Sunshine Week brings attention to state efforts to overhaul open records laws

As technology renders decades-old open records policies obsolete, states look to overhaul them. It is pitting government officials against good-government groups and reporters.

Trust in government, and opportunities to rebuild it

Confidence in state and local government may have been waning in recent years, but there are ways communities can help to bolster their resident’s faith in them.

How trusted are state and local governments?

Confidence in lower levels of government may be better than in the federal government, but it’s still not nearly good enough. And that stands in the way of state and local leaders’ ability to get things done.

Oregon's experiment in drug decriminalization failed. Advocates blame the state's political leadership.

Just over three years since Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 110, elected officials want to repeal key elements, blaming the law for open drug use and soaring overdoses. But it’s their own hands-off approach that isn’t working, advocates say.

Election leaders debut new standards of conduct, aim to build trust ahead of key races

The standards call for better communication and more transparency. Secretaries of state and other election administrators on hand for the announcement also detailed the challenges they are facing leading up the November general election.

Connect with state & local government leaders

Voters don’t always have final say—state legislatures and governors are increasingly undermining ballot measures that win

COMMENTARY | Election year 2024 will see citizen initiatives on the ballot across the country, some focused on abortion rights. But there’s a growing trend of lawmakers altering initiatives after they have passed.

How to craft fair, transparent data-sharing agreements

Effective decision making often requires a complex process of gathering data from different sources. A new framework for data-sharing agreements streamlines the process.

Expungement backlogs swamp courts

Thousands of new expungement applications are causing months-long backlogs in jurisdictions with manual and paper-based processing. Automation can help.

What does a resilient city look like?

In many cities, resilience is more than climate-ready infrastructure and disaster relief. It’s a tool for building trust in local government, connecting neighbors and uplifting vulnerable communities.

2024 mission for state and local leaders: Protect democracy

COMMENTARY | By making voting easy, transparent and secure, state and local leaders can ensure election systems remain strong in 2024.

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.

4 questions to ask before sharing constituent data

As more Americans grow concerned about how their personal data is being used and shared, a new report offers state and local agencies tips on how to handle it responsibly in order to avoid further eroding trust.

Building trust in local government with better budgeting

A more transparent, collaborative and data-driven budget process can help municipalities implement real change.

Who gets to decide what the truth is when social media is rife with misinformation?

As state and local governments consider the balance of free speech and misinformation, observers question whether officials should be able to remove controversial posts from social media platforms.

COVID-19 vaccine mandates have come and mostly gone in the US: Here's why their messy rollout matters for trust in public health

COMMENTARY | Vaccine policies fall on a spectrum, from mandates to recommendations. Deciding what to use and when is not so much a science but a balancing act between personal autonomy and public good.

States wrestle with AI-driven future

While artificial intelligence and generative AI offer exciting applications for government, state IT leaders remain concerned about the technology, its ethical uses and potential impacts.

Survey: Residents want local governments to be more transparent

The vast majority of respondents want an accessible website with easy to access information and mobile tech to make it easier to engage with local agencies, according to a government technology company.