Initial funding for digital equity plans is available. But how do states plan to use it?

Some have identified creative solutions to address affordability, digital skills and accessibility issues. But one approach—reliance on the federal internet subsidy that is about to expire—could force some states back to the drawing board.


3 tips for short-term land-use planning

COMMENTARY | As populations grow and real estate requirements change, cities or counties should regularly evaluate their mix of land use designations so they get the kind of development they can live with long term.


To stop fentanyl deaths in Philadelphia, knocking on doors and handing out overdose kits

City officials hope that this proactive approach will normalize naloxone as an everyday item in the medicine cabinet, and prevent people from dying of overdoses, especially Black residents.

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Lawmakers hope to use this emerging climate science to charge oil companies for disasters

Under their proposals, state agencies would use computer models to tally up the damages caused by climate change and identify the companies responsible. Then, they would send each company a bill for its portion of the destruction.


How states can give released inmates the best chance of staying clean

A Medicaid waiver can help state corrections facilities finance reentry services aimed at keeping former inmates in recovery and curbing the opioid crisis.


National data privacy standard would preempt state efforts

A bill in Congress would supersede more than a dozen state laws. While most support a national standard, some state leaders and experts worry the legislation’s preemption provisions are too prescriptive.


Half of new state spending on preschool was backed by COVID aid last year, new report finds

That money helped improve access — preschool enrollment was up in nearly every state — but it also raises real questions about whether states will be able to sustain their investments after that federal funding runs out this fall.


Other 'zombie' state laws, like Arizona's, on abortion, LGBTQ+ issues and more could resurface

COMMENTARY | It might seem unnecessary for a state legislature to repeal a law that is not enforced or has been superseded by a more recent law, but the recent Arizona abortion ban shows the consequences of assuming that old laws will always remain dormant.


Can the snarky ‘Save Our Yachts’ campaign save Washington’s capital gains tax?

The long-fought-for and hard-won tax has survived its legal challenges. Now it must survive the ballot.


States are banning private funding of elections. Some worry about unintended consequences.

Wisconsin voters approved a ballot measure banning such cash infusions earlier this month. Proponents of the bans say they limit interference in elections, but opponents say chronically underfunded elections offices need help.

Digital Government

California looks to AI to automate health insurance enrollment

The state will use artificial intelligence after a pilot found it significantly sped up processing times.

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Too many cubicles, too few homes spur incentives to convert offices to housing

States are stepping in with tax breaks and zoning changes to help replace the unwanted cubicle farms with much-needed housing.


Key takeaways from the Explore Act, one of the largest outdoor recreation bills ever

The proposal will streamline the permitting process for outdoor recreation companies, study internet access at National Parks, identify potential long distance bike trails and paths, and support recreation and tourism economies and towns. 


Under new partnership with feds, state AGs can investigate airline complaints

States have not been allowed to pursue air carriers for violating consumer protection laws since 1978, but a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation will give attorneys general power to probe and report violations.


How collaboration is changing North Carolina, one project at a time

States that want to tap universities and philanthropies to find solutions to policy challenges using the best research, evidence and data should look at how one state mastered the communications and logistics essential for effective partnerships.


Hundreds of millions up for grabs in environmental justice grants

Housing, air monitoring, green jobs and coastal resilience are some of the initiatives that could receive funding under the Inflation Reduction Act.


Majority of American teachers worry about shootings at their schools, survey shows

Most educators favor more mental health screening for students and oppose arming teachers, though their views are more divided when it comes to whether security officers should have weapons.


Why a lawsuit may be state and local governments’ best chance to cut insulin prices

The skyrocketing cost of insulin hits employee health plans and limits governments’ ability to finance other projects, such as infrastructure improvements. The multidistrict litigation aims to fix that.


Justices appear willing to limit bribery law used in corruption cases

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared to be sympathetic to a former Indiana mayor’s argument that the federal bribery statute is vague. A ruling would resolve a disparity in which “gratuities” from outsiders are considered OK in some courts, but not in others.