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.

How States Are Gambling on Sports Betting Case

Sports betting bills have been filed in some 20 states, ranging from ones detailing exactly how the sports betting would work to mere placeholders that would allow for specific language once the case is decided.

State Personal Income Growing Slowly Since Recession

Trends in personal income matter to state governments because tax revenue and spending demands may rise or fall along with residents’ incomes.

Banning the Bans: State and Local Officials Clash Over Plastic Bags

Despite plastic bag bans in places like California showing signs of success, a growing number of states are enacting prohibitions on banning plastic bags.

State Rainy Day Funds Grow Even as Total Balances Lag

Some states have struggled to save given sluggish tax revenue growth and have had to make more recent withdrawals from fiscal reserves.

#MeToo Movement Has Lawmakers Talking About Consent

Many states will grapple with legislation to establish affirmative consent standards — known as “yes means yes” — and rewrite rape and sexual assault laws.

Federal Tax Changes May Prompt State Tax Overhauls

A windfall from the new federal tax law gives many states the flexibility to comprehensively rewrite their own tax codes, something not seen for decades.

How States Allocate Their Prison Health Care Dollars

Detailed spending data helps track trends and evaluate cost-effectiveness

Census Uncertainty Spurs State Action to Prevent Undercounting

Starting in February, the bureau will turn over address lists to states and local governments for double-checking that must be finished within 120 days.

Why Free College Tuition Is Spreading From Cities to States

The free tuition push hasn’t produced an economic bonanza for any of the pioneering cities—at least not yet — and some states have struggled to come up with the money to keep their end of the bargain.