State News and Analysis

Stateline.org, staffed entirely by professional journalists, provides timely news coverage of state governments and is a resource for reporters in state capitals throughout the nation. It has been published daily since January 1999 and allows users to seek information either by state or by topic.

Stateline.org arms both news-gatherers and growing numbers of state officials and researchers with up-to-date information and research material on state policy innovations and trends. It focuses on healthcare, tax and budget policy, transportation, social services, the environment and other issues in the states. Also, an annual “State of the States” report, published each January, covers top issues that states face.

Stateline.org is part of the Pew Center on the States, which identifies and advances effective policy approaches to central issues facing states.  

For more information, visit Stateline.org.

Report

  • Interactive: 50 Ways the States Changed America

    Jun 10, 2013 - "50 Ways the States Changed America" rounds up major legislation in all 50 states, from gay marriage, abortion and gun control to legalizing home brewing.

  • Stateline: Legislative Review 2013

    Jun 10, 2013 - Stateline's 13th annual Legislative Review looks at policy and politics in the states since legislatures began their work in January. The five-part series will include analytical articles, infographics and interactives.

  • Stateline: Ballot Measures Give Voters Say on Divisive Issues

    Oct 26, 2012 - Voters in 38 states will decide 174 statewide ballot measures on Election Day. Are any on your ballot

  • States Push to Contain Health Costs

    Jun 15, 2012 - A Stateline Legislative Review on state health costs.

  • A Turning Point for Gay Marriage?

    May 08, 2012 - Thirty-three times since 1998, states have voted on gay marriage ballot measures. Thirty-two of those times, opponents of gay marriage have won. But with polls showing support for gay marriage building in recent years, that near-perfect record of voter opposition will be seriously tested this year.

  • Harrisburg and a Brief History of Municipal Bankruptcies

    Oct 19, 2011 - Harrisburg, PA recently filed for bankruptcy, raising fears that other cities and towns may follow suit. Pennsylvania’s capital provides an example of the structural problems, political gridlock and unfortunate events that, over time, can push a city into an extraordinary crisis. But even though many cities and counties are under financial pressure, bankruptcies among the more than 50,000 governments that issue municipal debt remain extremely rare. Even the Great Recession has not sparked a dramatic increase in bankruptcies, according to this new infographic from the Pew Center on the States.

  • The Debt Ceiling Debate: How a Federal Default Could Impact States and Cities

    Jul 19, 2011 - The issue brief "The Debt Ceiling Debate: How a Federal Default Could Impact States and Cities" examines how a failure to reach an agreement to raise the federal debt limit would impact cities and states.

  • Measuring Transportation Investments: The Road to Results

    May 10, 2011 - States spent an estimated $131 billion on transportation in fiscal year 2010, but many cannot answer critical questions about what results this investment is generating, according to a new report by the Pew Center on the States and the Rockefeller Foundation.

  • States’ Revenue Estimating: Cracks in the Crystal Ball

    Mar 01, 2011 - States’ Revenue Estimating: Cracks in the Crystal Ball examines state estimates for three major revenue sources—income taxes, sales taxes and corporate taxes—that comprise 72 percent of states’ total tax revenues. The report shows that the volatility of these revenue streams has been a significant cause of inaccurate forecasting, more so than states’ estimating processes, methods and techniques.  

  • Facing Facts: Public Attitudes and Fiscal Realities in Five Stressed States

    Oct 05, 2010 - Residents across five diverse, fiscally stressed states have similar priorities for state government, but their preferences clash with budget reality, according to a new report released by the Pew Center on the States and the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). The in-depth report is based on surveys in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois and New York of public attitudes about the fiscal crisis facing states and what residents think their elected officials should do about it. The analysis shows that policy leaders have much work to do if they want residents to understand the severity of their state's fiscal challenges and support painful decisions that may be required.

  • The State of the States 2010

    Feb 11, 2010 - In State of the States 2010, the Pew Center on the States takes a nonpartisan, analytical look at forces already at work with the potential to reshape state government in lasting ways.

  • Health Care Reform's Costs Rankle States

    Jan 19, 2010 - As Democrats in Congress work feverishly to meld separate House and Senate health care bills into a single blueprint for a historic overhaul of America’s health care system, state leaders are bracing against the potential costs to states that they say could devastate already battered budgets.

  • Report: States Behind on Traffic Safety Laws

    Jan 12, 2010 - Nearly half of the states don’t do enough to reduce auto accidents that killed 37,261 Americans last year, such as stepping up seat belt enforcement or banning text-messaging while driving, according to a new report by Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety.

  • Bold Proposals in First Gov Speeches

    Jan 07, 2010 - California ­— where an epic struggle to avoid fiscal disaster continues — can turn itself around if lawmakers make sweeping changes to the state’s basic tax and budget practices, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said recently.

  • State Budget Gaps Linger at Year's End

    Dec 21, 2009 - Over the past few months, state legislators around the country have been confronted with unfinished fiscal business tugging at them like a bad dream. Mid-year budget gaps have opened in dozens of states, brought on, in part, by overly hopeful revenue projections.

  • States Await Obama Jobs Plan

    Dec 08, 2009 - State officials are eagerly awaiting a federal job-creating initiative to be outlined by President Obama. They hope it will include extended unemployment benefits, infrastructure money and other aid for their battered states.

  • How the Economy May Sway 2010 Governors' Races

    Nov 18, 2009 - The tax hikes that so many states levied to plug holes in their recession-ravaged budgets this year could endanger a few incumbent governors’ careers in 2010 when 37 gubernatorial contests are at stake.

  • New Reports on States' Finances Spell Deep Trouble

    Nov 13, 2009 - A trio of reports this week that should raise eyebrows over just how bad states’ finances have become.

  • GOP Wins Build Momentum for 2010

    Nov 04, 2009 - New Jersey and Virginia on Tuesday extended to 20 years their tradition of voting for the same political party in their off-year gubernatorial elections.

  • 'Opt Out' Proposal Puts Focus on States

    Oct 27, 2009 - U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s call Monday (Oct. 26) for a new public health insurance plan already is prompting debate in state legislatures, which could opt out under the latest proposal being promoted by Democrats on Capitol Hill.

  • Report Shows States' Revenue Sources

    Oct 13, 2009 - Oregon, more than any other state, relies on its residents’ income tax payments for revenue, while its northern neighbor, Washington, depends more heavily than any other state on sales taxes, according to a new 50-state analysis of state finances.

  • H1N1 Flu Cases Could Exhaust State Resources

    Oct 01, 2009 - As state health officials prepare to dispense the first trickle of H1N1 flu vaccine next week, a new report by the Trust for America’s Health warns of gaps in preparation and resources.

  • Stimulus Question Looms: What Next?

    Sep 25, 2009 - With roughly half of the economic stimulus money already obligated, federal officials are turning their attention to helping states fund vital services such as education and health care when the one-time aid runs out.

  • Credit Unions Help Strapped State Employees

    Sep 03, 2009 - As state employees across the country are being hammered by layoffs, pay cuts and forced unpaid days off, some state employees’ credit unions are stepping in to help workers get through these tough times.

  • 2009 Legislative Review

    Aug 27, 2009 - Stateline.org takes an exclusive look at major developments in state capitols as the country enters the second year of a national recession.

  • Budgets Overshadow Social, Political Highlights

    Aug 18, 2009 - The national economy may have dominated the 2009 state legislative session, but history was also made both politically and on the social policy front. Stateline.org continues to explore the biggest trends in statehouses this year, turning a spotlight on the social and political developments that mark 2009.

  • States Weigh In as Feds Prepare to Spend Billions on Broadband for Remote Areas

    Aug 12, 2009 - States across the country have pursued efforts toward creating statewide broadband policies and better access for their residents. But their scale pales in comparison to the $7.2 billion in stimulus money the federal government has committed over the next two years to improve high-speed Internet connections around the country.  

  • At Least 23 States Cut Funding for Prisons This Year

    Aug 11, 2009 - The recession is taking a dramatic toll on what had been one of the fastest-growing areas of state government spending: prisons. A new survey says corrections budgets are down in at least 23 states, with prison officials laying off workers or reducing their pay, eliminating vocational and other programs for inmates and granting some prisoners early release.

  • States Make Deep Cuts to Health

    Aug 05, 2009 - Although states are facing their worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression, 14 found the dollars this year to increase health coverage for about 250,000 children. That’s one of the few bright spots for health within state budgets in a year in which all but a handful of states faced shortfalls and were forced to shrink taxpayer-financed programs.

  • Tracking the Recession: Lawmakers Dreading End of Stimulus Dollars

    Jul 27, 2009 - As they start thinking ahead to next year’s budget and the 2010 elections, lawmakers are increasingly apprehensive about what will happen when the stimulus money dries up. They predict even deeper cuts in services, higher taxes and raids on rainy day funds to balance budgets.

  • Midwest Vies for Stimulus Aid for Fast Rail

    Jul 16, 2009 - The race is on for states that want to build high-speed rail routes to whisk passengers hundreds of miles from city to city without the hassle of flying. Midwestern states hope federal stimulus funds will help them build a 3,000-mile network for trains that can reach up to 110 mph.

  • Plunging Revenue Causes New Problems

    Jul 09, 2009 - A wave of states that had balanced budgets earlier this year are facing new or widening shortfalls as May and June tax revenue collections are declining more than expected.

  • Financial Crisis Torments States

    Jul 01, 2009 - Four states closed billions of dollars in budget shortfalls and approved spending plans in the last 24 hours, but  legislatures and governors in six states were still far apart on their budgets as the fiscal year began.

  • Recession Pounds States' Budgets

    Jun 15, 2009 - Stateline.org’s annual review of state-by-state legislative actions, thus far, finds states struggling to stay afloat. Experts predict a mammoth $121 billion deficit awaits states in fiscal 2010, which starts July 1 for all but four states.

  • Tracking the Recession: Prison Economics

    Jun 01, 2009 - New York and other financially struggling states are trying to save millions of dollars by closing prisons. But a look at one rural community's anxiety over the closing of a local prison shows why it's a particularly challenging cost-cutting move.

  • The Path to California's Fiscal Crisis

    May 15, 2009 - California has always been a trendsetter. What happens in California often pops up elsewhere. Which raises this question: Are the perpetual billion-dollar deficits that haunt California state government unique to the Golden State or the harbinger of what other states can expect?

  • Outbreak Focuses States' Flu Plans

    May 06, 2009 - The swine flu outbreak of the last two weeks gave states’ pandemic preparation plans their biggest test yet. Officials now anticipate tweaking their plans, particularly in dealing with when to close schools and how to control the spread of the disease by undocumented and migrant workers.

  • States Prep for Possible Swine Flu Pandemic

    Apr 29, 2009 - The state response to the emerging swine flu outbreak has been fast and well-coordinated because of extensive preparations, but health worker layoffs and budget cuts could present challenges if the outbreak worsens.

  • Tracking the Recession: Tuition Programs in Danger

    Apr 20, 2009 - As the Obama administration addresses the rising cost of college, many of the prepaid college tuition programs that help keep prices down have been damaged by the weak economy.

  • Social Issues Compete With Fiscal Policy

    Apr 08, 2009 - Billion-dollar deficits and the federal stimulus package are big issues in state capitals this year. But at a time when states are weathering the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, lawmakers also are taking up a sweeping assortment of social policy questions, ranging from gay marriage to the death penalty to abortion.

  • Study: Why the Pennsylvania Turnpike Plan Failed

    Mar 24, 2009 - As states consider public-private partnerships to pay for transportation projects, a new report assesses Pennsylvania's unsuccessful plan to lease its turnpike to a private operator.

  • Death Penalty Rift in States Continues

    Mar 19, 2009 - New Mexico on March 18 became the second state—after New Jersey in 2007—to repeal the death penalty since its reinstatment by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976. But the modern landscape of capital punishment remains complex, as other states seek to reinstate or expand it and executions nationally are on track to reach their highest mark in 10 years.

  • Smart Grid's Growth Now Depends on States

    Mar 17, 2009 - Now that Congress has directed $4.6 billion in stimulus spending toward developing a “smart” electric grid, it will be up to the states to get consumers on board and adjust rates to pay for the technology. The improvements, backers say, will change nearly every part of the nation’s aging power transmission system – from how power plants distribute power to how consumers use it at home.

  • Study Finds Disparities in Corrections Spending

    Mar 02, 2009 - States spend seven times more money on prisons than on probation and parole, even though the vast majority of the 7.3 million adults now under correctional supervision are not behind bars, according to the first detailed survey of state corrections spending since 2002.

  • Governors' Q & A: Rethinking Prison Time

    Mar 02, 2009 - With corrections costs rising and tax revenues falling, governors in a handful of states recently have sought to save millions of dollars by shortening the time some prisoners spend behind bars. Stateline.org asked two governors about their plans.

  • Obama Plan Stresses State Priorities

    Feb 27, 2009 - President Obama proposed abrupt shifts in several state-related policies with his budget blueprint. His administration recommended capping carbon dioxide pollution nationwide, directing more money to pre-kindergarten, constructing more water treatment plants, offering more help to released prisoners and overhauling the financial aid system for college students.

  • Governors Look to Shape Energy, Transportation

    Feb 23, 2009 - After successfully securing a federal stimulus package with billions of dollars for state relief, governors now have their sights set on exerting influence in crafting new energy and transportation polices with the Obama administration and Congress.

  • With Crisis as Catalyst, Govs Push Big Changes

    Feb 19, 2009 - Governors are using the economic crisis to sell big changes in how state and local jurisdictions operate, promising overhauls that could alter the face of government around the country. Their proposals range from sharing state helicopters between Minnesota and Wisconsin to shrinking Pennsylvania’s system of 500 school districts to just 100.  

  • Economics Sore Subject for Public Schools

    Jan 15, 2009 - When states are forced to slash their budgets, schools are considered so important they’re usually immune from cuts — but not this time. See what’s at stake for K-12 and higher education in this excerpt from "State of the States 2009," Stateline.org's annual report on significant state policy developments and trends.

  • The State of the States 2009

    Jan 13, 2009 - Stateline.org's annual report on significant state policy developments and trends.

  • Governors to Pare Back Agendas

    Jan 07, 2009 - The $200 billion in deficits that states face over the next two years will put the brakes on most big-ticket items in governors’ 2009 wish lists as the new legislative year gets under way amid the bleakest economy in a generation. Republican Gov. John Hoeven of North Dakota kicked off this year’s round of governors’ “state of the state” addresses.

  • New Laws Target Driving, Crime, Politicians

    Dec 31, 2008 - When the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Day, a variety of new laws across the country take effect, including some that warrant immediate notice. For example, if you’re text-messaging while driving in California at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, hit the send button fast. Or if you’re in an Oregon bar enjoying a smoke, snuff it out in a hurry.

  • Economy Could Imperil State Readiness

    Dec 09, 2008 - Budget cuts could undermine the progress states have made to respond to public health emergencies and natural disasters, such as the recent wildfires in California and outbreaks of Salmonella on tainted vegetables that sickened more than 1, 440 people in 43 states, says a new report.

  • Tough Economy Hammers Schools, Colleges

    Nov 17, 2008 - As states' budget gaps increase in a worsening economy, schools are among those suffering the fallout -- and they're taking extreme measures to cope.

  • States Made History on November 4, Too

    Nov 10, 2008 - Barack Obama wasn’t the only one to make history Nov. 4 when he was elected the first black U.S. president. Statehouses also broke ground on several fronts.

  • What Obama Could Do for States

    Nov 06, 2008 - Barack Obama will take over as president at a tumultuous time for state governments, many of which have been jolted by an economic downturn that analysts say could last  into 2010.

  • Panoply of Ballot Measures Awaits Voters

    Nov 03, 2008 - Without a single, dominant issue to rally partisans nationally, the 153 initiatives on state ballots this year run the gamut from abolishing the income tax in Massachusetts to legalizing doctor-assisted suicide in Washington state.

  • Legislative Year in Review: Depressed Economy Wallops States

    Oct 24, 2008 - Staggered by turbulent financial markets and anxious about a rapidly slumping economy, many state governments are slashing their budgets, frantically trying to stay afloat. Stateline.org’s annual state-by-state look at legislative accomplishments, covering 48 states, spots the trends and precedents emerging from state capitals this year.

  • Market Slide Batters State Pension Funds

    Oct 20, 2008 - The year-long economic downturn and historic financial crisis on Wall Street could threaten the fiscal health of the trillion-dollar state employee pension system.

  • States Warned to Prep for Election Glitches

    Oct 17, 2008 - Eight years after voting irregularities marred the 2000 presidential election, most states still are not as prepared as they should be for Election Day glitches, from machine breakdowns to a shortage of emergency ballots, according to a new report by voter advocacy groups.

  • Escalating Financial Crisis Gripping States

    Oct 10, 2008 - State officials are slashing budgets, delaying bond sales and seeking federal help in the wake of a $700 billion bailout package that was supposed to ease borrowing.

  • States Prepare for Home Heating Crisis

    Sep 24, 2008 - With home heating costs rising, jobless rates up and temperatures dropping, states are bracing for a widespread public health emergency this winter.

  • Groups Push to Expand Ex-Felon Voting

    Sep 23, 2008 - Hoping to boost voter turnout in a historic presidential election year, civil rights groups and other advocacy organizations are trying to get as many ex-felons as possible to cast ballots in November.

  • Wall Street Ills Worsen State Fiscal Headaches

    Sep 19, 2008 - The turmoil on Wall Street is setting off warning bells in state capitols. The immediate casualty is the loss of millions of dollars in the value of states’ pension funds and other investments, but a bigger fear of state officials is a prolonged financial crisis that further reduces already shrinking tax revenue.

  • Poverty Gap Among States Widens

    Sep 16, 2008 - Even as the economy pushes more people into poverty, revenue-strapped states can be expected to further cut spending on social welfare programs, particularly in poor states where people need it most, a new report predicts.

  • Parties Battle for Control of Statehouses

    Sep 12, 2008 - Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are in the national spotlight as states that could swing either Republican or Democrat in November’s elections. But they are also among the top 10 battleground states where political control could turn over in at least one chamber of the state legislature.

  • McCain vs. Obama: The Difference for States

    Sep 08, 2008 - Stateline.org's rundown of the presidential candidates' positions so far on issues of direct interest to states.

  • Why Presidential Elections Matter to States

    Aug 22, 2008 - Democrats and Republicans will gather in Colorado and Minnesota to nominate their candidates for president amid uncertainty in the states on the economy and other issues.

  • 2008 State Elections: What's at Stake?

    Aug 20, 2008 - Stateline.org has launched a new 2008 interactive guide to help voters keep track of the state races and more than 100 high-profile statewide ballot measures.

  • States Curb Carbon As Blueprint for Feds

    Aug 09, 2008 - An effort by Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine to focus Southern governors on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their states is the latest example of state-led policies that could be used as models for future federal action.

  • Social Issues Crowd State Ballots

    Jul 24, 2008 - Besides electing a president on Nov. 4, voters in some key battleground states also will face divisive social policy choices, including whether to ban gay marriage in Florida and restrict affirmative action and abortion in Colorado.

  • NCSL Conference Focuses on Floods, Energy

    Jul 22, 2008 - As state lawmakers gather in New Orleans for a policy conference, they’ll be reminded often of what can  happen if public works are allowed to deteriorate.

  • States' Hottest Laws Take on New Threats

    Jul 18, 2008 - The mosaic of laws passed by state legislatures this year reveals a country grappling with threats, from a faltering economy and record-high gasoline prices to global warming and lead-tainted toys from China.

  • Governors Turn to Fixing Infrastructure

    Jul 15, 2008 - Improving the nation’s crumbling bridges, roads and sewage systems is a $1.6 trillion problem that governors intend to address in the next year.

  • Governors Celebrate Past, Look to '09

    Jul 11, 2008 - While 70 current and former governors hobnob and reminisce in Philadelphia July 11-14 during the National Governors Association's 100th anniversary celebration, the sitting governors also plan to strategize on how to influence the next president on policies ranging from energy to health care.

  • State Legislative Roundup: Sour Economy Limits Options In '08

    Jul 02, 2008 - Stateline.org provides its annual look at legislative accomplishments. It finds lawmakers shying away from major expansions of public health programs or preschool classes, short on highway funding and predicting even worse financial woes ahead.

  • Violent Weather Taking Toll on States

    Jun 26, 2008 - A string of deadly tornadoes and damaging floods in 17 states this year has raised questions about public safety, the toll on infrastructure and how to pay for recovery.

  • Gavels and Gags: State Legislatures Adjourn

    Jun 24, 2008 - Many states conclude their sessions with traditions that are funny, bizarre and even poignant. With half of state legislatures concluding in the past two months, and several more to adjourn within a few weeks, the celebrations are in full swing.

  • Will States Topple Electoral College?

    Jun 09, 2008 - A movement is bubbling at the state level to ensure that future presidents are the candidates who get the most votes nationwide.

  • States Scramble to Ease Pain at the Pump

    May 21, 2008 - As Memorial Day weekend approaches and with gas prices around $4 a gallon, many states are offering motorists at the start of the summer driving season suggestions and some solutions for relief.

  • Oregon: The Vote is in the Mail

    May 19, 2008 - The state's election officials' biggest concern in this year's May 20 primary was whether voters would remember that the price of a stamp went up a penny on May 12, just as they began mailing back their ballots.

  • Will States Fix the 2012 Primary Process?

    May 06, 2008 - Not a moment too soon, party insiders and state election officials are in informal talks to improve procedures for the next contest for the White House.

  • With Justices' OK, Voter ID Moves Ahead

    Apr 29, 2008 - With bills pending in state legislatures across the country, more states may move to require photo identification for voters in November.

  • Turf Wars: A Fight Over Fake Grass

    Apr 24, 2008 - Debates in a handful of states really are pitting those who back the artificial variety of turf against supporters of natural grass for playgrounds and athletic fields.

  • States Push To Get Food To Needy

    Apr 14, 2008 - As the economy sputters, states are taking extraordinary measures to help people keep food on the table, and a federal program is their primary tool.

  • States Think Smaller, Slower on Immigration

    Apr 03, 2008 - Under pressure from business groups and budget stringency, states are no longer rushing to pass immigration control measures.

  • States Beseiged by Budget Woes

    Mar 19, 2008 - Already, 22 states have a collective budget shortfall of at least $37 billion; if the current slowdown follows the path of previous recessions, 35 to 40 states could face budget cuts in 2009.

  • On Health Care, Govs Are Tightening Belts

    Mar 17, 2008 - While still charting a course toward universal health insurance, governors this year are increasingly trying to keep just their current health programs afloat.

  • Govs Press For More Money on Real ID, Medicaid

    Feb 25, 2008 - Meeting in Washington, the states' chief executives made clear their unhappiness with federal standards for driver's licenses and costly new Medicaid rules.

  • Govs' Talks Target Clean Coal, Carbon Tax

    Feb 25, 2008 - Governors have few doubts that global warming is a looming threat, but have some major differences about how to address the problem.

  • Star-Struck States Sweeten Film Incentives

    Feb 21, 2008 - In their efforts to attract big money from the film industry states are offering tax rebates, no-interest loans and training credits. Come Sunday (Feb. 24), New Mexico may even be able to brag about an Oscar or two. Four films nominated for Academy Awards were shot in the Land of Enchantment.

  • Evolution Battle Flares in States

    Feb 14, 2008 - Evolution has won some recent battles, but its supporters are bracing against what they see as a growing effort to undermine the theory's credibility.

  • As U.S. Heating Aid Drops, Venezuela Chips In

    Feb 13, 2008 - Close to 200,000 poor families in 15 cold-weather states can thank Venezuela's controversial president for helping them heat their homes this winter.

  • States Lead Push For Paid Sick Days

    Feb 13, 2008 - Now that Congress has hiked the minimum wage and most states have given workers an even bigger pay raise, sick pay has emerged in national political campaigns as the top issue affecting wage earners. But states aren’t waiting for Congress to make the first move.

  • Presidential Calendar Boosts '08 Govs' Races

    Feb 13, 2008 - Voters in the Tar Heel and Hoosier states will be the first to consider gubernatorial contenders at the same time they make their presidential preferences.

  • Who Will Be the Next David Paterson?

    Feb 13, 2008 - Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's downfallthat catapulted David Paterson to the governor's mansion spotlights the quirky arrangements that determine who is next in line after a governor in many states.

  • Bush Budget Gives States Little to Cheer About

    Feb 05, 2008 - President Bush's $3 trillion fiscal 2009 budget comes at a time when many states face a budget shortfall; new restrictions on health insurance for children, Medicaid and other programs may add to their burdens.

  • Independent Voters Vexed at Polls?

    Feb 01, 2008 - Some 4.5 million independent voters in six states (Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oklahoma and Utah) will be completely locked out of their states’ presidential primaries on Feb. 5.  

  • States Take Sides in Stem Cell Debate

    Jan 31, 2008 - A Stateline backgrounder covers various aspects of the stem cell debate, including an interactive feature illustrating the main techniques used in creating pluripotent cells, a summary of ethical questions raised by scientific advances and a description of the evolution of related state policies. 

  • Are States Prepared for Problems When Voters Go to the Polls in 2008?

    Jan 30, 2008 - This presidential election year all the states are under intense scrutiny to prove they have fixed the voting machine malfunctions and other glitches of previous elections. Stateline.org asked two experts to answer the question of whether or not states are ready for the challenge. 

  • 'Present' Votes Defended By Illinois Lawmakers

    Jan 25, 2008 - Obama's former colleagues in the state legislature say that attacks on his 'present votes' show that either his opponents don't understand how things work in Springfield or they are deliberately distorting his record. 

  • The State of the States 2008

    Jan 25, 2008 - Stateline.org's annual report on significant state policy developments and trends.

  • Do State Tests Make the Grade?

    Jan 17, 2008 - A lot hinges on how well students perform on their state tests, including the principal's job and a school’s reputation. Yet the difficulty of state tests differs widely. See what’s at stake in this excerpt from “State of the States 2008,” Stateline.org’s annual report.

  • The State of the Union — Crumbling

    Jan 16, 2008 - A congressionally chartered panel is calling for a 40 cent hike in the federal gas tax, last raised in 1993, to fix the nation's aging and overburdened roads and bridges – just one piece of the nation's critical infrastructure in dire need of repairs costing as much as $1.6 trillion. See what's at stake in this excerpt from "State of the States 2008."  

  • Grim News For State Budgets

    Jan 16, 2008 - The weak housing market continues to be a drag on the economy and on state budgets. For the first time in four years, state tax revenues were down, by 0.6 percent. The amount may appear modest, but see what’s at stake in this excerpt from "State of the States 2008," Stateline.org’s annual report.

  • States Vie For Stem-Cell Scientists

    Jan 15, 2008 - As the pace of stem-cell research quickens, seven big states are financing the science in hopes of attracting the world's best scientists.

  • State Officials Not Sold On New License Rules

    Jan 11, 2008 - State officials and some in Congress remain skeptical about new federal rules for driver’s licenses, even after major changes designed to cut the cost of those rules and provide more flexibility.

  • For Universal Health Care, Two States Push Big Plans

    Jan 11, 2008 - What goes right and wrong this year with health reform efforts, especially those in Massachusetts and California, will be closely watched by whoever wins the presidency, state politicians, the health care industry and, of course, voters.

  • States Share National Spotlight in 2008

    Jan 10, 2008 - The 2008 election will test whether Democrats hang on to the majority of governorships and state legislative chambers. See what’s at stake in this excerpt from “State of the States 2008,” Stateline.org’s annual report on significant state policy developments and trends.

  • Report: Teachers Earn Less Than Peers

    Jan 09, 2008 - In 40 states, public school teachers fail to make as much as workers in comparable professions, such as reporters and insurance underwriters, according to a new report by the Education Research Center.

  • Partisan Colors Fly In Voter ID Case

    Jan 09, 2008 - In a case that could provide states guidance before November’s presidential elections, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today to determine whether Indiana and other states can require voters to present photo identification before casting their ballots.

  • 22 Govs Weigh In On Presidential Race

    Jan 08, 2008 - Heading into the New Hampshire primary, 22 governors have endorsed presidential contenders. A governor’s endorsement is coveted since a state’s top executive can provide ground troops and political donors needed to win the presidency.

  • High Court to Hear Lethal Injection Case

    Jan 05, 2008 - The U.S. Supreme Court on January 7, 2008, is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit brought by two Kentucky death-row inmates who say the lethal injection procedure used to execute prisoners in three dozen states amounts to illegal cruel and unusual punishment.

  • States Unveil Mortgage Licensing System

    Jan 04, 2008 - States have a new tool to regulate mortgage companies and access their track records, including information on companies punished in other states for fraud or predatory lending.

  • Legislative Roundup: 2007 Marked by Activism

    Jan 02, 2008 - Disgusted with federal gridlock, states are carving out their own global-warming and immigration laws and expanding health coverage for uninsured children.

  • Federal Spending Plan Slashes Anti-Crime Grants

    Dec 31, 2007 - Law enforcement officials across the country are lambasting the federal spending plan approved by President Bush on Dec. 26, warning that a 67-percent decrease in funding for targeted state and local criminal justice initiatives imperils public safety.

  • State Readiness Varies For Health Disasters

    Dec 19, 2007 - A group promoting disaster prevention ranked seven states as best-prepared for a health catastrophe: Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. At the bottom were Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

  • Price Tag For Retiree Benefits: $2.73 Trillion

    Dec 18, 2007 - States have set aside about $2 trillion to cover the cost of pensions and health insurance promised teachers, police officers and other public-sector workers, but retiree benefits are still underfunded by about $731 billion, a new study released today shows.

  • With Feds Stuck, States Tackle Immigration

    Dec 13, 2007 - State lawmakers have taken widely divergent approaches to dealing with an influx of immigrants, including 11 million thought to be here illegally. Some states are rolling out welcome mats while others are slamming shut their doors.

  • States Take Lead in Housing Crisis

    Dec 07, 2007 - States are at the forefront of policy making to minimize damage from the mortgage meltdown. President George W. Bush announced a groundbreaking agreement with major lenders to temporarily freeze sub-prime interest rates that are set to rise, but California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger got there first: He unveiled a similar deal last month -- and California is not the only state to address the crisis.

  • Election '07: Lessons Learned

    Nov 08, 2007 - The 2007 elections prove once again that all politics is local as voters in three states soundly rejected governors' pet projects and others put big-ticket spending items such as roads and cancer research on the state's credit card. The results yielded clues to the mood of voters as the country gears up for the kickoff of the 2008 presidential race.

  • State-level Republican Candidates Stress Immigration

    Oct 17, 2007 - Candidates in several states are capitalizing on voter anger over illegal immigration, especially after Congress failed for the second year in a row to pass major immigration reforms.

  • The Precarious State of Statehouse Budgets

    Oct 10, 2007 - States awash in surpluses for the past two years are now treading water, with several desperately looking for lifelines to help them get out of budget trouble.

  • Cancer Research, School Vouchers on '07 Ballots

    Oct 01, 2007 - Proposals on cancer research and school vouchers are among the questions that voters in seven states will take up during this fall's relatively quiet election season.

  • Lethal Injection Goes on Trial, But Goes On

    Sep 27, 2007 - The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on a case brought by two Kentucky prisoners who argue that the state's use of lethal injections exposes inmates who have been sentenced to death to cruel and unusual punishment. A total of 37 states use lethal injection as their means of execution, but 11 of these states currently have this procedure on hold as a result of legal challenges.

  • Much Campus Crime Goes Unreported: New Post-Virginia Tech Report Gives Added Weight to Concerns

    Sep 20, 2007 - Schools and colleges across the country do not report violent incidents on campus consistently or accurately -- in many cases because they are not required to, according to safety experts and a new report by 27 state attorneys general.

  • Just How Bad Are Things in Springfield?

    Sep 17, 2007 - Democrats hold full sway in the Illinois Capitol but their infighting is paralyzing the legislature and blocking important programs.

  • States Scramble for Gambling Jackpot

    Sep 12, 2007 - Fed up seeing their residents dole out millions of dollars at out-of-state casinos and tracks, more than a dozen states this year worked on dramatically expanding gambling within their own borders.

  • Senator Craig Scandal Highlights Governors' Appointment Powers

    Sep 10, 2007 - The sudden departure from office of a U.S. senator -- or the threat of a departure -- often thrusts governors into the national spotlight, highlighting the sometimes murky and often politicized process of how states choose congressional replacements.

  • Home Insurance Woes Mount in U.S. Coastal Areas

    Sep 04, 2007 - Two years after Hurricane Katrina, state governments along the Gulf Coast and in other storm-prone areas struggle to keep affordable coverage available in areas seen as increasingly risky.

  • Florida is Test Bed for Medicaid Overhaul

    Jul 18, 2007 - There's a lot riding on the outcome of the two-year trial that former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) called "the single biggest change and the boldest reform that any state has embarked on for the Medicaid program." This year, Florida is expanding the program to three more counties, and it could go statewide as early as next year if the Legislature opts to expand it. Other states are watching because rising Medicaid costs are swamping state budgets around the country.  

  • The State of the States 2007

    Jan 08, 2007 - The 2007 edition of Stateline.org's annual survey of trends.

  • Surpluses, Social Issues Mark 2006--Awash in Revenue, States Made Progress in Areas Where the Feds Feared to Tread

    Dec 26, 2006 - Stateline.org piece summarizes the state of the states in 2006.

  • Historic Election Year in Governors' Races

    Oct 26, 2006 - A state-by-state synopsis of the 36 gubernatorial elections in 2006.

  • In Statehouses, 2006 is Year of Surpluses, Social Issues

    Sep 14, 2006 - Stateline.org finds that two of the most popular policies in the 2006 election year are raising the minimum wage and expanding the rights of crime victims to use deadly force in self defense.

  • Emergency Contraception and Moral Misgivings: FDA Ruling Puts Pharmacists in Crossfire

    Sep 06, 2006 - Report examines how FDA ruling on morning-after pill puts pharmacists in the middle of a morally-charged debate.

  • Addicted to Gambling: State Governments Now Depend on the Proceeds to Finance their Budgets

    May 23, 2006 - Although a handful of states are moving this year to ban certain types of electronic gambling machines, experts say tax-averse states are growing increasingly dependent on gambling revenues while ignoring the social cost of problem gamblers.

  • Is Massachusetts A Model For Broader Health Coverage?

    May 15, 2006 - The Bay State’s ambitious plan to see that nearly all its citizens have health insurance depends on some unique local conditions, but policy makers in other states are eying components that could be duplicated elsewhere.

  • The State of the States 2006

    Jan 20, 2006 - Stateline.org reports on trends in the states in 2006.

  • The State of the States 2005

    Jan 03, 2005 - Stateline.org's 2005 annual report on the state policy, governors and more.

  • 50-State Rundown on Gay Marriage Laws

    Mar 05, 2004 - 2004 guide to states that prohibited gay marriage.

  • The State of the States 2003

    Jan 21, 2004 - The 2003 annual report from Stateline.org.

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STATE OF THE STATES 2009

Stateline.org's annual State of the States covers state trends and policy. Read the full report

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