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This coverage will look at how public leaders establish new policies in a range of crucial areas of government – health, education, public safety, for example – and how these policies impact people’s lives through better services, effective regulations and new programs. This will include stories examining how state and local government approaches policymaking around emerging areas, including artificial intelligence.

Most U.S. states offer Medicare Advantage plans to their state retirees, while 12 states offer Medicare Advantage exclusively.
Too many children die as the result of abuse and neglect. The hard truth is that no one is working hard to count how many of them, or what’s behind outcomes that may be largely preventable.
While generative AI has become increasingly popular, its frequency of use is nowhere close to its earlier counterpart, predictive artificial intelligence, which is used in FICO scores, loan applications and health care.
Future in Context
From digital inclusion to AI innovation, we take a look at Government Technology’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers and how five of these government technologists are making an impact on state and local policies.
Bill author state Rep. Dodie Horton argued that the Ten Commandments are the “basis of all laws in Louisiana” and the legislation honors the country’s religious origins. The bill must be signed by the governor before it becomes law.
The state House Education Committee unanimously approved a measure on Tuesday that would bar protests by any organization funded by a foreign adversary. It would also prohibit professors from imposing their political views on students.
A proposed law would require elected county commissioners to be replaced if they fail to attend three consecutive meetings without “good cause.” The rule mirrors an existing law for local school boards.
A recent study suggests that private schools are slightly more effective than public schools when it comes to boosting student achievement in civics and their understanding of it.
The Biden administration has updated Title IX to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. Officials in red states are suing to block what they call “gender ideology.”
The University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communication has a new prize meant to highlight the best work of journalists covering state and local politics.
A study found that California students who received associate’s degrees were able to recoup their educational costs faster than students who received bachelor’s degrees or certificates.
The state Legislature passed a “first-grade readiness” bill to require students who do not complete kindergarten to take a test to enter the first grade. If signed by Gov. Kay Ivey, the law will go into effect in July.
Admissions offices are trying everything from entrepreneurship programs to hunting classes.
The Senate ended the legislative session with a 23-12 vote to pass a bill that will provide funding for striking workers. However, filibusters ran the clock out on other controversial bills, including those on Chinese-made drones and climate change.
Proposed legislation would prohibit data center development along the 22-mile Beltline trail loop and from within a half mile of transit centers, including MARTA stations and BRT stops. Existing data centers would be unaffected.
A new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute finds that a significant majority of religious Americans think abortion should be legal in most or all cases.
Stolen and lost firearms are much more likely to be used in crimes, but when it comes to penalties and requirements for reporting thefts and losses, state policies are all over the map — if those policies exist at all.
The guidance that allows states to provide health-care coverage to incarcerated people at least a month prior to their release has gained bipartisan interest. As of last month, federal officials had approved applications from four states.
The unknowns keep piling up. The stakes are too high to let that continue.
Despite widespread support for the legislation, state lawmakers have failed to pass a ban on motorist handheld use of cellphones. From 2014 to 2023, 78 people in Iowa were killed by distracted drivers using a cellphone or other handheld device.
A new bill would require Colorado law enforcement agencies to publish policy on the controversial "prone restraint", a technique that many critics link to the deaths of those restrained facedown.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation on May 1 that requires jailers to hold any suspect who is believed to be in the country without legal permission. The legislation gained momentum after the killing of 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley.
A 2-1 decision by a federal court stopped the state from using its new congressional map for any election, finding the changes Louisiana made to comply with the Voting Rights Act instead violated the 14th Amendment.
The bill is part of a package to punish juvenile offenders more harshly. One senator warns the measure will bring “massive repercussions” and raises complicated legal questions.
High-capacity magazines and cheap devices that turn semi-automatic firearms into machine guns have already raised the shooting fatality rate. Targeting them legislatively could save hundreds or thousands of lives per year.
After a February special legislative session gave gun-rights groups sweeping wins, bills to expand firearm-free zones have stalled. Expansion of the zones seems unlikely this year.
The Supreme Court seems likely to curtail federal agencies’ interpretations of laws passed by Congress, but Washington bureaucrats have another way to exercise unaccountable power over state and local governments. States and localities can fight back.
After more than 20,000 voters in New Hampshire received a deepfake phone call asking them to skip the state’s January primary, at least 39 states are considering measures to ensure transparency of artificial intelligence used in political ads.
The court is considering whether criminal penalties for sleeping in public places amount to cruel and unusual punishment. But no ruling on the issues before the high court will change the nature or scope of the problem.
As several states propose child marriage bans, Missouri state Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder hopes that she can use her experiences to encourage a shift in her state’s legislation.
The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides comprehensive support for Americans who face acute mental health challenges. Congress is considering ways to tailor services more strategically.