Biden administration announces new rule to protect workers from heat-related illnesses

The rule would cover 35 million workers whose jobs include being in the heat and require activities that could raise core body temperatures, like construction, agriculture and landscaping, as well as those in indoor environments, like kitchen workers.

It’s hot. Is your community pool open?

An ongoing lifeguard shortage means some pools and beaches are staying closed amid record-breaking heat waves across the U.S. Here’s what states and municipalities are doing about it.

Is it time to break up with fireworks?

Fourth of July celebrations have long featured flashy pyrotechnics. But more environmentally friendly spectacles could take their place.

Supreme Court sends Florida, Texas ‘censorship’ laws back to lower courts

The justices left in place preliminary injunctions blocking the two laws but said the appeals courts must further study their First Amendment implications.

Despite what some politicians say, crime rates are decreasing

Violent crime in the U.S. saw a significant decrease in the first quarter of 2024, according to preliminary data from the FBI. But some may stille manipulate crime statistics for political gain, experts warn.

Supreme Court issues rulings on opioid settlement, overturns Chevron doctrine

As the term nears its end, the high court has issued a flurry of decisions that will affect state and local governments.

A swing constituency could help allow more homes

A survey could help illuminate for policymakers which housing reforms are more popular than others with a swing group of voters.

The federal government just acknowledged the harm its dams have caused tribes. Here’s what it left out.

The Biden administration said officials historically gave “little, if any, consideration” to impacts on tribal fishing. But some sought deliberately to upend the harvest, according to documents obtained by ProPublica and Oregon Public Broadcasting.

It’s OK to ban homeless people from camping in public, high court rules

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with states and cities, saying anti-camping laws are not “cruel and unusual punishment” and that the laws of Grants Pass, Oregon, did not punish people for being homeless.

Governors seek more say over grid planning process

As states scramble to find reliable sources of electric power amid ever-growing demand for energy, four Democratic governors are seeking more say in their regional electric grid operator's future planning.

Criminal justice reform may be under pressure, but it still has plenty of life

COMMENTARY | Policy advances in areas such as prison conditions, reentry and record clearing may seem incremental, but they will produce durable, measurable results.

Calls for cyber framework harmonization ramp up

Efforts to streamline cybersecurity regulations across governments, industries and sectors are underway. The nationwide program StateRAMP has launched its initiative to standardize those rules and regulations.

How states are cracking down on rising prescription drug costs

From creating drug price review boards to bulk purchasing medications, state officials are keen on keeping health care costs down amid skyrocketing prescription costs.

The $190B question: Did federal pandemic funds improve test scores?

Two new studies attempt to answer that question as education activists and politicians debate the impact of federal spending, and as states and school districts consider which pandemic-era programs to continue.

13 states with Republican governors opt out of summer food program for kids

They cite opposition to ‘welfare’ and administrative costs in declining to participate in Summer EBT.

Supreme Court narrows law for fighting state and local corruption

The high court’s conservatives ruled that a key anti-corruption law only applies to bribes and not to “gratuities” meant to reward officials for their service.

Supreme Court rules that government can ask social media platforms to remove misinformation

Justices said in a 6-3 decision that Louisiana and Missouri did not have standing to sue. The ruling comes as a relief to state and local officials as they look to crack down on election-related misinformation ahead of November.

Is it time to dig into rainy day funds?

Despite reserves bulging and revenue receding, state legislators and governors are reluctant to spend savings.

The fuzzy line between sports betting and fantasy games

Several states have already clamped down on fantasy apps for getting too close to sports betting. Virginia could be next.

Lead water pipes created a health disaster in Flint, but their replacements carry hidden costs

COMMENTARY | Durability and the risk of chemicals being released when pipes heat up are just some of the concerns about plastic pipes.

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