State Government

States take a more measured approach to ESG mandates

There's great recognition—on both sides of the issue—that strict pro- and anti-environmental, social and governance investing strategies can lead to unintended costs and administrative challenges.

$1 trillion a year in tax breaks goes out the door. Are states keeping track?

A new report from the Volcker Alliance highlights the lack of transparency around tax expenditures, and calls on states to better monitor whether the tax breaks are achieving their intended effects.

Criminal justice reform may be under pressure, but it still has plenty of life

COMMENTARY | Policy advances in areas such as prison conditions, reentry and record clearing may seem incremental, but they will produce durable, measurable results.

Is it time to dig into rainy day funds?

Despite reserves bulging and revenue receding, state legislators and governors are reluctant to spend savings.

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Bills restricting social media advance amid continued legal battles

New York lawmakers just passed legislation to ban the use of algorithm-driven feeds for minors without their parents’ permission, while Utah’s law is facing more legal action over its age verification requirements.

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.

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.