Author

Jacob Fischler

Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues. His coverage areas include climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

connect those dots people

From call center workers to national guard, states recruit contact tracers

By: - May 26, 2020

As states seek to loosen wide-ranging restrictions imposed to constrain the novel coronavirus, they’re also looking to deploy a huge new fleet of workers to keep cases under control. Enter the contact tracers. With interpersonal contact certain to increase as states lift COVID-19 restrictions, tracing the who infected people had contact with — and then […]

sun sets

Can lessons from the Great Recession help states avoid budget disasters?

By: - May 11, 2020

As they face massive budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic, states are looking for federal money to help stave off the kind of drastic cuts they enacted during the last economic downturn. State budget officers and economists generally agree that cuts to state spending worsened the Great Recession in the years following 2008. Layoffs, […]

gun show

Pandemic fuels state feuds over gun rights

By: - April 26, 2020

COVID-19 has ignited the debate over gun rights as states grapple with whether to allow gun sales while other retailers are forced to shutter. Stores selling guns and ammunition remain legally open in 45 states that include sellers and manufacturers as essential services that are exempted from orders shutting down most commercial activity or have […]