Sophie Quinton

Sophie Quinton writes about fiscal and economic policy for Stateline. Previously, she wrote for National Journal.

Inflation Pushes Minimum Wages Higher in Some States

By: - August 31, 2022

DENVER — Low-wage workers in more than a dozen states — and many more cities — could get unexpectedly large raises next year, thanks to minimum wage increases that will reflect soaring consumer prices. Denver’s minimum wage, which is indexed to consumer prices in the metro area, will increase from $15.87 to $17.29 an hour […]

Your Check’s in the Mail: States Give Tax Refunds to Cushion Inflation

By: - August 19, 2022

Read Stateline coverage of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. DENVER — This month, Colorado taxpayers began receiving refunds from the state government. Joint filers got $1,500, and single filers got $750. Enclosed was a letter from Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, who noted that the checks — required under the state constitution — were being mailed […]

A Republican and a Democrat Walk into a Room and… Switch Votes?

By: - August 5, 2022

DENVER — Two state senators, a Republican and a Democrat, sit down on a dais in a dimly lit conference room at the Colorado Convention Center here and start talking. The two men are friends — they tease each other, call each other “dude” — and they’re sick of partisan fights. So, they decide to […]

Despite Economic Headwinds, Most State Budget Experts Aren’t Worried

By: - July 25, 2022

Grocery, gas and housing prices are up this year. The stock market is down. Voters are souring on the economy, and some analysts are warning of a looming recession.   But most state budget analysts aren’t too worried. Tax collections are still coming in strong, and states have saved so much money — thanks to economic […]

As Nurses Quit, States Seek to Train More

By: - March 17, 2022

Under pressure from short-staffed hospitals and burned-out nurses, lawmakers in several states recently passed bills designed to expand nursing schools. For more than two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed both the importance of nurses and strain on the workforce. Hospitals, long-term care centers and even K-12 schools have been so short-staffed in recent months […]

In Support of Ukraine, U.S. Governors Cut Economic Ties with Russia

By: - March 3, 2022

Outraged by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, governors and state lawmakers from both parties are seeking to impose economic sanctions of their own.  Governors in at least 11 states—Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York and Virginia—are pushing state entities to review or cut financial ties with Russian companies. […]

Workers Who Legally Use Cannabis Can Still Lose Their Jobs

By: - February 28, 2022

This story was updated March 2, 2022, to clarify the prospects of a bill in California. Thirty-seven states now allow adults to use marijuana medically, recreationally or both. But in most of those states, people can be fired or denied a job for using cannabis in their free time. Cannabis legalization advocates want states to […]

Why State Leaders from Both Parties Are Cutting Taxes

By: - February 9, 2022

Both Republicans and Democrats are calling for state tax cuts this year, spurred by huge budget surpluses. State leaders have so much money to spend this year — and are so eager to put dollars into people’s pockets as inflation rises — that even governors who’ve previously backed some tax increases, such as Illinois Democratic […]

If You’re a Frontline Worker, States Might Give You a Raise

By: - January 27, 2022

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify remarks made by Jason Bailey of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.” This is part four of Stateline’s 2022 State of the States series. Both Republican and Democratic governors are pushing this year for higher pay—and in some cases, more training—for teachers, police officers, health care workers and […]

Federal Aid Is Propping Up Child Care. It Isn’t a Long-Term Fix.

By: - January 12, 2022

This story has been updated to clarify the possible impact of a package of child care proposals in Utah. Read Stateline coverage of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal COVID-19 relief dollars for child care providers will continue to flow through the states this year, cheered by both Republican and Democratic governors who say parents […]

Desperate for State Workers, Governors Offer Raises to Keep Them

By: - December 21, 2021

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct a statement from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. Missouri’s social services agency is so short-staffed that child welfare workers are being assigned up to 50 cases at a time, more than double the normal caseload, said Lara Roberts, an organizer for Communications Workers of America Local 6355, […]

With Too Few Nurses, It Won’t Take Much to Overwhelm Hospitals This Winter

By: - December 9, 2021

Editor’s note: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated hospital staffing changes in Michigan. About 4% fewer hospital beds were staffed in the state last month than in November 2020. Nurse Hannah Drummond routinely must watch patients for hours as they lie in the emergency department, waiting for a hospital bed upstairs. That includes […]