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States like Ohio could lose billions of dollars in federal funds if the ACA is repealed. AP Photo/Tony Dejak

State budgets hang in the balance as future of ACA uncertain

As states begin to plan budgets, the future of Obamacare is still undecided. A former Ohio state senator explains how budget directors are bracing for billions of dollars in shortfalls.
The federal government receives more revenue than the states so it divvies it up between them, but with conditions. Lukas Coch/AAP

Budget explainer: the federal-state battle for funding

The reason for the constant struggle for funding between the states and federal government relates back to the constitution.
Pro-statehood supporters at the seaside Capitol in San Juan, Puerto Rico. AP Photo/Danica Coto

Are Puerto Ricans really American citizens?

Over the years, Puerto Ricans have in fact been granted three different types of U.S. citizenship, but questions about their rights and equal treatment as citizens still remain.
Choosing Cairns or Townsville as a northern Queensland capital would set off a political storm, as would new regional governments around Australia. Dan Peled/AAP

If we scrapped the states, increasing Canberra’s clout would be a backward step

Federal politicians and the public like the idea of abolishing the states. But consider the likely result: a more powerful Canberra, with regional governments amounting to glorified shire councils.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, meeting with state leaders today, says if we were starting from scratch we’d tax differently. Lukas Coch/AAP

Australia doesn’t need eight different income tax rates

There's no need to abandon the current tax collection system. Instead we should ensure the voting public understand where their taxes are going.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was often referred to as the Bureau of Livestock and Mining in the 19th century. U.S. Bureau of Land Management

The twisted roots of U.S. land policy in the West

What explains the anger behind the Malheur occupation in Oregon, and why does the BLM own so much land in the West?
Solar downtown: state-level policies led to a surge in solar adoption and energy efficiency measures in the late 2000s. Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

The Paris Agreement: the first local global environmental pact

States and regions are taking the lead on climate change action and, so far, are seeing economic and environmental benefits.
The Australian newspaper reported that the Federal Treasurer has refused to back down on a proposed $4 billion cut to schools and hospital funding – a move that will anger the states. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Federalism at stake if $4b is cut from schools and hospitals

The government’s attempt to engage the States on one hand while whipping them with the other does not augur well for tackling growing health and education costs -- or for lasting federal reform.
Since the first Commonwealth parliament, commemorated in a special 2001 sitting in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, government has grown in unanticipated ways. AAP/Julian Smith

A reformed federation to match the needs of modern Australia

The federal budget reignited debate over federal-state relations with a decision to cut some $80 billion in funding for the state responsibilities of schools and hospitals over the coming years. So how…

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