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 […]

Firing Squads Could Return as States Debate the Death Penalty

BY: - March 9, 2023

Idaho wants to bring back the firing squad. The state House last week approved a bill that would allow the execution method as an alternative to lethal injections. Idaho has had trouble getting the drugs needed to kill inmates on its death row. Lawmakers in other Republican-led states likewise want to expand or reinstate the […]

As Pandemic Rent Relief Ends, States Struggle to Prevent Homelessness

BY: - January 23, 2023

Read more Stateline coverage of how communities across the country are trying to create more affordable housing. PORTLAND, Ore. — For almost three years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, states have had an unwelcome but ideal laboratory to test potential solutions to slow eviction, one of the most persistent challenges in preventing homelessness. Turns out, […]

Climate Change Is Forcing Cities to Rethink Their Tree Mix

BY: - December 20, 2022

Cities need to plant more trees. But not just any trees. As communities prepare for a massive influx of federal funding to support urban forestry, their leaders say the tree canopy that grows to maturity 50 years from now will need to be painted with a different palette than the one that exists today. “You […]

What if Hospice Services Weren’t Just for the Dying?

BY: - June 9, 2022

Gloria Foster wasn’t ready for hospice, even though, with a prognosis of less than six months to live, she qualified for it. She was debilitated by diabetes and congestive heart failure, and was living with both a pacemaker and a device to help pump blood from her heart to the rest of her body. She […]

State Supreme Courts Are (Slowly) Starting to Look More Like America

BY: - May 2, 2022

State supreme courts wield power over many areas of American life, from school funding to environmental protection, gun laws to voting. Even as the United States population has become more diverse, state high courts have been the domain of White judges, attorneys and staff. Many still are: Nearly half the states don’t have a single […]

States Craft Their COVID Exit Strategies

BY: - February 15, 2022

Read more Stateline coverage of how schools are affected by and responding to COVID-19. As omicron fades and scientists consider when to declare COVID-19 endemic—and, therefore, here to stay—in the United States, governors in 10 states last week leapfrogged federal recommendations and dropped mask mandates. One by one, governors and health officials in California, Connecticut, […]

Small States Cry Foul on Federal Rental Relief Redistribution

BY: - October 6, 2021

States with small populations say a federal plan to take back unspent emergency rental aid and redistribute it elsewhere is unfair, potentially depriving them and their residents of millions of dollars to address broad affordable housing challenges. Last December’s federal law appropriating billion for emergency rental assistance scattered the money to some 500 grantees across […]

Trees: The Critical Infrastructure Low-Income Neighborhoods Lack

BY: - July 6, 2021

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story contained an outdated reference to Neenah Estrella-Luna’s position. She is an advocate and researcher. SEATTLE — As the Pacific Northwest sweltered through a record-breaking heat wave last week, many residents here in America’s least air-conditioned city sought relief under the shade of cedars and maples in city […]

After Capitol Riot, Some States Turn to Civics Education

BY: - May 19, 2021

After waiting two hours for her chance to speak, high school student Samantha Oliver chimed in to the Delaware House Education Committee hearing last week with a succinct message: Young people should be active participants in our democracy. “It is a necessity that we, the next generation, learn how to use our voices for good, […]

Gun Rules Advanced in Many States Even Before Recent Shootings

BY: - April 19, 2021

The spree of mass shootings over the past two months has led to renewed calls for more federal gun restrictions. But even before the most recent violence, state lawmakers were busy enacting measures designed to help solve a uniquely American public health crisis. After mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado, claimed the lives of […]

Nation Has Georgia on Its Mind, but Many States Are Making Voting Easier

BY: - April 8, 2021

During the waning days of the presidential election, Vermont Democratic state Sen. Cheryl Hooker got a desperate call from one of her constituents: The woman said she had forgotten to sign her name on the absentee ballot, it had been rejected by the town clerk and she couldn’t fix it. This was a familiar story […]