State Government

Greater focus on crime sparks another wave of juvenile justice bills

Nearly every state this legislative session considered changes in juvenile age limits, detention or education programs.

Medical residents are increasingly avoiding states with abortion restrictions

A new analysis shows that, for the second year in a row, students graduating from U.S. medical schools were less likely to apply this year for residency positions in states with abortion bans and other significant abortion restrictions.

‘Invisible’ no more: States move to hire people with disabilities

Tapping potential employees with “non-apparent” conditions like autism, attention deficit disorder and chronic depression can bring qualified candidates to a public sector workforce in desperate need of talent.

Arkansas led the nation in measuring obesity in kids. Did it help?

In 2003, Arkansas became the first state to send home "fat letters" or BMI reports about all students as part of a broader anti-obesity initiative. At least 23 states followed Arkansas’ lead. Some have since scaled back their efforts.

In this Legislature’s Civility Caucus, Republicans and Democrats actually like talking to each other

At Civility Caucus gatherings, conversation might go to hot-button issues, but they are much more productive and sometimes even lead to co-sponsored bills.

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New Florida law bans kids under 14 from social media

It is the latest in a series of efforts by states to regulate social media in a way that protects minors and stands up to legal challenges. But opponents say Florida’s law still runs afoul of the First Amendment.

Survey: Few states have ‘established’ privacy program

As states race to protect Americans’ data, the number of chief privacy officers has increased in state government. Still, a majority reported in a recent survey that they are building their programs.

Legislative inaction and dissatisfaction with one-party control lead to more ballot initiatives, with 60% of them in 6 states

COMMENTARY | Citizen-led ballot measures have been used in various states to expand Medicaid, preserve abortion rights and raise minimum wages, but over the past five years, lawmakers have increasingly made it harder to get these initiatives and referendums on the ballot.

States look to AI for its potential to help with finances

Artificial intelligence holds promise for creating budget-saving efficiencies, aiding in audits and helping with compliance. But the emerging technology also poses challenges that could affect spending.

Longtime state senator announces plans to retire

In an interview from earlier this year, Washington’s Karen Keiser discussed her nearly 30-year career and how to affect change in state legislatures.

Working-class people rarely have a seat ‘at the legislative table’ in state capitols

The dearth of working-class legislators raises concerns that economic challenges such as wage stagnation and the rising cost of living will get short shrift in state capitols.

Americans are skeptical of online age verification, even as its use grows abroad

States are turning to technology to verify users’ ages before allowing access to social media and other content. But the approach faces an uphill climb without a national data privacy law that addresses Americans' concerns about the safety of their personal data.

What does a state’s secretary of state do? Most run elections, a once-routine job facing increasing scrutiny

COMMENTARY | As the chief election official, a secretary of state’s influence over the democratic process can extend to every single elected office.

West Virginia’s top election official on trust, social media and secure elections

Ahead of what promises to be a hectic election season, Secretary of State Mac Warner spent part of his last National Association of Secretaries of State Winter Conference touching on conspiracy theories, among other topics.

States clash over what responsible AI looks like

While some states are still establishing task forces and preparing to take advantage of the tech, others are more hesitant, warning of job losses and federal influence on a nascent industry.

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.

Election leaders debut new standards of conduct, aim to build trust ahead of key races

The standards call for better communication and more transparency. Secretaries of state and other election administrators on hand for the announcement also detailed the challenges they are facing leading up the November general election.

As privacy conversations become mainstream, data protection laws gain traction

The Garden State is the 13th to adopt a comprehensive data privacy framework, with more to go into effect this year and others set to follow with similar legislation.

States slowly embrace ‘whole-of-state’ cybersecurity approach

Federal grants helped spur adoption of the strategies across the country, but hurdles remain as more look to follow suit.

States vie for leadership role on AI

In recent days, governors announced major artificial intelligence initiatives that include creating a subcabinet focused on issues related to the emerging technology, licensing ChatGPT for employee use and unveiling an “AI Moonshot” initiative.