Finance

States, White House gear up to bring prescription costs down

Maryland’s prescription drug affordability board will evaluate eight drugs for potential cost reduction. The federal government could help move the process along, one expert says.

‘Valuable and largely overlooked:’ Interest in virtual power plants grows

Virtual power plant programs can be a cost-effective way to support a strained electric grid at a time when huge projected electric demand increases loom.

How a common election integrity law is keeping Idaho from fixing its crumbling schools

An influential conservative group is targeting local bond and levy elections, which districts rely on heavily to build and repair schools.

Emergency alert: States confront EMS shortages

Minnesota declared an “EMS emergency” last month, but it’s far from alone. An outdated approach to funding the service is largely to blame, says experts.

Rural students’ access to Wi-Fi is in jeopardy as pandemic-era resources recede

COMMENTARY | Internet access among rural students had begun to decline in 2022, putting them at significant educational disadvantage compared with their better-connected peers. This trend is likely to accelerate with the end of the Affordable Connectivity Program.

These ‘green banks’ are getting billions to decarbonize disadvantaged communities

The Biden administration just distributed $20 billion in IRA funding to loan to individuals and communities across the country.

Cash isn’t the only thing guaranteed income programs can deliver

Data is starting to show that supplemental income programs can boost participants’ employment, housing stability and family well-being.

Track opioid settlement payouts—to the cent—in your community

Determining how much money has arrived is the first step in assessing whether the settlements will make a dent in the nation’s addiction crisis.

Billions in earmarks headed to states and cities

The funding comes despite conservative opposition to the federal government paying for specific local projects.

It’s time to help more workers save for retirement

COMMENTARY | More states are considering voluntary automated savings programs for employees who lack access to a retirement plan at work.

New Jersey senator proposes doubling casinos’ online wager tax rates

Change would more than double revenue streams that brought in $414M last year.

Pro teams aim to score nicer stadiums—and maybe more—from the public

Sports teams are asking for millions of dollars in public subsidies to build or refurbish their stadiums, and many want to create nearby fan districts to boost their bottom lines too.

Senate at an ‘impasse’ over restoring child tax credit

Republicans in the chamber oppose the way the credit is calculated, making the passage of the tax package approved by the House in February uncertain.

States love March Madness. That’s a problem for many.

As more states have legalized sports betting, they’ve also seen a dramatic uptick in gambling addiction.

Congress finally approves spending budget, nearly six months late

The vote in the House and Senate averts a shutdown and brings funding certainty. But several programs significant to state and local governments will see cuts.

Grants and growth: The infrastructure funding surge demands masterful management

COMMENTARY | To leverage federal funds to strengthen their economies and invest in the future, state and local governments need strong, centralized grant management support.

Spending package cuts grants to cities to help with influx of migrants

The six spending bills also fail to fund internet subsidies and security for places of worship.

23M low-income households appear set to lose internet subsides

Congressional leaders did not include funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program in its final six spending bills.

States look to AI for its potential to help with finances

Artificial intelligence holds promise for creating budget-saving efficiencies, aiding in audits and helping with compliance. But the emerging technology also poses challenges that could affect spending.

Local news is crucial to governance, and it’s hurting

COMMENTARY | Public officials need to support it any way they can. It’s good for their communities, and it's good for them.