Rural Counties Are Making a Comeback, Census Data Shows

“This seems to be the beginning of a return to population dispersal after a decade or so of clustering into cities and the biggest metropolitan areas,” said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution

States Aren't Waiting for Feds to Ban Flame Retardants From Kids' Products

The state bills vary in scope, but their intent is clear—to get rid of chemicals that have been found by scientists to pose more risks than rewards.

Medicaid Makes Up Largest Share of Grants to States

Mix of total funding from federal grants varied by state

Recent Data Breaches Spark Debate Over 'Reasonable' Notification Rules

Some states have already moved to toughen their data breach laws as the number of incidents increases.

Nobody Knows How Many Kids Get Caught With Guns in School. Here’s Why.

Much of the information on the Education Department’s website is either outdated or inconsistent with state data.

There Are Hundreds of New State Gun Laws And Most Expand Access

So-called permitless carry laws now are in effect in more than 10 states.

#MeToo Movement Fuels a 1970s Comeback: The ERA

Nevada last year became the 36th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, meaning that supporters need only two more states to reach the 38 required to add the ERA to the U.S. Constitution. Before Nevada, the last state to ratify was Indiana in 1977.

Stalled Effort to Ban ‘Bump Stocks’ Illustrates Challenge of Changing State Gun Laws

The debate over the past few months illustrates how difficult it will be for gun-control advocates to enact other changes state by state.

Good News: Overdose Deaths Fall in 14 States

But the bad news: “But we’re still seeing rates of overdose that are leaps and bounds higher than what we were seeing a decade ago and far beyond any other country in the world.”

Despite Slow Growth, Tax Revenue Has Recovered in 29 States

Most states recorded more robust growth in overall tax collections at the start of fiscal 2018, according to preliminary data collected by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. But federal tax reform has brought plenty of uncertainty.

Voting Lines Are Shorter—But Mostly for Whites

Election officials have figured out how to keep voting lines down, but communities of color are still waiting longer to vote.

Why Police Backing Is Key to Needle Exchanges

Nationwide, the list of syringe exchanges, both official and unofficial, has grown by about 15 percent a year for the past three years, with the fastest growth in Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio.

Congress May Resurrect Earmarks. In Some States, They Never Went Away

States say earmarks unclog the wheels of government. But what about wasteful spending?

Motorcycle Lane-Splitting: Safe or Scary?

Opponents and supporters of the practice say their approach is safest—for drivers and motorcyclists alike.

Taxpayers Don’t Want to Pay for Lawmakers’ Sexual Misdeeds, But Alternatives Pose Problems

Holding individual lawmakers, and not the government, responsible for sexual harassment might lessen the incentive for legislatures to train and police their own.

Federal Reform, Slow Revenue Growth Pressure States

Despite the third-longest U.S. economic recovery on record, lackluster growth in state tax collections has left many policymakers with little wiggle room to balance their budgets.

The Shutdown Ended. Utah Wants Its Money Back.

As Congress stares down yet another deadline, state leaders once again may have to decide whether to open their own wallets to protect their local tourism industries.

Despite Bans, Ticket-Buying Bots Still Snag the Best Seats

Savvy bots have been snatching tickets from would-be concertgoers. Lawmakers have taken action to ban bots, but the laws are seldom enforced.

How Voters With Disabilities Are Blocked From the Ballot Box

In light of security concerns, states moved to paper ballots. Now voters with disabilities are losing access.