States and cities eye stronger protections for gig economy workers
Joshua Wood remembers days during the COVID-19 lockdown when New York City’s streets were practically empty, save for workers like him. That experience convinced the 25-year-old Brooklynite — who makes deliveries for both Uber Eats and a package delivery service — that the gig economy needed some urgent changes. Roughly 1 in 6 American adults […]
Drug decriminalization stumbled in Oregon. Other states are taking note.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Just before Portland’s city council approved a ban on public drug use last week, Mayor Ted Wheeler described what he’d observed on his way to work that afternoon: “The last time I saw somebody consuming what I believe to be fentanyl publicly on our streets was less than five minutes ago, three […]
It may have just gotten harder to protect minority communities from pollution
In recent years, some states have invested in air quality monitoring, applied extra scrutiny to permitting decisions and steered cleanup funding to minority communities that have borne the brunt of pollution for decades. Now, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down race-conscious college admissions policies, state lawmakers are facing a […]
‘Who’s going to work there?’: Lawmakers grapple with labor shortages
INDIANAPOLIS — For years, Indiana’s GOP-controlled legislature has focused on creating a business-friendly climate by pushing favorable tax rates and regulations, aiming to foster the creation of good-paying jobs across the state. The way Republican state Sen. Michael Crider sees it, those moves have worked: Companies such as Amazon and Walmart have built new warehouses and […]
Towns could save themselves from wildfire — if they knew about this money
PACKWOOD, Wash. — Last year, Don Pratt fled from his home as a wildfire swept down the mountainside here in Washington’s Cascade Range. “Heading out, I thought it was the last time I was going to see the house,” he said. As residents evacuated and smoke engulfed the small mountain community, fire crews with bulldozers […]
Don’t poo-poo these states’ pleas to keep the parks pristine
DENVER — Earlier this summer, Adam Ducharme made an unpleasant discovery while helping volunteers install signs telling visitors where to camp, park or launch boats near Leadville, a mountain town surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks in central Colorado. “We were digging holes, putting in signs, and then backfilling the holes with rocks and sort of compounding […]
Stifling prison heat used to be just a Southern problem. Not anymore.
While sweltering heat in prisons without air conditioning has long been an issue in the South, extreme heat waves worsened by climate change are expanding the problem into Northern states. In recent years, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin have seen extreme heat in prisons. Many of these states lack the necessary infrastructure for […]