State and Federal Relations

Bipartisan House Bill Targets Improving Digital Identity Verification

The measure would create a task force of local, state and federal officials to produce a comprehensive, standards-based approach to digital identity verification.

USDA Makes New Move in Broad Effort to Bring Innovative Tech to America’s Farmers

The agriculture-focused agency wants public input on potentially disruptive ideas that could be ready to be implemented.

'Perfect Storm' Threatens 'Major Institutional Defeat' for the Census, Top Watchdog Says

The decennial count is ahead of schedule overall, but a condensed schedule and hiring shortfalls are creating significant risks.

Extra $300 Unemployment Benefit Coming to End as Money Runs Out

President Trump took executive action to extend the benefit after an earlier federal program that provided $600 a week lapsed.

Governors Plead with Congress for Help as Senate Rejects Skinny Relief Bill

As Democratic governors testified before the House Committee on Financial Services, the Senate rejected a pared-back coronavirus relief proposal.

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral

As the U.S. heads toward the winter, the country is going round in circles, making the same conceptual errors that have plagued it since spring.

America Doesn’t Have a Coherent Strategy for Asymptomatic Testing. It Needs One.

While it battles a virus that can spread quickly via silent carriers, the United States has yet to execute a strategy for testing asymptomatic people. This is a problem — and ProPublica health reporter Caroline Chen explains why.

Senate to Vote on Slimmed-Down Coronavirus Relief Bill This Week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced the legislation Tuesday and said the Senate will hold a vote on it this week.

CDC Tells States to Set Up Infrastructure to Distribute Covid Vaccine

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Mississippi commission selects new flag candidate for voters to consider … After protests, Portland mayor says he will leave his condo building … Surge in poll worker applications in Colorado.

Senate Republicans’ Revamped, Scaled-Back Coronavirus Bill Expected Next Week

But Democrats and Republicans are still far apart on inclusion of money for state and local governments.

Cuomo, Union Leaders Call on Congress to Provide New York $59 Billion in Aid

They say the state and its local governments are in an “impossible financial situation” because of the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

USDA Extends Free School Meal Program for Children

The U.S. Department of Agriculture loosened requirements for children receiving free meals through their schools at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and announced Monday it would keep those flexibilities in place through the end of the year.

Condensed Schedule and Staff Not Showing Up to Work Have Put the Census at Risk

Census has just a month to complete its count and the Government Accountability Office says it still faces significant challenges in collecting accurate data.

New Unemployment Benefits Could Take Weeks to Distribute

Thirty-two states have been approved for the federal unemployment program, but only four states have begun issuing the $300-a-week benefits.

Struggling Small Businesses Are Also at Risk from Postal Service Delays

COMMENTARY | A reliable U.S. Postal Service is critical for small- and medium-sized businesses, which depend on both its wide reach and affordable rates.

City Creates Food Stamps App as Renewal Process Becomes More Difficult

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is resuming pre-coronavirus application and renewal requirements for food stamps. Washington, D.C. created a mobile public benefits app that officials hope will make it easier for recipients to apply and meet eligibility requirements.

The Plan That Could Give Us Our Lives Back

The U.S. has never had enough coronavirus tests. Now a group of epidemiologists, economists, and dreamers is plotting a new strategy to defeat the virus, even before a vaccine is found.

The Worst of Hurricane Season is Likely Still to Come

Nine named storms have already formed during the 2020 hurricane season, which began June 1 and ends in November. Experts are predicting as many as 16 more.