Author Archive

Daniel C. Vock

Daniel C. Vock
Dan Vock is a senior reporter at Route Fifty, where he focuses on transportation and infrastructure. He has covered state and local government for two decades, first as an Illinois statehouse reporter and later as a national reporter based in Washington, D.C. Dan has written stories about every state in the country, and has reported on the ground from half of them (so far). He won a Jesse H. Neal award for best profile and earned a fellowship from the Columbia Journalism School’s Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights.
Infrastructure

Traffic deaths decline slightly, but remain higher than before the pandemic

Safety experts have struggled to pinpoint why traffic and pedestrian fatalities have remained so stubbornly high.

Digital Government

New toll transponders cut costs for agencies and drivers

Illinois is the latest state to roll out sticker tags, which are gaining popularity over the clunky boxes that drivers have been mounting on their windshields for decades.

Management

Governors roundly condemn Alabama ruling that effectively halts IVF

Republican leadership in the state is working on legislation that would narrow the impact of the ruling after several Alabama fertility clinics halted the procedures.

Infrastructure

As traffic fatalities remain high, states and feds meet to swap road safety ideas

The gathering marked the second anniversary of the Biden administration’s push to reduce roadway deaths. The feds also used the occasion to announce that $1.25 billion in grants is available for its Safe Streets and Roads for All program.

Infrastructure

Are the Build America rules slowing infrastructure progress?

State DOTs, transit agencies and the construction industry want the White House to make it easier to comply with rules designed to include American-made products in infrastructure projects.

Management

States look to rein in ballot initiatives with more ballot initiatives

Ballot measures in recent years have been used to expand Medicaid, preserve abortion rights and raise minimum wages. Now, state lawmakers are turning to them to put more restrictions on the process.

Infrastructure

FAA boosts airport infrastructure with nearly $1B in grants

The money, which is part of the 2021 federal infrastructure law, will help airports accommodate more passengers, make their facilities more accessible to people with disabilities and prepare for climate change.

Infrastructure

A decade in, pedestrian deaths dip under Vision Zero

Advocates say New York’s experience with the traffic safety approach shows promise, but the city has deployed safety measures like bike lanes and redesigned intersections more often in whiter and wealthier neighborhoods.

Finance

As concerns over gambling addiction mount, states are set to rake in millions from Super Bowl bets

Sports betting has spread to 38 states and Washington, D.C., over the past five years. In that time, states have also seen massive increases in calls to gambling addiction hotlines. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Infrastructure

9 states band together to phase out fossil fuel heating in homes

The signatories say the agreement’s focus on building emissions will signal to manufacturers that there will be a robust market for heat pumps in the coming years.

Management

After walkouts, Republican senators barred from reelection in Oregon

In a unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that the lawmakers could not run for another term on this year’s ballot. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Infrastructure

Lackluster revenues force Maryland to trim transportation services

Gov. Wes Moore promised to promote equity and climate goals with transportation, but now his administration has to scale back on basic services.

Management

Texas governor rallies Republican governors and AGs with secessionist rhetoric

Greg Abbott is using legal arguments similar to those used by supporters of the Confederacy to justify his confrontations at the border with federal authorities. Law professors warn that could be dangerous.

Management

‘The world is watching.’ Alabama executes inmate using nitrogen gas

The state opted for the method following a botched execution of the same inmate in 2022. Two more states have since adopted the until now never tried method.

Infrastructure

Biden unveils $4.9B in big-ticket infrastructure grants

Three dozen projects got the green light and millions of federal dollars. The president also used the announcement to bolster his reelection campaign.

Infrastructure

Airports are finally back to their pre-pandemic normal, Fitch says

The ratings agency in the last year has upgraded the bond ratings of several major U.S. hubs amid record travel.

Infrastructure

Brightline gets another big boost from Biden to build Vegas line

The administration approved $2.5 billion in private activity bonds, making the private rail company the biggest user of the low-interest infrastructure loans.

Management

A flurry of anti-trans bills kick off many new legislative sessions

Barely into the new year, conservative state legislatures are already taking up anti-LBGTQ bills. Republicans are pushing at least 300 such bills across the country. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Management

When a vendor pays a mayor $13,000, is it a bribe? The U.S. Supreme Court will decide

A former Indiana mayor asked the high court to intervene in his corruption case and resolve a disparity in which “gratuities” from outsiders are considered OK in some courts, but not in others.

Infrastructure

Governors propose spending billions on overdue infrastructure projects

In State of the State addresses this week, several governors said they would prioritize ambitious and much needed infrastructure projects. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.