State Government

Justice Department Defends Tax Mandate Provision in Covid Relief Bill

In a court filing, the department responded to a lawsuit filed by Ohio’s attorney general, who said the tax mandate was unconstitutional and encroached on his state’s financial decisions.

With New Tourism Campaign, Alaska Pleads ‘Don’t Forget About Us’

Alaska launched a national campaign to attract tourists back, offering free vaccinations at that state’s major airports as an incentive.

'A Troubling Trend': Independent State Program Evaluation Under Attack

Without a vote, the legislative leadership in North Carolina closed the state’s program evaluation division. Experts say the growing power of legislative leaders presents an accelerating danger for transparent, publicly available evaluation.

The States that Make it Most Difficult to Vote

A report by the Center for Election Innovation and Research compares which states allow voters to cast absentee ballots by mail without an excuse and offer early in-person voting.

Could Online Sports Betting and Gambling Help Close State Budget Shortfalls?

COMMENTARY | Taxes on online betting and gambling can help government leaders boost their budgets and create sustainable economic growth.

Nation Has Georgia on Its Mind, but Many States Are Making Voting Easier

Efforts are underway in a number of states to expand voting by mail, early voting and voter registration.

Legal Challenges Mount Against Tax Cut Prohibition in Covid Relief Law

Confusion over the tax mandate embedded in the $350 billion direct aid program for states and localities led Kentucky and Tennessee to file suit.

GOP Governors Take Action to Block Covid ‘Vaccine Passports’

The Biden administration is making clear it is not planning to pursue a federal proof-of-vaccination program.

Are Plastic Driver's Licenses Headed For the Dumpster?

Utah is one of nearly two dozen states exploring digital driver’s licenses, stored on smartphones, that state officials say come with enhanced privacy and control.

Grading State Budget Practices at a Turbulent Time

The Volcker Alliance’s latest state budget report cards come as the pandemic has tested public finances and as historic sums of federal aid flow toward states and localities.

Bestiality is Legal in Four States. Two Are Trying to Change That.

Lawmakers in Hawaii and Wyoming have proposed measures to formally outlaw sexual abuse of animals, a crime that animal rights advocates say is often hidden in plain sight.

The Clock is Ticking to Deploy Rapid Antigen Tests Before They Expire: A Practical Guide for States and Partners

COMMENTARY | Covid-19 rapid tests can return results within minutes. To save millions of unused rapid tests nationwide from expiring, there are several strategies states can employ to expand crucial testing efforts.

Connecticut Using Canvassing, ‘Virtual House Parties’ to Coax Black and Latino Residents to Get the Covid-19 Vaccine

The $2.9 million initiative funded by the federal government will focus on knocking on doors through Labor Day to boost vaccination rates among these groups.

Colorado Bill Would Give Rape, Sexual Assault Survivors Evidence Updates

The legislation, if passed, would allow victims to receive updates on the status of their test kits when the results are received, among other things.

States are About to See a Historic Infusion of Funding to Help Entrepreneurs

COMMENTARY | The federal stimulus package provides $10 billion for states to boost the capital available to new businesses. If they don’t invest the money carefully, it will be a missed opportunity.

What Can Parks Do When Demand Rises as Budgets Decline?

Though there may be greater appreciation for the nation’s parks, many are still fighting for funding. Some states are finding solutions.

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.

What Lies Ahead for State Health and Human Services Programs

COMMENTARY | States and counties will face complex health and human services challenges over the next year.

Solar Project to Produce Half of State Government’s Electricity

Pennsylvania announced a new solar project that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lock in energy pricing for 15 years.