Jen Fifield

Jen Fifield reports on rural issues for Stateline, She has covered government in Maryland and Arizona. She has won several regional journalism awards, and was recently a fellow in the Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She graduated with honors from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Virginia to Pay $7.1M After Manipulating Food Stamp Data

By: - April 11, 2017

  A sign advertises a program that allows food stamp recipients to use their EBT cards to shop at a farmer’s market in Topsham, Maine. The Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 and a sluggish recovery increased the number of people receiving food stamps, but most states reduced error rates even as the rolls expanded. […]

Tired of Daylight Saving Time, Lawmakers Look to Lock the Clock

By: - April 11, 2017

Ray Harwood is fascinated by time. The Arizona resident is one of a few hobbyists who have been tracking the movement across the country to abolish daylight saving time, or keep it year-round. © The Pew Charitable Trusts AVONDALE, Arizona — In every room of his stucco two-story house in this Phoenix suburb, Ray Harwood […]

How Savvy Financiers Pitch Complex Investment Programs

By: - April 3, 2017

Former Republican Colorado state Sen. Mark Scheffel, left, now works for Advantage Capital Partners, which has been among the top participants in complex economic development programs used in several states. The firm says the programs spur needed investment, but economists and analysts say they have failed to deliver promised benefits. © The Associated Press This […]

In Search of Rural Jobs, States Weigh Strategy With Checkered Past

By: - March 30, 2017

A man walks with a cup of coffee as the sun rises in Lula, Georgia. Georgia and many other states are considering a complex tax-credit program designed to promote economic development in rural areas. © The Associated Press Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Utah state Sen. Ralph Okerlund’s name. […]

Should People Be Barred From Buying Junk Food With Food Stamps?

By: - February 24, 2017

In a food pantry in Quitman County, Mississippi, Angie Crawford shows food stamp recipients a healthy meal they can make at home. There is a push across the country to make it so food stamps can’t be used to buy junk food. © Kevin Hudson/Mississippi State University Extension Service At the food pantry she founded […]

States Expected to Continue Course Toward Clean Energy Future

By: - January 26, 2017

A worker installs solar panels on a roof in Honolulu. More states will encourage the use of renewable energy this year, seeing the economic benefits the industry brings. © The Associated Press Editor’s note: this story has been updated to correct information about Rocky Mountain Power’s proposal. In Wyoming, Republican Gov. Matt Mead is counting […]

Shift in Policy Follows Dramatic Rise in Cuban Immigration

By: - January 13, 2017

Héctor Martinez Rodríguez is one of dozens of Cuban immigrants who took refuge in El Paso, Texas. President Obama announced Thursday he was ending a policy that for decades has allowed Cubans like Rodríguez to stay. © The Pew Charitable Trusts Democratic President Barack Obama’s decision Thursday to end special immigration status for Cuban immigrants […]

Volunteer Firehouses Struggle to Find Recruits

By: - January 11, 2017

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — Everybody in this fire station was sleeping one recent morning when the alarms started blaring. Six firefighters hopped out of their bunks and pulled their gear over their pajamas. The sun was still coming up when they reached a house where smoke was rising from the basement. Afterward, back in their pajamas, […]

Obama Administration Launches Final Push to End Veteran Homelessness

By: - January 6, 2017

Homeless veteran James Thomas talks with officials in Miami. Miami-Dade County is one of hundreds of municipalities that had sought to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. © The Associated Press The Obama administration is giving one final push toward meeting its goal of ending veteran homelessness. Robert A. McDonald, secretary of the […]

As Pipelines Proliferate, So Do Protests

By: - December 30, 2016

Best of Stateline 2016 Demonstrators protest a pipeline in Vermont. Resistance to oil and gas pipelines is growing, and state officials are starting to take action against them. © The Associated Press This is an updated version of a Stateline story published earlier this year. Hundreds of miles from the North Dakota pipeline protests that […]

Military Spouses Struggle to Stay in Careers, Despite State Laws

By: - December 13, 2016

Military families reunited last month at a Navy submarine base in Groton, Connecticut, following a deployment. Laws recently passed in all states were aimed at making it easier for military spouses to stay in their career as their families move from state to state. The Associated Press Patti Ruby is a rarity among military spouses. […]

Farmers Push Back Against Animal Welfare Laws

By: - November 29, 2016

A pig looks out from a pen at a hog feeding operation near Tribune, Kansas. As more states pass laws regulating the treatment of livestock and poultry, many farming states are fighting back. © The Associated Press All hogs in Massachusetts will be able to stretch their legs and turn around in their crates and […]