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AI is used widely, but lawmakers have set few rules

BY: - June 5, 2023

In the fall of 2016, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families began using a predictive analytics tool that promised to help identify kids in imminent danger. The tool used more than two dozen data points to compare open cases in Connecticut’s system against previous welfare cases with poor outcomes. Then each child received a […]

A Slew of State Proposals Shows the Threat of ‘Forever Chemicals’

BY: - February 14, 2023

In rivers and groundwater, in human bloodstreams and products ranging from cosmetics to food packaging to carpets, researchers are increasingly finding “forever chemicals” that don’t break down naturally and are shown to cause myriad health issues. State lawmakers across the country want to tackle the growing problem. Several states have passed landmark laws in recent […]

States, Cities Scramble to Combat Animal ‘Tranq’ in Street Drugs

BY: - February 8, 2023

As a dangerous new additive found in fentanyl and other street drugs surges from coast to coast, health officials in nearly every state are scrambling to track it.   Xylazine, a large-animal tranquilizer not approved for human use, started showing up routinely in the drug supply in 2019, but didn’t take off until the coronavirus […]

‘Green Banks,’ Poised for Billions in Climate Funds, Draw States’ Attention

BY: - January 9, 2023

In recent years, several states have created or helped to fund specialized banks that lend money to homeowners and businesses for energy-saving and climate projects. Now, states have billions more reasons to establish such institutions, known as green banks. Congress last year approved a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund of $27 billion, largely to pour money […]

As 2024 Election Looms, State Legislatures Consider Voting Changes

BY: - January 6, 2023

With their eyes on the 2024 presidential election, state lawmakers around the country are preparing to reshape voting rules in what election experts expect will be another busy legislative season. Republican lawmakers — many of whom are motivated by the mistaken belief that the voting system is riddled with election fraud — are looking to […]

Expect More EV Charging Stations as States Tap into Federal Dollars

BY: - October 11, 2022

When Colorado Department of Transportation officials recently learned that their plan to expand a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the state had gotten federal approval, it was welcome news. It means that Colorado will get access to $57 million in federal money over five years to broaden its EV charging network along federally […]

Health Groups Urge States to Spend Juul Settlement Dollars on Tobacco Prevention

BY: - September 28, 2022

Major medical groups are urging states that won a $438.5 million settlement earlier this month in a case against electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. to use the money for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, particularly those aimed at young people. Selling e-cigarette products to children is illegal in all 50 states. But teen use […]

Pandemic Prompts More States to Mandate Paid Sick Leave

BY: - September 16, 2022

For all the punishment COVID-19 has inflicted in New Mexico, the virus also is responsible for the state enacting one of the broadest paid sick leave laws in the country. “It’s almost completely related to the pandemic,” said Democratic state Sen. Mimi Stewart, who co-sponsored the bill in her chamber. The New Mexico law, which […]

Juul Agrees to Pay Nearly $440M in States’ Vaping Investigation

BY: - September 8, 2022

Attorneys general in about two-thirds of the states reached a settlement with e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. that will require the company to pay $438.5 million to resolve the two-year-old case alleging the company marketed to underage kids. The settlement also requires Juul to comply with limited sales and marketing practices, according to Connecticut Attorney […]

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 […]

More States May Legalize Psychedelic Mushrooms

BY: - July 15, 2022

Alex Jones says a trip in Jamaica saved her life. Not a trip to Jamaica: a hallucinogenic trip in Jamaica. Severe depression had descended on her at age 10, and stayed there, relentlessly, for the next two decades. She couldn’t work, couldn’t bear the sight of herself in the mirror, and for days on end […]

Juneteenth Is Not a Legal Holiday in Most States

BY: - June 17, 2022

A year after Juneteenth became a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, most states have yet to enact Juneteenth legal holidays. When President Joe Biden signed the holiday into federal law June 17, 2021, only a handful of states had Juneteenth holidays with paid time off for state employees: Illinois, […]