State and Local Government

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.

Building Trust in the Covid-19 Vaccine Among People of Color

COMMENTARY | Government and health care organizations must overcome understandable skepticism toward the vaccine among some minority groups. Following three basic communications practices can help.

Miami Beach Extends Curfew, State of Emergency as Visitors Swamp South Florida

City officials called an emergency meeting Sunday in Miami Beach to discuss mitigation measures for throngs of unruly gatherers after a week of arrests, fights and crowd-control headaches.

When State and Local Governments Can Expect to Receive Stimulus Funds

The Treasury Department is still working on guidance that will better inform states of how they can use the money. But aid for cities and counties must be distributed within 60 days of the law’s passage.

How One County Helps Low-Income Homeowners Rehab Their Houses

James City County, Virginia tapped federal housing dollars to fund repairs and rebuilding projects that make homes safe and habitable. "Nothing is more affordable than the house you already have," notes a local official.

States Consider 'Do-Over Years' for Students Affected by the Pandemic

Some policies allow students an extra year to participate in both academics and athletics, other measures focus entirely on sports.

‘An Insult’: Attorneys General Slam Purdue Restructuring Plan

Under the proposal filed this week, the OxyContin manufacturer would pay $4.25 billion to states, municipalities and others.

Florida Officials to Spring Breakers: Please Try to Not Spread Covid Everywhere

City and county leaders in Florida, prohibited from enforcing local mask mandates, are relying largely on public messaging to keep visitors in line.

Poll Finds Distrust in Covid Information From State Leaders

It also suggests few people rely on state and local government websites as primary sources of information about the pandemic.

Basic and No-Cost Steps Agencies Can Take to Defend Against Hackers

It’s a daunting era for state and local government cybersecurity, but agencies have some simple, and even free, options to protect their computer networks from threats.

Covid Relief Bill Will Infuse Billions into Local Economies

From $1,400 stimulus payments to $300-a-week unemployment benefits, the $1.9 trillion aid package gets cash to residents that can translate to stronger state and local tax revenues.

Cities Bet on Risky Borrowing Option to Bolster Pensions

With the cost to issue debt at record lows, there’s been an upswing in local governments turning to pension obligation bonds.

Travel Bans do Little to Stem Covid-19 Spread

COMMENTARY | New research finds that limiting personal mobility through travel restrictions and similar tactics is effective only in the first phases of the epidemic, and reduces in proportion to the spread of infection across a population.

Five Pandemic Mistakes We Keep Repeating

COMMENTARY | We can learn from our failures.

Covid Vaccine Websites Violate Disability Laws, Create Inequity for the Blind

An investigation finds that covid vaccine registration and information websites at the federal, state and local levels are flouting disability rights laws and limiting the ability of people who are blind or visually impaired to sign up for shots.

Public Employees’ Use of Personal Phones, Tablets Puts Local Governments at Risk

A cybersecurity report found that 25% of state and local government employees use personal digital devices to telework while only 9% of federal employees do so.

Vaccine Appointment Link Sharing ‘Highly Problematic’ for Health Departments

Virginia transitioned to a new centralized coronavirus vaccine registration system this week that officials said should help prevent people from passing links they use to schedule shots on to others.

Casting Ballots by Smartphone or Tablet? Elections Officials Want to Expand Online Voting Pilots

A Utah county and West Virginia were among the places that allowed some voters to cast electronic ballots last year.