Social Issues

A family strolls in a Connecticut park.

Births decline in most states, continuing a long-term trend

BY: - May 25, 2023

Fast-growing Texas and Florida had the biggest increases in the number of births last year, while a dozen other states — half of them in the South — continued to rebound from pandemic lows. In the United States as a whole, however, the number of births has plateaued after a modest increase following the worst […]

Washington state lawmaker speaking in legislature

States weigh child abuse reporting vs. clergy’s duty of confidentiality

BY: - May 12, 2023

From the time Washington state Sen. Noel Frame was 5 years old until she was 10, she was sexually abused by a teenage cousin. The abuse only stopped when she told a teacher, who reported it to the authorities and to her parents.  Now, Frame, 43, wants to require members of the clergy in Washington […]

children on a playground

Low fertility rates, high housing prices mean fewer children in most states

BY: - May 11, 2023

Thirty-five states have fewer children than they did five years ago, a situation caused by declining birth rates nationwide, but also by young families migrating across state borders in search of cheaper housing. Even in the 15 states that gained children, all but North Dakota experienced greater growth in the adult population, meaning children now […]

Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minn., is midway between the Twin Cities and Duluth. It offers a variety of gambling options but not sports betting.

Tribal control at issue for lone sports betting holdout in the Midwest

BY: - May 1, 2023

HINCKLEY, Minn. — Amid the flat woodlands of east-central Minnesota, the Grand Casino stands out: Its hotel is the tallest building between the Twin Cities and Duluth. The casino floor beckons gamblers with more than 1,900 slot machines and round-the-clock blackjack and poker tables. With a golf course, an RV park and an amphitheater that […]

Top State Stories: Washington bans sale of AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles

BY: - April 26, 2023

WA: Washington bans sale of AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles, effective immediately seattletimes.com Washington has become the 10th state to prohibit sales of AR-15s and dozens of other semi-automatic rifles, as Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed the ban into law, effective immediately. The state Capitol was closed to the public for the signing ceremony out […]

States Seek to Protect Tribes’ Rights in Child Custody Cases

BY: - April 14, 2023

Worried about a pending U.S. Supreme Court case, some states aim to pass new laws ensuring American Indian children can stay in their tribal communities even if they’re placed in the child welfare system. Later this year, the court will rule on a longstanding federal law designed to ensure that Native American children removed from […]

After Nashville Shooting, Democratic States Push for New Gun Restrictions

BY: - April 11, 2023

After a shooter killed three elementary school children and three faculty members in Nashville last month, hundreds of student activists flooded the Tennessee state Capitol to demand new gun restrictions. On the state House floor, three Democratic members disrupted proceedings by shouting through bullhorns, calling for a debate on firearm access. But those calls went […]

Universities Grapple With Diversity Policies After GOP Crackdown

BY: - March 30, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas — In July 2020, the president of Texas A&M University appointed a 45-member commission to examine the progress of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the nearly 70,000-student flagship campus in College Station. The panel’s report, released in January 2021, found both strengths and weaknesses in the school’s approach. But overall, said the […]

As 988 Crisis Line Sees More Use, States Debate How to Pay for It

BY: - March 29, 2023

Editor’s note: If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. Almost everyone agrees that putting money behind the national suicide and crisis hotline is a good thing. But not everyone thinks a new phone tax is the best way to pay for it. Since the crisis line’s […]

Top State Stories 3/20

BY: - March 20, 2023

SC: 9 Republicans in South Carolina have pulled support from abortion bill nbcnews.com Nine South Carolina Republicans who had co-sponsored one of the most severe anti-abortion proposals in the country have since withdrawn their support, reversing course on a measure that proposed applying the state’s homicide laws to people who undergo abortions. OH: Ohio pulls […]

To Prevent Gun Suicide, States Consider Allowing People to Deny Themselves a Gun

BY: - March 16, 2023

As lawmakers and mental health advocates wrestle with how to stop the avalanche of suicides by firearm in this country, some are looking to a novel idea at work in a handful of states: Register yourself as a suicide risk so you can’t buy a gun on a whim. Mass shootings get more attention, but […]

Top State Stories 3/16

BY: - March 16, 2023

AR: Arkansas House sends public school bathroom bill to governor’s desk arkansasonline.com Arkansas House Republicans approved a bill that would limit transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice at public schools. Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ spokesperson said earlier this week that Sanders “believes that schools are no place for the radical left’s […]