State and Local Government

His Son Died by Suicide. So This City Employee Made Suicide Prevention His Job.

Rick Padilla, suicide prevention administrator for Denver, works to help kids speak—and be heard—about their struggles with mental health. His efforts have lead to city initiatives and state legislation.

New Mexico Must Provide Internet, Devices to At-Risk Remote Learners, Court Rules

The ruling is the latest development in a years-long case alleging that the state’s education department failed to provide uniform public education to Native Americans, low-income children and others.

States, Cities Begin to Order Workers Back to the Office

The ACLU is challenging a directive from South Carolina’s governor that requires state employees to return to in-person work. Other state and local orders are under fire as well.

The Tax Landscape is Changing. Here’s How States and Localities Can Keep Up With a Moving Target

COMMENTARY | As businesses adjust the way they operate in a post-Covid era, state and local governments must re-evaluate how to collect taxes and maximize revenue streams.

North Carolina Just Can’t Divorce Adultery Law

A legislative committee deadlocked on a proposal to abolish a law that allows residents to sue a person for having an affair with their spouse. Only six states permit the practice.

Local Governments Expect to Embrace Some—But Not All—Technology Post-Pandemic, Survey Finds

Eighty-one percent of local leaders in The Atlas survey said they conducted board meetings virtually, but only 54% expect to continue the practice. Others, including digital permitting, community engagement and citizen requests, are likely here to stay.

A Plan to Excuse Students From School for Protests and Demonstrations

A proposal in Delaware would allow students one excused absence each school year to attend a “civic engagement activity.” If passed, it would be the nation’s first statewide guarantee, its sponsor said.

Women are Underrepresented in Local Government, too, New Data Shows

Women hold fewer than one-third of seats in municipal governments nationwide, comparable to their presence in state and federal offices.

Feds Eliminate Fee for '.Gov' Web Addresses

Smaller localities in particular have said that the $400 annual cost was a barrier to adopting the government-specific URL.

FCC Acting Chair Urges States to Nix Local Broadband Restrictions

More than 20 states make it difficult, if not impossible, for municipalities to establish broadband service. “We have to embrace all kinds of solutions,” said Jessica Rosenworcel during a Route Fifty panel.

States and Localities Should Implement Equity Compliance Measures

COMMENTARY | As Americans increasingly demand equitable action from government officials, the ability to model, measure and map equity in real time paves the way for a new model of governing to address injustices.

A Year Into Covid, States Debate Public Health Shutdown Powers

Lawmakers in many states are angling to relocate, reduce, or otherwise refine the power to make public health decisions.

After a Deadly Year on the Roads, States Push for Safety Over Speed

Lawmakers in California and other states are rethinking how they set and enforce speed limits, and they’re proposing to hand more power to local authorities to slow drivers in their communities.

Cities Battle Another Long-Lasting Covid Reminder: PPE Litter

Discarded masks and plastic gloves are turning up on beaches and in waterways with increasing frequency.

Overcoming Roadblocks to Evidence-Based Policy Making

COMMENTARY | Promising initiatives like the California Policy Lab show how governments can take greater advantage of data.

Tourism, Business Travel May Not Fully Recover for 4 Years, Industry Officials Say

Corporate travel spending dropped 70% during the pandemic, contributing to the tax revenue losses that tourism-dependent cities and states experienced.

When to Reopen

COMMENTARY | Let’s stop pretending that pandemic rules that made sense in April 2020 still make sense a year later.

In the Rush to Digital, Governments Can’t Leave Behind Cash Payers

COMMENTARY | As local and state governments embrace digital payment services, they must ensure that these services are equitable and accessible to all—including people who are unbanked or underbanked.

Delaware Bill Would Require Menstruation Products In Public School Bathrooms

The one-time cost to each school would be about $30,000 to install dispensers and $77,000 a year to keep them filled.

Lawmakers Renew Push to Restore Axed Municipal Refinancing Tool

Advance refunding helped state and local governments save on borrowing costs. The bipartisan effort to bring it back could get rolled into forthcoming infrastructure legislation.