State and Local Government

This Week in Federal Funding

In the latest edition, we talk with urbanist Bruce Katz about ways local governments can strategize to take full advantage of new federal dollars and why he made a comparison between pandemic aid and the Amazon HQ2 competition.

Community Colleges Begin Using Federal Coronavirus Funding to Erase Student Debt

The money, from the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, is available for students who have struggled financially as a result of the pandemic.

Move to Berrien County, Michigan, for the Beaches—And the $15,000

Some of America’s shrinking towns are trying to lure remote workers with cash. It’s not going so great.

New York City, California Mandate Vaccines for Public Employees

Public workers must receive the vaccine or submit to weekly testing starting Sept. 13, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. California Gov. Gavin Newsom made a similar statement.

Expansion of Remote Work Increases Competition Between Public, Private Sector

Workforce experts say government employers should look for ways to embrace a flexible working environment even after the pandemic in order to compete.

How Localities and States Can Prepare for Broadband Expansion

Governments can use American Rescue Plan Act funding to pay for broadband infrastructure. Experts say local governments are in the best position to know what initiatives will work to connect residents.

Why There’s Rising Interest in Giving More Updates to Bondholders

Investors and others would like to see more timely information about developments with municipal borrowers’ finances. “Voluntary disclosure” can help, experts say.

Amid Pandemic Recovery, Local Health Departments Grapple With Historic Turnover

Nearly 250 public health leaders have left their jobs since last April, the largest exodus on record. In an industry where recruiting is difficult, experts worry that many positions could remain unfilled.

As Tourists Flock to Hawaii, One Mayor Asks Airlines for a ‘Pause’

Residents in Maui County have complained about congestion, illegal parking and overcrowding as tourists have resumed travel to the area.

How Governments Can Leverage Federal Funds to Partner With Local Nonprofits

The American Rescue Plan allows states and localities to funnel federal relief dollars to nonprofit organizations, which the National Council of Nonprofits says could be key to local economic recovery.

Better Customer Experience a Priority for State, Local IT Post Pandemic

Experts testified before a U.S. House committee about government digital services, noting the pandemic pushed long-standing information technology issues to the forefront.

State, Local Government Workers Vaccinated at Higher Rate Than General Public

A new report found 70% of public sector employees were vaccinated, but also reveals some troubling disparities.

More than $20M in Federal Funds Available for State-Based Insurance Marketplaces to Make Improvements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services funding will help improve access and update systems to reflect new eligibility thresholds, state officials said.

The Authoritarian Instincts of Police Unions

COMMENTARY | They condition their members to see themselves as soldiers at war with the public they are meant to serve, and above the laws they are meant to enforce.

Western States Prepare for Battle in Historic Wildfire Season

States are poised to spend hundreds of millions, even billions, in state funding while U.S. senators urged the Biden administration to provide additional relief money quickly.

This School District Normally Gets $66,000 a Year for Library Books. This Year — $500,000.

Money from the American Rescue Plan will be used to replace items that went missing when schools closed at the start of the pandemic and enhance the district’s overall collection, St. Paul officials say.

Governors Promise Return to Normalcy Once States Hit Target Vaccination Rates

The announcements come as vaccination rates continue to decline nationwide.

Gov. Greg Abbott Signs Bill to Punish Businesses that Require Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination

Abbott's signature means that businesses that require so-called vaccine passports can't get state contracts and could lose state licenses or operating permits.

Democrats’ Elections Bill in Peril with Key Senator’s Opposition

Sen. Joe Manchin said he would not support the For the People Act, which would create national voting standards, making it difficult for supporters to propel the legislation forward.

Why New Jersey's Governor Started Memorializing Covid-19 Victims—and Won't Stop

Since March 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy has used his Covid-19 briefings to eulogize residents who died from the virus, a practice he says is necessary to remember the humanity behind the data.