More Governments Join National Fine and Fee Reform Effort

Seven additional cities and counties are set to take part in the initiative, which is seeking to rework fines and fees that often fall most heavily on low-income and minority residents.

A Staggering Backlog of Transit Upgrades Is Stacking Up

New federal funding from the infrastructure law will help. But some older systems have deep problems, underscored by track fires, breakdowns and delays.

State and Local Pensions Post Worst Losses Since Great Recession

The public sector retirement plans are in better overall shape than they were back in 2008. But some are still badly underfunded and many are gambling on riskier investments.

‘Chronic Underfunding’ of Public Health Threatens Lives in US, Report Finds

Funding for public health programs has been slashed over the last several years. A nonprofit is calling for a $4.5 billion annual investment in “public health infrastructure at the state, local, tribal, and territorial levels.”

‘True Cost of Aging’ Index Shows Many Seniors Can’t Afford Basic Necessities

Millions of older Americans are financially insecure and many public assistance programs are not enough to cover the cost of living. A new coalition is working to change that.

The Three Cs of Effective Public Engagement

COMMENTARY | Incorporating citizen feedback into government budget and finance decisions can often lead to disappointing results, but following these principles can help.

How to Regain Citizens' Trust After a Financial Scandal

Just getting rid of the people involved isn't enough. A complex task follows for local leaders to restore faith in the government.

The Evolving Debate Over ARPA's State and Local Aid Program

President Biden's top advisor on the American Rescue Plan Act dismisses Republican claims that money from the law is being wasted. But he's also urging local government leaders to look for more ways to highlight their successes with the federal funding.

Unfair Property Taxes and What to Do About Them

In some places, the taxes fall unequally on lower-income and minority homeowners. But can they be redesigned without jeopardizing a major source of local government revenue?

The Best and Worst States for Business

One southern state tops a new set of rankings, while another one came in last. Where does your state score among the 50?

How States and Localities Can Plan for the Growing Economic Uncertainty

COMMENTARY | Mixed signals are making it difficult for government finance officers to get a clear outlook for the future economy. Here's what they can do, says one county CFO.

Nearly Half of States Raised Their Minimum Wage This Year

The increases range from 22 cents to $1.50 per hour, but most states’ pay floors are not high enough to ensure economic stability, according to a new report.

The Simmering GOP Criticism of State and Local ARPA Spending

Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have been bashing projects paid for with American Rescue Plan Act dollars that they see as wasteful. It could be a sign of further scrutiny to come if they take back one or both chambers of Congress.

Localities Look To an Untapped 'Goldmine' of Potential Revenue

A new initiative focuses on how cities and counties can capitalize on underused public property, like parking lots and office space.

New York State Pumps the Brakes on Crypto Mining

With the value of cryptocurrency dropping and environmental concerns moving front and center, New York considers a two-year pause on fossil-fuel powered crypto mining operations.

How Cities and Counties Are Thinking Big With Their ARPA Plans

Across the country, some local governments are using federal aid from the American Rescue Plan to launch "transformational" projects in areas like affordable housing, public safety and ridding homes of lead—things that will endure long after the money is spent.

This Federal Committee Is Watching Over Your Pandemic Funds Spending

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee is on the lookout for fraud and other issues with trillions in federal Covid aid. But the watchdog is also assembling a wealth of data on programs the money is going to.

Feds Launch $1B Initiative to Rework Infrastructure That Cut Apart Cities

The Biden administration says places that prioritize community outreach as they design project proposals will have an advantage over others.

How Cities and States are Gathering Data as They Spend Federal Aid

A watchdog agency responsible for monitoring the historic infusion of pandemic relief dollars is promoting data collection to encourage transparency and uncover fraud and abuse.

$53.3 Million. 33 Jobs. No Plan. That’s How Mississippi Lawmakers Are Spending BP Oil Spill Money.

Business leaders hoped the state would use money from the 2010 oil spill to transform Mississippi’s coastal economy. Instead, lawmakers are using much of it to fill gaps in local government budgets and fund projects with few metrics for success.

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