Bird’s eye view

Vermont Nation’s ‘Greenest’ State | 06-16-2017

Vermont is the “greenest” state in the country, and Wyoming is the least “green,” according to analysis by the personal finance website WalletHub. WalletHub’s analysts compared all 50 states on the basis of 20 measures of...

Policing Reform Laws More Prevalent ‘Than Blue Lives Matter’ Laws | 06-09-2017

Since 2014, 30 states have enacted laws addressing police violence, including those limiting the use of force, and requiring de-escalation and anti-bias training for officers, according to Campaign Zero, a policing reform effort initiated by activists...

Dozen States Enact Private-Sector Pension Plan Measures | 06-02-2017

Since 2012, 32 states have introduced legislation to establish retirement plans for workers in the private sector or study the feasibility of providing such plans, according to the Pension Rights Center, AARP and Georgetown University’s Center for...

California Spends Most On Medicaid | 05-19-2017

Almost $82 billion was spent on Medicaid in California in FY 2016 - $52.6 billion (64.1 percent) by the federal government and $29.4 billion (35.9 percent) by the state - according to January 2017 estimates from the Urban Institute, based on data from...

Drivers In South Use Cell Phones Most | 05-12-2017

Drivers in southern states used their cell phones more than those in the rest of the country between April 2016 and March 2017, according to data collected on the 2.7 million car trips taken and 230 million miles driven by users of online insurance marketplace...

Loose Geographic Pattern To White, Middle-Aged Male Suicides | 05-04-2017

Of the 42 states for which reliable data is available, New Mexico had the highest rate of suicides in 2015 among white men between the ages of 45 and 54, at 67.9 deaths per 100,000 residents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s...

Partisan Divide On ‘Sanctuary’ Legislation | 04-28-2017

Legislation prohibiting or otherwise opposing local government adoption of policies restricting cooperation with federal immigration authorities has been introduced in at least 22 mostly Republican-controlled state legislatures this session. Three of...

Some States Pulling Plug On Electric Car Incentives | 04-14-2017

States have been offering tax credits and other financial incentives for the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles since the 1990s. But at least seven states have recently repealed or exhausted the funding of their programs, or allowed the programs...

Republicans Control Nearly Half Of State Governments | 04-07-2017

Republicans control both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office in 24 states, while Democrats hold that level of control over the government in just seven. Control of the legislative and executive branch is split between the two parties...

Opioid Overdose Rates Up and Rising in States | 03-31-2017

Between 2014 and 2015 death rates due to opioid overdose rose by over 25 percent - more than twice the national average (11 percent) - in five states and the District of Columbia. The five states with the highest opioid death rates in 2015 were West Virginia...

Dams With ‘High Hazard Potential’ Scattered Across U.S. | 03-17-2017

As of 2015, 1,235 of North Carolina’s dams were classified as “high hazard potential” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the highest number in the nation. Texas had 1,212 dams with that same hazard potential, meaning that a...

Over Half Of States With Initiative Process Governed By GOP | 03-10-2017

Twenty-four states have a process allowing citizens to propose and submit statutes and/or constitutional amendments for approval by the electorate or legislature, according to the Initiative & Referendum Institute. Republicans control the legislature...

Many States Offer Publicly Funded Private School Choice | 03-03-2017

Fifteen states offer school voucher programs allowing parents of school-age children to use part or all of the public funding allocated for their children’s education to send them to private school, according to EdChoice, a nonpartisan, nonprofit...

ACA Insurer Participation Down In 2017 | 02-17-2017

Of the 39 states for which data is currently available, five have only one insurer participating in their Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces this year, up from just one state, Wyoming, in that situation last year, according to analysis...

New York And Florida Agencies Top Cybersecurity Rankings | 02-10-2017

The New York State Education Department, Florida Governor and Wisconsin Government were the state entities with the strongest cybersecurity standards of 600 local, state and federal government organizations analyzed and ranked in February 2016 by the...

Largest Sanctuary Cities Facing Loss Of $2B In Federal Funds | 02-03-2017

An executive order signed last month by President Donald Trump threatens to cut off over $2B in federal funding for the nation’s largest sanctuary cities, according to analysis by Reuters. Those cities range from Denver, with $20.4 million in federal...

FY 2017 Revenues Below Projections In Nearly Half Of States | 01-20-2017

Revenue collections in the first few months of fiscal 2017 were below projections in 24 states, the highest number early in the fiscal year - which for most states begins July 1 - since fiscal 2010, according to the National Association of State Budget...

Handful of Democrat-Led States to Oppose Trump Policies | 01-13-2017

California and New York are “emerging as the East and West Coast headquarters” of the Democratic resistance to immigration and other policies proposed by Republican President-elect Donald Trump that are opposed by progressives, according to...

Majority of States Have Expanded Medicaid Under ACA | 12-16-2016

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but left to states discretion by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius in...

Autonomous Vehicle Laws Accelerating in States | 12-09-2016

Nevada became the first state to authorize the operation of autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles in 2011. In the years since then, seven other states - California, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, North Dakota, Tennessee and Utah - and the District of Columbia...

Twenty-Six States Have Citywide, Countywide Or Statewide Sanctuary Policies | 12-02-2016

Four states have statewide laws limiting how much local officials have to cooperate with requests from federal authorities to detain undocumented immigrants, according to analysis of data from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center by the New York Times...

States Offering Retirement Plans To Private-Sector Workers | 11-18-2016

In September California became the eighth state to pass a retirement savings plan for private-sector workers, since Massachusetts became the first to do so in 2012, according to Georgetown University’s Center for Retirement Initiatives. Another...

Republicans Maintain Statehouse Dominance | 11-11-2016

Going into the Nov. 8 election, Republicans controlled both chambers of the legislature in 30 states, while Democrats controlled both chambers in 12, and 7 statehouses were split between the two parties. (Nebraska’s Legislature is technically nonpartisan...

Higher Ed Funding Still Well Below Pre-Recession Levels In Most States | 11-04-2016

State spending on higher education nationwide is down nearly $10 billion - an average of $1,598, or 18 percent, per student - from where it was before the Great Recession began in 2008, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Per-student...

Some State Laws Hospitable To Unauthorized Immigrants | 10-21-2016

Most states effectively bar unauthorized immigrants from obtaining a driver’s license by requiring a Social Security number for doing so. But 10 states allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license with a foreign passport or birth...

Liberal Issues Figure Prominently On State’s November Ballots | 10-14-2016

Left-leaning issues are among the most common subjects for state ballot measures this year. Voters in five states will consider whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and voters in four states will weigh medical marijuana measures. Four states’...

Washington Started Decade With Highest Facebook User Rate | 10-07-2016

As of 2010, the state with the highest Facebook penetration rate - and conceivably one of the most social media-friendly populations, given Facebook’s status then and now as the nation’s most popular social networking site - was Washington...

Public Access To Police Body Cam Footage Hot Issue In States | 09-30-2016

Twenty-one states have passed laws governing public access to police body camera footage, according to CNN and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. A few of those measures, including North Carolina HB 972 , were signed into law in the last...

Numerous State Legislative Chambers ‘In Play’ This Year | 09-16-2016

Eighteen legislative chambers in 13 states are vulnerable to a shift of party control in the November elections, according to Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twelve of those chambers are currently held by Republicans, while...

New Voting Restrictions In Place For November Election | 09-09-2016

New voting restrictions, including strict voter ID requirements and scaled back early voting periods, are set to be in effect for the first time in a presidential election this year in 15 states. In another five states restrictions will be in effect for...

Multi-State Climate Initiatives Cover Much Of Country | 09-02-2016

Many states have joined multi-state efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage investment in clean energy and energy efficiency, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). Nine states participate in the Regional Greenhouse...

Public Pension Return Rates Lagging In States | 08-19-2016

Investment returns for large public pension plans in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015 were significantly lower than the plans’ assumed rates of return, according to money management news source Pensions & Investments . The one-year return...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

States Starting To Bet On Daily Fantasy Sports | 08-05-2016

Seven states - Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia - have passed laws this year aimed specifically at legalizing daily fantasy sports (DFS) games on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. In addition, Kansas enacted...

Some States More Prepared Than Others For Public Health Threat | 07-29-2016

States are not equally prepared for a public health threat like the Zika virus, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 2016 National Health Security Preparedness Index. That Index, which is based on over 100 different measures, including...

Texas et al Win Challenge To Obama Immigration Policy | 07-15-2016

Twenty-five states joined Texas in challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy in November 2014, expanding temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Fifteen states also filed amicus, or “friend...

Little Correlation Between Gun Laws and Worst Mass Shootings | 07-08-2016

Three of the eight states where the deadliest mass shootings since 1984 have occurred - California, Connecticut and New York - are among those with the strictest gun laws, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. None of those shootings took...

Texas Abortion Ruling Reverberates In Other States | 07-01-2016

Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a 2013 Texas law requiring doctors and clinics that perform abortions to meet hospital-like standards resulted in the almost immediate effective invalidation of similar laws facing legal challenge...

States Vary In One Measure of Recession Readiness | 06-17-2016

New Hampshire was the most “service-level solvent” state in fiscal year 2014, meaning it had the most “fiscal slack” to raise taxes or increase spending in an economic downturn, according to a study by the Mercatus Center at George...

Obamacare premium increases to vary widely across states in 2017 | 06-10-2016

Premium increases for the most popular category of health insurance plans under Obamacare will vary widely in 2017, based on analysis of proposed rate filings for eight states where complete data is available by Avalere Health. The average proposed rate...

States Consider Host of Pro- and Anti-LGBT Bills | 06-03-2016

Thirty-eight states have considered legislation this year aimed at either protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals from discrimination or denying such protection, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The majority of the...

Majority of States Have Minimum Wage Higher Than Federal Standard | 05-20-2016

As of last month, 29 states had a minimum wage that was higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two of those states, California and New York, have also passed laws that will gradually...

Majority of States Looking at Daily Fantasy Sports | 05-13-2016

Thirty-three states have considered legislation related to daily fantasy sports this year, according to LegalSportsReport.com and LexisNexis State Net legislative data. DFS bills have been passed in four states, including Virginia, which enacted two....

Drone Laws Passed In Over Half of States In Last Few Years | 05-05-2016

Since 2013, 27 states have enacted laws addressing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws generally define what UAS or drones are and specify how they can be used by law enforcement...

States Consider Raising Legal Age For Tobacco | 04-29-2016

At least 11 states have considered measures this session mimicking Hawaii’s newly implemented law that raises the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, according to LexisNexis State Net ’s legislative database. California’s...

Partisan Shifts Possible In Several Statehouses | 04-15-2016

This year’s statehouse elections offer opportunities for both Democrats and Republicans to shift majority control of legislative chambers, according to Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats are eyeing Republican...

Flurry of Remote Sales Tax Bills in States This Year | 04-08-2016

At least a dozen states have introduced legislation in 2016 related to out-of-state, or remote, sales taxes, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. Most of the bills have been aimed at expanding the definition of a state...

Student Debt Varies by State | 04-01-2016

Sixty-nine percent of graduating college seniors nationwide in 2014 had some amount of student loan debt, averaging about $28,950, according to the Institute for College Access & Success. But some states had more 4-year college graduates in more debt...

More States Oppose Obama Immigration Policy Than Support | 03-18-2016

Texas and twenty-five other states have filed suit to block President Obama’s executive actions in November shielding undocumented immigrants from deportation for three years, according to the Pew Research Center. Twelve states have filed an amicus...

Few States Focusing On Self-Driving Vehicles | 03-11-2016

Since 2011, when Nevada became the first state to authorize the operation of self-driving cars, five other states -- California, Florida, Michigan, North Dakota and Tennessee -- have enacted legislation, and Arizona’s governor has issued an executive...