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.

New health care grants look to reform how hospitals are paid

The program wants to increase primary care for Medicare and Medicaid recipients while reducing hospital and emergency room visits.

DELETE Act closes ‘big loophole’ and tightens regulations on data brokers

California is the first state to allow residents to request that data brokers delete their personal data, but some worry it will be difficult to implement and enforce.

Access to public records is 'deteriorating terribly'

In a time when trust in state and local government is under siege, public access to information is particularly vital.

Governors react to violence in Israel

As violence in the Middle East rages on, governors are making sure constituents—and the world—know where they stand on the conflict. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

‘No middle ground’: State, local collaboration essential to cyber defense

New York’s whole-of-state approach to cybersecurity promotes cooperating with local governments to face down threats and build a skilled workforce pipeline.

No longer above the fray, state supreme courts pulled into overtly political conflicts

The courts have become top-tier targets for party leaders, often considered the key to unlocking control of state legislatures, gubernatorial mansions and even Congress.

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