Champion of '211' Call Centers Set to Lead National Counties Group

“I’ve become, maybe, a fanatic about 211,” says San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, who's expected to be the next president of the National Association of Counties.

If Forced to Provide Job Training to Food Stamp Recipients, Many States Couldn't

One idea on the table as House and Senate negotiators wrangle over the farm bill is work requirements for SNAP recipients. But that would also require states to run job training programs.

When Push Comes to Shove, Here Are Local Leaders' Priorities

Route Fifty asked local government officials what is most important to their communities’ future. Their answers may surprise you.

More Money—and Stricter Scrutiny—for Child Care

“What we’re seeing is an influx of state policymakers starting to wrap their arms around the fact that learning doesn’t start in kindergarten,” said Bruce Atchison of the Education Commission of the States.

Kentucky Not Giving Up on Medicaid Work Requirements After Judge’s Ruling

Gov. Matt Bevin says the plan is the best way to keep the popular program solvent. Critics say he’s ignoring key data and thousands risk losing coverage.

Sacramento Sees ‘Impressive’ Results With Its Homeless Triage Shelter

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | New concerns over the Bourbon virus in Missouri; S.D. hospital stops sending unregulated medical waste to city landfill … and a progress report for Baltimore’s big bus realignment.

Children With Autism Left Behind by Low Medicaid Rates

Lawsuits in South Carolina and California accuse the states of failing to provide "medically necessary" services for children with autism because Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low that no providers will accept them.

Giving Group Homes a 21st Century Makeover

A new law caps the amount of time the federal government will pay to house children in group homes. New York state officials are concerned it will end up costing counties. Colorado, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wyoming have the greatest percentage of foster children living in group homes.

‘You Cannot Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps If You Have No Boots At All’

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | California announces major illegal fireworks bust; Minneapolis’ public records challenge … Iowa’s honeybees make comeback … and Portland’s recycling struggles.

Missouri Audit Flags Suspicious SNAP Benefit Use by Deceased, Out-of-State Recipients

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | San Francisco’s unresolved mayoral race … N.C. governor vetoes budget plan … and a mysterious Indiana jailhouse substance.

Will the New Foster Care Law Give Grandparents a Hand?

Some advocates for children being raised by grandparents worry that a new federal law will make it more difficult for caregivers to get help from state agencies and financial assistance.

Everyone's Welcome: Saving Families With Movie Nights and Meetups

Can family enrichment centers help keep kids out of foster care?

Universal Basic Income Could Help Poor D.C. Residents—But It’s Risky

The program could cost up to $9 billion a year and has the potential to put federal funding for other safety-net programs at risk, according to a policy analysis.

Legal Sports Betting Is About to Sweep the Nation. Services for Gambling Addicts Probably Won’t.

Only 17 states pay for one or more full-time staff positions to help problem gamblers, according to a 2016 survey from the National Council on Problem Gambling and the Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators.

Millions of SNAP Recipients Would Fall Short of Proposed Work Requirements

If the changes went into effect today, 5.2 million people would fail to meet the new requirements in a given month, according to analysis from the Urban Institute.

This Jobs Program Just Might Get People Back to Work

But creating evidence-based employment programs can be tricky.

This New Federal Law Will Change Foster Care As We Know It

Most child welfare advocates have hailed the changes, but some states that rely heavily on group homes fear that now they won’t have enough money to pay for them.

Experts Question Feasibility of SNAP Work Requirements Plan

“If we want to do this, let’s do it well,” according to Pete Weber of the Fresno Bridge Academy. “What’s being proposed needs some adjustments.”

After Public Fury, SoCal Official Says New Housing for Homeless Will Be ‘Beautiful’

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Atlanta’s ransomware deadline ... prairie dog plague vaccine … Philly’s off-the-books rooming house problem … new Wash. state tsunami maps ... and N.Y. governor seeks “new expansive powers.”