Publications

Unmanned aircraft systems—commonly known as drones—have changed the landscape of public and private life. The many uses for drones include law enforcement surveillance, wildlife tracking, disaster response and recreation. For this reason, state governments have considered a diverse spread of policies aimed at defining, regulating and, in some cases, prohibiting the use of unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, since 20131. Bills defining drones and establishing rules for their use are highly variable at the state level.

By Brian Sigritz and Kathryn Vesey White
In December, the National Association of State Budget Officers, or NASBO, released the latest edition of its semiannual Fiscal Survey of States. According to data collected from state budget offices, fiscal 2017 is expected to mark the seventh consecutive annual increase in both general fund spending and revenue.

By Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene
With newspapers and scholarly reports full of discussion about states and their shortages—or surpluses—of tax revenues, it would be easy to focus exclusively on the dollars brought in through sales taxes, income taxes and so on. That kind of analysis misses out on the revenue elephant in the room, though: the money that comes from the federal government.

Medicaid provides health insurance to more than 70 million Americans who fall within one of four main categories: infants and children; pregnant women, parents and other nonelderly adults; individuals of all ages with disabilities; and very low-income seniors.1 Prior to the passing of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, in 2010, most low-income adults were not able to qualify for Medicaid because federal law excluded adults without dependent children from the program. Additionally, income eligibility for most parents was extremely limited in most states.2

Charter schools are publicly funded schools that are operated by nongovernmental boards or organiza- tions, which can be nonprofit or for-profit, and are in a short-term contract with the state or state designated authorizer. The state or designated authorizer sets performance and operating standards, which must be periodically evaluated.

Currently, 44 states have authorized charter schools. Of those that have charter schools, 24 states have explicitly defined or permitted cybercharter schools. Cybercharter schools provide either all or the majority of their instruction online.

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