Kevin Hardy covers business, labor and rural issues for Stateline from the Midwest. Before joining Stateline, he covered business and the economy for The Kansas City Star.
Worries over secrecy grow as state officials shield records from the public
By: Kevin Hardy - November 21, 2023
Just weeks after lawmakers in Little Rock passed legislation shielding certain state records from public disclosure, opponents launched an effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to protect access to government documents. “The coalition that’s coming together on this is about as broadly bipartisan as you could get — from the extreme, extreme right to the […]
Blue and red states slash taxes despite warnings of hard times ahead
By: Kevin Hardy - October 26, 2023
With a $750 million budget surplus on hand, there was little doubt whether North Dakota lawmakers would cut taxes earlier this year — the question was how much. “The surplus was strong, and we believe it’s going to be sustained into the future,” said state Rep. Craig Headland. “So, it just made sense to cut […]
‘It’s an emergency.’ Midwest towns scramble as drought threatens drinking water.
By: Kevin Hardy - September 20, 2023
SEDAN, Kan. — James Rainbolt typically can tackle most problems at his rural water plant with some extra time or money. But he can’t fix this. “I just can’t make it rain,” he said. Like others across Southeast Kansas, Rainbolt remains helpless as he watches a persistent drought dry up the local water supply. He […]
Seeing ‘Red’ after Taylor Swift debacle, lawmakers weigh concert ticket rules
By: Kevin Hardy - September 5, 2023
There’s no question what motivated state Rep. Kelly Moller to push for changes in Minnesota law on concert ticket sales. “Really, it was the Taylor Swift debacle for me,” she said. A self-professed Swiftie, the Democrat found herself among millions of other Americans unable to buy tickets last year to Swift’s Eras Tour. She preregistered […]