A voter shows ID at Ohio polling station.

Why Republican-led states keep leaving a group that verifies voter rolls

BY: - May 22, 2023

Eight Republican-led states this year left an interstate cooperative that seeks to maintain accurate voter registration rolls, and three more may join them — a move that election security experts say is fueled by conspiracy theories. Earlier this month, Virginia’s top election official said the state would become the latest to stop participating in the […]

Transgender residents look on at a Kentucky House hearing in March while supporters give testimony in favor of a bill to restrict health care for transgender minors.

Wave of transgender health care bans has roots in past debates

BY: - May 4, 2023

In the past two years, 19 states have banned or restricted gender-affirming care for minors, and another 12 states are considering it — a tidal wave of policy change that has emboldened many Republicans on the far right while terrifying transgender youth and their families. Gender-affirming care for transgender patients can cover pediatrics, psychiatry and […]

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 […]

States Return Indigenous Oral Histories to Tribal Control

BY: - September 23, 2022

There are more than 600 oral history recordings housed where Lina Ortega is an associate curator for the Western History Collections at the University of Oklahoma Libraries. Ortega speaks limited Seminole, one of the languages heard on the recordings. But while reviewing an ordinary tribal government meeting from 1969, she kept hearing a name she […]

Searing Heat Spotlights West’s Long-Term Water Woes

BY: - August 1, 2022

HAYS COUNTY, Texas — Located near the resort community of Wimberly, just 45 miles southwest of Austin, Jacob’s Well has earned a near-legendary reputation as one of the most popular swimming holes in the Central Texas Hill Country. Hundreds come to the artesian spring each summer to dip into blue-green waters that flow from an […]

Hawaii and Maine Have Scored Highest on Health Care During Pandemic

BY: - June 16, 2022

The health systems in Hawaii and Maine have performed best of all the states during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new rankings that weighed such factors as vaccination rates, capacity in hospital and intensive care units, and death rates. Alabama ranked at the bottom in the scorecard, followed by Oklahoma, Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia. The […]

After Leaked Roe Ruling, GOP Weighs Stricter Abortion Bans

BY: - May 17, 2022

If, as expected, the U.S. Supreme Court decides as early as next month to overturn Roe v. Wade, just how quickly Republican-dominated legislatures will act to restrict abortion and how far they will go to eliminate the procedure is uncertain. But recent rhetoric from state officials and events in state capitols offer some clues. GOP […]

Homeless Camping Bans Are Spreading. This Group Shaped the Bills.

BY: - April 8, 2022

Georgia state Sen. Carden Summers said he drove around Atlanta before presenting a bill earlier this year that would ban homeless encampments and cut state funding from cities that refuse to enforce the ban. “I made it a point to ride around almost every night and take 30 minutes and just drive a different route […]

Teachers ‘Beaten Down’ By Staff Shortages, COVID

BY: - January 31, 2022

Carina McGee, a high school teacher in the Aiken County Public School District in South Carolina, expected to teach until retirement age. But just three years after beginning her career, she’s reevaluating whether she made the right decision. “Everything that has come with COVID, it has just been an absolute nightmare. I have been so […]

Most States Are Wary of Mandating COVID Shots for Kids

BY: - January 7, 2022

Every state requires children to receive an array of vaccinations before they enroll in school. Typically, those inoculations are for protection against polio, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, rubella, mumps, tetanus, meningitis and chickenpox. Even though COVID-19 has claimed around 830,000 lives in the United States, including fewer than 700 children, only two states—California and Louisiana—have added […]

Pandemic Sweetens Lure of Smaller Cities’ Relocation Incentives

BY: - December 15, 2021

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify Aaron Miller’s title and to correct the spelling of Grant Bumgarner’s name. TULSA — Moving from New York City to Tulsa, Oklahoma, might seem an unlikely choice for a young African American scientist like Christopher Bland. His new home is known as an old oil boomtown—and […]

Census Prompts Push for More Indigenous School Lessons

BY: - October 19, 2021

The higher numbers will help boost Indigenous political clout, said Sarah White, lead facilitator for the South Dakota Education Equity Coalition, which is working with local Sioux tribes to boost Indigenous content in school curriculums. She suggested that even the higher numbers in the 2020 census reflect an undercount of American Indians and Alaska Natives, […]