Author Archive

Kate Elizabeth Queram

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a senior reporter for Government Executive’s Route Fifty. She most recently covered state and local government for the News & Record, a daily newspaper in Greensboro, N.C. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Management

“I Wish It Had Not Become Law,” Says Governor Of Mask-Banning Order He Signed Into Law

Citing rising numbers of Covid-19 cases among children, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson called state lawmakers back for a special session to consider allowing school districts to implement mask mandates.

Health & Human Services

Two States Have Decriminalized HIV Transmission, Leaving Eight With Active Laws

Illinois became the second state to repeal a decades-old statute that allowed HIV-positive residents to be charged with a felony for failing to disclose their status before having unprotected sex.

Health & Human Services

Two States Now Offer Free In-home Nurse Visits for New Parents

The visits, offered in Oregon and now New Jersey, include a health and wellness check for both the baby and the parents, an effort to improve maternal mortality rates and boost family well-being.

Health & Human Services

Amid State Hospital Closures, a Federal Funding Plan to Shore Up Mental Health Staffing

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam proposed a $485 million spending package to increase high turnover and vacancies at state-run behavioral hospitals, which have struggled during the pandemic.

Management

Using Federal Relief Funds to Ensure Equitable Recovery for Small Businesses

Governments can leverage American Rescue Plan dollars to help local companies impacted by the pandemic, including those owned by women and minorities.

Management

In One State, Fish Populations Take Flight

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources drops thousands of fish from airplanes into lakes to maintain populations in high-altitude, hard-to-reach areas. Almost all of them survive.

Health & Human Services

Community Colleges Begin Using Federal Coronavirus Funding to Erase Student Debt

The money, from the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, is available for students who have struggled financially as a result of the pandemic.

Management

New York City, California Mandate Vaccines for Public Employees

Public workers must receive the vaccine or submit to weekly testing starting Sept. 13, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. California Gov. Gavin Newsom made a similar statement.

Management

Federal Court Lifts CDC Cruise Ship Restrictions

The order reverses an earlier decision that allowed the restrictions to remain in place. The ruling affects only ships sailing in and out of Florida.

Management

Wisconsin Doesn’t Have a State Cheese, and Some Lawmakers Think That’s No Gouda

Colby, a cheese created in Wisconsin, could be the state’s first official cheese under a proposal under consideration in the legislature. But some lawmakers have reservations.

Tech & Data

Colorado Becomes Fourth State to Give Residents Control of Their Online Data

The Colorado Privacy Act allows residents to opt out of data collection and gain access to more insight about how their information is collected and used.

Health & Human Services

Amid Pandemic Recovery, Local Health Departments Grapple With Historic Turnover

Nearly 250 public health leaders have left their jobs since last April, the largest exodus on record. In an industry where recruiting is difficult, experts worry that many positions could remain unfilled.

Management

State Employee Unions Sue Governor Over Return-To-Work Order

A coalition of public employee unions in Connecticut say the governor’s decision to mandate that workers return to their offices violated a previous agreement between the organization and the administration.

Management

As Tourists Flock to Hawaii, One Mayor Asks Airlines for a ‘Pause’

Residents in Maui County have complained about congestion, illegal parking and overcrowding as tourists have resumed travel to the area.

Management

A Plan to Offer In-State Tuition to Native Americans

The legislation, signed into law in Colorado, grants in-state tuition at public universities to students who are members of tribes with “historical ties” to the state.

Health & Human Services

How One State Plans to Use Federal Relief Money to Shore Up Child Care Options

Montana will leverage more than $31 million to establish grants for child care centers to increase pay, expand capacity and offset tuition rates.

Management

How Governments Can Leverage Federal Funds to Partner With Local Nonprofits

The American Rescue Plan allows states and localities to funnel federal relief dollars to nonprofit organizations, which the National Council of Nonprofits says could be key to local economic recovery.

Management

States Balk at Landing on California’s Restricted Travel List

California will ban state-funded travel to an additional five states due to laws and policies that target transgender and gay residents.

Management

Indiana Must Continue Federal Unemployment Payments, Judge Rules

The ruling is the latest development in a lawsuit over Gov. Eric Holcomb’s decision to prematurely curtail the state’s participation in the expanded benefits. More than two dozen states have made similar moves.

Health & Human Services

More than $20M in Federal Funds Available for State-Based Insurance Marketplaces to Make Improvements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services funding will help improve access and update systems to reflect new eligibility thresholds, state officials said.