State and Federal Relations

Supreme Court Deals a Major Blow to the EPA, and All Federal Agencies

A decision from the court's conservative majority limits agencies' ability to write new rules on major issues. The case centered on a challenge brought by West Virginia and other states.

How Cities and States are Gathering Data as They Spend Federal Aid

A watchdog agency responsible for monitoring the historic infusion of pandemic relief dollars is promoting data collection to encourage transparency and uncover fraud and abuse.

$750M Headed to States For New Gun Control Initiatives

But legal experts say a key part for states—red flag laws—could be in jeopardy after the conservative Supreme Court struck down New York’s gun law last week.

Here's What the Gun Safety Deal Would Mean for States

In a compromise, Democrats backed off on using funds only to encourage states to pass red flag laws that enable authorities to seize guns from people considered threatening, opening millions in federal incentive funding for "crisis intervention" as well.

The States Shifting Road Safety Dollars Away From Safety Programs

Some in Congress are asking why states are redirecting the federal money at a time when crashes and highway deaths are on the rise.

FEMA Chief: Top Priority Is Ensuring Adequate Staffing For Emergencies

Employees and managers alike continue to warn lawmakers about the impact that growing demands will have on the agency's ability to respond to disasters.

A Patchwork of State Red Flag Laws is Likely Under the Gun Safety Deal

Congressional negotiators plan to give states leeway designing the laws to seize firearms from people considered dangerous. It could mean a wide range of approaches balancing safety with gun rights.

House Republicans Attack ARPA as ‘Boondoggle.’ Mayor, Democrats Say it Prevented Layoffs, Saved Lives

The clash is the latest instance of GOP lawmakers assailing pandemic relief spending under the American Rescue Plan Act.

Why Flexibility for States is a Central Part of the Gun Safety Deal

Details of the package are still coming into focus. But senators are emphasizing that states will hold heavy sway when it comes to shaping the red flag laws the legislation seeks to incentivize.

The Big Question About Red Flag Laws With the Gun Safety Deal

Under a bipartisan U.S. Senate framework, it'll be left to states to decide how to move ahead with the laws. How many will actually do so and how far they will go remains to be seen.

The 'Impossible' Federal Standard States Can't Meet as They Work to Assist Low-Income Families

Critics say a longstanding performance metric for work participation that is part of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program is faulty and should be reformed.

A Vanishing Breed: Republicans in the Statehouse Who Support Abortion

Once common around the country, state Republicans lawmakers who publicly back legalized abortion have become political unicorns. But some are not going away quietly.

Local Officials to Congress: We Want Stricter Gun Control

City and county leaders who have had to deal with the tragic aftermath of a mass shooting are looking to federal lawmakers to address the crisis.

Millions Still Lack Broadband Despite 5-year $44B Government Effort

Watchdog recommends synchronizing the federal government's fragmented push by 15 agencies administering 100 programs.

States Look to Electric Utilities for Broadband Connections

New York, Arkansas and Florida and their partners are taking advantage of utilities’ existing fiber-optic networks to spur middle-mile broadband connections.

Congress is Looking at Offering Grant Incentives for States to Adopt ‘Red Flag’ Gun Laws

The idea has emerged during talks over possible bipartisan gun legislation following the deadly Uvalde, Texas school shooting. The laws provide a way to temporarily block people seen as posing violent threats from accessing firearms.

Biden’s Executive Order on Policing Could Help Spur Local Reforms

The directive, which includes varied restrictions and alternatives, drew support from reform advocates as well as groups representing law enforcement officers and cities.

National Public Health Emergency to Last Until At Least October

The eventual end of the emergency is poised to have major ramifications for Medicaid and nutrition assistance programs.

States Have Yet to Spend Hundreds of Millions of Federal Dollars to Tackle Covid Health Disparities

A year ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded states and local health departments $2.25 billion to help people of color and other populations at higher risk from Covid. But a KHN review shows public health agencies across the country have been slow to spend it.