State and Federal Relations

2019 Capped the Hottest Decade on Record

The past decade was the hottest in recorded history, and 2019 was the second-warmest year, according to data released Wednesday by NOAA and NASA.

Federal Judge Blocks State, Local Veto Power Over Refugee Resettlement

A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from enforcing an executive order that would allow state and local governments to block the resettlement of refugees within their borders.

State Health Officials Say Medicaid Expansion Helped Combat Opioid Epidemic

Health officials from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania testified before a congressional committee about how states have used federal opioid funding.

Feds Should Take Steps to Help Coordinate Rural Transit Service, Watchdog says

The Government Accountability Office says U.S. DOT lacks an adequate strategy for communicating and sharing information about rural transit coordination opportunities and best practices.

States Seek to Keep Climate Change Lawsuit Out of Federal Court

Thirteen states filed a brief this month hoping to keep a Rhode Island lawsuit against oil and gas companies in state rather than federal court.

State Attorneys General Are Waging a Climate Change Battle Against the Trump Administration

In filing lawsuits against the Trump administration, Democratic state AGs have paid particular attention to both climate change and environmental protections.

A Plan for Closing the Gap Between ‘Superstar’ Cities and Other Metro Regions

Just five U.S. metro areas were home to more than 90% of tech sector growth between 2005 and 2017. How can policymakers change that?

States Split on Climate, So U.S. Will Miss Emissions Target

Even where states have succeeded in shrinking their carbon footprint, they’ve been hampered by the Trump administration’s rollbacks to regulations on power plants and vehicle emissions.

The Ripple Effects of Taking SNAP Benefits From One Person

A new Trump-administration rule will cut food assistance for nearly 700,000 Americans, also affecting many of their relatives and housemates.

Democrats, White House Make a Deal on the New NAFTA

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a deal Tuesday on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Opportunity Zones Investors Show Appetite for Real Estate Over Startups

Nearly three quarters of $4.5 billion that has poured into the program is in investment funds that plan to focus at least in part on residential real estate.

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Early in the Season, Flu Widespread in 10 States

Public health officials said they hope to improve both information sharing and vaccine manufacturing to reduce the spread of flu in the near future.

Almost 700,000 to Lose Food Stamp Benefits Under Finalized Trump Administration Rule

A new USDA rule, one of several that has been under consideration, would make it more difficult for states to obtain work requirement waivers for the federal food stamp program.

Congressional Proposals Would Pay For Recycling Education at Local Level

Two new bills would provide funding for state and local governments to better educate consumers about what can and cannot be recycled in an effort to reduce waste.

HIV Treatment, Testing Not Reaching Enough People, CDC Says

New data shows that current treatment, testing and prevention methods are not reaching enough Americans to help curtail new HIV cases, which federal officials said underscores the need for expanded options.

With ‘Outlier’ 2nd Amendment Case, Supreme Court Could Raise Bar for Gun Laws

The New York City case gives the court a chance to tighten the standards that lower courts use to decide whether firearms regulations are constitutional.

Creating an Agenda for Reform

Experts see the need for a fresh focus on thinking about the big issues in state and local governance.

A New Proposal Envisions Federal Help for States and Localities to Reduce Prison Populations

The “People’s Justice Guarantee” suggests states repeal tough sentencing laws, while local governments eliminate cash bail for people awaiting trials.

Using Social Media to Monitor Endangered Species Uncovers Surprising Information

Federal researchers used Instagram to collect information on human interactions with endangered monk seals and found that the posts contained data that was missing from traditional reports.

States Hold Onto Federal Dollars Meant for Needy Families

One state has $732 million not being spent to help needy families.