State and Federal Relations

Lessons learned from the Medicaid unwinding period

A new report highlights how states have conducted post-pandemic eligibility renewals with the help of federal waivers and data.

Highway humor is over some drivers’ heads

States to drivers: READ OUR WITTY HIGHWAY SIGNS. Feds to states: YOU’RE NOT FUNNY.

The homeowner mutiny leaving Florida cities defenseless against hurricanes

The federal government is refusing to restore eroded beaches in Pinellas County unless homeowners agree to one condition: public access.

Safety-net health clinics cut services and staff amid Medicaid ‘unwinding’

Nationwide, health centers that serve low-income communities face a financial storm created by a sharp rise in the cost of care, a tight workforce and now fewer insured patients.

Inside the Department of Labor’s collaboration with New Jersey to overhaul unemployment programs

A new application for unemployment claims in the Garden State marks the result of a years-long federal effort to help states modernize their jobless aid efforts.

Connect with state & local government leaders

Passenger rail keeps chugging forward during Infrastructure Week

Efforts to expand rail have reached significant milestones in recent weeks, from construction on the Northeast Corridor to new funding on Colorado’s Front Range.

State Medicaid costs poised to surge from pandemic lows

State costs rose by 13% in fiscal 2023 and are expected to increase by an additional 17.2% in fiscal 2024 thanks to the phaseout of enhanced federal aid, provider rate increases and slowing but still elevated enrollment levels.

Montana could be a model as more GOP states weigh Medicaid work requirements

The state has a program that can help Medicaid enrollees get job training, career guidance.

‘Extremely dangerous’: Governors criticize ‘federalization’ of National Guard

Governors from 53 U.S. states and territories object to the Defense Department's plan to move all Air National Guardsman with space-related missions from state to federal control, placing them under the umbrella of the U.S. Air Force, specifically the Space Force.

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.

States get streamlined access to Treasury’s Do Not Pay system for unemployment

The move comes as federal agencies work with states to combat the rise in jobless aid fraud following the pandemic.

LGBTQ students wonder what’s next as conservative states seek to block new Title IX rules

Days after the new Title IX rules protecting LGBTQ youth from discrimination at school were published, top officials in 15 states announced they were suing to block the rules from going into effect.

FCC reinstates net neutrality rules

Commissioners voted 3-2 to revive net neutrality, which supporters said would prevent the internet from being intentionally blocked or slowed down. Opponents said the effort is unnecessary and violates the law.

National DELETE Act included in privacy discussions

California already has a law that gives consumers more control over the data held on them by data brokers. A federal effort would give Americans a central place to request it be deleted by all brokers.

States are required to background check child care workers. Many are falling short.

Dozens of states are out of compliance with at least one component of a federal law’s requirements, a congressional report found. But the problems are so complicated, it’s unclear if anyone has a solution.

Holdout states consider expanding Medicaid—with work requirements

The prospect of a second Trump administration has renewed interest in the idea.

How states can help formerly incarcerated individuals stay sober

A Medicaid waiver can help state corrections facilities finance reentry services aimed at keeping previously incarcerated individuals in recovery and curbing the opioid crisis.

National data privacy standard would preempt state efforts

A bill in Congress would supersede more than a dozen state laws. While most support a national standard, some state leaders and experts worry the legislation’s preemption provisions are too prescriptive.

Half of new state spending on preschool was backed by COVID aid last year, new report finds

That money helped improve access — preschool enrollment was up in nearly every state — but it also raises real questions about whether states will be able to sustain their investments after that federal funding runs out this fall.

Other 'zombie' state laws, like Arizona's, on abortion, LGBTQ+ issues and more could resurface

COMMENTARY | It might seem unnecessary for a state legislature to repeal a law that is not enforced or has been superseded by a more recent law, but the recent Arizona abortion ban shows the consequences of assuming that old laws will always remain dormant.