State Government

Illinois Becomes First State to Abolish Cash Bail

Judges will instead use a risk assessment tool to determine a defendant's fitness for release. The change is part of a broader criminal justice reform bill Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed this week.

New Index Ranks State Efforts to Alleviate Youth Homelessness

The research findings suggest it’s an area where many states have room for improvement.

Now Is the Time to Tackle Climate Change. Here’s How States Can Lead.

COMMENTARY | The risks from climate change hazards are growing in most American communities. State governments play a key role in helping local governments build a pipeline of resilience projects that will mitigate risks from extreme weather hazards.

Bemoaning 'Cancel Culture,' One State Lawmaker Aims to Make Political Affiliation a Protected Class

California state Sen. Melissa Melendez, a Republican, said the legislation is necessary to ensure free speech.

The Window for D.C. Statehood Won’t Be Open Forever

But Democrats are taking their time weighing their next move.

Environmentalists Make Long-Shot Attempt to Ban New Factory Farms

It’s becoming clear that some lawmakers no longer see factory farming as a nuisance, but an emergency, as the industry's operations degrade water quality and cause other problems.

Lawmakers Call for Federal Program to Upgrade Unemployment Systems

Many people filing for unemployment during the pandemic have experienced long delays. Subpar technology is one of the factors commonly blamed for problems.

Montana’s Health Policy MVP Takes Her Playbook on the Road

Marilyn Bartlett saved the state of Montana more than $30 million in three years by pegging hospital prices to a multiple of what Medicare pays. But she's finding the model she used in the state difficult to replicate elsewhere.

Despite Security Concerns, Online Voting Advances

Online voting is likely to become more popular as technology improves and as election officials seek ways to expand access to the ballot. But security experts warn of hacking threats.

Winter Storm Power Outages Lead to Calls for Investigation

At least 4 million people were without power in Texas after freezing temperatures and surging electricity use overwhelmed the state’s grid.

One State is Poised to Shield Businesses from Covid-19 Lawsuits

Indiana legislators approved the measure on Monday, sending it to Gov. Eric Holcomb. Lawmakers in a number of states are weighing proposals to protect businesses from liability related to Covid-19.

Biden Seeks to Squelch Trump Immigration Deals with States

The agreements, struck in the final days of the Trump administration, promised a six months’ heads-up on federal immigration policy changes.

Maryland Created the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights. Now Lawmakers There Might Repeal It.

Passed in 1974, the statute grants broad workplace protections for officers accused of misconduct and has served as a blueprint for similar laws in more than a dozen other states.

‘Vaccine Tourism’ Leads to Tighter Eligibility Checks

States’ rollout of the coronavirus vaccine has been uneven, and left some people searching for appointments across state lines. Health officials say it’s a problem given scarce resources.

As Drug Prices Keep Rising, State Lawmakers Propose Tough New Bills to Curb Them

With progress on the issue elusive in Congress, legislators in a half-dozen states are seeking to rein in prescription drug costs.

Lawmakers in One State Hope to Create a New Broadband Office

About a quarter of New Mexico students don't have home internet access. Legislators are proposing to create a division in the state's IT department to help address this and other digital equity issues.

Utility Companies Owe Millions to This State Regulatory Agency. The Problem? The Agency Can’t Track What It’s Owed.

When a whistleblower alleged that $200 million was missing from the California Public Utilities Commission, the agency says it took steps to collect. Yet an audit uncovered more missing money and cited flaws in the agency’s accounting system.

Why Opening Restaurants Is Exactly What the Coronavirus Wants Us to Do

Governors continue to open indoor dining and other activities before vaccinations become widespread. Experts warn this could create superspreading playgrounds for dangerous variants and squander our best shot at getting the pandemic under control.

Republican State Lawmakers Want to Punish Schools That Teach the 1619 Project

Lawmakers in at least five states have introduced legislation that threatens to cut funding to schools that share curriculum about the award-winning project.

Pennsylvania Voters to Decide Whether to Limit Governor’s Emergency Powers

GOP lawmakers unsuccessfully challenged the Democratic governor’s emergency authority during the coronavirus pandemic. Now they’ve approved a bill that sets up a referendum on the issue.