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.
Public Safety

'Willing to Take Assistance' Whatever to Combat Illegal Marijuana Farms

An Oregon county declared a state of emergency and is begging the state for $750,000, 45 new employees and the National Guard, which officials say is necessary because the illegal businesses are running rampant, depleting resources and spiking crime.

Management

Should States and Localities Have Official Languages?

Voters in one Pennsylvania county will decide whether to remove English as the official language in a city charter. Dozens of states and localities have similar measures on the books.

Public Safety

Cracking Cold Cases: Police Turn to Podcasts to Track Down Killers

Law enforcement officials say that department-sponsored podcasts—free, easy to download and available on demand—are perfect for disseminating information. (America’s true-crime obsession doesn’t hurt.)

Health & Human Services

Public Health Departments Need 80,000 New Employees. But That's Not Enough for Another Pandemic.

A recent analysis found that state and local health agencies should increase staffing levels by 80% just to deliver basic services. Federal Covid-19 relief money can pay for some positions, but stability requires permanent funding.

Health & Human Services

Snip Snip: One Plan to Mandate Vasectomies to Prevent Pregnancies

A Pennsylvania lawmaker said his “parody legislation,” outlined in a sponsorship memo, is meant to garner discussion about reproductive rights.

Management

Why Mail-in Voting Became a Partisan Issue

Prior to 2020, mail-in voting was largely noncontroversial across the United States. Former President Donald Trump changed that.

Finance

More Than 500,000 Public Workers Likely to See Debt Relief Under Student Loan Forgiveness Overhaul

The U.S. Department of Education announced a host of changes Wednesday to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which guarantees debt forgiveness to qualifying public sector employees.

Health & Human Services

Why States are Expanding Domestic Violence Laws to Include Emotional Abuse

Connecticut is the latest state to do so, updating its laws to provide new protections for people victimized by damaging psychological tactics and controlling behavior.

Infrastructure

A State’s Plan for the Nation’s First Section of Wireless Charging Road

Michigan hopes to test out a short segment of roadway that will allow electric cars to recharge as they drive, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

Management

State and Local Government Beats out Federal in Survey of Citizen Trust

Digital services had a strong impact on whether residents found governments trustworthy, according to the report from Deloitte.

Management

A Free Tool to Help Cities Take Full Advantage of Federal Aid

The collaboration between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Conference of Mayors lets city leaders search information and ask questions about rules and regulations related to coronavirus relief money.

Public Safety

A State Moves to Establish a Process for Revoking Police Officer Licenses

California is one of just four states without such a system in place. A bill that would change that is awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature.

Health & Human Services

Supply of Antibody Drugs Could Drop in Some States as Feds Take Over Distribution

The Biden administration announced the new policy after a handful of states, most of them with low vaccination rates, accounted for nearly three-fourths of orders for the Covid-19 monoclonal antibody treatment.

Health & Human Services

State Lawmakers Push to Allow Residents to Contribute to Abortion Access Fund

A bill would allow New York residents to contribute on their tax returns, allocating money to nonprofit organizations that help women travel and pay for abortions.

Health & Human Services

Secretly Removing a Condom During Sex is Technically Legal. One State is Poised to Change That.

Lawmakers in California approved legislation to ban “stealthing.” If signed into law, the state would be the first to explicitly outlaw the practice.

Management

He Left a War-Torn Country as a Refugee and Went on to Become a US Mayor

Helena, Montana Mayor Wilmot Collins came to the United States in 1994 from Liberia. His life journey is a true immigrant success story.

Finance

Voters Have No Clue How Much Money State Lawmakers Make

Registered voters overshot their lawmakers’ annual pay by large margins in a recent survey. When given the correct salaries, respondents were more likely to support pay increases for legislators.

Management

Lyft and Uber Establish Legal Funds to Protect Drivers from Texas Abortion Law

The ride-booking companies said they would cover legal fees if their drivers are sued under the state’s new law, which allows private citizens to file lawsuits against anyone who “aids and abets” a woman in obtaining an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

Health & Human Services

Hoping to Boost Vaccine Rates, One State Announces Grants for Primary Care Doctors

The Colorado program will use federal relief money to help health care practices boost vaccine distribution.

Health & Human Services

Counties and States Embrace Fentanyl Test Strips in Battle Against Opioids

Arlington County, Virginia announced that it would begin distributing the strips to addiction-prone people leaving the county jail, the latest in a growing number of government agencies to turn to the tests as a way to prevent overdoses.