Lake Mead, one of the West's primary sources of water.

Colorado River agreement punts on drastic cuts and difficult negotiations

BY: - May 24, 2023

Read more Stateline coverage of how communities across the West are grappling with drought that’s worsening because of climate change. State and federal officials are celebrating an agreement reached this week by Arizona, California and Nevada to reduce their use of Colorado River water by millions of gallons over the next three years. But it’s a temporary […]

Utah's Lake Powell

Western states agree to Colorado River water-sharing agreement

BY: - May 22, 2023

The governors of Arizona, California and Nevada have announced a historic water-sharing agreement for the Colorado River in an attempt to salvage one of the West’s major sources of drinking water that has dwindled in severe drought. The agreement this week marks the culmination of months of tumultuous negotiations among seven Western states, whose 40 […]

States Seek to Protect Tribes’ Rights in Child Custody Cases

BY: - April 14, 2023

Worried about a pending U.S. Supreme Court case, some states aim to pass new laws ensuring American Indian children can stay in their tribal communities even if they’re placed in the child welfare system. Later this year, the court will rule on a longstanding federal law designed to ensure that Native American children removed from […]

Facing Drought, Western States Seek to Deny Groundwater to Foreigners

BY: - March 15, 2023

Read more Stateline coverage of how communities across the West are grappling with drought that’s worsening because of climate change. Just off an arid stretch of highway in western Arizona, a Saudi dairy company pumps unrestricted amounts of groundwater from underneath its fields, uses it to grow thousands of acres of alfalfa and ships the bales of […]

Feds Push Local Election Officials to Boost Security Ahead of 2024

BY: - February 23, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Some of the nation’s top cybersecurity leaders are warning state and local election officials of ongoing foreign and domestic national security threats to election systems, urging them to upgrade their defenses ahead of next year’s presidential election. At separate conferences this month, federal officials warned gatherings of the National Association of Secretaries […]

Can Western States Agree on the Future of the Colorado River?

BY: - February 16, 2023

Read more Stateline coverage of how communities across the West are grappling with drought that’s worsening because of climate change. SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Western state water officials will spend the next few months trying to agree on how to divvy up water from the Colorado River, which sustains a region of 40 million people across seven […]

Republicans Have Filed Dozens of Bills to Disrupt Transgender Youth Health Care

BY: - February 9, 2023

Republican lawmakers in more than half the states are continuing a party-line push to restrict doctors and other medical providers from offering some gender-affirming health care to minors, even with parents’ consent. In late January, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, signed legislation making the Beehive State the first this year to ban some medical […]

With Howitzers and Helicopters, States Trigger Road-Clearing Avalanches

BY: - January 20, 2023

One morning last week, after more than 31 inches of snow fell in the previous two days, Utah transportation workers opened a huge garage-like door in a building near a state highway and fired a military howitzer up a mountain in the Salt Lake Valley. The explosion triggered several avalanches that buried State Route 210 […]

Don’t Vote for Just One: Ranked Choice Voting Is Gaining Ground

BY: - December 2, 2022

Last month, voters in Nevada, Seattle and at least six other jurisdictions around the country approved measures to change how they elect their leaders. Instead of voting for just one candidate, they instead will rank a slate of candidates. Ranked choice voting has seen steady success in recent years. Nationwide, 62 jurisdictions have adopted the […]

States Test an Electrifying Idea: Roads That Can Recharge Your EV

BY: - November 16, 2022

On two short stretches of road near downtown Detroit, Michigan transportation officials hope to make history. Over the next two years, they plan to embed technology in the pavement that can charge electric vehicles while they’re being driven. The wireless system will be the first U.S. test of so-called inductive charging on public roadways, according […]

As Electric Vehicles Shrink Gas Tax Revenue, More States May Tax Mileage

BY: - October 10, 2022

The increasing popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles is shrinking revenue from gas taxes, prompting more states to consider charging fees based on miles driven to help pay for roads and bridges. This year at least eight states — Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington — considered bills that would modify existing […]

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 […]