Kevin Hardy

Kevin Hardy

Kevin Hardy covers business, labor and rural issues for Stateline from the Midwest.

Paper with The Freedom of Information Act FOIA on a table

Worries over secrecy grow as state officials shield records from the public

By: - November 20, 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 […]

a person holds up a cup of beer with a label that says it's ok to drink on the street

‘I felt so naughty’: New open carry alcohol laws boost downtowns

By: - November 6, 2023

Holly Smith Mount wanted to be first. Smith Mount, chair of the city council in Huntington, West Virginia, was determined to see her community launch the state’s initial outdoor drinking zone — an idea made possible only after the legislature changed the state’s alcohol law earlier this year. “I will fully admit I’m very competitive,” […]

the word tax appaears on a wooden block next to three blocks with downward pointing arrows

Blue and red states slash taxes despite warnings of hard times ahead

By: - October 30, 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 […]

a "now hiring" sign on a sidewalk

‘Who’s going to work there?’: Lawmakers grapple with labor shortages

By: - August 22, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — For years, Indiana’s GOP-controlled legislature has focused on creating a business-friendly climate by pushing favorable tax rates and regulations, aiming to foster the creation of good-paying jobs across the state. The way Republican state Sen. Michael Crider sees it, those moves have worked: Companies such as Amazon and Walmart have built new warehouses and […]