Updating State Theft Laws Can Bring Less Incarceration—and Less Crime

State governments, which bear primary responsibility for managing criminal offenders, have begun to re-evaluate the way they punish those that commit low-level theft.

Some States Help College Students Avoid Unplanned Pregnancies

Mississippi has one of the highest teen-pregnancy rates in the country. So in 2014, the state passed a law that requires public colleges to teach students how to avoid unplanned pregnancies.

These States Have Relied Most Heavily on Federal Aid

An analysis from the Tax Foundation presents federal aid as a percentage of state revenue for fiscal year 2013.

Mississippi River Winter Floods to Test Government Response, Army Corps Defenses

Levees are being checked for sand boils as water levels rise. And in Louisiana, there’s no word yet whether the Bonnet Carré and Morganza spillways will be opened.

Southern States Fight for Groundwater

Who can use the Mississippi Delta’s aquifers?

8 State and Local Election Results Worth Noting

From the Kentucky gubernatorial election to ballot measures on affordable housing in San Francisco, here are some of the races and initiatives we were tracking.

Stats Shot: New Data Offer Insight Into States With Best and Worst GDP Growth in 2014

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has released sector-specific, quarterly GDP figures for states.

Mississippi Cities Remove State Flag; D.C. Government’s ‘Shake Shack’ Design Typeface

Also: Arizona eliminates consumer protection agency and Pittsburgh’s falling glass risk.

County in Miss. Squanders Its Casino Revenue; Water Poured on Baltimore Mayor

Also: Pay raises for many Minneapolis officials and Houston’s flood-rescue problems.

Mississippi Happy to Take Louisiana’s Movie Business; California Farmers Happy to Take Modesto’s Sewer Water

Also: The Internet makes public sector conservation a success, Florida’s Rick Scott making the public pay to be shunned and a Miami neighborhood halts spillover gentrification, for now.

What Should Happen to Mississippi’s State Flag?

One Mississippi Republican has called for the removal of Confederate symbolism from the state flag. Such calls have been made before, but to no avail.