State and Local Roundup

States, cities consider ‘mansion taxes’ to fund affordable housing

From sales taxes to real estate transfer taxes, governments are desperately trying to identify dedicated funding tracts for homelessness and housing initiatives.

Supreme Court issues rulings on opioid settlement, overturns Chevron doctrine

As the term nears its end, the high court has issued a flurry of decisions that will affect state and local governments.

In tax code ruling, U.S. Supreme Court declined to open ‘Pandora's box’

Justices sided with the government, avoiding a decision that could have upended the tax code and cost state and local governments trillions of dollars.

Why the fight over abortion pills isn’t over yet

The Supreme Court dismissed a challenge from anti-abortion groups attempting to restrict access to mifepristone, but conservative states are acting on their own to block access to the increasingly popular medicine.

Congestion pricing: If it can’t make it in New York, can it make it anywhere?

Other cities are considering it, but all eyes were on the city that never sleeps. By trying to quell controversy over the downtown toll plan, the New York governor sparked new questions about transit funding, environmental goals and political consequences.

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Post-pandemic, downtown recoveries continue to be uneven

From office conversions to bonding programs to unconventional approaches, cities are testing different ways to revive their downtowns.

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.

After Supreme Court decision left wetlands unprotected, Colorado steps in

Lawmakers crafted new rules to protect and restore wetlands and streams left vulnerable following a decision by the high court that scaled back the types of places subject to the Clean Water Act.

As a critical deadline approaches, the Biden administration issues a flurry of regulations

The new rules cover subjects as varied as marijuana policy, vehicle pollution, civil rights for transgender students, and drinking water safety.

Can compromise be reached in two state budget debates?

Taxes and affordable housing are holding up budgets in Virginia and New York. Instead of threats, the governors in each state appear to be trying to find common ground—for now.

How New Jersey’s new affordable housing law aims to ease the housing crisis

The new law lets municipalities know exactly how much affordable housing they have to build. It’s an approach that states are increasingly trying in an effort to pressure local governments to increase affordable options.

Sunshine Week brings attention to state efforts to overhaul open records laws

As technology renders decades-old open records policies obsolete, states look to overhaul them. It is pitting government officials against good-government groups and reporters.

School vouchers continue momentum in state legislatures

2023 was considered a landmark year for school choice. It’s a trend that is showing no sign of slowing down, as lawmakers push proposals with fewer restrictions and costly price tags.

States move to cut grocery taxes

Amid rising food prices, more states are reducing or eliminating a sales tax that impacts lower-income households the most.

States look to rein in ballot initiatives with more ballot initiatives

Ballot measures in recent years have been used to expand Medicaid, preserve abortion rights and raise minimum wages. Now, state lawmakers are turning to them to put more restrictions on the process.

As concerns over gambling addiction mount, states are set to rake in millions from Super Bowl bets

Sports betting has spread to 38 states and Washington, D.C., over the past five years. In that time, states have also seen massive increases in calls to gambling addiction hotlines. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

‘The world is watching.’ Alabama executes inmate using nitrogen gas

The state opted for the method following a botched execution of the same inmate in 2022. Two more states have since adopted the until now never tried method.

A flurry of anti-trans bills kick off many new legislative sessions

Barely into the new year, conservative state legislatures are already taking up anti-LBGTQ bills. Republicans are pushing at least 300 such bills across the country. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Governors propose spending billions on overdue infrastructure projects

In State of the State addresses this week, several governors said they would prioritize ambitious and much needed infrastructure projects. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Migrant fight expands to suburbs, could force federal shutdown

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s actions are drawing more state and local leaders into debates over caring for migrants, while House Republicans target the Biden administration on border security. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.