A Small City's Descent Into Bankruptcy

"By far the worst that we have encountered," is how one person involved in resolving the fiscal mess described it. This first article in a three-part series, looks at how the troubled city's situation resembles another municipal bankruptcy about a decade ago.

The Case for More Federal Oversight of State and Local Budgets

An influential good government group is calling for tighter standards and is out with new recommendations for how Congress and regulators can begin taking action.

'Green Banks,' Poised for Billions in Climate Funds, Draw States' Attention

These banks provide financing for projects from efficient appliances to solar panels.

A ‘Bootcamp’ to Help Smaller Cities Win Infrastructure Grants

Small and midsize localities tend to lack the dedicated grant-writing teams and expertise that bigger towns use to score federal dollars. A new–and free–initiative aims to get them onto more equal footing competing for the funding.

What the $1.7 Trillion Spending Bill Includes for States and Localities

Congressional lawmakers fought back attempts by conservatives to delay the legislation until next year, approving billions for infrastructure, new regional technology hubs, homelessness programs and other state and local government priorities.

States and Localities Poised to Gain New Flexibility With ARPA Funds

The massive spending bill moving ahead in Congress was amended to allow for American Rescue Plan Act aid to go toward new uses, including disaster recovery and transportation infrastructure.

$45M for New Trails Grants Included in Federal Funding Deal

Cycling and pedestrian advocates had pressed for more, but say the money included in the legislation would be a good start.

Here's What Was Left Out of the $1.7 Trillion Federal Spending Bill

A number of provisions state and local governments had been seeking were excluded, including renewed expansions of tax credit programs that help support low-income housing and households with kids.

Real-Time Data on What Muni Bond Investors Think of Your City

A new data tool offers a window into how investors are responding to changes affecting the financial outlook of individual governments, including trends like the rise of remote work.

Marijuana Banking Reform Left Out of Year-End Spending Deal 

The proposed changes would have cleared a path for state-regulated marijuana companies to access banking services, instead of doing business primarily in cash.

The Outlook for State Budgets Heading Into 2023

Many states are on solid footing and expect to enjoy surpluses. But a couple are staring down sizable budget gaps.

New State and Local Government Financial Reporting Requirements Headed to Biden’s Desk

State and local advocates opposed the provisions, which were attached to a massive defense bill and call for financial data to be standardized, searchable and machine-readable.

Should the Deadline to Spend ARPA Dollars be Extended?

Some local officials involved in managing American Rescue Plan Act aid describe a 2026 cut-off to use up all of the money as uncomfortably close.

Why a Federal Funding Deal Matters So Much for States and Localities

A full-year budget package would set spending levels for key programs and could also include important policy changes.

State and Local Governments Look to the Sales Tax to Refill Coffers

COMMENTARY | During past adverse economic cycles, the tax has often proven to be a more consistent and efficient method of funding compared to the income tax.

A Last-ditch Effort to Revive the Expanded Child Tax Credit

The more generous credit, in place for part of last year, helped slash child poverty rates and likely boosted state and local economies and tax revenues. Democrats are trying to bring it back before losing control of Congress.

Exploring How to Help Homebuyers Compete with Real Estate Investors

Experts say there are several strategies governments can try to prevent investors from dominating the market.

Permitting Revamp and Pot Banking Left Out of Must-pass Defense Bill

In brokering the National Defense Authorization Act, congressional negotiators didn’t include a controversial overhaul of environmental permitting for energy projects, or provisions to open banking to state-regulated marijuana businesses.

Congress Moving Ahead on New State and Local Government Financial Reporting Rules

The new requirements, tacked on to a must-pass defense bill, call for financial data to be standardized, machine-readable and searchable. State and local advocates argue the plan is an “unfunded mandate” that will create significant costs.

Child Care is Broken. Here’s How Governments are Trying to Fix it

From helping fund day care centers, to providing subsidies to care workers and families, states and localities are spending millions on what has become a crisis for the nation and its workforce.

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