A federal utility assistance program favors cold-weather states, giving less money to hot places

A federal program helps people in poverty cover the costs of heat and cooling. But advocates say it disadvantages states like Texas and Arizona, even though extreme heat is a key cause of weather-related deaths.

Splash pads make waves across communities, replacing public pools

Observers say public pools are necessary community infrastructure and save lives. Splash pads have become a more affordable option.

High-speed rail needs national direction to get rolling, report says

A New York University professor emphasizes the need to pay attention to the nuts and bolts—or, in this case, the rail profiles and cross ties—of high-speed rail projects to keep costs down and construction on time.

Is age verification technology an ‘undue burden’? The Supreme Court will decide.

The high court has agreed to take up a case that focuses on legislation passed to prevent minors in Texas from accessing pornography. A decision could have implications for state efforts to limit children’s access to social media as well.

Texas adopts guidance for how doctors should interpret abortion ban

The guidance lays out what the Texas Medical Board will consider when investigating allegations of illegal abortions.

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Financiers plan to launch a Texas-based stock exchange

The group announced Wednesday it raised $120 million in capital to start a CEO-friendly stock exchange that aims to capitalize on discontent over new rules and rising compliance costs at Nasdaq and NYSE.

Generative AI steps up as a ‘facilitator’

The Texas Department of Public Safety now uses a generative AI-powered chatbot to streamline procurement. And Polco is rolling out a tool to connect city leaders with survey data so they can see how they stack up against others.

School vouchers continue momentum in state legislatures

2023 was considered a landmark year for school choice. It’s a trend that is showing no sign of slowing down, as lawmakers push proposals with fewer restrictions and costly price tags.

A transparent, open-source vision for U.S. elections

Voting technology in the U.S. is secretive and often expensive. Can an open-source alternative take its place?

10 lessons learned from the Justice Department's review of the Uvalde school shooting

COMMENTARY | The critical review of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting offers key takeaways to help policymakers, practitioners and schools avoid the same failures if faced with a similar situation.

San Antonio plans to tackle violence with a public health approach. Here’s what that looks like.

Several cities use the "beyond-policing" approach that aims to reduce gun-related violence, sexual assaults and other crimes against people.

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.

Texas quietly moves to formalize acceptable cancer risk from industrial air pollution. Public health officials say it’s not strict enough.

Without public hearings, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is proposing to adopt its 17-year-old standard that scientists and public health officials say fails to account for cumulative air pollution.

Supreme Court to take up two state laws on social media

The high court will hear challenges to Florida and Texas laws that seek to control how social media platforms “censor” disfavored political views.

Printing a place to live: In Central Texas, homes are being built with emerging 3D technology

3D homes can eventually help lessen the housing crisis, and do it in a climate-friendly way.

Gulf Coast carbon capture gets $1 billion boost from Biden administration

Texas and Louisiana are slated for largest-ever investment in direct air capture as part of an initiative that aims to build a nationwide network of large-scale carbon removal sites to mitigate the climate crisis.

With $1.4B Investment, Texas Hopes to Sprint to the Front of the Microchip Manufacturing Race

The state will pump the money into microchip research and manufacturing initiatives in an effort to attract new investments, secure lucrative federal grants and create thousands of high-paying jobs over the next decade.

A New Texas Law Erodes the Power of City Councils

The long-sought bill stops the state’s bluer urban areas from enacting laws that exceed state law on a number of fronts. Republicans say the patchwork of local laws were hurting businesses.

GOP Governors Respond to Texas' Call for Troops at Border

Four more governors have joined a growing list of Republican-led states sending personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border. But is it effective? Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

An Outdated Tracking System Is a Key Factor in Texas’ Foster Care Shortcomings

The decades-old system foster care officials use to track and monitor the health records of the nearly 20,000 children in their custody is both outdated and unreliable—so much so, advocates say, that children have been harmed or put at risk.