Mapping clean air centers to protect residents against wildfire risks

As wildfire smoke or poor air quality descends upon California residents, officials hope a data map will help them find pockets of fresh air across the state.

What is your home’s wildfire risk?

An updated online tool allows towns and counties to get a sense of their wildfire risk without having to pay for expensive studies.

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.

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.

Lessons learned from the Medicaid unwinding period

A new report highlights how states have conducted post-pandemic eligibility renewals with the help of federal waivers and data.

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An overlooked tool for chipping away at the opioid crisis

Too few states are assessing residents for substance use disorders, a practice that one expert says could get drug users into treatment earlier.

White House enlists doctors and hospitals to combat gun violence

Calling gun violence a “public health crisis,” the Biden administration is asking state and local health departments, health systems and hospitals to boost their data collection on emergency room visits for firearm-related injuries.

Utah Gov. Cox to homeless providers: Produce results, or you could lose funding

Policymakers need to focus more on accountability—while also not forgetting compassion, the governor said.

What's the poop? Wastewater data predicts overdoses

Analyzing wastewater samples can help public health workers paint a reliable picture of a community’s rapidly evolving drug use to to get ahead of overdoses.

Easing the housing squeeze on low-income renters

The State and Local Innovation project will work with policymakers to draft bill language and leverage data and best practices to keep the lowest income renters in stable housing.

Data for dementia: State’s brain health registry helps prep for an aging population

The Virginia Memory Project will catalog dementia cases and caregiving needs to inform policy and programming for aging adults.

States get streamlined access to Treasury’s Do Not Pay system for unemployment

The move comes as federal agencies work with states to combat the rise in jobless aid fraud following the pandemic.

This state’s ‘unsexy’ AI policy takes transparency to the next level

From AI “nutrition labels” to keeping an inventory of artificial intelligence tools, Connecticut is embracing sweeping rules that would “talk to people about why we're using it, how we're using it.”

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 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.

For effective community research, get the right people at the table

When people with lived experience participate in a research project’s design, data collection and analysis, they can increase engagement, build trust and lay the groundwork for system-level change.

Statistical models vs. front-line workers: Who knows best how to spend opioid settlement cash?

A mathematical model designed to direct spending of opioid settlement funds is at the center of a debate over whether to invest in technology to guide long-term decisions or focus on the immediate needs of people in addiction.

Mayors, experts discuss the solution and barriers to ending homelessness

Amid a homelessness crisis nationwide, Houston and Los Angeles have housed thousands of people under a “housing first” approach.

One state looks to collect multiyear data to address the mental health crisis

Ohio has launched a $20 million research project to study the social and biological factors influencing mental health. Researchers hope the study will continue for two decades and deliver actionable insights for policymakers nationwide.

After promising to make government health care data more accessible, the Biden administration now wants to clamp down

Researchers across the country fear a new proposal by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will increase fees and decrease access to data used to support major health care reforms.