Ending health care’s affordability crisis begins with actions to fix state markets

COMMENTARY | Because states can more easily engage with local employers, health care providers and payers, they are addressing the challenge by analyzing spending, overseeing mergers and reducing the costs of medication.

EPA expands water program to help more disadvantaged communities apply for grants

Many communities lack the resources necessary to conduct the technical assessments needed to win federal grants. The EPA wants to help.

Israel, Ukraine package would increase funding to combat antisemitism and Islamophobia

As hate crimes increase in cities nationwide, some mayors and advocates are backing an effort in Congress to fund grants that would help synagogues and mosques bolster security.

How one state has mapped out its opioid recovery plans

The Garden State is pouring more than $95 million of its opioid settlement money into harm reduction, treatment and housing as it starts to mitigate substance use disorders.

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Eliminate Manual Processes Route and Approve Invoices from Anywhere

Today’s finance teams carry a heavy burden, supporting everything from growth strategies to long-term planning – all while continuously delivering monthly and quarterly numbers and keeping cash flowing. But even as demands on finance departments grow, many still spend excessive time using paper, spreadsheets, and e-mails to process vendor invoices, approvals, and payments.

The race heats up for massive IRA state and local climate funding program

The Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program will award $4.6 billion to states and metro areas this year to implement aspects of local climate action plans.

Municipalities taxing stay-at-home workers during pandemic was OK, court says

The Ohio Supreme Court upheld a temporary state law that allowed employers to withhold municipal income tax irrespective of where their employees performed their work. The ruling sets a precedent in the state.

States turn up the heat on ESG investing

At issue is whether mandates about environmental, social and governance investment strategies infringe upon a state fiduciary’s duty to maximize returns.

8 states move to ban utilities from using customer money for lobbying

Utilities have come under fire for lobbying to stall climate policies and keep fossil fuel plants running.

Whole-of-state procurement gives local agencies better pricing, expert advice

Initially used to extend cybersecurity throughout government, the whole-of-state concept is also being used to push training and software licensing contracts to local agencies.

More taxpayer money benefits pro sports owners amid ‘stadium construction wave’

Research shows stadium and arena projects are poor public investments.

Corporate tax breaks are costing schools billions

A three-month investigation by The Conversation finds that tax abatements are coming at the expense of critical funding for school districts. But not all schools in a community are sharing the cash drain equally.

House rejects an increase to the SALT cap

Election-year politics derailed an effort to raise the amount in state and local taxes married couples could deduct. Local governments argued an increase in the cap would help “hardworking American families facing higher federal tax bills.”

Counties want more money for elections. Washington is unlikely to provide it.

“I just don't want anybody to walk out of here thinking that all of a sudden a massive flow of funds is going to come forward,” a House committee chairman told county officials.

As pandemic aid winds down, states scramble to fill gaps

COVID-19 left a lasting mark on a few sectors, with schools, public transit and child care providers facing fiscal cliffs as federal funding dries up. State legislators, many already grappling with shortfalls, are looking for solutions.

As concerns over gambling addiction mount, states are set to rake in millions from Super Bowl bets

Sports betting has spread to 38 states and Washington, D.C., over the past five years. In that time, states have also seen massive increases in calls to gambling addiction hotlines. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

The Senate wants states to recover the billions lost to unemployment fraud during the pandemic

A bipartisan proposal would let states keep a quarter of the funds they recoup. It is similar to a House proposal passed last year.

States’ prescription boards tackle high drug costs

At least 11 states are developing drug cost review boards to identify and address costs of expensive medications.

A Superfund for climate change? States consider a new way to make Big Oil pay.

Vermont joins three others in trying to make the fossil fuel industry finance climate action.

The House has restored the child tax credit. Here’s how it would work.

If the Senate approves the tax package, low-income households would receive between $670 and $730 in benefits per child, much less than during the pandemic.

Surge in syphilis cases leads some providers to ration penicillin

Injectable penicillin is the go-to treatment for syphilis and the only treatment considered safe for pregnant people with the disease. But as rates of syphilis increase across the U.S., a shortage of the injectable has prompted some public health agencies to ration it.