Stateline  |  Nonpartisan, Nonprofit News Service of the Pew Charitable Trusts  |  @pewstates

Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that reports and analyzes trends in state policy.

August 27, 2019

Rise in Unemployment May Signal State Recessions

Several states may be straying into dangerous territory.
August 20, 2019

Affordable Housing Efforts Challenge Single-Family Zoning

Earlier this month, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed a law that requires most Oregon cities with more than 1,000 residents to allow duplexes in areas previously zoned exclusively for single-family homes. Cities larger than 25,000 also must allow townhouses, triplexes and fourplexes.
August 19, 2019

Amid Vaping Craze, States Push Hefty Taxes

Of the 17 states and the District of Columbia that have specific taxes on vaping products, half implemented them in 2019, according to the Public Health Law Center at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, which researches the links between public policy and health.
August 15, 2019

States Give Children With Lead Poisoning Help at Earlier Ages

Lead poisoning has been associated with lower IQs and academic achievement, impaired speech, hearing and motor skill difficulties, and cognitive and behavioral delays.
August 14, 2019

As Tennessee Makes Voter Registration More Difficult, Activists Consider What’s Next

The new Tennessee law has nonprofits and voting rights activists scrambling ahead of the 2020 presidential election, as they attempt to understand new regulations that could lead to thousands of dollars in fines and even jail time.
August 13, 2019

The States Where Doctors Can Recommend Marijuana Over Opioids

New Mexico, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania allow people with an opioid addiction to qualify for a medical marijuana card.
August 8, 2019

Amid Calls to 'Do Something' About Gun Reform, Republicans Hesitate

Many Republican state lawmakers don’t seem to have an appetite for taking up new gun control legislation despite last weekend’s mass shootings.
August 6, 2019

Is the Real ID a Real Mess? States Face Rollout Challenges

Technical glitches, delays and miscommunication are roiling the Real ID implementation in those states, calling into question whether residents will have the secure driver’s license needed to travel by air or enter government restricted areas after October 2020.
August 2, 2019

To Counteract Trump on Climate Change, States Set Clean Energy Targets

Democratic state lawmakers passed a wave of bills this year they hope will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, even as the Trump administration moves in the opposite direction.
July 31, 2019

When It Comes to Data Privacy, States Are Battling Big Tech

Of the 24 states that considered data privacy legislation this year, only Illinois, Maine and Nevada enacted new laws.
July 30, 2019

New Democratic Trifectas Lead to Rush of Bills — and Conflict

Even in solid blue states, Republicans joined conservative Democrats to block some progressive measures.
July 30, 2019

To Lower Recidivism, Washington State Lets More Felons Clear Their Records

In Washington state, formerly incarcerated people who’ve turned their lives around have a chance to wipe their records clean, thanks to a new law that went into effect Sunday.
July 26, 2019

A Coastal Town Pummeled by Climate Change Prepares for the Future

The county, strung mostly along a chain of narrow barrier islands jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, sits in the path of hurricanes that form in late summer off Africa’s Cape Verde.
July 25, 2019

Long-Term Care Costs Are Prohibitively Expensive. States Are Taking Notice.

Ninety percent of Americans don’t have long-term care insurance — even though half of all people 65 and over will need such care at some point.
July 22, 2019

Conservatives Are Pushing to Recall Key Democrats in Colorado

They’re circulating petitions against two state senators and Gov. Jared Polis. And earlier this year they tried and failed to force a recall election of two Assembly members, one of whom resigned.
July 18, 2019

States Diverge on Transgender Health Care Coverage

States are considering whether to provide gender reassignment services, such as hormone treatments and surgery, under their Medicaid programs.
July 16, 2019

As Hate Incidents Rise, States Make the Holocaust Required Learning

Claire Sarnowski of Lake Oswego, Oregon, met Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener at a school event five years ago when she was 9 years old.
July 12, 2019

Immigration Raids Elicit Mixed Reactions From State and Local Officials

If the Trump administration follows through on its threat to deport thousands of immigrants living in the country illegally, it will start with migrants who are under removal orders signed by an immigration judge.
July 11, 2019

Enough Marijuana for 6 Years: Oregon's Cautionary Tale for Other States

Five years after Oregon legalized recreational marijuana, its lawmakers now are trying to rein in production.
July 9, 2019

Disaster Warnings Get a Makeover

The deadly situations illustrate what experts increasingly see as two common reasons for unnecessary storm deaths: unfamiliar terrain that leads to bad decisions, and people ignoring too-familiar warnings that haven’t panned out in the past.
July 3, 2019

Fighting Fertility Fraud: New State Laws Seek to Stop Misuse of Sperm

New instances of fertility fraud in Indiana — and Texas — can be prosecuted under laws recently signed by the governors of both states. But they are the only states that make fertility fraud specifically illegal. Experts expect other states to follow suit.
July 2, 2019

Wildfires Could Worsen If More Isn't Done to Fight Invasive Grass

Beating back the plant requires coordination between different agencies and levels of government, sustained commitment and funding.
June 28, 2019

Oregon GOP Walkout Reflects a Growing Trend in State Legislatures

Used by countless state lawmakers around the country for the past two centuries, walking out grinds legislative action to a halt.
June 27, 2019

For Teens Who Want Vaccines, Some States Let Them Choose

One way to boost immunization rates is to narrow school vaccination exemptions, which four states have done this year. Another is to take the decision out of parents’ hands and let their kids choose for themselves
June 27, 2019

For Hire: Lawyers in Rural America

State-level data from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, Wisconsin and several Plains states underscores that lawyers cluster in urban areas.
June 25, 2019

Disaster City: The University Program Training First Responders for the Worst

The mock municipality began taking shape in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Now, it is part of Texas A&M’s nearly 300-acre Emergency Services Training Institute, which attracts firefighters and other first responders from around the globe.
June 24, 2019

Can States Regulate Wild Airbnb Parties?

It’s not just neighbors upset at the wild parties. Unsuspecting homeowners can get burned too.
June 21, 2019

Black Farm Families Are Losing Their Land. New State Laws Seek to Help.

In 1910, rural African American farm families held between 16 million and 19 million acres of farmland, but the latest Census of Agriculture shows the amount of land held by African American farmers with active farms has dropped to just over 2.5 million acres.
June 19, 2019

Why Are Residents Leaving Illinois in Droves?

One thing is certain: Illinois’ population has declined by 157,000 residents over the past five years, making it one of only two states — West Virginia is the other — to lose people over the past decade.
June 14, 2019

Amid Concerns, Census Begins Testing Citizenship Question This Week

As the Supreme Court considers a challenge to a citizenship question in the 2020 census, the U.S. Census Bureau will start testing the question’s effect on participation this week.
June 10, 2019

After Deadly Police Encounters, Racial Groups Partner to Demand Change

Since the Black Lives Matter movement gained prominence in 2013, much of the public focus has been on African Americans. But broader racial and ethnic coalitions pushed the recent changes in policing practices in a handful of states.
June 3, 2019

UberEats or Cafeteria Food? Schools Crack Down on Students' Lunch Deliveries

Students across America thought they had found a way around cafeteria “cuisine” and boring brown-bag lunches: just get takeout food delivered to their schools.
May 30, 2019

Despite State Support, Marijuana Banking Bill May Sink Again in Congress

Many banks are reluctant to work with marijuana businesses or people in the industry because federal law says the plant is a dangerous drug.
May 29, 2019

As One Opioid Trial Begins, a Second Drugmaker Settles With Oklahoma for $85M

In a statement, Teva said the settlement does not establish any wrongdoing on its part. “Teva has not contributed to the abuse of opioids in Oklahoma in any way.”
May 29, 2019

Beyond Hospice: New Options for Palliative Care Spread to More States

Patients in hospice are not expected to live long, usually six months or less. Hospice patients do receive palliative care, but you don’t have to be in hospice to be a palliative care patient.
May 28, 2019

Unions and States Prepare to Fight Trump Home-Care Worker Rule

In their suit, the state attorneys general, all Democrats, said the rule will disrupt their longstanding labor arrangements and make it harder for home care professionals to work together to improve their jobs and better serve their elderly and disabled clients.
May 22, 2019

Can Cutting Off Opioids Too Quickly Harm Patients? Feds Say Yes.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration last month warned prescribers that abruptly cutting off high-dose patients or tapering their doses too rapidly could cause withdrawal and even suicide.
May 20, 2019

Asylum-Seekers Challenge States and Cities' Budgets

Tens of thousands of asylum-seekers from Central America are spreading out around the United States, straining the resources of local and state governments working to move and shelter them.
May 14, 2019

Behind the Movement to Kick Chicago Out of Illinois

Many rural, often conservative, residents of large Democratic-controlled states are tired of being overshadowed politically, culturally and economically by big cities.
May 8, 2019

How Voter Access Laws Led to Higher Turnout at the Polls

Nationally, 53% of the citizen voting-age population voted in 2018, a 12-point bump from the previous midterms, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
May 6, 2019

Tech Industries in the West Continue to Lead State Economic Growth

Washington state led the nation in economic output growth for a third year in a row between 2017 and 2018, growing its state gross domestic product by almost 6%.
May 2, 2019

Robert Mueller Report Raises Election Hacking Fears for States

Mueller’s description of Russian interference designed to help the Trump campaign was a reminder of how far many state and local officials have come in securing election infrastructure, but also of how stark the threat remains to the nation’s 8,000 election offices.
May 1, 2019

New Naloxone Prescription Laws Seek to Prevent Opioid Overdoses

A handful of states are requiring doctors to give or at least offer a prescription for the overdose rescue drug to patients taking high doses of opioid painkillers.
April 29, 2019

This City Might Give Homeless People the Right to Camp Anywhere

The Denver initiative is the latest front in a campaign advocates for homeless people have been waging at the state level for years.
April 25, 2019

New Mexico Has the Most Difficult Population to Count. Will a New Census Commission Help?

New Mexico’s 40-member Complete Count Commission will have $3.5 million to encourage participation.
April 23, 2019

Cities Try New Ways to Help Former Inmates Find Housing

A handful of states, cities and counties are experimenting with ways to house former inmates while protecting the public.
April 19, 2019

How Trump Changed the Electoral College Debate Among States

The Republican shift has altered the trajectory of state legislative efforts to change the federal system.
April 18, 2019

A New Way for Cops to Catch Impaired Drivers: Draw Blood

More communities are training police officers to draw drivers’ blood at police stations or in vans.
April 17, 2019

This ‘Innovative’ Housing Program Serves Just 3 Households

A few years ago, Denver civic leaders and city officials started to brainstorm a partnership with employers and building owners that, they hoped, would bring rents in good-quality, market-rate housing within the reach of more workers.
April 16, 2019

‘It Just Blows Your Mind’: Midwest Farmers Suffer After Floods

Midwestern states have been battered with intensive flooding since mid-March. Rain and warm temperatures melted the snow from an unseasonably cold and snowy winter in some areas, but the frozen ground couldn’t soak up the water.
April 12, 2019

Factories and Coal Mines Bring Income Relief to Some States

High-paying blue-collar jobs lifted incomes in West Virginia, New York and Illinois last year, even though the states lost residents.
April 11, 2019

Unpaid Court Fines? That Could Get Your Water Shut Off.

Cities argue that the fees and fines are true obligations owed to them by residents and that pressing their advantage to get these funds is necessary and forthright.
April 10, 2019

As Drug Crisis Continues, Babies Enter Foster Care System at Higher Rate

The trend has a big impact on states, whose budgets often already are overstretched responding to the drug crisis and other needs.
April 8, 2019

In the Trump Era, Muslim Immigrants Distrust the Census

During the 2010 census, more than 30% of Midwood households failed to respond to mailings, requiring costly and fallible follow-up interviews.
April 5, 2019

On Surprise Medical Billing, State Protections Are Ahead of Feds

At least 25 states now have laws protecting patients from surprise out-of-network bills, usually for emergency care they received at hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers.
April 5, 2019

After Many Twists, Maine Finally Will Expand Medicaid

As of now, 36 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
April 4, 2019

After Purdue Opioid Settlement, Oklahoma Sets Sights on New Target in Lawsuit

After securing a hefty financial settlement from Purdue Pharma last month, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is training the state’s legal armaments on a much bigger pharmaceutical player: Johnson & Johnson.
March 27, 2019

In First Opioid Settlement, OxyContin Manufacturer Settles Lawsuit with Oklahoma

Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, has agreed to pay Oklahoma close to $275 million to settle a landmark opioid lawsuit. The company’s owners, the Sackler family, agreed to pay an additional $75 million.
March 27, 2019

New Jersey Poised to Be 8th State to Approve 'Aid-in-Dying'

New Jersey is joining seven other states and Washington, D.C., in allowing terminally ill patients to obtain lethal drugs to legally end their own lives.
March 25, 2019

Housing Affordability Crisis Spreads to Rural America

Nearly one-fourth of the nation’s most rural counties have seen a sizeable increase this decade in the number of households spending at least half their income on housing, a category the federal government calls “severely cost-burdened.”
March 22, 2019

Are State Policies Preventing Stroke Patients From Getting the Care They Need?

Unlike state rules for accident victims, which uniformly require first responders to take severely injured patients to the most advanced trauma unit available, state policies for stroke patients vary widely.
March 20, 2019

Death Penalty Opponents Gain Unlikely Allies: Republicans

The repeal efforts, which in most cases would replace the death penalty with sentences of life without parole, reflect a steep two-decade decline in executions nationwide, as well as growing overall opposition to the practice.
March 18, 2019

As Legal Weed Movement Heads South, Many Blacks Are Left Out

Following the lead of Arkansas and Florida, white male conservative lawmakers are spearheading legalization drives in Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.
March 14, 2019

As the Hemp Food Craze Grows, States and Cities Unsure of How to Regulate

Many states don’t allow hemp CBD to be sold to the public at all, whether as an oil, pills or mixed into smoothies.
March 13, 2019

Amid Safety Concerns, Should Schools Invest in Metal Detectors or Mental Health?

So far, physical security measures are garnering the lion’s share of dollars in legislative spending proposals.
March 11, 2019

As Coal Declines, Former Mining Towns Turn to Tourism

The tourism and travel industry contributed more than $15 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2017, according to a report from Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.
March 8, 2019

Child Enrollment in Public Health Programs Fell by 600K Last Year

The number of kids enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — two government health plans for the poor — fell by nearly 600,000 in the first 11 months of 2018.
February 25, 2019

States Push a Netflix Model for Treating Hepatitis C

The new design illustrates how states are trying to think creatively to tackle one of their costliest but most important long-term challenges: providing health care access to low-income residents and people in the state’s care.
February 20, 2019

In Some States, Foster Parents Have Become Professionals

These days, many foster parents are being asked to do even more, as an increasing number of children enter the foster care system with serious behavioral and mental health issues — issues that require a deft hand and intensive training.
February 19, 2019

Cranking Up the Cost: States Consider ‘Surge Pricing’ for Power

Flights and some toll roads cost the most when demand is highest. Now California wants residents to get used to the same dynamic when it comes to purchasing electricity.
February 15, 2019

Frequent Shutdown Threats Prompt State and Local Safeguards

President Donald Trump and Congress took the federal government to the brink of another shutdown this week. And yet again, states and cities had to prepare for the worst.
February 14, 2019

An Opioid Lawsuit in Oklahoma May Set the Stage for National Cases

The Ohio case, known as the National Prescription Opiate Litigation, is a consolidated case that includes federal lawsuits brought by more than 1,500 counties, municipalities, hospitals and others, and features a brief from the U.S. Justice Department.
February 7, 2019

2018 Momentum for State Gun Control May Grow

In states where Democrats made big gains in the November elections, lawmakers are quickly moving legislation to raise the buying age for guns and to ban assault-style weapons.
February 5, 2019

Battles Over Logging and Money Delay Wildfire Prevention Work

Environmentalists argue that expanding logging could do more harm than good. And forestry experts say the president’s push in a December executive order for more “active management” of public lands — a concept most agree is a good idea — won’t get far unless Congress pays for it.
February 4, 2019

As California Warms to Solar Homes, Other States May Give a Cold Shoulder

Opposition from utilities and homebuilders, and a slower return on investment, also could stall solar efforts in other states.
February 1, 2019

To Control Drug Prices, States May Have to Face Off Against Feds

Frustrated by federal inaction, state lawmakers in 41 states have proposed detailed plans to lower soaring prescription drug costs.
January 28, 2019

After a Messy Election, States Push to Make Voting Easier

In the nearly three months since elections dogged by accusations of voter suppression, state lawmakers across the country have either filed or pre-filed at least 230 bills that would expand access to the ballot for millions of Americans.
January 24, 2019

Is the Clergy Required to Report Child Sex Abuse? Not in Some States

While most states have broad laws calling on anyone who learns of child abuse to report it, mandatory reporters can be charged with a crime for failing to do so.
January 24, 2019

Cities Scramble as Shutdown Leaves Families in Federal Housing Vulnerable

As the partial federal government shutdown stretches into its sixth week, low-income families, seniors and the disabled are facing housing instability and possible evictions.
January 23, 2019

In Quest for Federal Money, States Debunk Mobile Providers’ Coverage Claims

Cellphone companies often boast about how much of the country they cover. But with billions of federal dollars at stake to expand mobile broadband in rural America, state officials and other groups across 37 states say those claims aren’t always true.
January 22, 2019

In Non-Medicaid Expansion States, Some Rural Hospitals Forced to Close

Without money, many rural hospitals in Texas and other non-expansion states have closed obstetrics units and other expensive services, forcing patients to travel long distances to seek treatment at the next-closest hospital, which is sometimes hours away.
January 17, 2019

As States Lag on Cyber Training, Agencies Are Fertile Phishing Grounds

A 2018 survey by NASCIO and consulting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP found that only 45 percent of states require that all executive branch employees complete cyber training.
January 15, 2019

Shutdown in the States: ‘We Need to Start Taking This Seriously’

President Donald Trump’s warning that the partial federal government shutdown could last “for months or even years” has states, cities and businesses increasingly nervous.
January 14, 2019

As Urban Sheriffs Leave ICE Program, Small Counties Join Trump's Deportation Push

Urban counties across the country increasingly are withdrawing from the program, even as more conservative suburban and rural areas flock to it during the Trump administration, according to a Stateline analysis of federal and state data.
January 10, 2019

Medicaid ‘Buy-In’ Could Be a New Health-Care Option for the Uninsured

Even as calls for “Medicare for All” grow louder among Democrats in Washington, D.C., at least 10 states are exploring whether to allow residents to pay premiums to “buy in” to Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor.
January 9, 2019

How Counting Prisoners Differently Could Shift Political Power to Cities

Counting prisoners as residents of their hometowns would, for the most part, boost the legislative representation of Democratic-leaning urban areas with large minority populations while diminishing the power of Republican, mostly white rural areas.
January 4, 2019

'An Example of What Not to Do': The State Where Immigration Law Is Enforced by Political Appointees Granted the Power of Courts

Over the past few years, statehouses around the country have tried to rein in cities deemed too friendly to undocumented immigrants. But Georgia is the only state that’s created an independent board with one specific mission: Punishing cities that aren’t doing enough to crack down on illegal immigration.
December 20, 2018

1 Medicaid Expansion Defeat Offers Lessons for Other States

Montana was one of four red states with Medicaid expansion on the ballot, and the only one where it failed. And the reason why, many close observers both inside and outside of the state agree, almost certainly came down to a tactical decision to link expansion to an increase in the state’s tobacco tax.
December 18, 2018

Despite Obamacare Uncertainty After Ruling, Medicaid Expansion Likely to Proceed

With the three states added to the list, 36 states plus Washington, D.C., have now approved Medicaid expansion, likely adding pressure on the remaining states to do so.
December 12, 2018

These Cities Are Shrinking in Population, But Thriving in the New Economy

Fewer people are living in Pittsburgh — 95,000 fewer than in 2000. But the remaining residents are growing wealthier even as the Steel City shrinks: Income per capita is up 24 percent during the same period.
December 10, 2018

An Unusual Crime: Copper Wire Theft Drains State Resources and Costs Lives

Thieves have been stripping copper wire from abandoned houses, commercial buildings and construction sites for years. But they also have taken aim at public rights of way, creating a rash of headaches for public safety and transportation officials.
December 7, 2018

Christian 'Health Care Share Ministries' Are Rising, and Experts Are Concerned

Participants in so-called health care share ministries, which are generally cheaper than regular insurance, make monthly contributions to help pay the health care bills of other members. In return, they receive help when they need it.
December 6, 2018

States Are Struggling to Meet Foster Care Needs. New Federal Rules Could Help.

Amid an opioid crisis that has increased the need for foster care, states are struggling to find enough foster families to take in kids. A shortage of affordable housing in many places is making the problem even worse.
November 29, 2018

This State Wants Oil Companies to Treat and Recycle Fracking Waste Water

State officials, with the help of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are still working out the details. If they move forward with the strategy, other arid states may follow New Mexico’s lead.
November 26, 2018

In Some Cities, Population Growth Does Not Equal Wage Growth

Nationwide there are 10 metro areas whose populations grew more than 30 percent since 2000 — almost twice the national average for metros — but whose per-capita income grew less than half the U.S. average.
November 21, 2018

States Weigh the Benefits and Challenges of Digital Driver's Licenses

Louisiana in July became the first state to make digital licenses available to anyone who wants them, and at least 14 other states either have developed a program, run a pilot or are studying the possibility, according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.
November 19, 2018

Can Trump's Tax Break Turn Distressed Areas Into 'Opportunity Zones'?

The tax break, created under the tax law President Donald Trump signed last year, could be a game changer for towns in rural areas such as Montrose. The zones are expected to attract billions of dollars from people eager to reduce their tax bill on money they’ve made selling stocks, bonds or property.
November 16, 2018

Provisional Ballots Protect Voting Rights — When They Are Counted

Provisional ballots are a proven fail-safe for voters across the country, but their role in the political dramas playing out this week illustrates how the little-understood tool can fall prey to political manipulation.
November 15, 2018

Polio-Like Illness in 39 States Tests Overstretched Public Health System

Reported in 39 states and Washington, D.C., acute flaccid myelitis, known as AFM, causes muscle weakness and in some cases paralysis in the arms or legs, terrifying parents and puzzling medical researchers.
November 13, 2018

Native Americans Win Crucial Races in Utah County

Two Navajo men, Willie Grayeyes and Kenneth Maryboy, won their county commission seats, giving Native Americans a 2-1 advantage on the local governing body for the first time in San Juan County.
November 9, 2018

Ranked-Choice Voting Survives Midterm Tests. Will It Work in More States?

The ranked-choice voting process is different than normal elections. Voters rank candidates from first to last. A candidate who earns more than half the vote wins. If no one passes the threshold, an instant runoff kicks in and the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated.
November 2, 2018

'Living With Water': Cities Facing Climate Change Trade Sea Walls for Parks

As climate change forces cities to grapple with rising sea levels and increasingly powerful storms, coastal cities must prepare for a heightened likelihood of flooding, whether tidal flooding from rising sea levels or a hurricane that could dump inches of rain in a short period of time.
October 26, 2018

On Census Citizenship Question, Leaders in Conservative, High-Immigration States Diverge

Seventeen Arizona Democrats sponsored a bill that would have directed $2 million to the secretary of state’s office for census communication and outreach, half of which was to be given to each county based on population, and half to each city and town, but it died in committee.
October 23, 2018

As More U.S. Women Die From Childbirth, One State Reversed the Trend

California has made a difference in part by focusing narrowly on problems that arise during labor and delivery, using data collection to quickly identify deficiencies (such as failing to have the right supplies on hand or performing unnecessary C-sections) and training nurses and doctors to overcome them.
October 22, 2018

Few People Want to Be Poll Workers. That’s a Problem.

Poll workers can be the difference between a smooth election and long lines, mass confusion and miscounted ballots. But poll workers are older, less prepared and becoming scarcer.
October 19, 2018

Short-Term Health Plans Must Offer Full Benefits, Vermont Says

The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation has indicated that it will soon file new rules that would require short-term health insurance plans to cover the 10 “essential” benefits mandated by the ACA.
October 8, 2018

For Medicaid Recipients, New Project Aims to Boost Vaccination Rates

A new five-state project funded by the federal government aims to improve vaccination rates among low-income children and pregnant women, using statewide registries intended to track the immunization histories of all residents.
October 3, 2018

One Texas City's Aggressive Plan to Reverse Housing Segregation

In May, the Dallas City Council unanimously passed a new comprehensive housing policy, a first for the city. The goal is to build 20,000 new homes — but only in select, pre-approved neighborhoods deemed ripe for revitalization.
September 27, 2018

Native Americans Fight for Power at the Ballot Box

They are beginning to fight back, running for local, state and national offices, and suing jurisdictions that try to curb their political participation. They could even have a significant impact on some key midterm elections.
September 25, 2018

Courts Push Medicaid to Cover Costly Hepatitis C Treatments

Hepatitis C kills far more Americans than any other infectious disease.
September 24, 2018

As More Cities Push for Paid Sick Leave, States Push Back

In the last three years, a dozen states have banned localities from passing paid leave requirements, more than doubling to 22 the states that now outlaw such local ordinances.
September 20, 2018

As Feds Struggle to Pay for National Park Staff, Local Governments Pick Up the Tab

Communities across the country are facing similar challenges as more people visit public lands, outdoor recreation becomes more important to rural growth, and federal land managers struggle with tight budgets.
September 12, 2018

As States Meet Renewable Energy Goals, They Must Decide Whether to Expand Them

State laws boosting wind and solar power have seen remarkable success over the past two decades.
September 11, 2018

Is a Southwest Energy Boom Helping National Economic Growth?

State estimates aren’t due until mid-November, but many experts see oil and natural gas drilling, driven by higher prices, as a leading reason.
September 7, 2018

Eat Your Vegetables: More States Promote Healthy Diet to Fend Off Illness

The “food is medicine” concept is simple: If chronically ill people eat a nutritious diet, they’ll need fewer medications, emergency room visits and hospital readmissions.
September 5, 2018

Polling Places in Black Communities Continue to Close Ahead of November Elections

This year alone, 10 counties with large black populations in Georgia closed polling spots after a white elections consultant recommended they do so to save money.
August 23, 2018

HUD Gets the Greenlight to Overhaul Obama-Era Desegregation Rule

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is proceeding with its plans to amend stringent Obama-era rules requiring cities to come up with a blueprint for eradicating segregation in their communities.
August 21, 2018

Meet the State Officials Tasked With Protecting Residents' Data

Many large companies have employed 'chief privacy officers' for years, but they were rare in state government.
August 17, 2018

Armed ‘Marshals’ and ‘Guardians’ Ready to Protect Some Texas Schools

Craig Bessent used to be a bull rider. Now he’s an assistant superintendent who stays on top of school bus schedules and cafeteria complaints.
August 16, 2018

Fentanyl Is Driving the Rise in Opioid Deaths

New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show drug overdose deaths continued to climb in 2017, in nearly all states.
August 16, 2018

Black Homeownership Is the Norm in These Cities

Two decades ago, Frederick Veazey was drawn to this suburban idyll by the usual things: grass, peace and quiet, good schools. But in choosing where to raise his sons and daughter, the successful insurance broker also wanted something else.
August 13, 2018

Cities Look to Create Jobs With Deconstruction Projects

Inside Brick and Board’s downtown warehouse here, neat stacks of wooden planks stretch to the ceiling. On a recent summer day, a handful of men wearing pink respirators bend over woodworking machines in the back of the room.
August 10, 2018

Ban on Political 'Robocalls' Ruled Unconstitutional in Wyoming

Political “robocalls” — which, like commercial calls, increasingly target consumers’ phones — may be annoying, but a Wyoming law to prohibit political operatives from using them is overly broad and unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled.
August 8, 2018

As Natural Disasters Worsen, States Depend on Volunteer Responders

Wearing goggles and a bright green vest, Brenda Burke approached the 3-foot-tall flame in a crouched position, holding a fire extinguisher at the ready.
August 6, 2018

States Pass 50 Gun-Control Laws After Parkland Shooting

Something familiar happened in America in February: A gunman walked into a school, and shot and killed 17 students and staff in a horrific act of violence.
August 3, 2018

Cities and States Resist — and Assist — Immigration Crackdown in New Ways

Austin recently took a new tack in the ongoing war between “sanctuary cities" and federal immigration authorities.
July 23, 2018

How Police Are Changing Lineups to Avoid False IDs

After nearly 38 years, on Jan. 30 Malcolm Alexander walked away from a place he never should have been to begin with: the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
July 16, 2018

Mueller Probe: Russian Hackers Stole Half a Million Voters’ Information in 2016

Members of Russian military intelligence attempted to infiltrate local election administration systems during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, stealing the voter information of 500,000 Americans, according to indictments announced Friday by Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. deputy attorney general.
July 12, 2018

Despite Trump's Breastfeeding Opposition, All 50 U.S. States Back It

The Trump administration this spring tried to remove pro-breastfeeding language from a World Health Organization resolution. But here at home, breastfeeding has steadily become more accepted and accessible — culminating this year in the 49th and 50th states enacting laws to allow it in public.
July 11, 2018

What Trump's Supreme Court Pick Could Mean for States' Rights

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s rulings on federal regulatory power, and his approach to the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, provide the best hints of how he might rule on cases involving states’ rights.
July 11, 2018

Food Stamp Work Requirements Would Force States to Provide Job Training. Many Aren’t Ready.

The House version of the food-stamp-to-work program Congress is considering this week would require recipients to enroll in job training programs if they can’t find work — but in many states, those programs won’t be fully available for at least another decade.
July 11, 2018

Hawaii Becomes Latest State to Ban Bump Stocks

Hawaii has become the latest state to ban bump stocks in the months following a mass shooting in Las Vegas, where the device was used to kill 58 people.
July 3, 2018

Plastic Straw Bans Face Blowback

Hard on the heels of banning plastic bags, states and cities are being pressed by environmentalists to eliminate another consumer convenience — plastic straws. But objections from the plastics industry, restaurants and disability advocates have derailed or delayed some proposed straw bans.
June 28, 2018

Feds Reject Massachusetts' Unprecedented Idea for Lowering Drug Prices

The Trump administration turned down Massachusetts’ first-in-the-nation request to exclude certain drugs from its Medicaid program to gain bargaining power with pharmaceutical companies over prices.
June 26, 2018

Now That Maine Tried Ranked-Choice Voting, Will Other States?

Voters in Maine went to the polls earlier this month to do something they’ve never done before: rank candidates based on preference.
June 22, 2018

Frogs First: Should States Be Able to Develop on Their Habitat?

Few people have glimpsed a dusky gopher frog or heard its loud, guttural, snorelike croak.
June 22, 2018

Marriage Age Rises, and Gender Gap Closes, in New Hampshire

New Hampshire, which has one of the lowest legal ages of marriage in the country, has raised the age at which teens can wed.
June 18, 2018

To Combat Potholes, Cities Turn to Technology

They are a torment for motorists and a costly headache for transportation departments. Every winter and spring, potholes plague city streets and rural roads, causing drivers to curse and public works officials to shudder.
June 5, 2018

Shhh! Many Pharmacists Are Legally Banned From Telling Patients This

A few months ago, Rhode Island state Rep. Brian Kennedy had a mild sinus infection, for which he was prescribed an antibiotic.
June 4, 2018

When Hackers Strike, Companies in Colorado Now Have 30 Days to Notify Customers

Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed a bill into law that would require that residents be notified by a company or other organization of a data breach within 30 days after it has been discovered.
May 30, 2018

How Trump's Plan to Lower Drug Prices Could Hurt Patients

A little-noticed part of President Donald Trump’s plan to reduce prescription drug prices could change the way Medicaid has paid for drugs for nearly 30 years.
May 25, 2018

Americans Are Leaving the Coasts in Search of Affordable Housing

The high cost of housing seemed to sap Americans' taste for coastal cities last year as cities in Texas and Arizona gained more population than New York City or Los Angeles for the first time in a decade, according to census population estimates released Thursday.
May 14, 2018

Lawmakers Have Left, But the Harassment Culture in Statehouses Remains

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

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

The Surprising Cost of Sanctuary for Progressive Cities

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

Border Crossings Continue to Climb

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 D.C. Sue the Trump Administration Over Vehicle Emissions Standards

Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., sued the Trump administration to prevent it from weakening Obama-era auto emissions standards.
May 1, 2018

Minnesota Clamps Down on Fake Service Animals

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

Why the Best Mental Health Care Is Sometimes Limited to the Criminally Insane

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

Amid DACA Uncertainty, States Open Professions to ‘Dreamers’

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 4-Day School Week Gets Introduced to Cities and Suburbs

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

Drought Returns to Huge Swaths of U.S., Raising Fears of Shortages

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

What Cities and States Are Doing to Cut Noise, 'the New Secondhand Smoke'

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

Felon Voting Laws Are Confusing. Is It Time to Ditch Them?

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

Addiction Treatment, for Jails and Prisons, Gains Momentum

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

Every State Now Has a Data Breach Notification Law

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

For First Time, Tuition Is Public College's Biggest Revenue Source

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

Federal Ban on Methadone Vans Seen as Barrier to Opioid Treatment

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 State Will Stop Automatically Trying Some Teens in Adult Court

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 Strengthens Consumer Protections in Wake of Data Breaches

Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown has signed a measure into law that would toughen the state’s consumer data breach laws.
March 22, 2018

Using Hazy Laws, States Revoke Thousands of Mentally Ill People's Voting Rights

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

To Prevent Shootings and Suicides, More States Embrace Anonymous Tip Lines

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

A Different Kind of Gender Pay Gap: Where Women Earn More Than Men

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

Is Your County Elections Clerk Ready for Russian Hackers?

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

Beyond Amazon: States Prepare to Pounce on Online Sales Taxes

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

Data Breaches Spark Debate About What's 'Reasonable'

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

Is Forcing Opioid Abusers Into Treatment the Best Medicine?

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

Trump Erects Trade Barriers, and ‘Foreign Trade Zones’ Take Them Down

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

Since Newtown, States Have Passed Hundreds of Gun Laws. Most Expand Access.

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

#MeToo Movement Fuels a 1970s Comeback: The ERA

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

Federal Limits on Gun Research Spur States to Step In

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

Overdose Deaths Fall in 14 States

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

In Statehouse Harassment, Interns Are Most Vulnerable and Least Protected

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

How (and Why) Cities Are Marketing Bikes to Poor People

Bike sharing may be the ultimate symbol of gentrification, the province of avocado-toast loving, espresso-swilling — and mostly white — millennials.
February 15, 2018

'None of This Is a Coincidence': Voting Lines Are Shorter -- But Mostly for Whites

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

Earmarks May Make a Comeback in Congress. In Some States, They Never Went Away.

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

Who Should Pay for Lawmakers' Sexual Misdeeds?

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

The Shutdown Ended. States Are Still Waiting for Their Money Back.

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

Enough In-Network Doctors? Trump Administration Now Lets States Decide.

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

Why Is Disabled Voter Turnout on the Decline?

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

State and Local Officials Clash Over Plastic Bag Bans

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

Homeless Will Now Be Asked: Are You Fleeing Domestic Violence?

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 Billion-Dollar Question Soon to Be Before the Supreme Court: Can States Tax Online Sales?

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

Free Tuition Movement Has Real Momentum

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

New Bipartisan Bill Would Help States Beef Up Election Cybersecurity

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

Final Tax Law Suspends Energy Cuts to Western States

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

Statehouse Sexual Harassment Tally: 18 Lawmakers Gone or Punished

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

As Teacher Shortages Plague Every State, Some Take Action

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

Western States Poised to Lose More Than $1 Billion Under Tax Bill

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

Community Health Centers at Risk of Closing Without Congressional Action

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

With Arkansas, Half the States Now Limit Painkiller Prescriptions

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

What's Kratom, and Why Are States Banning It?

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

People Are Using the Gig Economy to Avoid Paying Child Support

State child support officials say they have struggles to get ride-hailing companies to comply with reporting requirements for new hires.
November 29, 2017

Why the GOP Plan to Cut the Historic Preservation Tax Won't Be Easy

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

At Least 1 State Has Run Out of Federal Funding for Children's Health Insurance

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

Desperate for Cybersecurity Workers, States Help Build the Next Generation

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

The New Battleground for States, Cities Resisting Trump's Immigration Policies

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

Sexual Harassment Training Is Hard to Find in Statehouses

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

What It's Like to Market Obamacare With Less Federal Help and More Confusion

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

Fearing Hackers, States Start Buying Cyber-Insurance

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

Amid Immigration Crackdown, Cities Offer Free Legal Aid

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

Displaced Puerto Rican Teachers Face Hurdles on Mainland

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 Gets Sued Again for Purging Voter Rolls

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 Gov. Signs Bill Strengthening Volunteer Cybersecurity Team

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

Why Some Cities Are Buying Trailer Parks

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

No Social Security Number? No Lights

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

5 States Get a Little Money to Keep CHIP Running

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

Coming Soon: A One-Stop Site for State Services

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

Wildfires Strain State Budgets

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

The Latest Trend in Reducing Recidivism: Keeping Mothers and Children Together

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

Why Obamacare's Much-Criticized Individual Mandate Is Likely to Endure (for Now)

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

HIV Crime Laws: Historical Relics or Public Safety Measures?

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

Amnesty Helping States Score Online Sales Taxes

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

Will Charlottesville Hurt the Movement to Strengthen Free Speech on College Campuses?

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

Why the War on Opioids Is Entering Veterinarians’ Offices

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

Why Trump's NAFTA Talk Worries States

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

To Reduce Infant Mortality, Cities Enlist Doulas for Black Moms

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

Supposedly Symbolic, State Travel Bans Have Real Financial Impact

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

States Start to See More Cost Than Benefit to Tax-Free Holidays

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

'People Just Disappeared': The Impact of Tough Immigration Laws in the South

EUFAULA, Ala. — Hispanic immigrants here remember June 9, 2011, the day House Bill 56 became law.
August 9, 2017

Oregon Offers to Pay Immigrant Children's Health Care

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

Ex-Offenders' Biggest Barriers and How States Are Erasing Them

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

Michigan's Volunteer-Based Cybersecurity Strategy Catches On

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

Lobbyist Gift-Giving at Issue in More States

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

Uber, Lyft Cut Into Parking Revenue That Keeps Airports Running

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

Why Youth Homelessness Is on the Rise

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

Yo Voté: Increasingly Diverse Communities Scramble to Translate Ballots

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

Fatal Opioid Overdoses Swamp Medical Examiners

Dr. David Fowler’s staff is scrambling to keep up with the surging stream of corpses flowing through the doors.
July 5, 2017

How Canines Are Helping Out in the Courtroom

Child abuse victims often are frightened and intimidated if they have to testify about their experience in a courtroom.
June 16, 2017

Delaware Joins States Trying to Close the Gender Pay Gap

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

The Challenges of Fighting AIDS in Southern States

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

Legal Judgments Put Financial Pressure on Local Governments

The legal judgments underscore the importance of local governments maintaining a healthy reserve fund balance to absorb unforeseen expenses.
June 8, 2017

Building a Sustainable 'Highway of the Future'

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

Opioid Crisis Reaches Emergency Levels, This Time in Arizona

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

Seat Belts Now Mandated on School Buses in Nevada

Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed legislation that will require new school buses to be equipped with seat belts.
June 6, 2017

In Most States, a Spike in 'Super Commutes' Over 90 Minutes Long

The number of commuters who travel 90 minutes or more to get to work increased sharply between 2010 and 2015.
May 31, 2017

'Raise the Age' Laws Could Reduce Recidivism for Young Offenders

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

Amid 'Sanctuary Cities' Debate, Some Localities Renew Interest in Immigration Enforcement

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

How States Are Trying to Root Out Welfare Fraud

Several states are turning to private contractors to verify people’s eligibility for the program.
May 19, 2017

Ransomware Attack a 'Big Wake-Up Call' for Cities, States

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

Meth Use Surges in Western, Southern and Midwestern States

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

Unclaimed Property Scams Are on the Rise, State Officials Warn

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

As Gas Tax Revenues Decline, Fees on Fuel-Efficient Cars Pop Up

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

Cities, States Move to Calm Fear of Deportation

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

Latest Opioid Fight: As Fentanyl Spreads, States Step Up Responses

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

Despite All the Secession Talk in States, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

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

State and Local Governments Express Concern About Trump's Tax Plan

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

States Seek Shortened Probation and Parole for Many

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

Opioid Treatment Hampered by States' Nursing Laws

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

Matching Ex-Offenders With Hard-to-Fill Health Care Jobs

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

How Cities and States Are Shielding Immigrants’ Data From Federal Officials

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

States Consider Barring Death Penalty for Severely Mentally Ill

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

Federal Cybersecurity Bill Would Help State and Local Governments Ward Off Hackers

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

The 1965 Law Hurting States' Ability to Treat Addicts

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

911 Hacks and Outages Underscore Need for New Systems, But Most Places Can't Afford Them

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

What Do States Owe People Who Are Wrongfully Convicted?

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

Foreign Influence in State Elections? Not If Lawmakers Have a Say.

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

State Governments Struggle to Close Their Own Gender Pay Gaps

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

To Target Undocumented Workers, Some Legislators Want Employers to Do More

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

Sheriffs Still Searching for Clarity on Deportation

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

Obamacare Changes Could Hinder Drug Addicts From Getting Help

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

Dirt Roads Help Some Cities, Counties Drive Down Costs

Some roads in Montpelier, Vermont, have gotten a bit rumbly.
January 13, 2017

Pence's Indiana Replacement Creates Drug Czar Position

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

Licensing Medical Marijuana Stirs Up Trouble for States

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

Trump's Infrastructure Strategy Has Produced Uneven Results in States

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

Child Care Subsidies Are Dwindling, for and by the States

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

How States Are Making the Holidays Merry, Even for Prisoners

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

Will Small ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Defy a Trump Crackdown?

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

America's First Test of Automatic Voter Registration, in Oregon, Has Mixed Results

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

Spotty State Laws Prompt U.S. Rules on Health-Care Translators

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

Princeton Settles Nonprofit Tax Lawsuit

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

States Have Wildly Different Policies on Releasing Police Videos

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

To Keep Drug Prices Down, States May Pay Based on Effectiveness

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

With New Guidelines on Self-Driving Cars, Feds Urge States to Back Off

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

After Years of Cuts, States Renew Support for Public TV

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

Back-to-School Tax Holidays Losing Popularity Among Lawmakers

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

House Calls from Doctors Might Save Medicaid Money for States

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

In Many Courtrooms, Bad Interpreters Can Mean Justice Denied

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

Amid Shortage of Psychiatric Beds, Mentally Ill Face Long Waits for Treatment

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

Cities, States Plod Toward 'Next Generation 911'

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

The Silent Drug Epidemic of Older Addicts

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

With Restorative Justice, Offenders Avoid Prison and Victims Get a Bigger Voice

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

Welfare Caps: More Harm Than Good?

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

Tiny Houses: Affordable, Energy-Efficient and Often Illegal

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

'Sober Dorms' Offer Safe Spaces for Addicts to Learn

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

Criminal Record? It’s Getting Easier and Cheaper to Expunge It

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

Sex Offenders Face New Research-Defying Restrictions

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

New Apps Help Taxpayers Report Waste, Fraud and Abuse

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 Weigh Costs, Benefits of Undocumented Immigrant Parents

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

New Food Safety Law Gives States a Big Role

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

Frustrated by Federal Inaction, Some States Consider Carbon Taxes

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

State Parks Find New Ways to Save, Make Money

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

States Employ Temporary Workers, But Often Know Little About Them

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

To Help New Farmers, Some States Look at Forgiving Student Loans

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

Right to an Attorney? Not Always in Some States

Cecelia Greene came into the South Dade courthouse last Monday ready to go to trial.
April 11, 2016

The State of Food Safety

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

A Policy Shift That Can Reduce Incarceration as Well as Crime

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 Water Infrastructure Crumbles, Many Cities Seek Private Help

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

Bus Surveillance Stirs Controversy

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

Why Legal Marijuana Businesses Are Still Cash-Only

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

More Time for Dads? States Weigh Custody Law Changes

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

Lights, Cameras, Accountability: State Legislatures on TV

In Kentucky, state lawmakers will consider in coming days whether to make tuition at community colleges free.
February 19, 2016

Autism Coverage Uneven, Unpredictable in States

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

For Addicts, Life-Saving Drugs Often Have Long Waiting Lists

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

State and Local Health Spending Flat in First Year of Medicaid Expansion

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

Bible Belt States Help College Students Avoid Unplanned Pregnancies

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 11 students in Carol Jussely’s “Essential College Skills” class were talking about sex.
January 28, 2016

States at a Crossroads on Criminal Justice Reform

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

States Help Debt-Burdened Students Refinance

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

Why State Legislatures Are Still Pretty White

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

States Try Buyouts to Prevent Flood Damage

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

Should Manufacturers Pay for Drug Disposal?

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 Zone in on Online Sports Gambling

States are trying to figure out how to regulate and tax fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.
November 23, 2015

Are Smaller Cities Just as Prepared for a Terrorist Attack as New York?

For Tuscaloosa, Alabama, there are lessons to be learned from the terror that gripped Paris just over a week ago.
November 20, 2015

Feds Let States Use Medicaid Money for Housing the Homeless

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

'Look Where You're Going, Biker'

Hoping to improve safety, some cities and states are cracking down on distracted biking.
November 17, 2015

Automatic State Taxes Are Popular, But Are They Good Policy?

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

Many States Barely Train Security Guards

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

A Real Way to Replace the Gas Tax

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

Cities and States Try to Get Residents to Lose Weight

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

States Discover Need for Bilingual Mental Health Services

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

When Children Are Victims of Identity Theft

Twenty-one states have passed laws that allow parents or guardians to freeze their child’s credit record.
October 28, 2015

States Set Up 'Business Courts' for Corporate Conflicts

Specialized courts that focus on business disputes have been established in at least 27 states.
October 21, 2015

States Are Changing Prostitution Laws to Help Victims

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

State Fairs Try to Get Cool

To remain relevant, many states are adding drones, virtual reality attractions and craft beers to traditional agricultural offerings at state fairs.
October 13, 2015

Puerto Rico, the Source for Bilingual Teachers Across the Country

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

Urban Hospitals Reach Out to Poor Neighborhoods

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

Heroin Overburdening Foster Care Systems

State officials say the opiate epidemic is a reason more children are landing in foster care.
October 8, 2015

A Model for Raising Taxes in Republican States?

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

Despite Embargo, State Leaders Want Trade Ties to Cuba

Governors and other state officials are traveling to Cuba to forge business ties with the island nation.
October 5, 2015

Some States Now Have Associations to Deal With Condo Disputes

Some states have created ombudsman offices to handle the deluge of complaints between residents and homeowner associations.
October 5, 2015

How Some Cities Reverse Segregation

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 Probe Why Insurers Are Charging Based on Consumer Spending

States are clamping down on “price optimization,” the practice of tying insurance rates to policyholders’ tolerance of price increases.
September 29, 2015

Cities and States Prepare to Host Syrian Refugees

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

Some States Working to Fix Gender Pay Gap

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

People Suffer When States Don't Pass Budgets On Time

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

34 States Saw Poverty Rate Drop Last Year

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

States Have a Gambling Problem: Young People

Younger gamblers are shying away from slot machines, which poses a revenue problem for casinos and for states.
September 16, 2015

Is City Housing Still Too Segregated?

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

Economies Are Growing in Every State. Why Are People Still So Poor?

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

Some State Governments Reconsidering Domestic Partner Benefits

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

States Issue Their Own Drone Rules

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

Age Discrimination Laws Offer Firing Protection But Little Hiring Help

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

Politicians Love 'Universal' Preschool. If Only They Could Decide What It Means.

Many states are embracing early education, but are supporting it in different ways.
September 3, 2015

Advice for Auditors From One of the Longest-Serving Generals

What’s the role of auditors general?
September 2, 2015

Q&A With the Governor Who Prioritized Fixing the Drug Epidemic

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

Illinois Budget Crisis Means Lottery Winners Have to Wait for Payout

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

Legal Marijuana Means States Struggle to Address High Driving

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

Rural States Try to Stop Population Exodus

Kansas is among the states seeking to counter shrinking population in rural counties with tax incentives and other programs.
August 19, 2015

States Tax in Some Very Weird Ways

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

Many States Still Prohibit Gay Adoption

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

Rural Hospitals Forming Alliances to Prevent Closure

Many of the country’s 2,300 rural hospitals are struggling. Can joining with other hospitals help them survive?
August 14, 2015

States Confront Rural Poverty Among Hispanics

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

States Put New Focus on Medical Residencies

Several states have too few residency positions for the graduates of their medical schools.
August 11, 2015

Why States Are Competing for Military Retirees

States are offering special lower income tax rates on military pensions to attract retirees.
August 5, 2015

As Death Nears, States Help Seniors Keep Their Final Options Open

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

Many States Now Demanding Colleges Prove Their Effectiveness

More than half of states are funding their public colleges based on outcomes such as graduation rates,
July 31, 2015

States Rethink Restrictions on Food Stamps, Welfare for Drug Felons

Johnny Waller Jr.’s 1998 felony drug conviction has haunted him since the day he left a Nebraska prison in 2001.
July 27, 2015

No More Toll Booth Collectors

A growing number of states are replacing full-time toll collectors with electronic systems.
July 27, 2015

As Rents Skyrocket, More Cities Seek to Cap It

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

Even Prisoners Have Medical Copayments Now

At least 38 states that authorize the collection of medical fees from inmates.
July 21, 2015

What Same-Sex Marriage Means for State Tax Revenues

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

States Use Facial Recognition Technology to Address License Fraud

At least 39 states now use the technology.
July 10, 2015

State Lawmakers Intervening in University Policies

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

State Legislatures Consider Future of American Labor

About two dozen states took up right-to-work bills or bills to repeal prevailing wage laws this year.
July 6, 2015

Many Governors Broke Tax Pledges to Pay for Transportation

Eight states increased gasoline taxes this year to pay for roads and bridges.
July 6, 2015

States Trying to Limit Drug Costs

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

Jobs Training as Rehab

Massachusetts finds career training programs vastly improve a person’s chances of staying clean and sober.
June 30, 2015

Why It's Hard to See Progress in State Governments' Environmental Efforts

State agencies routinely are told to meet energy-saving targets. Whether they do is often hard to determine.
June 29, 2015

Many States Struggling With Rural Homelessness

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

States' New Health Care Workers: Family Members

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

Local Governments Pay When States Don't Expand Medicaid

States and localities spent nearly $20 billion for uncompensated care in the United States in 2013.
June 16, 2015

Some Schools Are Making Parents Pay for Busing

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

States and Feds Disagree on Data Breach Proposals

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

States Try Reduced Probation for Prisoners' Health Treatment

Can providing mental health care in exchange for reduced probation improve recidivism?
June 5, 2015

Some States Consider Better Pay and Benefits for Home Care Workers

Many people who care for the elderly and disabled aren't paid enough to cover their bills.
May 20, 2015

How to Keep the Mentally Ill Out of Jail

An estimated 2 million adults with serious mental illnesses are jailed each year.
May 20, 2015

The 'Rapid Rehousing' Solution to Homelessness

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 Have Trouble Hiring Good Cybersecurity Staff

States are plagued by a number of problems in hiring and retaining IT staff— especially cybercrime experts.
May 12, 2015

Many Lawmakers Trying to Get State Pension Systems to Divest Fossil Fuel Holdings

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

Several States Trying to Offer Property Tax Relief

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

How Tax Amnesties Help State Budgets

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

How Are States Going to Pay for Those Police Body Cameras?

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

Medicaid Expansion Is Saving States Money

Oregon is one of eight states that have reaped financial benefits from expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
April 28, 2015

Making the State Legislature a Nicer Place

More than 200 state legislators have participated in workshops aimed at improving civil discourse and building bipartisan trust. Can they work?
April 27, 2015

States Giving the Elderly More in Tax Breaks

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

The Deadly Drug Most States List as 'Preferred' for Medicaid

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

Many States Working to Increase Medicaid Payments to Doctors

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

Water Problems Extend Beyond California

The focus has been on California’s drought, but dozens of other states are facing their own water woes.
April 13, 2015

States Looking to Increase Taxes on the Rich by Eliminating Special Deduction Rules

Many states are looking to end the “double deduction” of state and local taxes from their state income taxes.
April 7, 2015

Lieutenant Governor Is (Sometimes) a Real Job

The role of lieutenant governors is expanding in many states because the role of governors has grown.
April 3, 2015

America's Declining Cities Try to Attract Millennials

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

States Consider Limiting Lotteries

Many states are questioning whether state lotteries have gone too far in promoting things like scratch-off lottery games.
April 2, 2015

Many States Using Cameras to Monitor School Buses

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

Why States Don't Regulate the Fertility Industry

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

Is This the End of Taxpayer-Subsidized Sports Stadiums?

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

How Cities and States Use Technology to Reduce Traffic Congestion

A growing number of cities, counties and states are trying to tackle traffic problems by improving the way lights are synchronized.
March 9, 2015

The Growing Popularity of State 'Death with Dignity' Laws

Will California and New York be the next to enact such laws?
March 4, 2015

Nearly a Dozen States Working to Protect the Electric Grid

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

The Big Money in States' Big Lawsuits

When states win legal cases, where does the money go?
February 18, 2015

Colorado Figures Out How to Reduce Teen Pregnancy

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

Politicians Pitch Middle-Class Tax Cuts, in Both Blue and Red States

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

Who Would Lose Health Care If the Supreme Court Rules Against Obamacare?

Employed white Southerners are most likely to lose coverage if the court rules against the Obama administration.
February 4, 2015

States Forced to Deal with New Heroin Problems

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

States' Hispanic Education Problem

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

How Some Stores Cheat the Lottery, and Cost States Money

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

States Trying to Tax E-Cigarettes

Is it because of safety fears or just a desire for more revenue?
January 22, 2015

States Will Get More Money for School-Based Health Services

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

Many Cities Are Creating Policies Apart from Their States

A number of cities are enacting measures that have conflicted with or gone beyond state laws.
January 14, 2015

In Many States, GOP Tax Cut Promises Can't Work with Budget Realities

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

People Are Moving Back to Southern and Western States

New census figures show people have started returning to recovering housing markets in the South and West.
January 7, 2015

States Go Beyond Federal Law to Protect Pregnant Workers

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

Minimum Wage Increases in 20 States

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

The Trouble with Legal Marijuana: Banks

Colorado and other states are frustrated they cannot bring banking to the cash-heavy legal marijuana business.
December 16, 2014

Green Energy Industry Has Power in Statehouses

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

Are Religious Freedom Laws Really about Discrimination Protection?

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

Too Many Pedestrians Injured by Looking at Their Phones

States and cities are looking for new strategies to combat injuries and deaths among walkers distracted by their cell phones.
December 9, 2014

The Trouble with Taxing Train Fuel

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

The Virtual Courthouse

Many courts across the country are moving to paperless systems in an effort to save money.
December 8, 2014

States Try a New Health Care Reform: Special Facilities for 'Super-Utlizers'

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

Future of CHIP Under Obamacare Is Unclear

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

States Challenged by 'Invisible' Homeless Kids

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

The Problem with Cheap Gas

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

States React to Obama Immigration Order

The change prompts hostility from some states, gratitude from others.
November 28, 2014

States Use Data to Target Identity Thieves

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

State Officials Working to Get Better about Public Records Access

Some states are requiring officials to undergo open government training to improve accountability and reduce public records lawsuits.
November 19, 2014

States Will Have a Hard Time Getting Medicaid Reimbursements for Care Outside of Nursing Homes

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

America's Troubled War on Homelessness

Do new state laws help or hurt the homeless?
November 14, 2014

Americans Are Commuting Less

Many states and localities are pushing for more car alternatives as Americans reduce driving.
November 14, 2014

Widespread Parking Abuses Hurting Disabled Drivers

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

The Addiction Side Effect of Legalized Gambling

In authorizing casinos some states have also created funds to help address problem gambling.
November 10, 2014

States Working to Put an End to Food Stamp Trafficking

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

Social Impact Bonds Matter a Lot in Public Health

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

States Fight Over Chicken Treatment

Californians approved a ballot initiative prohibiting farmers from confining hens in cramped cages. Six states are challenging California’s restrictions.
November 4, 2014

Many Local and State Governments Are Defying Feds on Immigrant Deportation

Almost 300 cities and counties, plus the states of California, Colorado and Connecticut have refused to cooperate with federal immigration actions.
October 30, 2014

States Have No Common Rules About Dealing with Official Emails

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

Too Much Student Tracking?

States backtrack on radio frequency chips for student monitoring after breaches of government and commercial computer databases.
October 27, 2014

Alternative Families Create Challenges for State Laws

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

State Income Tax Revenue Is Increasingly Volatile

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

States Work to Make Driving Safer

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

How Some State Medicaid Programs Limit Drugs to Only the Sickest Patients

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

Asian Dixie

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 Face Increasing Cyberattacks

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

Yes, the Rent Really Is Too Damn High

Renters across the country are struggling as their incomes fail to keep up with escalating housing costs.
September 25, 2014

States' Official Poverty Rates Often Obscure 'Deep Poverty'

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

Why Some Places Have More Surgeries Than Others

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

States Unsure How to Address Domestic Violence Among Ethnic Minorities

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

Many Places Tax 'Summer People' Different from 'Townies'

Some vacation cities and states make “summer people” pay higher property taxes than year -round residents. Is that fair?
September 19, 2014

Income Growth Varies Widely Across States

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

States Wrangle over Supreme Court Control

In many states, determining control of their top courts has resulted in political and ideological battles.
September 16, 2014

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

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

Southern States Face an AIDS Problem

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

More People Living Alone, Posing Challenges for Communities

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

States Implementing More Safety Rules for Kids

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

Ag Schools Reinvent Cooperative Extensions for the 21st Century

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

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

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

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

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

Record Amounts of Cash Going into 2014 State Races

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

Different States Have Implemented DACA Very Differently

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

'Performance-Based Budgeting' Takes Off in States

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

Like Ferguson, Many Suburbs See Rising Poverty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

States Try to Make It Easier to Raise Money with Crowdfunding

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

States Look to Religious Leaders to Fill Mental Health Gap

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

Veterans to Get In-State Tuition in Any State

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

States Fight Financial Scams Aimed at Seniors

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

Too Sick for Prison Health Care

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

Vermont Tries to Go Beyond Obamacare

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

Cities Are Fighting States over Municipal Broadband

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

The English-Only Debate Heats Up Again

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

Why States Can't Manage Private Contractors

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

Obamacare Court Decisions Could Jeopardize Billions in State Subsidies

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

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

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

States Focus on Rail and Energy Pipeline Safety

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

How New Jersey Stopped Unemployment Fraud

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

The States' Pesky Bitcoin Problem

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

Automatically Renewing an Obamacare Policy Could Cost Someone Thousands

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

Social Media from the Grave?

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

Drought Forces Many Places to Figure Out How to Recycle Wastewater

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

Many States Have Their Own Immigration Policies

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

How King County Saves on Health Costs: Making Employees Healthier

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

States Aren't Willing to Tax the Super Rich More

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

The Savings-Prize Solution

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

Will Businesses Lose Terrorism Coverage?

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

States: Who Needs Lobbyists?

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

States Are Trying to Protect Privacy

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

The Shrinking Public Union

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

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

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

For States, the Roads End Here

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

After Years of Austerity, Many States Are Cutting Taxes Again

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

How Cities Learned to Love Bicycles

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

Why Governments Are Promoting Open Data

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

More Students Will Get Free Lunch Next Year

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

How Governments Are Trying to Tax the Sharing Economy

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

The Latest Health Care Reform: Planning for Death

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

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

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

Students Pay More and More to Attend Public Colleges

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

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

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

Why Are Property Taxes so Unpopular in Many States?

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

Can Entrepreneurs Help State Governments?

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

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

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

Why Can't States Fix Payday Lending?

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

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

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

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

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

Why States Are Fighting the FDA on Painkiller Approval

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

How State Lawmakers Control State Universities

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

How States Are Helping the Unemployed Find Work

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

What Should We Do with That Budget Surplus?

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

Some Advocates Now Pushing for Federal Paid Family Leave

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

Mentally Ill and Still Without Health Insurance

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

Some States Working to Protect College Students' Rights as Consumers

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

Everyone Loves Electronic Tax Filing

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

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

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

States Have Lost $5 Billion in Unemployment Aid

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

The Aerospace Manufacturing Business Is Booming in Many Southern States

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

Should it Be Easier to Fire Teachers?

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

Finding Out-of-State Toll Cheaters

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

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

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

A New Reason to Save for College?

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

Can Results-Based Preschool Funding Work?

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

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

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

States Try Many Different Tactics to Improve Population Health

How are states tackling health disparities?
March 13, 2014

Half of States Have Bills About Labeling Genetically Modified Foods

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

Is it Time for Free Community College?

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

Record Cold Increased Demand for Fuel, Straining Freight Lines

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

Public Transit Ridership Reaches Highest Level Since 1956

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

Why Physician Licensing Is a Problem for Telemedicine

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

Many States Trying New Drug-Testing Programs for Welfare Applicants

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

Why Don't Students Understand Personal Finance?

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

New Hepatitis C Drugs Are Really Expensive for States

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

More Food Stamp Cuts Coming

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

Is it Time to Lift the Ban on Interstate Tolls?

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

Why Anyone Can Do Your Taxes

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

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

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

Kentucky May Let Felons Vote

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

Utility Companies Have a Solar Power Problem

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

Suing for School Quality

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

How Dangerous Are American Buses?

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

Many States Move to Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit

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

Many States Interested in Liberalizing Alcohol Laws

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

States Find Melding Medicare and Medicaid Under Obamacare Saves Money

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

American Governors Try Creative Tactics to Get Jobs to Their States

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

Textile Manufacturing Is Back

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

Many State Governors Have Budget Problems with Their Own Parties

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

Transportation Funding Very Uncertain in Many States

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

States Could Lose Millions in Federal Job Money

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

The National Guard Fights a New War

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

How Obamacare Will Keep People Out of Nursing Homes

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

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

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

Which States Have the Best Vaccination Rates?

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

How State Gun Laws Have Changed Since Newtown

A Year After Sandy Hook Shootings, Many States Have Made Changes
December 10, 2013

How States Divide Federal Money

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 Set Their Eyes on Light Rail

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

How States Evaluate Teachers Varies Widely

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

Obamacare's 'Family Glitch' Makes CHIP Critical

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

When ACA Expands Mental Health Care, Peer Specialists Can Help

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

Watchdog Group Complains Oregon's Malpractice Law Hides Bad Doctors

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

States Address Chronic Absenteeism in Schools

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

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

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

States Explore New Compact to Increase Renewable Energy Availability

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

States Make Changes to College Remedial Education

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

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

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

Immigration Plan Could Increase Costs for States and Localities

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

Medicaid Limits Access to Medications for Recovering Addicts

Many private insurance companies and state Medicaid agencies across the country impose sharp limitations on access to medications used in the treatment of the addiction to prescription painkillers known as opioids.
July 15, 2013

'Stand Your Ground' Laws Receive Fresh Scrutiny In Wake of Zimmerman Verdict

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

States Seek Flexibility Under New Obama Climate Plan

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

North Carolina Protesters Undeterred by Hundreds of Arrests

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

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

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

States Reconsider Parent Trigger Laws

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

States Keep Renewable Energy Incentives Despite Push to Repeal

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

States Look to Address Rising Student Debt

As college students across the country are watch anxiously to see if Congress will prevent an interest rate hike on federal student loans on July 1, several states are looking at ways to ease the financial burden of college costs.
June 18, 2013

States Go Different Directions on the Death Penalty

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

Which States Export the Most to China?

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

States and Localities Look to Regulate Short-Term Rentals

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

Wind Industry Expands in Midwestern States

Despite the still uncertain long-term fate of the wind energy tax credit, the industry has plans to develop more turbines in states like Iowa and Nebraska.
June 4, 2013

Emergency Services Workers Face Budget Cuts, Pay Disparity

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

Boston Fire Chief Resigns Amid Bombing Bombings Controversy

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

Foreclosures Down Nationwide But Not in Every State

Foreclosure sales accounted for 35 percent of all home sales in Georgia, the highest percentage in the nation.
May 28, 2013

A Quarter-Million Veterans Denied Health Insurance

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

State Agencies Increasing Availability of Mobile Apps

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

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

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

Majority of States Show Positive Performance on Cutting Carbon Emissions

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

Legislation Aims to Save State Mineral Revenues From Sequestration

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

Cities Fight States Over Mandatory Sick Leave Policies

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

Voting Rights Activists Strike Back on Elections Laws

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

North Carolina Carefully Weighs Fracking Options

As the legislature considers lifting a decades long ban on unconventional drilling which would allow hydraulic fracturing the state's unique geography is prompting concerns about disposal of the wastewater the drilling produces.
May 7, 2013

Road Deaths Increase for 1st Time Since 2006

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

States Make Needed Upgrades to Capitol Buildings

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

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

The U.S. Forest Service has asked a dozen states to return $17.9 million in federal revenue-sharing funds, so the agency can meet its sequestration budget cut obligations.
May 3, 2013

Feds Seek Stronger Cybersecurity Partnerships with States

With cybersecurity legislation stalled in Congress, the White House is looking to partner with states to protect critical infrastructure from attacks.
May 1, 2013

Use of Mortgage Interest Deduction Varies by State

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

Small Businesses Fear Fines from Affordable Care Act

Small businesses in states that choose not to expand Medicaid could be liable for billions in federal tax penalties that companies in states that do expand will not have to pay.
April 29, 2013

Boston Bombings Highlight Need for Public Safety Broadband Network

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

Texas-Oklahoma Water War Could Have National Implications

A decision in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court could unleash a flood of litigation asking courts to crack open some of the more than 30 compacts that determine how states share water.
April 25, 2013

Boston Bomber Case Must Balance State and Federal Roles

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

States Consider Drug Testing Lawmakers

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

States Press Ahead on Bills Expanding Voter Access

Amid the legal battles over Voter ID laws and the Voting Rights Act, legislation to expand voter access and decrease election day lines is active in 21 states.
April 24, 2013

Motorcycle Deaths Rise as States Rethink Helmet Laws

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

Laws Limiting Drones Gaining Steam

Several states have recently passed laws limiting drone use within their borders and 29 other states are still considering legislation.
April 18, 2013

Surveillance Cameras Key to Solving Crimes in Boston, Elsewhere

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 Tell Feds to Use P3s to Protect Forests

Western Governors Association wants the U.S. Forest Service to do more to protect millions of acres of federal forests ravaged in recent years by invasive pests and wildfires by expanding its use of public-private partnerships.
April 17, 2013

Feds Face Tough Choices in States with Legalized Marijuana

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 Teams Up with 19 AGs for Teen Online Safety Campaign

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

Unions Seek New Ways to Combat Declining Membership

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

States' Free Online Tax Filing Services Going Underused

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

Uncertainty Follows Failure of Utah-Nevada Water Pact

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

Which States Accepted the Most Refugees in 2012?

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

More States Explore Tanning Bed Bans for Teens

California, Vermont and New York all enacted their bans in 2012, and in the current legislative session, lawmakers in 29 states have introduced measures that would tighten restrictions on teen tanning.
April 4, 2013

Arizona Presses Ahead on Border Fence Despite Obstacles

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

States Lose Millions in Mineral Revenue Under Sequestration

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

Florida Governor Calls for Obama to Pay Up on Port Improvements

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

Where Are State Travel Taxes the Highest?

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

EPA Warns of Poor U.S. Water Quality

More than half of the nation’s thousands of miles of rivers and streams are plagued by poor water quality, including harmful nutrient pollution and mercury, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
March 26, 2013

Legislatures Seek to Protect Immigrants from Federal Law

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 Joins 5 States with Same-Sex Civil Unions

Colorado became the sixth state to allow civil unions for same-sex couples when Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the legislation Thursday. Another nine states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.
March 18, 2013

Maryland Repeals the Death Penalty, Joins Growing Trend

After a years-long fight, Maryland has become the sixth state in as many years to repeal its death penalty.
March 14, 2013

Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Initiative to Begin in Select States

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

Reducing Road Deaths Proves Challenging in Rural States

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

Governors Prioritize Employing People with Disabilities

The nation’s governors have turned their attention to helping more people with disabilities find jobs by building partnerships with companies that are willing to help accommodate them.
March 6, 2013

After Newtown, States Go Different Directions on School Safety

States have pursued a variety of proposals on school safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.
February 25, 2013

Fracking Debate Heating Up in States

Some lawmakers want to open up their states to fracking, while others hope to impose moratoriums.
February 25, 2013

Supreme Court to Weigh States’ Rights vs. Voting Rights

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

States Seek Legal Limits on Domestic Drones

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

State Officials Urge Insurers to Join Climate Change Debate

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

States Struggling with Oversight of Online Schools

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

Bill to Give Felons Voting Rights Dies in Virginia

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

Governors’ Pardons Are Becoming a Rarity

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

Republicans Rethinking Strategy for Social Issues

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

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

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

New Mexico Governor Renews Fight to Repeal Immigrant-License Law

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

Public Union Membership Drops Again in 2012

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

New Legislatures Revisit In-State Tuition for Immigrants

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

States' New Target for Tax Increases: Seniors

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

Wyoming Legislators Seek to Block Federal Gun Restrictions

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

Alabama’s Dam Oversight Void Stirs Safety Concerns, Confusion

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

Arizona Can’t Divert Land Trust Fund, Court Rules

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

Feds Give States More Time to Comply with REAL ID Law

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

Bullet Tax Proposals Reemerge in Gun Control Debate

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

Scrutinizing Economic Development Agencies

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

Online Sales Tax Collection Bill Unlikely to be Voted on Soon

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

State Education Funding On Trial, Again

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

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

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

States Begin Giving Driver’s Licenses to Young Immigrants

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

Fiscal Cliff Debate Puts Jobless Benefits at Risk

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

Downwind Delaware Seeks Relief From Cross-State Pollution

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

States Grant Utilities Extra Rate Increases

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

Concerns Mount over State Handling of Mortgage Funds

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

The Last Tax-Free Cyber Monday for Online Retailers?

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

Study Shows Most Innovative States

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

Puerto Rico Unlikely to Become 51st State

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

Governors Pressure Congress to Renew Wind Tax Credit

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

Hawaii’s Solar Tax Credits Have Soaring Price Tag

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

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

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

Unions Won Key Election Victories in 4 States

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

Voters Approve More State Debt

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

Sandusky Case Influences Pennsylvania Contest for Attorney General

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

Tax Pledge Permeates New Hampshire Politics

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

Bond Measures Put Some Governors’ Clout on Line

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

Idaho Education Changes Under Attack

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

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

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

Should State Education Chiefs Be Elected?

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

Pennsylvania Legislature Sends Bill Reducing Juvenile Sentences to Governor

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

Montana Oil Boom Reshapes Gubernatorial Race

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

Police Predict Dire Impact from Sequestration Cuts

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

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

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

Early Voting in Ohio Reinstated

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

Affirmative Action on Trial in U.S. Supreme Court

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

States Struggle to Pay Unemployment Trust Fund Debt

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

States Defend Counterterrorism 'Fusion Centers' After Harsh Senate Report

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

Arizona Conservatives Face Triple Threat in November

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

New Health-Care Initiative Has an Unlikely Partner

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

Christie Vetoes Anti-Fracking Bill in New Jersey

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

Right-to-Die Debate Comes to Massachusetts

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

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

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

Performance Pay Comes to College Campuses

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

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

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

Calif. Climate Change Website Challenges Skeptics

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

Fracking, Farmers and Scarce Water Supplies

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

Report: Juvenile Justice Reforms Emphasize Rehabilitation

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

NRC Freezes Licensing for Nuclear Plants

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

DNA's Role in Police Cases Disputed in Courts

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

General Assistance Program Comes to an End in Pennsylvania

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

Dire Warnings in Alabama Budget Vote

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

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

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

'3-Strikes' Bill Sent Back to Massachusetts Legislature

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

Incumbents Losing at Higher Rate in State Races

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

States Reconsider Juvenile Life Sentences in Wake of Supreme Court Ruling

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

'School Choice' Programs Have Limited Choices

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

9 States Address Military Spouses' Unemployment

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

Alabama Immigration Law Enforcement Off to a Slow Start

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

States Consider HHS Welfare Waivers Proposal

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

Sports Concussion Laws Are a Headache for States

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

College Mergers Bring Big Changes But Questionable Savings

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

Romney's VP List Includes Several Governors

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

Report: State Fracking Regulation Laws Need Overhaul

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

43 States Get Share of $3B Health Fraud Settlement

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

Iowa Governor Blasts Pentagon Air National Guard Cuts

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

Pennsylvania Struggles to Help Financially Distressed Cities

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

Nearly 1/2 of GOP Govs May Reject Medicaid Expansion

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

New Anti-Abortion Strategy Successful in States

The past few months have seen a flurry of new state laws restricting abortion, most of them based on the concept of “fetal pain.”
July 5, 2012

Detroit and Michigan Attempt to Work Together

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

Pennsylvania Bars Harrisburg Bankruptcy

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

Teach for America Alums Run for Office over Union Objections

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

Nuclear Cost Recovery Laws at Issue in States

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

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

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

Natural Gas Boom Strains State Regulators

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

Florida, West Virginia Protect Against Stalkers

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

North Dakota Voters Avoid Tax, Sioux Controversies

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

Civil Service Reform Passes in 3 States

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

200 Candidates Kicked Off South Carolina Ballot

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

New Hampshire Lawmakers Compromise on Greenhouse Gas Initiative

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

Maryland Casino Opens to Long Lines and Controversy

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

State Nuclear Waste Storage Issue Still Unresolved

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

Funeral-Regulations Ruling in Pennsylvania Could Have Nationwide Impact

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

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

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

States Get Federal Money to Improve Aging and Disability Centers

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

Gas Companies Give to Lawmakers Amid North Carolina Fracking Debate

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

School Schedules Get a Makeover Across the Country

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

Struggling State Fairs Go Private

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

Red Tape Threatens Innovative Jobs Program

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

Grandparents Raising Children Need More State Help

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

New Race to the Top Funds to Reward Personalized Instruction

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

Gov. LePage Battles Unions in Maine

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

Hawaii Has First Statewide Plastic Bag Ban

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

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

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

Delaware Gov. Markell Defends Common Core Standards

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

States Rethink Trying Juveniles in Adult Court

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

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

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

Public Employees May Choose Between Raises and Job Protections

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

States Scramble to Regulate, Ban Fracking

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

Should Drug Court Be Mandatory?

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

Prescription Drug Databases Pit Access vs. Privacy

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

Courthouse Upgrades Hampered by Political Controversies

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

Natural Gas-Powered Vehicles a Priority for Some Governors

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

States Struggle to Slow Tuition Increases

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

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

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

Community College Completion Measured Differently by States

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

Digital Textbooks Gaining Traction in States

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

Coal States Uncertain of Industry's Future

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

Arizona Immigration Case: Which Side is Your State On?

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

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

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

Financing Energy-Efficient Upgrades May Get Easier in Some States

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

State Radon Programs May Lose Federal Funds

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

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

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

Business Playing Key Role in Gay Marriage Push

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

GOP Legislatures Try to Limit Local Government's Power

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

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

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

Fate of Ballot Measures Often Depends on the Wording examines the priorities of the people who write the language describing proposals on ballots. Sometimes, it's more than simply making it clear.
March 8, 2012

Crime Labs Struggle with DNA Test Demands

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

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

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

Laffer's Supply-Side Economics Staging a Comeback

Arthur Laffer, who helped Ronald Reagan write federal tax policy in the 1980s, is a force to be reckoned with these days at the state level. A large group of Republican governors is listening to him.
February 24, 2012

Pregnancy Medical Homes Gain Momentum in North Carolina

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

Tax Breaks for Films Go Undisclosed in Many States

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

Illinois Tightens Medicaid Without Federal Approval

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

What Do Record Low Natural Gas Prices Mean for States?

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

States Push to Shake up Personnel Practices

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

Courts Block Efforts at Public Pension Change

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

More Questions Than Answers Pepper Wisconsin Politics

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

Maryland Governor O'Malley Takes a Risk on Gas Tax

The governor’s proposal would tie the state’s gas tax rate to the price of the product, rather than the amount a consumer buys. Motorists would likely pay more over time.
January 24, 2012

State Special Education Rates Vary Widely

States differ widely in how many students they designate for special education. Those differences could have a financial impact in the face of possible cuts to federal aid.
January 17, 2012

Ala. Governor's Education Plan Draws Controversy

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

Nevada Leads Gambling Race

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

More Water for Las Vegas Means More Resentment in Rural Areas

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

How Texas Conquered Food-Stamp Apps

Texas was slower than any other state at responding to food-stamp applicants. Today, the state ranks near the top.
November 15, 2011

In Neb., A Pipeline Reprieve and Lessons Learned

Many lawmakers in Nebraska don’t want oil flowing past the state’s scenic Sand Hills. They’ve persuaded the federal government and the company behind the pipeline to reconsider the proposed route.
November 2, 2011

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

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

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

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

Foreclosure Probe Explained: What State AGs Want from Big Banks

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

Medicaid Expansion Seen Covering Nearly All State Prisoners

Some state prison inmates can stay in a local hospital at federal expense. Starting in three years, almost all of them will be able to.
May 24, 2011

Missouri's Puppy Mill Politics

Animal welfare activists won a victory at the polls last November. They say some of that victory has already been taken away by the Legislature.
May 10, 2011

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

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

Republican Governors Push for Biennial Budgets

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

Connecticut's Dan Malloy Seeks Balance

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

Governors' Salaries Show Decline in Pay

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

Utah on Immigration: 'We aren't Arizona'

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

State Conservatives Seek to Amend U.S. Constitution

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

Not All Tax Increases Are Off the Table for Republicans

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

States Weigh Later Dates for 2012 Presidential Primaries

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

Secretaries of State Up the Political Ante

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

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

Lawmakers in Arizona want to pass laws that will force courts to decide whether to revoke the automatic citizenship of babies born in the U.S., including those whose parents are in the country illegally.
November 30, 2010

Republicans Take the Reins in Maine

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

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

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

Trickle of Democratic Legislators Become Republicans

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

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

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

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

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

Republican Wave Expected in Statehouses

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

Should Finishing First Guarantee a Candidate Victory?

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

Four States to Weigh Calls for Constitutional Conventions

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

Will 2010 Repeat 1994 in Governors' Races?

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

Fiscal, Not Social Issues, Draw Ballot Attention

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