She Noticed $200 Million Missing, Then She Was Fired

Alice Stebbins was hired to fix the finances of California’s powerful utility regulator. She was fired after finding $200 million for the state’s deaf, blind and poor residents was missing.

Trump Signs $900 Billion Covid Relief Package

The law funds special unemployment programs and $600 stimulus payments, as well as providing aid to people who need help with rent, struggling transit, schools and businesses.

One State is Reforming Its Sex Offender Registry. Criminal Justice Advocates Aren’t Happy.

Michigan legislators passed legislation to revamp the sex offender registry, which courts have concluded is unconstitutional. Advocates say the new policies miss the mark.

A Burnout Crisis Hits Government

COMMENTARY | A soon-to-be released survey reveals some surprising findings about local and state public sector employees’ struggles and how helping them feel connected to each other can reduce burnout.

'A Lost Generation:’ Community Colleges Report Record Enrollment Declines

New data shows total enrollment decreased by more than 10% since last fall, with the most precipitous drop seen with first-year students.

Hit the Hardest, Closed the Longest: Artists Make the Case for More Covid Aid

Nearly 3 million jobs in the creative industries were lost during the coronavirus pandemic. While some local and state governments have offered assistance, advocates say more is needed.

Biden Urges Governors to Support Reopening Schools by April

In a virtual call with members of the National Governors Association, President-elect Joe Biden reiterated his desire for most schools to return to in-person learning in the first 100 days of his administration.

Time for an Update: How States Can Improve IT Systems to Use Data More Effectively

COMMENTARY | State governments have data, but aren’t using it well. A strategic approach is needed to rebuild their data infrastructure.

Republican AGs Sue Google, Alleging Uncompetitive Conduct With Online Ads

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Vegas city council green-lights expansion of Elon Musk-backed tunnel project … City’s plan to spend relief funds on golf course upgrade draws backlash … Santa who visited with kids tests positive for Covid.

Death Penalty Used Sparingly by States in 2020 Amid Pandemic

States suspended executions due to the coronavirus outbreak and put just 7 people to death this year. Meanwhile, federal executions resumed for the first time in 17 years.

Michigan Lawmakers to Do Away with Automatic License Suspensions

Legislators approved a bill that will stop the suspensions of driver's licenses for most unpaid fines and fees.

These States Are Best Prepared for Challenges to Cybersecurity, Civic Tech

A state-by-state analysis by the Internet Association, a trade group for tech companies, examines states' IT modernization efforts against a handful of metrics.

The Pandemic Created New Hunters. States Need to Keep Them.

“If we let them go next year, they're not going to be coming back.”

Vaccine Shipments Fan Out, With First Shots Expected on Monday

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Suspected Chinese spy targeted local politicians… Nashville’s top health official resigns after investigation into sexism allegations … Fewer people are flushing toilets in Des Moines.

Fire Official Urges Governors to Be Proactive on Hardening Homes Against Wildfire

Failing to do so, the official said, means “we're just building tomorrow’s problems.”

Seeking To Boost Savings and Safety, One State Eliminates Paper Tax Forms

Missouri will stop printing paper taxes forms and encourage residents to file electronically, which a spokeswoman said most taxpayers already do.

As Coronavirus Continues, State Lawmakers Debate How to Meet Safely

Some state legislative bodies have convened outside, while others anticipate hybrid sessions of in-person and virtual hearings and votes. And at least some states will only be holding typical sessions, with adjustments.

Possibility of State Medicaid Cuts Looms in 2021

When states reduce spending on the program it also means they lose federal matching funds. Meanwhile, a new report highlights the long-term importance of the health coverage for kids.

Report: States Most Vulnerable to Climate Change Are Among the Least Prepared

New research suggests that states that are most vulnerable to the health effects of climate change—including flooding, food shortages and heat-related deaths and illnesses—have done the least to prepare to handle them.

Americans Aren’t Actually Quarantining

Many states have quarantine requirements for visitors, but only one really enforces them: Hawaii.