Author Archive

Kate Elizabeth Queram

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a staff correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty. She most recently covered state and local government for the News & Record, a daily newspaper in Greensboro, N.C. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Health & Human Services

Dribble, Don't Spit: University Debuts New Saliva-Based Covid Test

The test is free for students, faculty and staff at the University of Illinois, where it was developed. Results are available in 24 hours, but it's unclear whether testing would be mandatory.

Public Safety

It Can Be Difficult to Revoke a Police Officer's License. Some States Are Trying to Make it Easier.

Nearly all states require police officers to be certified, but not every state has a process for revoking that license, even in the face of egregious misconduct.

Health & Human Services

Supreme Court Says Employers Can Deny Birth Control Coverage Due to Religious or Moral Objections

In a 7-2 decision, the court said the Affordable Care Act grants the federal government power to "identify and create exemptions from its own guidelines."

Management

Goodbye, Confederate Statues. Hello, Dolly Parton and Chef Boyardee?

There's little consensus on what to put up in place of Confederate monuments and other controversial political statues.

Management

Don't Want to Wear a Mask? In Some Places, It Could Cost You.

States and cities are introducing penalties for people who don't comply with mandatory mask policies. But enforcement is tricky, with some public officials and civil rights experts arguing fines are counterproductive.

Management

Know a Teen Who Needs a Summer Job? Covid-19 Response Is Hiring.

Officials in several states are expanding existing seasonal job programs to include new opportunities to help with government-led coronavirus response efforts.

Management

Libraries Begin Partial Reopening as Covid-19 Cases Surge

Most libraries are implementing phased reopening plans, beginning with contactless pickup of materials that undergo a quarantine period for safety.

Public Safety

Fire Departments Anticipate Busy Fourth of July as Fireworks Sales Skyrocket

In a normal year, fire safety officials encourage people to attend public fireworks displays instead of attempting to create them at home. But most fireworks shows are canceled this year because of coronavirus.

Management

A Proposal to Exempt Schools from Civil Lawsuits if Students are Exposed to Covid-19 on Campus

A bill in Louisiana would shield K-12 schools, colleges and universities from many lawsuits from teachers and students who are exposed to the coronavirus on campus.

Management

One State is Manufacturing Free Masks for Any Resident Who Wants One

Since April, the state of Utah and area manufacturers have supplied more than 1 million masks to state residents for free.

Management

State Fairs Are the Latest Casualty of Covid-19

At least 15 states have canceled their annual fairs due to public health concerns amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, while others are moving ahead with modified, pared-down events.

Management

Uncovering the 'Next Normal:' A Survey for Local Government Officials on the Effects of Covid-19

A new survey is asking local government workers and officials about how the pandemic has affected services, technology, team dynamics and more.

Public Safety

Lawmakers Push for Special Prosecutors to Oversee Cases Involving Police Killings

Proponents say assigning special prosecutors to investigate when police officers use deadly force can eliminate a potential conflict of interest among local district attorneys who regularly work with police.

Management

One State's Request to Pause Standardized Testing for Students

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said this week he would request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for standardized testing in the coming school year, citing disruptions and budget shortfalls from the coronavirus pandemic.

Health & Human Services

As Coronavirus Spreads, So Do Mandatory Mask Policies

More state and local leaders are passing mandatory mask policies—including California on Thursday—to help slow the spread of coronavirus, which is rising in some places as restrictions are loosened.

Management

Coronavirus Sparks New Debate Over City's Fireworks Ban

City officials in Bismarck, North Dakota may ask voters whether they'd like to repeal a ban on home fireworks within the city limits, a proposal the mayor said was partially motivated by his desire to provide families with more activities to do together at home.

Health & Human Services

CDC: Patients With Pre-Existing Conditions 12 Times More Likely to Die From Coronavirus

The coronavirus is particularly deadly for people with pre-existing conditions and continues to disproportionately affect people of color, according to data from the CDC.

Management

Is It Time to Create a National Registry of Police Misconduct?

Police officers who are fired for misconduct can often find law enforcement jobs in different jurisdictions. Some lawmakers think a national registry could prevent cops with shady records from being hired again.

Management

From Jacksonville to Louisville, Confederate Statues Are Coming Down

Calls to remove the statues, denounced as symbols of white supremacy, were reignited in the wake of national protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd.

Management

State Bill Would Grant Meatpacking Plants and Health Providers Immunity from Coronavirus Lawsuits

Legislation approved by the Iowa House would shield businesses and health-care facilities from most coronavirus-related lawsuits.