State and City Relations

The Battle for Local Control Is Now a Matter of Life and Death

COMMENTARY | The coronavirus has raised the stakes of a long-simmering conflict between red states and blue cities.

Virus Spikes While Local and State Officials Bicker Over Face Mask Mandates

How will state and local officials agree on safety protocols in the months ahead?

Democratic Governors Tell Trump They Don’t Want Military to Deal With Protests

But the Insurrection Act does give the president authority to deploy troops domestically.

Testing In California Still A Frustrating Patchwork Of Haves And Have-Nots

County to county, city to city—even hospital to hospital within a city—testing capacity varies widely, as does the definition of who qualifies for testing.

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.

One State Becomes First in the Nation to Preempt City Natural Gas Bans

No cities in Arizona have banned gas stoves or other residential uses of natural gas. The state wants to keep it that way.

U.S. Population Growing Very Slowly, Census Bureau Says

Ten states lost residents in 2019. But despite the country’s population gains slowing to a crawl, some states are attracting more residents, with Idaho and Nevada growing fastest.

Planting a Family of Trees, One Seedling at a Time

A 600-year-old tree fell in New Jersey. Officials will preserve its legacy by sending its seedlings all over the state.

Creating an Agenda for Reform

Experts see the need for a fresh focus on thinking about the big issues in state and local governance.

A State Agency Scraps Its Paper-Based Licensing System

In adopting a digital licensing system, officials at the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission say they moved away not just from stacks and stacks of paper, but also an old mindset.

Customer Service, State and Local Partnerships Key for CIOs

The findings of NASCIO’s 2019 survey of chief information officers highlights areas of concern and evolving priorities among state information technology leaders.

Sin Taxes Not a Reliable Source of Revenue, Report Says

States collected $34 million in alcohol and tobacco taxes in 2017, but a tax increase doesn’t always equate to more money as consumer behavior changes.

Barred from Removing Confederate Statues, Cities Are Contextualizing Them Instead

Some cities are adding plaques and launching educational initiatives to tell a more complete story of the Civil War. But even if they aren’t removing Confederate statues, some still face pushback.

To Rein in Cities, Texas Tries to Ban Their Lobbying

Anti-lobbying efforts illustrate the chasm between statehouses and cities.

Judge Rules all U.S. Cities, Counties Have Stake in Opioid Settlements

U.S. District Judge Daniel Polster’s ruling broadens the scope of participants in the ongoing multi-district litigation brought against prescription drug companies.

State Preemption of Local Legislation Is Getting Worse

A new report shows that state legislatures have been expanding their reach in preempting cities from localized regulation on issues like gun control.

A Local Government Strategy to Reduce Smoking: Refuse to Hire Smokers

Across the country, cities and counties have instituted policies that bar people who use any nicotine products from applying to government jobs.

How Best to Save a Struggling City? Agency by Agency

COMMENTARY | Flint, Michigan, offered a devastating lesson in how state takeover of a city can fail. Agency control—“de-municipalization”—is a better idea.

The NIMBY Principle

The advocacy group Livable California has led the resistance to the state’s biggest housing proposals. What's their appeal for “local control” really about?

Cities and States Continue to Face Challenges with Rape Kit Backlogs

With untested rape kits sometimes numbering in the thousands, local crime labs are struggling to solve cold cases with little funding and tackle a slew of active cases that also require investigation.