Beyond the Bushes: Political Dynasties in State and Local Government
American politics is a forest filled with intricate family trees, and many offices seem almost hereditary.
Dylan Scott -- Staff Writer. Dylan graduated from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in 2010. While there, he won an Associated Press award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series of stories on the university’s structural deficit. He then worked at the Las Vegas Sun and Center for Education Reform before joining GOVERNING. He has reported on the Supreme Court’s consideration of the Affordable Care Act and various education reform movements in state and local government. When out of the office, Dylan spends his time watching classic films and reading fantasy fiction. Email email@example.com | Twitter @DylanLScott
American politics is a forest filled with intricate family trees, and many offices seem almost hereditary.
When residents in places that aren’t expanding Medicaid or setting up their own health exchanges are denied insurance, the feds will tell them who to blame: their state.
From Georgia to Texas, teacher evaluation systems always seem to lead to dishonest behavior. States hope the new Common Core standards will be different.
Nevada's health insurance exchange plans to sell ads on its website to boost revenue and keep consumers' costs down, but their peers are reluctant to follow.
Even though poverty is often linked with higher risks of HIV infection, less than half the states cover routine testing for Medicaid recipients. The feds are offering states an incentive to change that.
With most state-run social service programs, such as Medicaid and food stamps, funded by the feds, who decides whether gay couples will receive those benefits?
The states will receive a one percent increase in the matching rate to their Medicaid program to pay for services that include counseling for healthy diet habits as well as screenings for various cancers and other diseases.
The practice of converting waste into energy isn't new, but its advocates argue that it’s underutilized in America.
Despite pent-up demand for e-books, Montgomery County, Md., libraries are stymied by book publishing pricing practices that are straining budgets. A county resolution calls for a remedy to the problem.
The U.S. House on Friday passed a bill reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), known as No Child Left Behind, the first passage of major K-12 legislation in more than a decade.
More than a dozen states introduced legislation to pull out of the Common Core State Standards, but most bills went nowhere.
Prince George’s County last month became the first in the nation to give the chief executive the authority to appoint a superintendent and school board members.
Two states have passed laws this month that require doctors to have hospital privileges to perform abortions. Critics say the laws will have little impact on women's health and are purely politically motivated.
President Barack Obama called for every state to raise the legal age students can drop out of high school to 18 last year. But states haven't been quick to make any changes.
Because of a tight schedule, a number of state-based marketplaces will still be finalizing their payment functions after the Oct. 1 launch.
State and local governments aren’t likely to have a big reaction to the news that the White House would delay Obamacare’s employer mandate for one year.
The state is making an unprecedented effort to cut health costs by instituting performance pay into its health-care industry and paying doctors based on quality instead of quantity.
In creating regulations for its now-legal pot industry, Colorado referred to the rules already in place for its medical marijuana system – so much so that it can be hard to distinguish between the two.
Facing higher prices and limited access to e-books from the major publishers, one man has inspired a national movement to promote smaller, digitally based presses and self-published authors.
The Florida governor came into office with no political experience and promising to overturn Obamacare. But his switch to support Medicaid expansion suggests he’s learning on the job.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Thursday that they would offer up to $12 million in funding for states to develop ombudsmen programs for their efforts to better coordinate care between Medicare and Medicaid.
Most of the 45 states that adopted the Common Core State Standards haven’t updated their high school graduation requirements to comply with the new K-12 academic standards, according to a new report.
When the state auditor tried to subpoena records from a private firm using public money, the governor and legislature moved to stop him.
Without strong federal policies, states have become more active and divergent.
A new federal report questions whether the insurance marketplaces will be ready in time for Oct. 1.
Virginia is the sixth state to reach an agreement with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to run a pilot project coordinating care for dual eligibles.
A new study reveals that uninsured adults who receive Medicaid coverage experience negligible effects on their physical health, but substantially improve their mental well-being. It previews how the federal law could impact poor, childless adults who get coverage through the Medicaid expansion.
Both sides of the aisle are using parliamentarian tricks to maneuver around the most controversial issue of the session, which ends Friday.
Nobody knows exactly what the Affordable Care Act will do to the insurance industry. But many in the private sector, including Aetna’s CEO, are saying it’s time for the industry to change.
Many municipalities prohibit sex offenders from living near parks. L.A. and Miami are taking it one step further and calling patches of grass “parks” in order to rid their cities of the offenders who currently reside there.
Nobody knows for sure, as critical deadlines approach.
Obama's budget proposes delaying certain Medicaid cuts another year, complicating the politics of the Medicaid expansion and possibly setting the administration up for an annual headache.
If President Barack Obama's proposal to postpone Medicaid cuts to hospitals for one more year is enacted, it would likely complicate the politics of the Medicaid expansion.
Following up on his pledge to expand early education to all American children, President Barack Obama proposed pumping $66 billion over the next 10 years into a “Preschool for All” initiative.
The position has been left officially unfilled in part because of the political turmoil around Obamacare, but Marilyn Tavenner appeared to enjoy bipartisan support at Tuesday’s hearing.
The U.S. Supreme Court's answer will determine whether the justices rule on California's gay marriage ban at all.
House Democrats say they're willing to let the state's entire Medicaid program expire to force a debate on Obamacare's expansion.
Philadelphia city officials want an exemption for a 2008 local ordinance that goes further than Obamacare on nutrition labeling.
A new poll underlines the disconnect between the debate among lawmakers and the public's knowledge about the federal health law's central provisions.
Though premature deaths across the United States have reached a 20-year low, the gap between the healthiest and unhealthiest counties is still wide, according to a new report.
As part of his plan for greater energy efficiency across the U.S., President Barack Obama proposed a competitive grant program to help states cut waste.
The bill would allow residents to go ahead with approved procedures and keeping seeing the same doctors, even after changing insurance.
Most insurance companies aren’t adequately preparing for the challenges of climate change, according to a new report, but they are still well-positioned to take the lead on the issue and become vocal advocates in statehouses and on Capitol Hill.
Providence, R.I.'s after-school system has become a national model. Its leader has some advice for those looking to improve their after-school opportunities for at-risk youth.
Record amounts of money are being spent to elect school boards. Advocates worry it's the start of a disturbing trend.
As many as 20 million Americans are supposed to enroll in the online marketplaces and purchase health insurance this year. But many people still aren't aware that the exchanges even exist.
A drafting error in the Affordable Care Act is playing a key role as red states propose alternatives to the federal law.
When income changes move millions of Americans from public to private insurance next year, states want to make the switch simple.
As cities strive to improve afterschool programs, they're using data to figure out which kids to serve and how to serve them better.
Thanks to a mistake in the Affordable Care Act's language, some Republicans -- including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker -- see a way to push more people to private insurance.
Some states are defaulting to a federal-run insurance marketplace, but hoping to keep their regulatory authority.
A few schools are guaranteeing four-year tuition rates for incoming students while the higher education world watches to see how the experiment works.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Barack Obama pledged to support state efforts to expand early education access to all American children.
The city expects to bring in hundreds of millions in federal dollars through the initiative.
Insurers will likely lobby states to transition from federal to state control, an idea that's already on some states' minds.
Limits on how much property tax revenue localities can raise -- which nearly every state has -- are coming under increased scrutiny in Wisconsin.
Few states provide comprehensive dental coverage. Massachusetts is hoping that better teeth will lead to better jobs for low-income adults.
Even as they embrace the expansion, some governors are signaling that they'll pull out if federal funding drops in later years.
With the deadline for the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces officially eight months away, Gary Cohen, who is overseeing their implementation for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), assured health care advocates Thursday that they would open on schedule.
For years, states have dallied over pay-for-performance in higher education. In Britain, they've been doing it for decades.
There’s a running joke in state government that nobody is sure what a state’s lieutenant governor is actually supposed to do.
A new analysis shows how the ACA provision banning the denial of health insurance to people with preexisting conditions will impact various states.
Foregoing the old-fashioned public service announcement, local health departments are trying new ways to get the word out.
Americans want their governors and state lawmakers focused on creating health insurance marketplaces in the current legislative sessions, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, while a solid majority of the public also wants their state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Though his administration has often clashed with teachers unions, Florida Gov. Rick Scott extended an olive branch of sorts Wednesday: a $2,500 for all full-time public school teachers in the state.
Some state officials think the upcoming deadlines for health exchanges are unrealistic. A few are even floating the idea of an extension.
Retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) is moving from the Capitol to the association circuit, where he will take over as president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
States have until Feb. 15 to decide if they want to partner with the feds on their health exchange. Delaware is one state to already choose that route.
Lost in the chaos of Congress's last-minute passage of legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff this month was the farm bill -- ever the undercard -- and the reality that the hodgepodge of food and agriculture provisions is still sitting on the U.S. House's proverbial desk, expired and needing reauthorization.
Despite their opposition to Obama's health-care reform law, a handful of Republican governors have come out in support of expanding Medicaid recently.
In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings, some states are pumping money into school safety improvements. But there are few options for change.
To connect mobile health units in the hills of rural New England with broadband access, policymakers are looking up -- all the way to space.
Nearly a dozen states haven't passed laws to conform their state code with the federal law's health insurance reforms.
In one of two plans he proposed for implementing the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, California Gov. Jerry Brown has suggested that his state try something different: expand the low-income insurance program on a county-by-county basis.
A coalition is coalescing in support of the Medicaid expansion, sparking a nationwide effort to convince skeptical governors and legislators that accepting a windfall of federal money to expand the low-income insurance is a good thing for their state. But those advocates shouldn’t expect the ready help of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce any time soon.
Entering the new year, the nation’s governors are focused on having a role in the federal conversations around deficit reduction and comprehensive tax reform, according to the vision laid out by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin at the National Governors Association’s inaugural State of the States address Wednesday.
Two federal laws -- and state implementation of their provisions -- are overhauling insurance coverage for the mentally ill.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is putting $400 million toward improving the nation's telemedicine infrastructure, the commission announced Monday.
After meeting with U.S. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the Florida governor sounded decidedly unswayed as he continues to weigh how much of the Affordable Care Act his state will implement.
Lost among the tax and spending debate, the fiscal cliff bill passed by the House and Senate this week also averted a significant pay cut for doctors who treat Medicare patients, the Washington Post reports.
Strained by budget cuts, libraries are preparing to handle more questions and more customers after the gift-giving season.
Offering financial incentives to boost services in select areas is common for economic development -- but rarely, if ever, used to reduce health disparities.
At least 27 people, including 14 children, were shot and killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., according to multiple reports coming out of the city.
Answering a popular question from the states, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told governors in a letter Monday that her department would not support a partial Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
A Nebraska legislator says he can get enough votes to overturn a veto by Gov. Dave Heineman, who opposes the expansion.
Half of states graduate less than 60 percent of their students with limited English proficiency.
A pilot program in Hennepin County, Minn., is providing better and cheaper care to low-income childless adults.
Advocates are trying to save public health programs from further cuts -- and persuade Congress that they can be their own deficit reduction tool.
Faced with the decision to expand Medicaid or not in the wake of the federal health law ruling, states can be divided into three categories.
Louisville, Ky., is pushing the limits of how government can use data to create a healthier living environment.
If all 50 states choose to expand Medicaid under the federal health law, they would collectively save more than they would spend, reports a new analysis.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has outlined for the first time the coverage that states must offer new Medicaid enrollees if they decide to expand the program.
With reelection in its rearview mirror, the Obama administration released a flurry of Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations Tuesday, including new specifics about health plans to be sold on health exchanges.
Faced with the reality that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be fully implemented after President Barack Obama's reelection, Republican governors are asking for a sitdown with the White House to discuss state-level implementation -- and more time to plan their health exchanges.
Governors are making their health exchange plans known as the Nov. 16 deadline approaches.
Maryland is one of 11 states to have passed some version of the DREAM Act.
Education reform advocates won two efforts to expand charter schools Tuesday night.
Two efforts to change policies on state-prescribed death failed at the ballot boxes.
Bay State voters will decide whether to allow physician-assisted suicide, while people in the Golden State will vote on abolishing the death penalty.
Oklahoma and Maryland voters will decide on questions of access and equality.
Votes in five states on the individual mandate and health exchanges are set for next week.
For the next two years, doctors who provide primary care to Medicaid patients will receive the same payments as those who serve Medicare recipients, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Thursday.
The country is poised to transition from one of the world’s biggest consumers of energy to one of its largest producers.
Support for marijuana legalization ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington exceeds 50 percent, according to recent polls.
While still ranking behind the economy and jobs as the most important issues of the campaign, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and state-run Medicaid are still important factors for voters heading to the polls next Tuesday, a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll found.
If states decide not to expand Medicaid in 2014, the uncompensated care provided by hospitals could ballon by more than $53 billion by 2019, according to a new analysis from the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH).
Medicaid enrollment and spending slowed dramatically in FY 2012 as the nation’s economy began to improve, according to a new 50-state survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, and those trends are expected to continue in FY 2013.
With less than a month before applications to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are due, half of the states still don’t know what kind of health insurance exchange model they’re going to have.
Companies view the new state health exchanges as a viable alternative to employer-based support, according to a new report.
The candidates agree education is essential to American prosperity. So why aren't they talking more about it?
As local health departments scramble to respond to the fungal meningitis outbreak that has spread to 15 states, infecting more than 200 and killing 15, it serves as a sobering reminder that the nation’s ability to confront such a crisis has been significantly reduced in recent years.
The health crisis, which has led to more than 200 infections, could lead to shift from state to federal oversight of compounding pharmacies.
The Minneapolis experiment, which started in 2008, could serve as a model for other cities.
As Americans work longer, state and local officials worry a senior job training program doesn’t have the funding to meet its demand.
In oral arguments Wednesday, the Court has been asked to decide if public universities can use race to determine admissions.
The new computerized assessments, which states will begin piloting in 2013, mark a radical new approach to testing.
Like any other employers, local governments are preparing themselves for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the coming year, weighing their options about improving health coverage for employees or letting their workers test the private markets on the health insurance exchanges.
Add Arizona to the short list of states, joining Maryland and Utah, that have selected their state employee health policy as the benchmark for essential health benefits sold on its health insurance exchange.
Medicare may continue to be the marquee showdown between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney as they lay out visions for the future of the country's health-care sector, but Medicaid is proving to be a feisty undercard.
Maryland and Utah have picked state employee health plans as benchmarks for the insurance policies sold on their health exchanges.
Some states are considering tying higher ed funding to performance. Ohio has asked the schools themselves to craft a funding model.
Two analyses released in the last week estimated the number of uninsured would increase if the ACA were repealed and replaced by the Republican plan.
One in eight older Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, costing the health-care sector up to $200 billion annually. So what are states doing about it?
Five states and the District of Columbia received another round of health exchange establishment grants, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Thursday.
Public trust in state and local government has reached a more than 10-year high, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.
Medicaid has tripled as a share of federal outlays to state and local governments since 1980.
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney plans to introduce legislation prohibiting the use of replacement referees for professional sports, his office announced Tuesday morning, in the wake of controversy over the NFL's substitute officials' apparently botched call cost the Green Bay Packers a win in their game against the Seattle Seahawks Monday night.
Cities and states are taking a page from the private sector and opening on-site health clinics for public workers.
State and local transportation are ever more important to America's global competitiveness, but in a climate of budget cuts and deficit reduction, policymakers have to make a better argument about the importance of infrastructure investments and find alternate ways to fund those projects.
As states and localities strive to rein in employee health-care costs, innovations might become the norm.
States are anxious to use federal data for other human services programs, but the IRS has prohibited it.
Though they are a small sliver of the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts that would take effect on Jan. 1, 2013, the health exchange establishment grants—which are expected to fund almost all state planning for the online insurance marketplaces through 2014—would be cut $66 million if Congress and the White House can't agree on a plan for avoiding sequestration.
While private health insurance coverage remained steady in 2011, government enrollment increased and the overall uninsured rate fell from 2010, according to new figures released this week by the Census Bureau.
States' online insurance marketplaces must meet federal technology standards, but they have leeway in how they do that.
A change in union leadership preceded Chicago's teacher strike, unlike other cities where labor disputes simmer.
The law, a model for federal reform, increased insurance coverage and minimally impacted business profits.
Paid contractors have been charged with falsifying signatures for two ballot initiatives.
For the first time since the start of the economic downturn, state and local governments created more jobs than they lost last month.
As exchange planning winds down, states still have to figure out contracts and funding for these public outreach entities.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is dramatically cutting back his time at the Demoncratic National Convention, as the city's teachers prepare for a walkout in the first weeks of school, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
In contrast to some states’ anti-immigration policies, a few cities are actively trying to attract immigrants to boost their own economies.
The Lone Star state is one of many trying to combat human trafficking and help its victims with state programs.
States are trying a variety of reforms, most of which give public workers financial incentives to be healthy.
Increased Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage has led to a drop in the number of low-income who are uninsured, despite an increase in child poverty, according to a report released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
States are behind in implementing a federal law that requires electronic verification for Medicaid long-term care patients.
Americans believe a lack of financial support is the biggest problem currently facing public schools, according to the 44th annual Phil Delta Kappa International/Gallup poll of public attitudes toward public schools released Wednesday, but they also say that balancing the federal budget is more important than improving the quality of education.
Payments increased from 2006 to 2010, but the exact number remains unknown.
A plurality of Americans don't think No Child Left Behind, the most comprehensive education legislation passed in decades, has had much effect on public education, according to a new Gallup poll. But among those who do have an opinion, more believe that it has made public education worse.
As new laws require third graders to pass reading before moving up, research suggests it may improve performance.
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say that the cost of health care and health insurance will be an important factor in their vote this November.
Lincoln Heights, Ohio's turnaround may be a model for other troubled areas.
With the debate over Medicare heating up in the presidential campaign, the Obama administration has partnered with local pharmacies to inform seniors about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will benefit their Medicare coverage.
Residents in Hawaii, Utah and South Dakota were most likely to say that they are "thriving", according to a new poll from Gallup, while those in West Virginia, Maine and Delaware were least likely to feel that way.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has finalized its guidelines for states to develop their health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and set a Nov. 16 deadline for states to submit their plans.
States in the South and Midwest had the highest proportion of obese residents, according to new estimates.
State and local construction spending on K-12 education has dropped by more than 35 percent since 2009.
Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania are home to the most toxic air pollution from power plants, according to an analysis of 2010 data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), conducted by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC).
Since the Court upheld the ACA, campaign contributions with tangible connections to health reform have flowed into gubernatorial races.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed the state's landmark health-care cost control bill into law.
In the future, Utah looks like it will be the best state to live, according to a new Gallup poll that combines a cross-section of metrics to determine a state's livability.
No deadline exists for states to decide whether or not they will voluntarily participate in the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to reports from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) annual summit in Chicago this week.
One of the chief challenges for charter schools is securing a quality facility. The U.S. Education Department handed out $11 million last week to make that process a little bit easier.
A solid plurality of Americans would be amenable to their local school districts seriously shaking up the way they operate, according to a new poll from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which portrayed the poll's results as good news for education reform advocates.
A dozen or more states are expected to submit their plans in September for improving care for those eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare.
Enrollment is rising, but a new report highlights weak retention and high student loan default rates.
Colorado’s decade-long debate over how to manage medical marijuana has produced a tightly controlled approach that more states are starting to emulate.
Americans slightly favor states' volutarily expanding their Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
After the company's president expressed opposition to gay marriage, two mayors said they'll try to prevent it from expanding.
Voters in three states will decide whether to legalize marijuana for commercial use, while it remains banned under federal law.
Between decreased Medicaid enrollment and increased health insurance subsidies, the federal government will save $84 billion implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through 2022, according to new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Christine Ferguson is in charge of what she expects to be one of the nation's first online insurance marketplaces.
After at least a dozen people were killed in Aurora, Colo., Friday morning at a midnight showing of the latest Batman film, law enforcement agencies across the country are working to prevent copycat crimes and ease the public's fears.
The governor, who wants to cut Medicaid enrollment after the Supreme Court ruling, proposed a similar plan earlier this year.
States will be able to draw on a $275 million pot of federal money to pursue health-care innovation initiatives, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Thursday.
Mitt Romney's running mate wants to make Medicaid a block grant. How could this controversial proposal affect states?
States are confronting the challenges of protecting passwords, regulating status updates and other issues surrounding a new world with Facebook and Twitter.
U.S. House Republicans have followed through on their pledge to defund the Affordable Care Act, including the exchange establishment grant program that's funding state efforts to implement health insurance marketplaces.
Schools receiving federal improvement grants in 46 states have added learning time to improve student performance, according to a new report.
Nine states asked for health exchange establishment grants during the latest round of applications, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official told Governing.
In a letter sent to all 50 governors Tuesday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that her department would exempt low-income individuals in states that choose not to expand their Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from the law's individual mandate.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman came down firmly against expanding the state's Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is now voluntary for states after the Supreme Court's ruling at the end of June.
The idea has been introduced in at least a dozen states since 2006, including four this year.
The National Association of Medicaid Directors sent nearly 30 questions to the federal government last week on the health-care reform law's now optional Medicaid expansion.
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina have quietly positioned themselves as leaders in the job-training effort. Each state’s program is unique, but they share some commonalities.
The U.S. economy added 80,000 jobs in June, unemployment remained steady at 8.2 percent and state and local governments added another 4,000 jobs, according to Friday's monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Hospitals could push states to expand their Medicaid enrollment, as they stand to gain millions if more people have insurance -- or lose millions if they don't.
Nearly half of uninsured Americans could qualify for the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, if fully implemented. View a map for details on your state.
For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court declared an act of Congress to be unconstitutionally coercive toward states.
States will have 10 new opportunities to apply for federal funding to develop their health insurance exchanges outlined in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday.
Satirical accounts for politicians and public officials are almost as numerous as their real-life counterparts.
Some states are set to pick up the pace on establishing their insurance exchanges, while others could wait for the November election.
Governments' Facebook and Twitter activity presents a distinct challenge for states and localities committed to transparency.
The decision leaves an apparent loophole for states to opt out of the law's Medicaid eligibility expansion.
Alaska's Medicaid office will pay $1.7 million to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for possible violations of a federal law that protects patient privacy.
New nationalized nutrition standards for schools could improve student health, while also increasing revenue, according to a new report from the Health Impact Project.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the 2010 Citizens United decision, which allowed corporations to spend unlimited money on elections, superseded a Montana law that limited corporate election spending.
Federal, state and local public health initiatives have received more than $1 billion from the ACA funding stream, with billions more to come if the law stands.
The justices voted 5-4 to uphold the Affordable Care Act, effectively declaring the law’s individual mandate and Medicaid expansion to be constitutional.
A new social network helps local health departments and community organizations connect, stay up-to-date on emerging trends and mine through extensive data sets.
Steve Larsen, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Center for Consumser Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), an agency that has played a key role in overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will resign from his position some time in July.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich's administration released a report this week that aims to allow local governments in the state to better coordinate and share services, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Medicaid spending is expected to grow faster than any other health sector in the next 10 years, according to new federal projections.
Check the GOVERNING Data interactive for individual state trends in computer and television use by high school students.
States can apply for another round of consumer assistance grants, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Thursday, federal money that aids states in implementing some of the customer-oriented elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Families in the Midwest were most likely to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act's provision, while those in the South were the least likely, according to a new report.
The future of health IT and open data were on display in Washington, D.C., this week at the 2012 Health Datapalooza, co-sponsored by the Health Data Initiative and the Obama administration.
Some state officials say they believe the health exchange funding would continue, but the Obama administration remains silent.
Faltering public support for veterinary training could contribute to a pending shortage of qualified animal care doctors, according to a new report from the National Academy of Sciences.
Wisconsin election officials are projecting a record level of voter turnout when the recall election for Gov. Scott Walker is held.
Ohio became the 23rd state with legalized commercial gaming last week. View pictures of two of its new casinos.
Keystone pipeline opponents are taking the state of Nebraska to court, seeking to block a new state law that allows environmental reviews of the project to resume.
A plan working its way through the Louisiana House would overhaul the governance structure of the state's higher education system.
New Jersey lawmakers moved toward decriminalizing marijuana possession Monday with a bill that would allow offenders to pay a fine rather than go to jail, NJ.com reports.
Almost 80 percent of schools say their current broadband access is inadequate.
Some states opposed to the Affordable Care Act are still declining to move forward with its implementation, unmoved by new guidance for a federally-run insurance marketplace.
Nearly 1,400 deceased individuals and more than 100 prisoners voted in MIchigan elections from October 2008 to June 2011, according to a report released by the Michigan state auditor's office this month.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) doled out another $181 million in health insurance exchange establishment grants Wednesday, bringing the total amount of money that the federal government has pumped into state efforts to craft the online marketplaces to more than $1 billion.
Who says public officials don't have a sense of humor? New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (a Republican) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker (a Democrat) teamed up for a video presented at the New Jersey Press Association's Legislative Correspondents Club Show.
Vendors must outline how they will complete nine specific tasks to construct the marketplace's digital infrastructure. The third story in Governing's ongoing series.
States are seeking to protect workers from discrimination for their family duties.
State and local officials are joining a broad coalition, spearheaded by the National Center on Time and Learning (NCTL) and the Ford Foundation, to push for a cultural shift toward extended school schedules for schools in low-income areas.
President Barack Obama told ABC News Wednesday that he personally supports same-sex marriage. Within minutes, state and local officials and political candidates took to Twitter to stake out their positions on the president's first formal declaration of support for gay marriage.
The National School Boards Association is organizing a national call-in day for school board members and other local officials to call their Congressional representatives and urge them to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
A growing number of cities and counties dedicated to energy efficiency are deciding that local sustainability initiatives can’t coexist with for-profit utilities.
District-wide initiatives in Kansas City, Mo., and Tulsa, Okla., have aimed to turn abandoned school sites into financial opportunities that will simultaneously improve the surrounding neighborhoods. Click to view our slideshow.
Local, state and federal authorities coordinated to collect a record number of used medications last Saturday. How much did your state collect?
A Colorado bill that would facilitate the prosecution of drivers operating under the influence of marijuana passed through a House committee Thursda, the Denver Post reports.
State and local groups representing a wide range of interests sent a letter Thursday to Capitol Hill, urging Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
A Nebraska city official has been charged with felony theft for allegedly taking nearly $1,000 from a fund for senior citizen meals and spending it at Victoria Secret and a liquor store, among other places, the Omaha World-Herald reports.
House Republicans have approved a provision that would eliminate funding bonuses for states meeting enrollment targets for their Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP), POLITICO reports.
Five men were arrested Monday for attempting to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, the Plain Dealer reports.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is pumping more than $725 million into community health centers nationwide, facilitating construction and renovation projects, the department announced Tuesday.
After the controversy over former Philadelphia schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman's nearly $1 million buyout, the Pennsylvania Senate voted this week to limit the severance pay to departing school leaders to one year's salary and benefits if they have more than two years of their contract remaining.
States could receive an increased federal Medicaid match if they provide home-based services that allow enrollees to remain in the community rather than be admitted to a hospital or a nursing home, according to a new Affordable Care Act (ACA) rule released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this week.
Studying the health impact of projects in various sectors, particularly transportation, could influence future policymaking.
Local zoning laws could be limiting access to a quality education for low-income children, according to a new report by the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program.
Secretaries Duncan and Vilsack encouraged state and local leaders to take advantage of federal programs.
Like Rhode Island's Gov. Lincoln Chafee, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped in after legislation stalled in the statehouse.
Veterans in the Omaha, Neb., area will have access to a new form of online PTSD treatment under a pilot program led by Creighton University and the University of Nebraska, the Omaha World-Journal reports.
Though long-term impact is hard to gauge, experts say, the effects of such trends are likely to be felt in state legislatures and governorships.
Even as enrollment increases, state per-child funding has decreased.
Maryland lawmakers approved legislation Thursday establishing the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange, an online insurance marketplace outlined in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
With states taking on a bigger role in assessing accountability for school reforms, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute released a paper this week outlining its thoughts on how states can craft effective accountability systems.
The Detroit Public Schools emergency manager has unveiled plans that allow 10 schools to self-govern and put the services of the district's central office for sale for charter schools and others in the area, the Detroit Free Press reports.
State businesses faced a shortfall of qualified candidates, leading to a plan to find 1,000 workers to fill jobs...
This week, the White House has updated its Federal Tax Reciept calculator to reflect current spending levels in time for the April tax season. President Barack Obama proposed such a calculator that would allow Americans to observe in very specific ways how their federal tax dollars are spent; the effort launched last year.
While a myriad of factors determine a community’s overall health, a strong correlation exists between median household income and health outcomes, according to Governing’s analysis of data from the 2012 County Health Rankings, conducted by the University of Wisconsin and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Different parties saw different omens during last week's oral arguments.
The Supreme Court’s sharp political divide took center stage again during Wednesday’s arguments on the expansion of the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Can the federal government require people to buy health insurance? The two-year debate finally came before the Supreme Court Tuesday during the second day of oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act.
Several Supreme Court justices raised the question during Monday's hearing...
The opening day of the Supreme Court’s hearings on the Affordable Care Act made strange bedfellows: both the law’s opponents and the federal government argued that the Court should rule on the individual mandate now.
Some think overturning the Medicaid expansion could have far-reaching effects.
The state's quick progress reveals the challenges of creating exchanges.
Fun-loving college students present some public safety challenges for local officials.
A Kaiser Family Foundation panel outlined what will be at stake for states when the high court hears arguments on the Affordable Care Act's constitutionality.
Americans remain almost evenly split about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to the latest poll released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, although many provisions are popular aside from the individual mandate.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final rule on state health insurance exchanges Monday, setting the framework under which states must develop their online marketplaces.
States would receive total authority to determine Medicaid eligibility, benefits and provider reimbursement rates under legislation to be proposed Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.).
A shorter school week could not only save money for school districts, but may also lead to improved student achievement, according to a recent study by professors from George State and Montana State universities.
Rural health advocates fear cuts in the president's budget could impede health-care delivery for at-risk populations.
The effectiveness and legitimacy of the Obama’s administration No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers came under scrutiny during a panel discussion Friday at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
Can the federal government make it easier for states to adapt their Medicaid programs to ever-changing circumstances? That is the core question asked by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Governors’ Council in their new paper recommending reforms to Medicaid waivers.
Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) took another step forward Tuesday, as two bills passed the House Education and Workforce Committee along party lines, but the political viability of the legislation outside the GOP-dominated House remains in question.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who faces a recall election this spring after one million signatures were gathered by his opponents, will not challenge the legitimacy of those signatures, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.
States have received further guidance and additional flexibility for the plans sold on their health insurance exchanges, as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released Friday its first bulletin on the cost-sharing aspects of exchange products.
For the first time in U.S. history, more than 30 percent of Americans 25 years and older have attained a bachelor’s degree, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
More than 500 state legislators from all 50 states filed a brief with the Supreme Court of the United States this week, defending the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded Wednesday nearly $230 million in establishment grants to 10 states to aid in their development of health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.
Outbreaks due to raw milk were 150 times greater from 1993 to 2006.
The cost of higher education has become a focal point for the Obama administration, but a dean at the University of New Haven's business school is putting his money where his mouth is: he's offering students a chance for a free undergraduate education if they impress him with their entrepreneurial idea, the Hartford Courant reports.
The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) has named Heath Morrison, superintendent of the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nev., the organization’s 2012 National Superintendent of the Year.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Thursday night, fielding questions on the Race To The Top program and other education initiatives undertaken by the Obama administration.
Another competitive education grant program from the Obama administration -- this one designed to overhaul the teaching profession -- has state and local policymakers concerned about equity and flexibility.
States still developing their No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver applications can also request a one-year extension of their student achievement targets, according to a letter sent by the U.S. Department of Education Tuesday to chief state school officers.
A state-led effort to apply national academic standards across the United States will have two assessment models, and they're not necessarily competing with each other.
Proposed cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Prevention Fund and other grant programs in President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget have state and local advocates concerned that the administration is undercutting communities’ ability to address their population’s health needs.
As states prepare to submit more applications for waivers from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements, the U.S. Department of Education has released recommendations for strengthening their requests.
President Obama sought to address escalating Medicaid costs and states' upcoming implementation of the health reform law in his FY 2013 budget.
President Barack Obama’s budget, released Monday, built on the education priorities that he laid out during his State of the Union speech last month: an increased focus on higher education and strengthening the nation’s teaching workforce.
After undergoing a major expansion under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program is funneling more money to underachieving urban schools, which are in turn pursuing more intervention initiatives, according to a report released Friday by the Council of Great City Schools.
To foster economic growth and job creation, state policymakers must encourage a culture of success within their boundaries, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said during a panel discussion Thursday at the Kauffman Foundation’s State of Entrepreneurship event at the National Press Club.
State Medicaid spending and enrollment for fiscal year 2012 is at or below projections from the beginning of the year, according to a mid-year survey released on Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
States face questions about governance and cost as they develop data-sharing exchanges.
State K-12 education funding seems to have bottomed out in 2011 and should recover overall this year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Center on Education Policy.
Prior to President Barack Obama's hosting of the White House Science Fair, the White House announced a series of new funding opportunities and priorities focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) represented an unfortunate overstep of the federal government’s role in education, members of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce told National School Boards Association (NSBA) attendees Monday.
States must decide what to use as a benchmark for their health insurance exchanges, but dissimilarities among plan benefits and costs cause concerns.
Former Philadelphia schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who left her post with a controversial buyout worth nearly $1 million from the district, had her unemployment claim denied by the state of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Following up on ideas introduced by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address last week, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held an initial hearing Thursday to further explore how to make college more affordable.
Reflecting on the political climate facing state and local governments in 2012, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and former Michigan Gov. John Engler pointed to a lack of leadership in Washington as a hindrance.
El Paso began preparing for shortages two decades ago. Now, it's seen as a leader in confronting a crisis that many expect to spread beyond Texas.
Lean manufacturing has made Denver Health a model for public health care.
Iowa and Nebraska, Midwest states known for their picturesque vistas, are straining to make money for their state parks go as far as it can, the Omaha World-Herald reports.
Proposed regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would save states nearly $18 billion on Medicaid prescription drugs in the next five years, according to estimates released Friday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The Obama administration has introduced a Race To The Top program for College Affordability and Completion, allowing states and colleges to compete for $1 billion in federal grants.
States received more guidance Wednesday from HHS about what the essential health benefits package for plans offered in states’ health insurance exchanges should look like.
A group of Georgia legislators introduced this week an amendment to the state's constitution that would give the state the ability to create charter schools, the Associated Press reports.
Last year, a handful of states considered changing their school attendance laws without Obama's prodding.
The Committee for a Safer Michigan, a grassroots organization that supports the repeal of marijuana prohibition, announced Friday that it plans to push an amendment to the Michigan state constitution that would legalize cannabis use for residents 21 years and older.
More than 100 buildings used by the federal government along with dozens of local government, private and non-profit buildings in D.C. are LEED-certified.
Welcome to "democracy in action," as the Wisconsin State Journal called it: the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is livestreaming Thursday morning its efforts to scan more than 300,000 pages of signatures for a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker.
Improvements in technology are allowing states to better serve Medicaid and CHIP populations, according to a recent survey.
A new study finds digital learning could be cheaper than traditional education. But education experts say that cost shouldn't be the primary reason to pursuing this mode.
Newspapers nationwide had suggestions for their governors and legislatures on the fiscal issues that they're confronting.
The Connecticut Department of Children and Families is hiring an outside expert to review insurance companies' denials of mental and behavioral services for children, the Connecticut Mirror reports.
State Medicaid programs could see a significant return on their investment into anti-smoking programs, according to a recently released study by George Washington University.
As the nationwide debate over immigration continues, Missouri could be the next nexus after legislation introduced in the state Senate would require schools to check the immigration status of their students and require law enforcement officers to check a person's immigration status when they have reasonable cause, the Kansas City Star reported Thursday.
A new California law eliminating city redevelopment agencies could put dozens of projects in danger of being halted and lead to the layoffs of dozens of employees in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.
California Republicans told the Sacramento Bee that they are resigning themselves to the possibility that the GOP presidential race could already be over by the state's June 5 primary.
The project director of Patchwork Nation delves into the New Hampshire primary and what it means for the remainder of the 2012 presidential race.
Pennsylvania newspapers have taken an opportunity at the onset of a new year to review the accomplishments of Gov. Tom Corbett after his first 365 days in office.
U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., introduced draft legislation Friday that would reauthorize and reform No Child Left Behind.
Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of No Child Left Behind, enacted on Jan. 8, 2002. Experts say that the focus on data has changed education reform for years to come.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief Friday in the U.S. Supreme Court, defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against a legal challenge brought by Florida and 25 other states.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) sent a letter Thursday to President Barack Obama and top congressional members of both parties, urging Congress to pass and the president to sign a bill reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act before the 2012-2013 school year begins.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and ACLU Michigan are suing the state over a new law that prohibits public employers from providing health insurance to the domestic partners of public employees.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) denied waiver requests Wednesday from Kansas and Oklahoma to lower the required minimal medical loss ratios (MLR) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Taking recommendations from his Read to Lead task force, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker outlined Wednesday a new agenda to improve reading scores among the state's students.
Mitt Romney's razor-thin victory at the Iowa Caucuses Tuesday provided pundits and the general public with a first taste of the 2012 election.
Primary season is underway and while the nation watches for the results from Iowa, Wisconsin certified Tuesday the list of candidates for its April 3 presidential primary.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded nearly $300 million to 23 states for enrolling more children in government health insurance programs.
Such car dealerships, where the company serves as both the seller and the loan holder, have largely eluded scrutiny from policymakers.
Much as it began, 2011 is ending with state governments -- and the newspapers that cover them -- focused on the economy and government budgets.
As city officials in Bristol, Conn., debate how to redraw council districts, some neighborhoods in the city are planning to reduce the number of polling in their communities to cut the costs of poll workers and moderators, the Hartford Courant reports.
Are local and state health agencies prepared for epidemics, natural disasters and acts of bioterrorism? An annual report says that potential cuts could put governments at risk of being unprepared.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper plans to appeal the state supreme court's decision in a lawsuit regarding public school funding, the governor announced Wednesday.
Newspaper in Wisconsin rebuked the Assembly Speaker's call for eliminating a non-partisan government accountability board.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Monday a new Pioneer accountable care organizations (ACO) initiative with 32 health care organizations participating in an effort that could save up to $1.1 billion over five years.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) outlined its approach for defining the essential health benefits package that insurers must offer under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Nine states will receive Race To The Top Early Learning grants, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced Friday.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation Thursday that increases the penalties for unlicensed drivers who are found guilty of causing great bodily harm or killing another person.
Following a call by the National Transportation Safety Board this week for a nationwide ban on nearly all cell phone use by drivers, imploring all 50 states to adopt such legislation, newspapers reacted on their editorial pages with a mix of support and caution.
About 2.5 million young adults have become insured because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday.
Newspapers in Tennessee and New York urged policymakers to provide open access to the public.
The nation's largest teachers union has voiced its support for a variety of reforms to improve the teaching workforce.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized the rules, stemming from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which affect the minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) for insurance plans.
Twitter unveiled its own @gov account on Thursday, an account that will track "creative and effective uses of Twitter for civic engagement."
Newspaper took a look at school vouchers and other education proposals in their editorial pages this week.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $14 million, funded through the Affordable Care Act, to 45 school-based health centers throughout the country on Thursday.
Donard Berwick, the recently departed head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), delivered a harsh rebuke of his critics during a speech delivered Wednesday.
Spending on Medicaid was the most dynamic variable among states, according to a CMS report about total personal health care spending.
Following approval from the Minnesota Department of Education last month, the Minnesota Guild of Public Charter Schools became the first charter authorizer in the United States to be sponsored by a teachers union.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Tuesday that it would make $40 million in competitive funding available for cities that have signed compacts for collaboration between charter schools and their school districts.
Arkansas will not establish its own state-run health insurance exchange program, as opposition from the state legislature has stalled efforts to plan the state's program, Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford announced Friday afternoon.
Groups representing Michigan's public and private retirees continued to push their opposition to a new pension tax policy approved this year, threatening political repercussions in the next election for legislators who supported the tax.
A U.S. Department of Education study found that a sizable portion of Title I schools spent less state and local funding on teachers and other personnel than their non-Title I peers.
Substantial layoffs could be one piece of the fallout from the automatic cuts now likely to be adopted after the super committee failed to reach a deal before Thanksgiving.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has established a task force to review the state's school bullying policies.
Michigan lawmakers plan to propose a constitutional amendment that would ban for-profit schools.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $220 million in establishment grants for states that have made progress in setting up their health insurance exchanges.
Michigan legislators are looking for common ground on anti-bullying legislation.
With Don Berwick stepping down, Marilyn Tavenner has been appointed as administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Indiana is projected to lose between $40 million and $114 million in revenue because of uncollected taxes on online purchases, according to a new report.
Illinois is cracking down on illegal use of the state's disability parking program.
The Minnesota state government came out of its summer shutdown about even, a state budget office reported this week.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $98 million in sustainable planning grants to communities and regions nationwide
Newspapers nationwide condemned the use of pepper spray to suppress protests.
Detroit Public Schools reduced its structural deficit by more than $43 million in FY 2011.
A slew of retirements could lead to significant turnover in the Illinois state legislature.
Indiana lawmakers opted against a plan to simplify the state's code.
Legislation under consideration in Wisconsin would prohibit retired public workers who are rehired from collecting their pension along with a paycheck.
Tax breaks for manufacturing suppliers was one of the proposed job creation mechanisms from a state economic development agency.
10 states have asked a federal court to require the EPA revise its air quality standards for fine particles, as required by a 2009 court order.
The nation's newspaper editorial boards had mixed reactions to the Obama Administration's decision to explore new routes for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Detroit and the Michigan state government are at odds over shared revenue that the city claims it lost.
Indiana lawmakers are taking two days off prior to the Super Bowl, to make way for a potential 100,000 visitors to the city.
The federal government cut spending waste by $18 billion in 2011.
Twenty-four state have significant reduced their support for public media outlets.
Indiana lawmakers will soon be doing official business on iPads.
Newspapers nationwide tried to make sense of the Penn State scandal.
Legislation under consideration in Michigan would funnel state dollars to private high school school students to pay for their enrollment in college level courses.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced $1 billion in funding for innovative health care solutions.
Open-source website allows educators to share online resources.
Newspaper editorials focused on government transparency and local control this week.
As college enrollments increase, policymakers explore what they can do to ensure students are successful once they get there and graduate within a reasonable amount of time.
A New York town clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples won reelection.
Georgia cities and towns approved Sunday sales of alcohol.
Gambling initiatives passed in New Jersey and failed in Maine.
President Obama announced a new initiative that will require more accountability for Head Start programs that receive federal funding.
As lawmakers look for new avenues to provide jobs, some are turning toward high school vocational programs as a means of building a better workforce.
The Wisconsin Assembly is reevaluating its policy that prohibits signs and cameras in its chambers.
Illinois lawmakers want to cap pay raises for public employees.
Lawmakers are split over whether the Wisconsin special legislative session on job creation was a success.
Washington may eliminate its funding for school buses as part of its plan to address a $2 billion budget deficit.
Redistricting and election laws have the focus on many newspapers' editorial pages this week.
Repeal of Michigan's requirement that motorcycle riders wear helmet passed the state House this week.
California hospitals are suing the state over cuts to its low-income insurance plan.
The nation's newspapers took a hard look at collective bargaining and pension reform on their editorial pages.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and a state lawmaker are disputing whether a new department focused on drug and alcohol prevention should be established.
The U.S. Justice is making a preliminary inquiry into whether a new Alabama immigration law has resulted in the state's school districts violating federal law.
Wisconsin lawmakers are examining the state's policy toward rehiring retired public workers.
American student made modest gains in math and reading, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education.
With increased pressures on their finances, state Medicaid officers are looking for innovative ways to reduce costs while improving care.
Changes to the Massachusetts pension system would raise the state employee retirement age.
The Florida state legislature is challenging a judge's order blocking the privatization of the state's prisons.
An Oklahoma committee will study the state's efforts to consolidate numerous state agencies.
Alabama officials are warning parents and trick-or-treaters about alcohol-laced candy.
Mobile County officials are divided about how much to pay their next school superintendent.
The Arizona Border Patrol is busing arrested illegal immigrants to other states to deter reentry.
A Wisconsin bill would allow high school students to pursue a vocational degree.
A proposed California ballot question would overturn a state law that prohibits the use of federal e-verify employment software.
A California loophole allowed Steve Jobs to avoid purchasing a state license plate for years.
Mayors across the country have tried to communicate guarded support for the demonstrations while stressing the need for public safety when addressing the Occupy protests.
Teacher evaluations have become a focal point for policymakers interested in education reform. Following a report on the state of state policies, experts weighed in on what should evaluation systems should look like.
A amendment to the Alabama constitution would link legislative pay with median household income.
Minnesota lawmakers may be content to let the state's NFL franchise move to Los Angeles.
The debate about expanding gambling in Illinois is going nowhere.
The expiration of federal stimulus funding is forcing states to pay more toward Medicaid. In response, most states are making cuts to the program.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that Medicare Part B would increase less than projected.
Nearly 700 communities have contracted companies to operate them.
Alabama officials are making efforts to attract more film productions to the state.
California's medical marijuana advocates are pushing for a statewide regulatory system.
Oklahoma lawmakers want to clamp down on coal mining tax credits.
A round-up of the nation's newspapers' response to Obama's mortgage refinancing plan.
The National Council on Teacher Quality released a report on the state of state teacher evaluation laws.
President Obama announced he would accelerate plans to restructure student loan repayments.
Chicago will begin enforcing a law that requires dog owners to license their pets.
A proposed constitutional amendment would require Washington to save excess tax revenue gained during an economic boom.
The Illinois state legislature is pursuing plans to construct a $3.2 billion electricity smart grid.
Pennsylvania is moving forward with a school voucher program for low-income families.
Arizona has proposed turned a section of I-15 into a toll road.
Connecticut has the most debt, owing $5,402 for each resident, while Nebraska owes only $21 for each citizen.
New reports give recommendations for reforming teacher pension programs.
Editorial round-up takes a look at responses to a proposed change to Tennessee's open-meeting laws and the federal government's crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries.
The Republican Governors Association asked members of the congressional deficit reduction committee to avoid shifting Medicaid to the states or increasing taxes.
A Connecticut state legislator has proposed setting Halloween to the last Saturday in October, rather than its traditional Oct. 31 date.
The Massachusetts Legislature is considering lifting the ban on the number of alcoholic beverage licenses that businesses can hold.
Wyoming lawmakers have proposed simplifying the tax code for coal mining operations.
Two California ballot petitions would eliminate the death penalty and impose a tax on oil and gas extractions in the state.
Revenue has taken priority over the environment in cash-strapped states.
President Obama and Senate Republicans are still at odds over a portion of his jobs plan that would give money to state and local governments to pay salaries for teacher, police officers and firefighters.
An Indiana lawmaker wants to adopt an online sales tax, but congressional action may first be necessary.
The Utah state parks agency is warning parks may close if planned budget cuts are enacted.
A new study finds low-income women are less likely to be extremely obese and have diabetes if they move to a more affluent area.
The Senate HELP Committee has resumed its mark-up of a bill that would reauthorize the No Child Left Behind act.
A South Carolina law requiring photo ID to vote is disproportionately affecting minority voters, an AP analysis finds.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney conceded during Tuesday's GOP presidential debate that his healthcare plan for the state had failed to lower costs.
A panel of education experts debated whether a focus on achievement gaps for disadvantaged students has turned attention away from others and explored how changes in policy could address both concerns.
A group of 37 state and territorial attorneys general sent a letter to U.S. Senate leaders endorsing former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as the director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.
The New Hampshire Union Leader is putting the pressure on GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to boycott the Nevada caucuses on Jan. 14.
A burdensome unemployment insurance system may be hindering job growth, according to a new study by the Tax Foundation.
Minnesota Republicans have been lukewarm toward Gov. Mark Dayton's efforts to start a discussion about the approval of a new stadium for the state's NFL franchise.
Virginia officials are considering a cap for the amount of paid time off that state employees can roll over from one year to the next.
Federal, state and local governments shouldered about $94.2 billion in 2006 alone, a new study shows.
Younger Americans largely use the Internet to find out information about their
Economic experts pointed to a disconnect between the public's understanding of the nation's financial predicament and steps that must be taken to ensure its stability.
An Allstate/National Journal poll reveals American believe their financial fortune is tied to the federal government's fiscal well-being, but most doubt elected officials will be able to reach an agreement about how to resolve the long-term federal budget deficit.
The number of National Health Service Corps clinicians has nearly tripled in the last three years.
For now, New York City is the only municipality to incur significant costs related to the Occupy Wall Street protest and its offshoots.
N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue has suspended some provisions of new legislation that would reform the state's unemployment system.
A South Dakota lawmaker may propose requiring people who receive unemployment benefits to take a drug test.
A U.S. Senator has proposed a bill that would reauthorize No Child Left Behind and eliminate the Adequate Yearly Progress system.
The U.S. Education Department and Los Angeles Unified School District announced a new plan for improving education for English language learners and African-American students.
The Michigan State Board of Education proved unable to reach a consensus on recommendations to give to the state legislature about new legislation that will lift the cap on the number of charter schools.
Concerns have been raised about the potential cost of a recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker if a petition to do so is successful.
A new Florida law allows citizens to bring a licensed concealed weapon into the state capitol.
Expanded use of wireless technologies could reduce energy use and save billions of dollars, according to a new BSR report.
The Obama administration has selected 14 infrastructure projects to be fast-tracked through the permit and review process.
The U.S. Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to block Alabama's new immigration policy.
Iowa has moved its presidential primary to Jan. 3, according to the Des Moines Register.
The U.S. Department of Transportation invested about $200 million in improvements to a rail corridor between Detroit and Chicago.
Alabama schools are reaching out to Hispanic families worried about the legal implications of a new rule requiring birth certificates for new student enrollment.
President Obama restated his case for the American Jobs Act during a press conference on Thursday.
Oklahoma has developed a plan to fix more than 700 structurally deficient bridges in the state.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have introduced new regulations to improve service and prevent fraud.
The Alabama Department Education is working to remind Hispanic parents that a new immigration law will not prevent undocumented students from receiving an education.
New Pennsylvania legislation would increase penalties for employers that knowingly hire undocumented workers.
Houston Independent School District is one example of districts forging ahead with extending the day and year.
A recent Gallup poll showed Americans have more confidence in their state and local governments than their federal representatives.
An AP investigation reveals a program initiated by Texas Gov. Rick Perry subsidized two mortgages that then participated in risky lending in the state and eventually contributed to the housing market's crash.
The last trial related to the FBI's investigation of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich began on Tuesday. William Cellini, a major player in the state's political scene, faces charges of extortion while seeking campaign funds for the former governor.
Florida has defied Republican party rules and traditions, setting its presidential primary date for Jan. 31, 2012.
The U.S. Education Department has announced a series of reforms to improve teacher preparation programs nationwide.
A legislative agency has concluded a reduced oil tax could put Alaska's credit rating at risk.
State and local governments are pushing Congress to take action on a national system for taxing online sales.
The U.S. Department of Education handed out almost 50 grants, totaling $11.5 million, to special education programs nationwide.
State and local governments are turning to alcohol taxes and regulations as a source of new revenue.
Early presidential primary states are considering their options after Florida officials suggested their state would hold its nominating contest at the end of January.
Teachers serving schools with larger minority populations are being paid less than their peers, data collected by the U.S. Department of Education reveals.
Ohio EPA Will Leave National Group, State Director Says
Connecticut Senate President Donald Williams says he was "very pleased" with citizens' responses to Twitter and Facebook pages set up to collect feedback on Tropical Storm Irene response.
The DOT will aid New Jersey's repair of its roads and bridges following Hurricane Irene with $2 million in emergency funds.
The Huffington Post documented the plight of the 10 states with the highest employment rates.
Seven HUD grants will help cities and states provide housing for families and individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS.
The automatic cuts under Obama's deficit reduction plan do not include Medicaid, a potential win for states.
Reforms allowed Washington to keep its rate increase for worker compensation contributions at a five-year low.
A Florida lawmaker has introduced a bill that would end the state's policy of drug testing recipients of temporary government assistance.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District received the 2011 Broad Prize in Urban Education for its efforts in closing the achievement gap between ethnic and income groups.
President Obama's deficit reduction plan represented a "mixed bag" for state legislatures, according to a NCSL official.
New Jersey lawmakers are taking up a renewed effort to spur job growth in the struggling state.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited Minnesota to reiterate the need for investment in infrastructure projects like the Central Corridor Light Rail line.
New Mexico's Democratic legislators and Republican governor are no closer to an agreement regarding the state's policy that allows undocumented residents to obtain a driver's license.
Connecticut's General Assembly is asking its constituents to testify at an upcoming public hearing via Facebook and Twitter.