The latest ‘right to repair’ law is the broadest one yet
Do-it-yourselfers and repair shops are celebrating a victory in Minnesota with the enactment of a new law that requires many manufacturers to share parts and information with tinkerers and small businesses. The so-called right to repair law will allow equipment owners and independent shops to more easily fix devices like phones, laptops, appliances and other […]
More states line up to serve free school meals to all kids
During his long career as a high school teacher, New York state Sen. John Mannion often reached into his own pocket to cover the cost of lunches for kids who didn’t have the funds. “I watched kids get to the end of the line and not have enough money on their cards,” the Democrat said […]
Offshore wind in the Midwest? Some Great Lakes leaders think so.
Years from now, when Chicagoans stroll the Lake Michigan waterfront, they may see the blades of wind turbines glinting on the horizon. Clevelanders could glimpse wind farms over Lake Erie. And cities like Milwaukee and Buffalo could be vying to attract a burgeoning offshore wind industry on the Great Lakes. That’s the vision some regional leaders have […]
New York to ban fossil fuels in new buildings. 23 states have forbidden such bans.
A widening clash over gas stoves and other fossil fuel appliances has ignited in statehouses across the country as Democratic lawmakers pursue more aggressive climate policies. On one side, environmentalists and left-leaning legislators have championed new construction rules that require homes and other buildings to run off electricity only, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On […]
With fire departments struggling for volunteers, states respond to the alarm
When firefighters show up to a blaze or medical emergency across much of the United States, they most likely are volunteers. It’s also likely the department is understaffed, struggling to replace old equipment and facing uncertainty about its next generation of firefighters. “So much of our country relies on the volunteer fire service,” said Kimberly […]
Converting offices to housing is hard. These changes could make it easier.
Read more Stateline coverage of how communities across the country are trying to create more affordable housing. PORTLAND, Ore. — Stroll around America’s vacant downtowns, and a seemingly obvious solution emerges to the housing shortages and homelessness problems in many states: Why not turn all those unoccupied offices into living spaces? Especially in cities such as Portland, […]
Voting to Raise Their Own Pay Puts State Lawmakers in a Bind
Persistently low salaries discourage everyday citizens from serving in state legislatures, say legislators who face an uphill battle to raise pay. “Could a single parent be a state rep? Absolutely not. If you are the sole wage earner in a family, you can’t afford it — or even if you’re the primary wage earner,” Louisiana […]
States Feel Budget Pinch Amid Darkening Revenue Projections
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct a reference to personal income in Washington state. After two years of record tax collections, budget writers in some states are starting to feel a revenue pinch created by a slumping stock market, banking and tech layoffs, slower consumer spending and lower energy prices. Buoyed by […]
Some States Want to Give You a Constitutional Right to a Clean Environment
Editor’s note: This story was updated to identify the harmful algal bloom as a brown tide. New Mexico’s budget relies heavily on oil and gas revenue, but the state also bears the scars of generations of mining and drilling. So when Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, a former law professor and current Democratic state senator, heard about […]
States Debate Whether to Restrict — Or Invite — Crypto Mining
SEATTLE — As cryptocurrency mining draws increased scrutiny on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., some state legislatures are considering proposals to restrict the industry over growing concerns about its energy use. Other states, though, are advancing bills to protect cryptocurrency miners from such crackdowns, citing the economic potential of hosting mining operations. Last year, New […]
Governors Push Faster Construction to Meet Housing Needs
Read more Stateline coverage of how communities across the country are trying to create more affordable housing. PORTLAND, Ore. — Dick Anderson, a Republican state senator from coastal Oregon, has a chart and a readymade joke to illustrate the housing crisis facing his state. Up until 2006, his figures show, home building was on an upward trajectory […]
A Slew of State Proposals Shows the Threat of ‘Forever Chemicals’
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 […]