Max Blau

One Governor’s Actions Highlight the Strengths — and Shortcomings — of State-Led Interventions

By: - March 27, 2020

Editor’s note: This story was updated 3/27 to correct a reference to Dr. Melanie Thompson’s area of medical specialization. Read Stateline coverage of the latest state action on coronavirus. ATLANTA — Shortly after the Georgia General Assembly suspended its legislative session because of COVID-19, state lawmakers convened for a rare one-day special session. By the […]

In Reversal, Counties and States Help Inmates Keep Medicaid

By: - January 8, 2020

More local and state officials are working to ensure that low-income residents stay on Medicaid when they go to jail. Federal law bars Medicaid recipients from accessing their full federal health benefits while incarcerated. But officials from both parties have pushed for two key changes to ensure little or no disruption of health benefits for […]

Southern States Split in Response to EPA’s Coal Ash Rule Rollbacks

By: - December 2, 2019

As the Trump administration scales back federal regulation of the waste from coal-fired power plants known as coal ash, a handful of Southern states have passed laws forcing utilities to clean up or contain the toxic mess. Other states, though, have done little or nothing. Four years ago, the Obama administration put in place America’s […]

Jeffrey Epstein’s Death Highlights Inmate Suicide Problem

By: - September 10, 2019

Editors’ note: If you or a loved one is in distress, you can call 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK). ATLANTA — One afternoon in August, six days after Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell, Christi Phillips received a troubling message. Her husband, Mike, who is serving time at a state prison in Valdosta, Georgia, […]

There Aren’t Enough Doctors to Treat HIV in the South

By: - August 5, 2019

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — When his HIV specialist left Selma, Larry wondered where he would get care next. He already drove an hour from his small Alabama town to the city where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once marched to the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Would he have to drive even farther — perhaps double the distance […]

Southern Farmers Reckon With Push to Raise Tobacco-Buying Age

By: - June 17, 2019

Burley tobacco once lined nearly every road in Shelby County, Kentucky. But when Paul Hornback drives through his hometown, the 62-year-old tobacco farmer rarely sees the leafy crop. Despite his fears about tobacco farming, long the lifeblood of his community, Hornback supports the push to ban teenagers from buying cigarettes. Last month, U.S. Senate Majority […]

Black Women More Likely to Die of Breast Cancer — Especially in the South

By: - May 15, 2019

UNION CITY, Ga. — When Felicia Mahone was 27, she felt her breast and found a mass. Breast cancer had killed nearly all the women in her family — her mother, two aunts and two cousins. Her doctor, though, downplayed the lump, assuring her everything would be all right. For months, Mahone resumed her busy […]

Southern States Slowly Embracing Harm Reduction to Curb Opioid Epidemic

By: - April 15, 2019

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated the number of syringe exchanges in Kentucky. Read more Stateline coverage of the opioid crisis. As a top agent with North Carolina’s Bureau of Investigation, Donnie Varnell had tried everything to stop people from fatally overdosing on opioids, from arresting more low-level drug users to talking with doctors. […]

African-Americans Missing Out on Southern Push for Legal Pot

By: - March 18, 2019

Natalie Jones Bonner, a 58-year-old entrepreneur in Biloxi, Mississippi, who has used cannabis to reduce inflammation in her knees and wrists, wanted her fellow Mississippians to experience the drug’s medical and economic benefits. So she volunteered to collect signatures for a ballot initiative to legalize its medical use. But the Navy veteran, who is black, […]

Black Southerners Are Bearing the Brunt of America’s Eviction Epidemic

By: - January 18, 2019

Last year Eviction Lab debuted what’s thought to be the nation’s largest eviction database, revealing that U.S. property owners had submitted at least 2.3 million eviction filings in 2016. For housing experts from Louisiana to Virginia, it provided the evidence to confirm what they long suspected: Black renters disproportionately bore the brunt of the eviction […]