US State Policy

Baseball Players Press Lawmakers for Minor League Labor Standards

BY: - March 30, 2022

Lawmakers in a handful of states are crafting policies to protect a workforce that they say has been exploited by poverty wages, restrictive contracts and onerous federal labor laws: minor league baseball players. Over the past few years, players and advocates have drawn increasing attention to the poor conditions in which many minor leaguers toil. […]

The 2020 Census is Coming—and the Results Will Impact State Budgets

BY: , and - February 20, 2020

The U.S. census kicks into full gear on April 1, 2020, and states are paying close attention. Not only will the census determine the distribution of congressional seats, but the data collected will have a profound impact on state budgets. How? Because of the role that the census plays in creating the datasets and statistical […]

Lawmakers Open Groundwater Fight Against Bottled Water Companies

BY: - February 12, 2020

This story was updated Feb. 12 to clarify that Washington state lawmakers are targeting bottling companies in general, and to include a link to a U.S. Forest Service memo concluding that Nestle’s operations are drying up creeks in California’s San Bernardino National Forest. OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state, land of sprawling rainforests and glacier-fed rivers, […]

State Laws Put Installment Loan Borrowers at Risk

BY: - November 5, 2018

When Americans borrow money, most use credit cards, loans from banks or credit unions, or financing from retailers or manufacturers. Those with low credit scores sometimes borrow from payday or auto title lenders, which have been the subject of significant research and regulatory scrutiny in recent years. Another segment of the nonbank consumer credit market—installment […]

State Prison Partnerships Can Improve Public Health and Safety

BY: and - March 19, 2018

  Anamosa State Prison, Anamosa, Iowa. Iowa is one of the states where corrections departments are partnering with health care agencies to make it possible for offenders’ conditions to be treated when they re-enter the community. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images Nearly all people in prison eventually leave, many of them with chronic diseases or […]

Federal Reform, Slow Revenue Growth Pressure States

BY: , and - February 6, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump, center, speaks during a tax bill passage event with Republican congressional members of the House and Senate on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017.  States often face fiscal uncertainty from federal policy changes, but 2018 is unusual because of the scope […]

Would You Know if Your State Was in a Recession?

BY: , and - September 14, 2017

  An oil drilling rig in Harrison Bay, Alaska in February, 2017. Officials in three oil and natural gas states—Alaska, Louisiana, and Oklahoma—have declared recessions in recent years after crude prices fell. © Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images Even as the U.S. experiences the third-longest economic expansion on record, state-level slowdowns have emerged, raising tough-to-answer questions about […]

Legal Judgments Can Add to Local Government Distress

BY: and - May 15, 2017

  In this photo from Feb. 2, 2017, a city block is seen in downtown Beatrice, in Gage County, Neb. When six people went to prison for the 1985 rape and murder of a 68-year-old Nebraska woman, county officials figured they had put the gruesome high-profile case behind them. But after DNA evidence exonerated all […]

Public Authorities: Essential to Services Though Some States Question Oversight

BY: and - April 4, 2017

  The George Washington Bridge spanning the Hudson River. The bridge is maintained by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. © Getty Images The iconic George Washington Bridge across the Hudson River is one of the longest, busiest structures in the world. It is part of a network of tunnels and bridges […]

Energy States Weigh Options in Spending Wealth Funds

BY: and - March 24, 2017

  The Grand Teton Range in Wyoming. Gov. Matt Mead signed legislation on March 13 that will lower a spending cap placed on the investment earnings from Wyoming’s billion mineral trust fund. © Getty Images A discussion that recently took place in Wyoming underlines the policy choices energy states face when deciding how much to […]

‘Service Insolvency’ Could Help States Intervene in Troubled Cities

BY: - March 7, 2017

Downtown Petersburg, Virginia. Virginia officials have provided technical assistance to the city of Petersburg. © Getty Images The second of two parts. The first part can be found here. When a city, county or other government cannot pay its bills, it is considered to be insolvent. In rare instances, the crisis may trigger a Chapter […]

‘Service-Delivery Insolvency’ is Changing Municipal Bankruptcy

BY: - February 23, 2017

Detroit, Michigan. Service-delivery insolvency, which means the government is facing a crisis in managing police, fire, ambulance, trash, sewer and other essential safety and health services, contributed to Detroit filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in 2013. © Getty Images First of two parts. The second part can be found here. A new twist on the […]