Rise in Unemployment May Signal State Recessions
Several states may be straying into dangerous territory.
Several states may be straying into dangerous territory.
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.
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.
Lead poisoning has been associated with lower IQs and academic achievement, impaired speech, hearing and motor skill difficulties, and cognitive and behavioral delays.
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.
New Mexico, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania allow people with an opioid addiction to qualify for a medical marijuana card.
Many Republican state lawmakers don’t seem to have an appetite for taking up new gun control legislation despite last weekend’s mass shootings.
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.
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.
Of the 24 states that considered data privacy legislation this year, only Illinois, Maine and Nevada enacted new laws.
Even in solid blue states, Republicans joined conservative Democrats to block some progressive measures.
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.
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.
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.
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.
States are considering whether to provide gender reassignment services, such as hormone treatments and surgery, under their Medicaid programs.
Claire Sarnowski of Lake Oswego, Oregon, met Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener at a school event five years ago when she was 9 years old.
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.
Five years after Oregon legalized recreational marijuana, its lawmakers now are trying to rein in production.
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.
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.
Beating back the plant requires coordination between different agencies and levels of government, sustained commitment and funding.
Used by countless state lawmakers around the country for the past two centuries, walking out grinds legislative action to a halt.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many banks are reluctant to work with marijuana businesses or people in the industry because federal law says the plant is a dangerous drug.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many rural, often conservative, residents of large Democratic-controlled states are tired of being overshadowed politically, culturally and economically by big cities.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
The Denver initiative is the latest front in a campaign advocates for homeless people have been waging at the state level for years.
New Mexico’s 40-member Complete Count Commission will have $3.5 million to encourage participation.
A handful of states, cities and counties are experimenting with ways to house former inmates while protecting the public.
The Republican shift has altered the trajectory of state legislative efforts to change the federal system.
More communities are training police officers to draw drivers’ blood at police stations or in vans.
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.
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.
High-paying blue-collar jobs lifted incomes in West Virginia, New York and Illinois last year, even though the states lost residents.
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.
The trend has a big impact on states, whose budgets often already are overstretched responding to the drug crisis and other needs.
During the 2010 census, more than 30% of Midwood households failed to respond to mailings, requiring costly and fallible follow-up interviews.
As of now, 36 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Following the lead of Arkansas and Florida, white male conservative lawmakers are spearheading legalization drives in Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Many states don’t allow hemp CBD to be sold to the public at all, whether as an oil, pills or mixed into smoothies.
So far, physical security measures are garnering the lion’s share of dollars in legislative spending proposals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Opposition from utilities and homebuilders, and a slower return on investment, also could stall solar efforts in other states.
Frustrated by federal inaction, state lawmakers in 41 states have proposed detailed plans to lower soaring prescription drug costs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hepatitis C kills far more Americans than any other infectious disease.
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.
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.
State laws boosting wind and solar power have seen remarkable success over the past two decades.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many large companies have employed 'chief privacy officers' for years, but they were rare in state government.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Austin recently took a new tack in the ongoing war between “sanctuary cities" and federal immigration authorities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Voters in Maine went to the polls earlier this month to do something they’ve never done before: rank candidates based on preference.
Few people have glimpsed a dusky gopher frog or heard its loud, guttural, snorelike croak.
New Hampshire, which has one of the lowest legal ages of marriage in the country, has raised the age at which teens can wed.
A few months ago, Rhode Island state Rep. Brian Kennedy had a mild sinus infection, for which he was prescribed an antibiotic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., sued the Trump administration to prevent it from weakening Obama-era auto emissions standards.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown has signed a measure into law that would toughen the state’s consumer data breach laws.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bike sharing may be the ultimate symbol of gentrification, the province of avocado-toast loving, espresso-swilling — and mostly white — millennials.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Western states no longer have to worry about losing millions in energy royalties due to the high cost of the new tax package.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
State child support officials say they have struggles to get ride-hailing companies to comply with reporting requirements for new hires.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the threat from hackers and cybercriminals intensifies, a growing number of states are buying cyber insurance to protect themselves — and taxpayers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
EUFAULA, Ala. — Hispanic immigrants here remember June 9, 2011, the day House Bill 56 became law.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this community center turned polling place, Juan Sanchis stands near an electronic ballot reader with a smile on his face, waiting.
Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, has signed a new law prohibiting prospective employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.
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.
The legal judgments underscore the importance of local governments maintaining a healthy reserve fund balance to absorb unforeseen expenses.
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.
The number of commuters who travel 90 minutes or more to get to work increased sharply between 2010 and 2015.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some roads in Montpelier, Vermont, have gotten a bit rumbly.
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.
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.
In late-October, before a restless crowd in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Republican-elect Donald Trump laid out the closing argument of his campaign.
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.
The “most wonderful time of the year” may be the hardest for tens of thousands of young people locked up for the holidays.
Smaller cities and counties may not be as willing to remain “sanctuaries” for undocumented immigrants as big cities under a Donald Trump presidency.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Home visits from physicians sound antiquated. But new analysis suggests the practice could save states more than $1,000 per patient each year.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
In the last couple of years, the number of sex offenders living on the streets of Milwaukee has skyrocketed, from 16 to 205.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
In Kentucky, state lawmakers will consider in coming days whether to make tuition at community colleges free.
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.
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.
At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 11 students in Carol Jussely’s “Essential College Skills” class were talking about sex.
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.
For Tuscaloosa, Alabama, there are lessons to be learned from the terror that gripped Paris just over a week ago.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
Specialized courts that focus on business disputes have been established in at least 27 states.
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.
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.
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.
Governors and other state officials are traveling to Cuba to forge business ties with the island nation.
Some states have created ombudsman offices to handle the deluge of complaints between residents and homeowner associations.
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.
States are clamping down on “price optimization,” the practice of tying insurance rates to policyholders’ tolerance of price increases.
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.
Economists say capital-intensive industries such as oil extraction have contributed to a gap between economic growth and median household income in many states.
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.
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.
Many states are embracing early education, but are supporting it in different ways.
What’s the role of auditors general?
Vermont's governor pushed to change state laws to focus on treatment instead of prosecution in attacking an epidemic of drug addiction.
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.
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.
Many of the country’s 2,300 rural hospitals are struggling. Can joining with other hospitals help them survive?
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
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.
More than half of states are funding their public colleges based on outcomes such as graduation rates,
Johnny Waller Jr.’s 1998 felony drug conviction has haunted him since the day he left a Nebraska prison in 2001.
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.
At least 39 states now use the technology.
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.
About two dozen states took up right-to-work bills or bills to repeal prevailing wage laws this year.
Eight states increased gasoline taxes this year to pay for roads and bridges.
State agencies routinely are told to meet energy-saving targets. Whether they do is often hard to determine.
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.
States and localities spent nearly $20 billion for uncompensated care in the United States in 2013.
Can providing mental health care in exchange for reduced probation improve recidivism?
Many people who care for the elderly and disabled aren't paid enough to cover their bills.
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.
States are plagued by a number of problems in hiring and retaining IT staff— especially cybercrime experts.
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.
In addition to New York, Connecticut and Texas, relief proposals have been up for debate in Pennsylvania, Maine and Nebraska this year.
The price of a single camera ranges widely, but managing and storing the video costs many times the price of the cameras themselves.
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.
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.
Many states are looking to end the “double deduction” of state and local taxes from their state income taxes.
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.
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,
A growing number of cities, counties and states are trying to tackle traffic problems by improving the way lights are synchronized.
Will California and New York be the next to enact such laws?
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.
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.
Employed white Southerners are most likely to lose coverage if the court rules against the Obama administration.
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.
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.
A number of cities are enacting measures that have conflicted with or gone beyond state laws.
Budget shortfalls will make it difficult for some newly-elected Republican governors to keep the tax-cutting promises they made during their campaigns.
New census figures show people have started returning to recovering housing markets in the South and West.
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.
Nineteen states have "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" laws on the books and 10 states have contemplated similar legislation in the past two years.
States and cities are looking for new strategies to combat injuries and deaths among walkers distracted by their cell phones.
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.
Some states are requiring officials to undergo open government training to improve accountability and reduce public records lawsuits.
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.
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.
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.
Almost 300 cities and counties, plus the states of California, Colorado and Connecticut have refused to cooperate with federal immigration actions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some vacation cities and states make “summer people” pay higher property taxes than year -round residents. Is that fair?
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.
Many states are watching to see how much tax revenue legalized marijuana brings in – so far in Colorado, sales have been far under projections.
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.
State cooperative extensions are transforming themselves in an effort to remain relevant.
Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Hawaii are collaborating to keep track of students who move out of state.
In 37 states, SNAP error rates fell between fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2013.
Campaign contributions for state races this year likely will surpass a record $2.1 billion collected in the last election.
Two years after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals action, state responses vary.
Why small firms are slow to embrace ACA business exchanges.
There's a hiring bias against people who aren't already working. Some wonder if there should be a law to correct that.
Some are offering in-state tuition and financial aid to unauthorized students and others are approving more spending to enforce immigration laws.
A dozen states have changed laws to help startups raise more money.
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.
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.
Recent court rulings add urgency to state exchange decisions.
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.
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.
States and cities get creative about recycling water, since they've run out of other options.
Washington state's King County's Wellness Plan beats the odds and actually works to improve health and reduce costs.
Without federal action, states are moving in to address problems in care for the elderly and disabled.
On July 1, many U.S. states will cut residents' taxes.
Ride services and room sharing are targets for taxes.
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.
State colleges get 47 percent of their revenue from tuition, compared to 24 percent in 1988
Pay for state lawmakers varies widely across the country.
Many states also are grappling with how to lower property taxes or make them fairer.
Perceiving threats to America’s hunting heritage, sportsmen push for constitutional hunting and fishing rights.
Some schools are hiring teachers as revenues increase, others struggle.
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.
In the midst of an epidemic of painkiller addiction, states are flabbergasted by FDA’s approval of a new one.
The results of state-based paid leave have been mixed.
States are trying to crack down on for-profit colleges and the student loan industry.
The state has created eight-week sessions to train and test potential workers in financial literacy and anger management.
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.
Private option Medicaid expansion would cut some benefits.
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.
Many states lag in using electronic health records.
How are states tackling health disparities?
In 2014 67 GMO labeling bills have been introduced in 25 states.
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.
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.
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.
A recent federal court ruling makes states wary of continuing their old way of testing for illegal substances.
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.
Those challenging the EPA say the agency is reading too broadly into its authority to regulate emissions.
Legislators in 9 states have a renewed push for the earned income tax credit.
State legislatures consider changes in liquor, beer, and wine laws.
Many states will take advantage of an Affordable Care Act initiative designed to give dual eligibles better care at a lower cost.
From luring immigrants to paying to paying off student loans, governors are trying everything.
Governors' tax plans get pushback from their political allies.
Transportation needs are piling up as funding remains uncertain.
The Affordable Care Act will spurs a state shift in long-term care.
This year the states will air their differences at the Supreme Court.
States are ramping up their evaluation of teachers. But what they measure is very different across the states.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The requirements in the Affordable Care Act pertain only to private insurers, Medicare and Medicaid expansion programs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Steve Abraira has come under fire from his underlings after he refused to take charge at the Boston Marathon bombing scene.
Foreclosure sales accounted for 35 percent of all home sales in Georgia, the highest percentage in the nation.
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.
States are increasingly offering more mobile apps to citizens in the hopes of connecting better with them and improving the efficiency of service delivery.
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.
Over the past decade, 32 states have successfully cut their carbon emissions, while 18 states have seen increases.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With cybersecurity legislation stalled in Congress, the White House is looking to partner with states to protect critical infrastructure from attacks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Several states have recently passed laws limiting drone use within their borders and 29 other states are still considering legislation.
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.
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.
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.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will appear with 19 state attorneys general in a public education campaign to encourage safer teen behavior online.
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.
More than 20 states allow you to file your taxes online for free, if you follow some very precise instructions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After a years-long fight, Maryland has become the sixth state in as many years to repeal its death penalty.
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.
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.
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.
States have pursued a variety of proposals on school safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.
Some lawmakers want to open up their states to fracking, while others hope to impose moratoriums.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many governors are now reluctant to grant pardons. The reason, according to analysts, is mostly political.
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.
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.
New Mexico is one of two states that issues unrestricted licenses to undocumented immigrants.
While a few states increased their union membership last year, the states where unions suffered recent political defeats saw a decline.
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.
Lawmakers are starting to wonder whether the tax breaks for seniors have become so generous that they threaten the sustainability of state revenue streams.
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.
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.
Alabama is the only state that doesn’t regulate dams, leaving thousands of aging structures never inspected or regulated in any way.
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.
Legislators in a number of states are taking a second look at bullet tax proposals in the wake of the Newtown shooting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Delaware’s top air regulator has challenged federal officials to find a way to limit harmful pollution blowing across state lines.
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.
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.
States have siphoned mortgage settlement funds for purposes seemingly outside the realm of housing, raising some red flags.
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.
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.
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.
Several governors are reapplying pressure on Congress to extend a tax credit whose looming expiration has prompted layoffs.
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.
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.
Labor won big contests this week in Indiana, Idaho, California and New Hampshire, while results were mixed in Michigan.
Voters approved statewide bond measures on the ballot November 6.
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.
A look inside the state's anti-tax dynamic and how it plays out in statewide races.
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.
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.
State taxes, which are closely tied to the federal tax code, could change dramatically depending on the outcome of the election.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Voter ID opponents have won high-profile court battles, but may be losing ground on the longer-term legal fight against the laws.
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.
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.
The outcome could spell the end to affirmative action programs across the country that provide some advantage to applicants from underrepresented minorities.
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.”
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.
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.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have banned the disposal of hydraulic fracturing waste in New Jersey.
Luis Fortuno, the island commonwealth’s Republican governor, said Mitt Romney assured him of his support for Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state.
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.
Only one in four high school seniors met college readiness benchmarks in English, reading, math and science this year.
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.
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.
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.
Taking DNA samples from suspects immediately upon arrest is an increasingly common law enforcement practice. But some courts have ruled it unconstitutional.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Stateline analysis found that students who participate in state 'School Choice' programs actually have very limited choices.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Mitt Romney is expected to soon announce his pick for a running mate, and several governors remain on the short list of possibilities.
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.
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.
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.
Pennsylvania has an ambitious program aimed at fixing the finances of troubled cities. In most cases, it doesn’t accomplish a lot.
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.
The past few months have seen a flurry of new state laws restricting abortion, most of them based on the concept of “fetal pain.”
The state of Michigan and its largest city have pledged cooperation to keep the city afloat. But neither quite trusts the other.
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.
Some alumni from the teaching program are making runs for state office. Many are facing opposition from teachers’ unions.
Charging ratepayers for nuclear plant construction made sense to many legislatures a few years ago. Attitudes have shifted since then.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tourism and budget cuts have dictated, and in some cases shortened, the school year in a number of states. But a growing movement thinks students need more time in school, according to Stateline.org.
State fairs are facing a budget crunch, and one solution is to turn them over to private ownership.
The federal government has made money available for a new approach to unemployment, but states have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to get it.
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.
The latest round of the Race to the Top grant competition will be open to school districts for offering more personalized instruction for students.
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.
Honolulu recently banned retailers from offering plastic bags in the checkout aisle, making Hawaii the first state with such regulations statewide, according to Stateline.org.
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.
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.
In Colorado, prosecutors have had full power to try juvenile offenders in adult courts. Now the state is restricting that power.
After more than two decades heading pension systems in Colorado and Kansas, Meredith Williams tells Stateline that Americans are woefully underprepared for retirement.
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.
As natural gas drilling expands throughout the country, states are trying to balance economic and environmental interests. Finding agreement isn’t easy, Stateline.org reports.
Balancing patient privacy rights and law enforcement’s access to prescription drug databases proves a difficult task, reports Stateline.org.
Many courthouses around the country are in dreadful physical shape. But spending the money to replace them can be a politically dicey proposition, Stateline.org reports.
A group of 13 governors is hoping to interest automakers in a plan aimed at boosting demand for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas.
While average college tuition increased in every state in 2011, early returns suggest the number won’t be that high in 2012. But in some states, it's only going to get worse, reports Stateline.org.
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.
A new tool released by the College Board shows that states differ widely in how they track community college completion.
Despite enthusiasm for digital textbooks at the national level, states have been slow to get on board. But the movement is gaining strength, according to Stateline.org
More than half of the states weighed in on a U.S. Supreme Court case scheduled for a hearing this week over an Obama administration challenge to Arizona’s latest anti-immigration law, according to Stateline.org.
When people move from one state to another, they often continue to collect the same benefits in both. Technology exists to control that problem -- if states can be persuaded to use it, Stateline.org reports.
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.
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
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.
Conservative state lawmakers who rail against federal mandates often find themselves using the same weapon in dealing with their own cities and counties, Stateline.org reports.
The state makes an unusual down payment on its massive health benefit debt to retired public employees.
Stateline.org examines the priorities of the people who write the language describing proposals on ballots. Sometimes, it's more than simply making it clear.
State laboratories are being asked to handle more DNA samples every year. They use federal funding to meet part of the expense, but backlogs persist nevertheless, Stateline.org reports.
Safety concerns following the fatal Fukushima disaster are among several factors keeping the industry in limbo in the U.S., Stateline reports.
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.
Linking high-risk mothers with caregivers earlier in pregnancy may be a way to save both lives and money.
States are eager to use financial incentives to attract Hollywood productions. But they're less enthusiastic about revealing which films got how much help.
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.
Thinned budgets and shifted energy production for some, Stateline.org reports.
Civil service rules that haven’t changed in decades are being re-assessed by several governors bent on major changes in the system.
Two judges have ruled that their states cannot make existing employees contribute more toward their retirement benefits.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some Republican governors are open to raising some taxes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.