Sarah Breitenbach

Sarah Breitenbach, who writes about the business of government for Stateline, has spent much of her professional life writing about Maryland politics and policy. She began her career covering education and state government for the Frederick News-Post and has worked for the Gazette of Politics and Business and The Associated Press.

Cities Look to Public Restrooms to Clean up Downtowns, Attract Tourists

By: - September 5, 2017

A man enters a mobile restroom in downtown Denver. City officials hope the bathrooms will make the urban core cleaner and more inviting. © The Pew Charitable Trusts DENVER — Here on Tremont Place, there’s a beacon of relief for lunching office workers, tourists shuttling along a nearby pedestrian mall, and the city’s growing homeless […]

As Cashless Toll Roads Proliferate, So Do Rental Car Fees

By: - August 10, 2017

Rental car companies charge fees to drivers who use their tolling devices. With the spread of cashless toll roads, some drivers find they have no other option. © The Pew Charitable Trusts BALTIMORE — Traffic tends to pile up quickly on Interstate 95 as cars push south toward Washington, D.C. Electronic signs post the time […]

Despite Growing Support for Marijuana, Legalization Faces Rocky Road

By: - July 25, 2017

Stateline Legislative Review 2017 A cashier rings up a marijuana sale in Nevada. The state began selling recreational marijuana July 1, six months ahead of schedule. © The Associated Press Editor’s Note: A graphic for this story was updated July 27 to specify which states have legal, taxed and regulated marijuana Ask advocates of marijuana […]

How Mapping Disasters Can Help Devastated Communities Rally

By: - July 12, 2017

Carla Wilson walks through a house in the New Orleans East neighborhood following a February tornado that destroyed homes and left thousands without power. A new digital mapping technique may help the community recover more quickly. © The Associated Press NEW ORLEANS — On Meredith Beers’ laptop, the intensity of the twister that touched down […]

Nonprofits Poised for Bigger Role in Disaster Recovery

By: - June 23, 2017

Willie Parker, 69, shows pictures of his flood-damaged home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Parker is waiting for help from Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge, a nonprofit that shifted its focus to flood victims following torrential rains last summer. © The Pew Charitable Trusts Part Three of Storm Surge: How States Will Have to Step Up As Disasters […]

Using Special Nails to Save Roofs — and Dollars

By: - June 21, 2017

Tanya Brown-Giammanco, a research engineer at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety in Richburg, South Carolina, explains how she makes hail to test the resiliency of roof shingles. The institute has pioneered a new method for building resilient houses, which has been used in thousands of homes in the U.S. © The Pew […]

Federal Pullback, Climate Change Could Boost State Spending on Disasters

By: - June 19, 2017

A car remains flipped over in its car port months after a tornado spun through east New Orleans. Climate change and potential shifts in federal funding could lead states to spend more on disaster recovery. © The Pew Charitable Trusts Editor’s note: A graphic in this story, US Disaster Spending by Agency, was updated to […]

Massachusetts Court Rules Needle Exchanges Can Open Without Community Input

By: - June 16, 2017

Needle exchange programs endeavor to reduce the spread of disease by providing clean syringes and keeping dirty ones off the street. © The Associated Press A Massachusetts nonprofit will be allowed to operate its needle exchange program despite arguments that the group needs approval from town officials in order to operate. The state Supreme Judicial […]

Public Dollars To Help Washington State Inmates Earn College Degrees

By: - May 2, 2017

Inmates attend class at Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington state. © The Associated Press Community and technical colleges in Washington state will soon be able to use taxpayer dollars to offer college courses to inmates. A new law, which takes effect in July, will enable prisoners to earn an Associate of Technical Arts degree in […]

Las Vegas Hopes Needle Vending Machines Will Curb Disease

By: - April 19, 2017

A program manager demonstrates how to use a needle vending machine that will be available in three locations around Las Vegas by the end of May. The machines will allow drug users to get clean needles. © Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal via The Associated Press Las Vegas will be the first American city to offer […]

Colorado Moves Toward Lower Medical Pot Plant Limit

By: - March 10, 2017

Investigators load plants from a suspected illegal marijuana growing operation in Denver. © The Associated Press Legislators in the Colorado House signed off on a bill Friday that would lower the number of marijuana plants that patients in the state’s medical marijuana program can grow at home. The proposal, which needs approval from the state […]

Maryland Considers Marijuana Legalization

By: - January 31, 2017

An employee examines medical marijuana plants in New York. Eight states already have legalized marijuana for recreational use and more could be on the way. © The Associated Press Lawmakers in Maryland have filed legislation that would allow the state to regulate and tax the sale and use of marijuana. The proposal, a set of […]