State Government

A Plan to Expand Workers Comp Benefits to First Responders with PTSD

The Wisconsin Senate this week approved a bill that would extend benefits available to full-time law enforcement officers and firefighters, but not apply to volunteers or EMTs.

Fighting Wildfire With Fire: New Study Looks at Barriers to ‘Prescribed’ Burns

Researchers say that millions of acres of California forest is in need of preventative measures to help lower wildfire risks.

Diagnosed With Dementia, She Documented Her Wishes. They Said No.

Nevada is the only state that explicitly recognizes an advance directive about end-of-life care that allows patients to dictate they will refuse assisted eating and drinking.

A Nebraska Law Bans People with STDs from Marrying. A Lawmaker Wants to Scrap It

An obscure law in Nebraska prevents people with STDs from marrying—and makes it difficult for people to annul their marriages for similar reasons.

Preventing Discrimination Against Preventive HIV Medication

A proposal before the Maine Legislature would forbid life insurance companies from denying coverage to people who take medication to prevent HIV.

A Tourism Campaign Centered on a Lack of Tourists

In its 2020 advertising campaign, North Dakota urges travelers to "follow your curiosity—not the crowds," a nod to the state's wide-open landscape and sparsely populated attractions.

Proposal Could Impose Higher Taxes on Companies With Large CEO-Worker Pay Gaps

A California Senate committee approved a bill meant to address big pay disparities between corporate executives and employees.

In California, a Landmark Labor Law’s Turbulent Rollout

The enactment of the new “gig worker” guidelines has been celebrated by some and assailed by others, and may offer lessons for states pursuing similar policies.

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.

State Park Debuts Virtual Reality Hike

Table Rock State Park in South Carolina now provides a 5-minute virtual hike, offered for free at the park's visitor center to anyone who can't—or doesn't want to—walk the real thing.

State Lawmakers Urge Medicaid Expansion to Fight Maternal Mortality Crisis

A bipartisan panel of Georgia lawmakers recommended that the state expand Medicaid coverage for poor and rural mothers, a move they said could help lower the state's high maternal death rate.

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Lawmaker Sees State Rainy Day Fund as Lifeline For Localities Battling Big-Box Stores Over Taxes

The Indiana legislation could assist local governments dealing with “dark-store theory” property tax appeals.

Five States Diverted 911 Fees For Other Purposes, FCC Says

Montana was removed from the list of states shamed by the federal agency after the state banned the practice of diverting these funds.

A Vermont Lawmaker Calls for Cell Phone Age Limits

A new proposal, which points out all the other things young people aren't allowed to do, would restrict cell phone usage to residents over the age of 21.

Tax Incentives Fail to Spur Broad Economic Growth, Study Finds

Researchers analyzed state and local governments tax incentive spending, finding little evidence that the deals spurred job growth outside the specific industry implicated.

Investigating Illegal Elk Poaching

Five elk were poached from mid-November to mid-December in Michigan, the most ever illegally killed in one month.

A Proposal to Protect Referees From Angry Parents

A Wisconsin lawmaker, who is also a youth umpire, wants to increase penalties for harassing or intimidating sports officials, a move he hopes will improve recruitment and retention in the field of athletics.

Ensuring That People Can Easily Understand the Ballot Measures They’re Voting On

A Maryland bill would set new guidelines for describing proposals put on the ballot in plain language.

A State Restarts Its Electric Vehicle Rebates

Massachusetts extended its rebate program through at least 2021 after legislators provided funding for the program in the most recent budget.

Pension Cuts May Pose Special Risks For Public Workers Not Covered by Social Security

About 5 million state and local workers are outside of the federal retirement program.