State Government

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.

WIC program on pace to fall $1B short, says agriculture secretary

Unless Congress budgets more, the program will run out of money in mid-August, forcing states to waitlist those seeking help.

New York governor pledges to ‘shape the trajectory’ of AI development

Kathy Hochul announced in her State of the State address an AI consortium and research center, and issued a new policy for responsible AI governance.

As online gambling expands, so do concerns about addictions

Mobile sports betting is live and legal in 37 states and Washington, D.C. Online casino games are legal in 7 states. Those numbers could grow in 2024.

A seasoned legislator looks to help newcomers navigate the complex world of lawmaking

As state legislatures across the country prepare for the new session, Washington state Sen. Karen Keiser offers newly elected lawmakers advice in a new book that looks back on a 25-year career.

After an action-packed year, 2024 will be another blockbuster year for AI

State and local governments are still figuring out how to best put the technology to good use. Next year will be a critical one in getting it right.

States’ efforts to regulate social media will face greater scrutiny in 2024

Many of the laws passed in 2023 against social media platforms have been challenged in court. But states appear undeterred as they continue weighing ways to curb social media’s effects on young people.

Feds consider limiting how states can use welfare funds

The Biden administration says that the 1996 welfare reforms gave states too much spending flexibility. Now, it wants to claw back back some of those freedoms.

A good AI policy needs to consider these 12 factors

As states develop guidelines and roadmaps for the new technology in the year ahead, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers has suggested a dozen priorities it says are key to a successful AI blueprint.

Mental health funding is fast becoming “the bipartisan issue of our time”

States from California to Texas are increasingly investing in mental health as a recognition takes hold that the status quo isn’t working.

States consider capping the cost of broadband for low-income families

The majority of proposals for how states will use their share of federal funding to expand internet service include provisions to limit how much unserved and underserved households can be charged.

California’s budget troubles are unique—at least for now

The Golden State could face a $68 billion deficit through mid-2025. But other states appear to remain fiscally strong, with many still spending surpluses. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Federal judge temporarily blocks Montana’s TikTok ban

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy said in his preliminary injunction that the first-of-its-kind state law “likely” violates the First Amendment. A trial to review its legal authority could still reinstate the ban.

Generative AI has ‘significant, beneficial’ uses for state government

A report from California on the technology found that it could improve performance and make services more accessible to residents, but risks must be mitigated.