State and Federal Relations

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.

Federal Recommendation for State Bike Helmet Laws Elicits Pushback

Cycling advocates and some city officials are bristling at the idea of requiring people to don helmets when they ride.

State Attorneys General Take On National Fights

A new kind of state attorney general is rising to prominence nationwide.

Democrats Launch Inquiry Into Opportunity Zones Program

They’re focused on whether political interference by Trump administration officials played a role in the selection of a Nevada zone. Meanwhile, a senator has put forward a bill that would impose new transparency requirements.

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Citizenship Question Would Not Have Lowered Census Response, Test Finds

A test the Census Bureau conducted this summer found that people who were asked whether or not they are U.S. citizens were not significantly deterred from answering the survey.

California Fires Back Over Trump Administration’s Water, Air Complaints

State agencies said many of the water and air quality violations flagged by the EPA in a series of letters issued in September were already being addressed or were based on incorrect data.

States Fail to Step Up for Natural Gas Storage Safety Program

Following a 2015 leak in California, a federal agency took on new responsibilities for inspecting the natural gas sites, but a watchdog says that fewer states than expected are helping.

What Would Federal Preclearance Mean for State Abortion Laws?

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris proposes requiring states that have a history of restricting abortion to submit new laws for federal approval before they can go into effect.

STDs Continue to Spread Nationwide

Cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis rose for the fifth consecutive year, according to federal data released this week.

Federal, State Laws Help Corporations Avoid State Income Taxes

COMMENTARY | A little known federal law that dates back decades—along with subsequent state laws—shields many manufacturers and online retailers from state corporate income tax.

Food Stamp Rules Would Eliminate Benefits for 4 Million, Reduce State Autonomy

Recent changes pushed by the Trump administration are expected to result in about 10 percent of recipients losing benefits. Another 500,000 children would lose access to free or reduced-price meals at school.

Tackling the Teacher-Student Diversity Gap in K-12 Schools

A partnership between a university and three community colleges in California aims to create more bilingual teachers while also diversifying the state's teacher pool.

Local Law Enforcement Should Be Able to Protect Airports From Drones, Report Says

To address security risks, a task force recommends that Congress authorize local law enforcement to take down drones flown too close to airports.