State and City Relations

Neediest areas are being shortchanged on government funds

COMMENTARY | A recent study of the Community Development Block Grant program showed that neighborhoods with the largest share of low- to moderate-income families were less likely to receive CDBG funds than communities that were closer to the 51% threshold.

A water crisis in Mississippi turns into a fight against privatization

Thanks to a federal judge, residents of Jackson will have a say in how the city resolves its yearslong water crisis.

Too many cubicles, too few homes spur incentives to convert offices to housing

States are stepping in with tax breaks and zoning changes to help replace the unwanted cubicle farms with much-needed housing.

Freedom Caucuses push for conservative state laws, but getting attention is their big success

Eleven states have formal chapters of the State Freedom Caucus Network, which aims to push Republicans to the right.

City officials plead for more say in how AVs are deployed

Autonomous vehicle companies often cut out city transportation agencies with state laws that preempt local regulations. City leaders say that “handcuffs” them as they try to manage traffic and curb space.

Connect with state & local government leaders

Will States Force Localities to Build Affordable Housing?

The need for more housing in America is undeniable. But with localities unlikely to change zoning laws to create more, states are stepping in.

State Efforts to Undercut Local Governance Widen in Scope

Lawmakers have introduced upwards of 650 bills this year preempting the power of cities and other local governments, says a new report. These bills are broad in their approach, looking to “cut out local authority at-large.”

How to Make Office-to-Housing Conversions Work

A panel of experts looked at what it would take to revitalize downtowns by turning offices into homes. They coalesced around five things cities need to do to succeed.

Rank-choice Voting Advances as Election Deniers, Voting Right Limitations Gain Traction

Two states and dozens of other jurisdictions have adopted ranked-choice voting for at least some elections.

Beach Battles: Lawmakers Pushed to Increase Public Shoreline Access

Steep parking fees and other factors can pose barriers to visiting beaches, with some advocates saying restrictive policies reinforce segregation and racial inequality.

How States Are Responding to the Supreme Court's Gun Ruling

New York and California are moving to keep firearms away from sites like playgrounds and bars and out of the hands of people who could commit mass shootings. And the gun control group Giffords is pushing a slate of ideas for new state and local policy.

City Official: State Transportation Agencies Block Street Safety Progress

The Idaho city council president told congressional lawmakers that state policies are designed to make sure vehicles go fast. She and others offered local solutions to make roads safer for drivers and pedestrians.

The Big Opportunity States Are Missing

COMMENTARY | State governments are excluding local governments from major policymaking decisions. There needs to be more collaboration and cooperation between states and localities if we want to see meaningful change in our communities.

Biden Administration Releases $45B for Broadband to States

Guidance for the infrastructure program says states must make affordable broadband available to the middle class, too, and cannot exclude cities from being considered for the funding.

Treasury Releasing $13B More in Rental Aid to Successful Programs

At least 50 state and local government grantees have met funding distribution benchmarks that would make them eligible for additional money.

“I Wish It Had Not Become Law,” Says Governor Of Mask-Banning Order He Signed Into Law

Citing rising numbers of Covid-19 cases among children, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson called state lawmakers back for a special session to consider allowing school districts to implement mask mandates.

22 States, Biden Administration Ask Supreme Court to Keep Eviction Ban in Place

A legal challenge brought by landlords seeks to strike the national eviction moratorium, which is set to expire June 30 unless it is extended.

Paying With Cash? Retailers Must Take Your Dollars in These States

For many, requiring the option to use cash is a race and economic equity issue.

Texas’ Larger Cities Would Face Financial Penalties for Cutting Police Budgets Under Bill Approved by House

Previously, the Senate approved a bill that would ask for an election if cities decide to reduce law enforcement budgets.

Lubbock Voters will Decide Saturday if the West Texas City will become the Largest “Sanctuary City for the Unborn”

While proponents of the proposed ordinance view abortion as an “inconceivably wicked action,” detractors say it would be immediately challenged in court and that battles over abortion access are best fought at the state and federal levels.