Massachusetts

This Week in Federal Funding

In the July 20 edition we check in with the state and local lead for the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, a federal watchdog overseeing ARPA programs. Also: the outlook for broadband spending and updates from Massachusetts and Maine.

The Best and Worst States for Child Well-Being

Massachusetts took the top spot in the KIDS COUNT Data Book, an annual survey from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, while Mississippi ranked 50th.

As States Ease Covid-19 Mandates, (Some) Legislative Buildings Reopen

State capitols and legislative chambers are beginning to reopen their doors to the public amid increasing vaccination rates and shifting health guidelines.

US Approves its First Big Offshore Wind Farm, Near Martha’s Vineyard – it’s a Breakthrough for the Industry

COMMENTARY | Building a U.S. offshore wind industry will require more than just fast-tracking permits.

Northeast ‘Ghost Forests’ Multiply as Waters Rise

COMMENTARY | New research indicates two factors behind the emergence of “ghost forests” filled with dead trees along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coast.

Pandemic Drives Phone, Computer ‘Right-to-Repair’ Bills

Legislation in half the states would make it easier to fix phones and computers.

Massachusetts Actually Might Have a Way to Keep Schools Open

An ambitious pilot program could finally pave the way to in-person learning—at least for those who can afford it.

'A Lost Generation:’ Community Colleges Report Record Enrollment Declines

New data shows total enrollment decreased by more than 10% since last fall, with the most precipitous drop seen with first-year students.

State AGs Call on DHS to Withdraw Student Visa Rule Change Proposal

The coalition of 22 state attorneys general objects to a proposed rule change that would place time limits on visas for foreign students and members of the media.

Salem, Mass. Hopes to Scare Away Halloween Visitors

Known for its dark history, the Witch City’s annual Halloween festivities traditionally draw large crowds. But officials this year hope business closures, fines, and limited transit and parking options will keep tourists at bay.

New Hampshire to Sue Massachusetts Over Income Tax Policy

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Michigan governor accuses President Trump of inciting terrorism … Trump administration reverses stance on California wildfire relief … Wisconsin to deploy National Guard as poll workers.

Contact Tracers in Massachusetts Might Order Milk or Help With Rent. Here’s Why.

Massachusetts includes a specific role in its COVID-19 contact-tracing program that’s not common everywhere: a care resource coordinator.

Seven States Band Together to Purchase Rapid-Result Covid Tests

The compact, negotiated by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, aims to increase production of the tests, which can deliver results in less than a half hour.

States Crack Down on Large Gatherings as Covid-19 Continues to Spread

Minnesota officials are seeking damages from a ranch owner who held a three-day rodeo in defiance of state regulations on large gatherings. They say at least one attendee tested positive for Covid-19 days after the event.

State Attorneys General File Lawsuit Over Student Visa Policy

Eighteen attorneys general are challenging a new Trump administration directive that would force international students to leave the U.S. if they are not taking in-person classes in the fall.

It Can Be Difficult to Revoke a Police Officer's License. Some States Are Trying to Make it Easier.

Nearly all states require police officers to be certified, but not every state has a process for revoking that license, even in the face of egregious misconduct.

To More Easily Ban Problem Police Officers, Some States Focus on Licensing

Proponents of professional licensing for police say that such a system would make it easier to fire an officer for misconduct.

Proposal Would Require Full Refunds for Student Travel Trips Canceled Due to Covid-19

Legislation in Massachusetts would expand consumer protection laws to require full refunds for student trips that are canceled due to "a declaration of emergency."

State Parks See Overcrowding as Temperatures Climb

State parks across the country have limited capacity to encourage social distancing, leading to closures over the weekend as temperatures warmed and people flocked outdoors.