Many States Have Made Changes
December 10, 2013
All states have a stake in how trillions in federal dollars are spent, but it matters more to some states than to others.
November 13, 2013
Cities turn to streetcars to spur economic development.
October 14, 2013
States are ramping up their evaluation of teachers. But what they measure is very different across the states.
September 24, 2013
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 15, 2013
Across the country, at least 22 states have “stand your ground” laws, with varying degrees of requirements for when citizens may use deadly force to protect themselves. In the wake of the George Zimmerman's acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin, they are receiving fresh scrutiny.
July 12, 2013
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
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
The requirements in the Affordable Care Act pertain only to private insurers, Medicare and Medicaid expansion programs.
July 1, 2013
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
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
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 18, 2013
Supporters and opponents of capital punishment agree: The current death penalty is expensive, inefficient, and arbitrary. Some state legislatures have reacted to those faults by abolishing the death penalty, while others are trying to speed it up.
June 7, 2013
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
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
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 4, 2013
EMTs and paramedics are governed by a haphazard patchwork of rules that vary widely by city and state and in tough economic times, emergency services often are on the chopping block.
June 3, 2013
Steve Abraira has come under fire from his underlings after he refused to take charge at the Boston Marathon bombing scene.
May 30, 2013
Foreclosure sales accounted for 35 percent of all home sales in Georgia, the highest percentage in the nation.
May 28, 2013
More than a quarter-million veterans who lack health insurance will miss out on Medicaid coverage because they live in states that have declined to expand the program under the Affordable Care Act.
May 23, 2013
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
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
Over the past decade, 32 states have successfully cut their carbon emissions, while 18 states have seen increases.
May 14, 2013
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
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
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
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 7, 2013
A newly released federal report reveals that the number of people who died in traffic accidents inched up last year, reversing a downward trend in road deaths that began in 2006.
May 6, 2013
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
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 3, 2013
With cybersecurity legislation stalled in Congress, the White House is looking to partner with states to protect critical infrastructure from attacks.
May 1, 2013
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 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 29, 2013
The wireless crashes that law enforcement experienced in the aftermath of the deadly bombing reinforced the need for a dedicated national public safety broadband network that's now in its planning stage.
April 25, 2013
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 25, 2013
The accused Boston bomber may face the death penalty as a result of federal charges filed against him, even though his crimes were committed in a state where the death penalty is outlawed.
April 24, 2013
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
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 24, 2013
The number of motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents jumped 9 percent in 2012 and have gone up in 14 of the last 15 years. Experts say more states should enact universal helmet laws to reverse that trend.
April 19, 2013
Several states have recently passed laws limiting drone use within their borders and 29 other states are still considering legislation.
April 18, 2013
Since 9/11, law enforcement agencies have used federal grants to buy surveillance cameras for areas across the country plagued by crime or potentially targeted for terrorism.
April 18, 2013
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 17, 2013
A new report by the Congressional Research Service finds that the Federal government may face an uphill legal battle if it wishes to enforce Federal laws banning Marijuana in states that have legalized it.
April 17, 2013
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will appear with 19 state attorneys general in a public education campaign to encourage safer teen behavior online.
April 15, 2013
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
More than 20 states allow you to file your taxes online for free, if you follow some very precise instructions.
April 9, 2013
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
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
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.
April 4, 2013
After nearly two years of preparation, an Arizona state senator says a plan will be unveiled in a few weeks to build a fence along the border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants.
March 29, 2013
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
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
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
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 26, 2013
As Congress considers major revisions to federal immigration laws, legislators in a few states are trying to block the federal government’s power to deport immigrants who land in their jails.
March 22, 2013
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 18, 2013
After a years-long fight, Maryland has become the sixth state in as many years to repeal its death penalty.
March 14, 2013
The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it will send $2.3 million to 12 counties and cities in 10 states to bolster efforts to prevent domestic violence homicides, even as Washington remains consumed with budget cutbacks.
March 13, 2013
Rural roads are generally more dangerous than urban roads for a number of reasons, and states with more country routes tend to have higher fatality rates. Only 19 percent of Americans live in rural areas, but 55 percent of all road fatalities happened in the country.
March 11, 2013
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.
March 6, 2013
States have pursued a variety of proposals on school safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.
February 25, 2013
Some lawmakers want to open up their states to fracking, while others hope to impose moratoriums.
February 25, 2013
At issue is Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires all or part of 16 states to get any changes to election law pre-approved by the feds.
February 22, 2013
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
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
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
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
Many governors are now reluctant to grant pardons. The reason, according to analysts, is mostly political.
February 4, 2013
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
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 is one of two states that issues unrestricted licenses to undocumented immigrants.
January 24, 2013
While a few states increased their union membership last year, the states where unions suffered recent political defeats saw a decline.
January 22, 2013
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
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
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 is the only state that doesn’t regulate dams, leaving thousands of aging structures never inspected or regulated in any way.
January 10, 2013
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Delaware’s top air regulator has challenged federal officials to find a way to limit harmful pollution blowing across state lines.
November 29, 2012
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
States have siphoned mortgage settlement funds for purposes seemingly outside the realm of housing, raising some red flags.
November 26, 2012
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
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 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
Several governors are reapplying pressure on Congress to extend a tax credit whose looming expiration has prompted layoffs.
November 13, 2012
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
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
Labor won big contests this week in Indiana, Idaho, California and New Hampshire, while results were mixed in Michigan.
November 8, 2012
Voters approved statewide bond measures on the ballot November 6.
November 2, 2012
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
A look inside the state's anti-tax dynamic and how it plays out in statewide races.
October 31, 2012
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
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
State taxes, which are closely tied to the federal tax code, could change dramatically depending on the outcome of the election.
October 23, 2012
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
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’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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have banned the disposal of hydraulic fracturing waste in New Jersey.
September 12, 2012
Whether voters make it the third state to approve physician-assisted suicide could have national implications.
August 30, 2012
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
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
Only one in four high school seniors met college readiness benchmarks in English, reading, math and science this year.
August 15, 2012
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
As drought plagues more than half of the nation, concerns about hydraulic fracturing's effect on available water are increasing.
August 10, 2012
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
A Stateline analysis found that students who participate in state 'School Choice' programs actually have very limited choices.
July 25, 2012
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 has an ambitious program aimed at fixing the finances of troubled cities. In most cases, it doesn’t accomplish a lot.
July 11, 2012
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
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 5, 2012
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
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
Some alumni from the teaching program are making runs for state office. Many are facing opposition from teachers’ unions.
June 25, 2012
Charging ratepayers for nuclear plant construction made sense to many legislatures a few years ago. Attitudes have shifted since then.
June 21, 2012
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
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
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
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
Arizona, Colorado and Tennessee have made major changes to the personnel policies that govern the public workforce.
June 12, 2012
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
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’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
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
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 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
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
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
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
State fairs are facing a budget crunch, and one solution is to turn them over to private ownership.
May 29, 2012
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
In Colorado, prosecutors have had full power to try juvenile offenders in adult courts. Now the state is restricting that power.
May 16, 2012
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
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
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
Would a mandatory program for treating drug-addicted nonviolent offenders help or ensnare more people in the criminal justice system?
May 2, 2012
Balancing patient privacy rights and law enforcement’s access to prescription drug databases proves a difficult task, reports Stateline.org.
May 2, 2012
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
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
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
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
A new tool released by the College Board shows that states differ widely in how they track community college completion.
April 23, 2012
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The state makes an unusual down payment on its massive health benefit debt to retired public employees.
March 9, 2012
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
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
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
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 24, 2012
Linking high-risk mothers with caregivers earlier in pregnancy may be a way to save both lives and money.
February 22, 2012
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
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
Thinned budgets and shifted energy production for some, Stateline.org reports.
February 16, 2012
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
Two judges have ruled that their states cannot make existing employees contribute more toward their retirement benefits.
February 15, 2012
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
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 24, 2012
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 17, 2012
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
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
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
Texas was slower than any other state at responding to food-stamp applicants. Today, the state ranks near the top.
November 15, 2011
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
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
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
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
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
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.
May 24, 2011
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 10, 2011
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
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
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
After steadily inching upward, the average pay for states' chief executives slid a bit in 2010.
March 29, 2011
Business leaders and the Mormon Church helped one of the nation's most conservative states enact a compromise immigration package.
February 9, 2011
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
Some Republican governors are open to raising some taxes.
January 24, 2011
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
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
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.
November 30, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
A lot is similar this year to the environment of the last GOP landslide. A lot is different as well.
October 4, 2010
It's not abortion and gay marriage that citizens will be voting on at the polls this year. It’s taxes and spending.