Biden Criticizes ‘Neanderthal Thinking’ as Two Governors Roll Back Mask Mandates

The Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi this week announced plans to ease public health restrictions, prompting the rebuke from the president.

Hospitals, ICU Beds Reach Capacity Across U.S. as Pandemic Surges

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | DOJ investigates Kansas City’s contracting policies… cities expand pilot programs providing guaranteed income... Mississippi prisons deal with understaffing.

Biden Names Intergovernmental Affairs Chief

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | New Orleans nixes Mardi Gras parades due to Covid … Mississippi governor calls for axing state’s income tax … Leaders in both parties urge against out-of-state political supporters moving to Georgia ahead of special election.

Mississippi Abolishes Jim Crow-Era State Voting System

The relic from the state’s 1890 constitution, one of several provisions designed to dilute the power of Black voters, was abolished through a ballot initiative that won by a blowout margin.

Racial Justice Push Creates Momentum to Protect Black-Owned Land

The pandemic and new state and federal laws push landowners to plan for succession.

In a Cross-State Aquifer Spat, a View of a Water-Stressed Future

Mississippi sued Memphis over its use of a deep aquifer. A possibly paradigm-shifting Supreme Court decision looms.

There Are Nine Finalists—and No Mosquitoes—for Mississippi's New State Flag

The state's flag previously featured the Confederate battle flag, widely considered a racist symbol. It was retired in June after nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd renewed calls to replace it.

One in Six Mississippi Lawmakers Tests Positive for Coronavirus

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Supreme Court rules that much of eastern Oklahoma is an Indian reservation ... Houston GOP convention canceled by mayor … Maryland to hold “normal” election in November.

Mississippi Lawmakers Vote to Remove Confederate Symbol from State Flag

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | House approves Democrat-backed police overhaul bill ... Nevada eviction moratorium to lift in September ... Boston mayor creates "equity and inclusion" cabinet.

Free Clinics Try To Fill Gaps As COVID Sweeps Away Job-Based Insurance

Across the country, the need for free and charity clinics has grown as people lose their job-based insurance and struggle to pay their bills.

Looking for Extra Cash? Check Your State’s Unclaimed Property Database

COMMENTARY | State treasurers are returning millions in unclaimed property to residents.

Cities Take Lead on Coronavirus Response At Times, Leading to Friction With States

Debates over state and local authority could come into play going forward as government leaders decide on how to dial back restrictions and restart the economy.

In Mississippi, a New Call to Remove a Confederate Symbol from the State Flag

A bill in the state legislature would establish a flag commission to draw up alternatives.

The Healthiest—and Unhealthiest—States

Reduced smoking rates, not much violent crime and low reports of sexually transmitted diseases make Vermont the healthiest state in the country, according to rankings released this week.

The Way America Votes Is Broken. In One Rural County, a Nonprofit Showed a Way Forward.

In Mississippi last week, a seamless performance by a new set of voting machines took place amid widespread anxiety about election integrity.

The Mississippi Governor’s Race Is Taking Place Under Jim Crow-Era Rules

COMMENTARY | Mississippi is facing its first close gubernatorial election since 1999.

State Poverty Figures Show Positive Trends, But Some Places Still Struggle

The Census Bureau figures also show incomes lag behind pre-recession levels in at least nine states.

Trump Hailed This State’s Prison Reforms as a National Model — but the Numbers Reflect a Grim Reality

When Mississippi lawmakers passed prison reform legislation in 2014, they pledged to devote some of the savings to drug rehabilitation, reentry programs and prison alternatives. That hasn’t happened.

Poor Taxpayers in Rural Counties Most Likely to be Audited

New research finds that low-income taxpayers who receive the earned-income tax credit are more likely to be audited than wealthier Americans.

African-Americans Missing Out on Southern Push for Legal Pot

Advocates have raised concerns that minorities won’t have an equitable stake in the emerging business.