Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "lawmakers" ...

  • The Fight for Legislative Records

    The group of stories submitted start with the anti-transparency actions that Washington state lawmakers took after an AP-led coalition prevailed in superior court in January 2018, when a judge ruled that state lawmakers are subject to the same public disclosure law that other elected officials are. The final story and glance are on the state Supreme Court in December 2019 upholding that lower court ruling. The state high court ruling is the end of a nearly three- year effort by Rachel La Corte at The Associated Press to successfully challenge lawmakers’ assertion that they had a special exemption from the state’s Public Records Act.
  • WSAW-TV: The Lincoln Hills Youth Prison Document Trail

    Using state and federal records requests, WSAW-TV's senior investigative reporter found a potential cover-up of Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General Brad Schimel's and their staff's handling of the state's youth prison crisis.
  • TX Observer: Prison by Any Other Name

    Since the 1990s, Texas has run a controversial, constitutionally dubious “civil commitment” program that keeps hundreds of sex offenders in intensive monitoring and treatment long after they’ve finished their prison sentences. In 2015, after the agency running the program nearly imploded amid mismanagement, Texas lawmakers essentially turned civil commitment over to a scandal-ridden private prison contractor eager to gobble up contracts at the intersection of incarceration and therapy. The result: non-existent treatment, shoddy medical care, and a new taxpayer-funded, privately operated lockup in middle-of-nowhere Texas, where men under civil commitment are now confined indefinitely. Since the facility opened, only five men have been released — four of them to medical facilities where they later died.
  • Texas Tribune: Dangerous Deliveries

    The Texas Tribune's Dangerous Deliveries project revealed how state lawmakers squandered opportunities to help more women access life-saving services, and how that fed the state's crisis-level maternal mortality rate for black women. And it underscored the critical nature of the problem by telling the stories of women like Sable Swallow, an uninsured waitress who was released from the hospital after giving birth even though she told nurses she had a terrible headache. After she left the hospital, the 25-year-old had a stroke.
  • Texas Tribune: Blocked Out

    The Texas Tribune revealed how powerful people, from state lawmakers and city officials to politically active neighborhood leaders, have made housing of all kinds harder to find, especially subsidized housing for the state’s poorest residents. And it exposed how those powerful people are enabled by discriminatory state laws and local ordinances that grew from pre-civil rights segregation policies. The result is worsening economic inequality and racial segregation in a growing state that isn't making room fast enough for its exploding population.
  • Texas Observer: Access Denied

    The Texas Public Information Act is under attack. The law, which ensures the public’s access to government records, has taken a beating from state Supreme Court jurists, lawmakers and state agencies since it was passed in 1973. Once a shining example of government transparency, the law has been eroded by a growing list of loopholes for everything from ongoing police investigations and the dates of birth of government employees to information related to executions. Journalists are well aware of this problem, but it had never been presented to the public in a deep-dive feature until now. “Access Denied” reveals that government officials can delay, derail and deny requests by slow-walking them or charging exorbitant fees. This piece was reported over six months and included interviews with dozens of government officials, investigative journalists, citizen activists and researchers.
  • STARZ's Fail State

    Executive produced by news legend Dan Rather, FAIL STATE investigates the dark side of American higher education, chronicling the decades of policy decisions in Washington, D.C. that have given rise to a powerful and highly-predatory for-profit college industry. With echoes of the subprime mortgage crisis, the film lays bare how for-profit colleges exploit millions of low-income and minority students, leaving them with worthless degrees and drowning in student loan debt. Combining five years of research and interviews from over 60 experts, policymakers, whistleblowers, and students defrauded by their colleges, director Alexander Shebanow presents a searing exposé on the for-profit college industry and the lawmakers enabling widespread fraud and abuse in American higher education. FAIL STATE debuted on STARZ on December 17th, 2018.
  • Ohio Parole System Problems

    Over the course of 18 months, three young women were killed in separate murders by violent ex-felons who were supposed to be closely monitored by Ohio’s Adult Parole Authority. They weren’t. Time and time again, WBNS-TV’s investigative unit, 10 Investigates, found lapses in judgment and failures by the state’s parole system to closely monitor these ex-felons. In one case, a Georgia judge’s order to place a GPS ankle monitor on a twice convicted rapist was ignored. The reason: Ohio’s Adult Parole Authority believed it would be too expensive. Six months later, the man was arrested for the rape and murder of a young woman. We also uncovered data showing part of the problem might be many of these parole officers are overwhelmed. State corrections records show there are 450 parole officers in Ohio tasked with monitoring 37,000 ex-prisoners who are under some type of post-release supervision. Given that workload, it’s hard for anyone to understand why these parole officers would be assigned to watch an empty parking lot. But that’s where we found some of them sitting every day, for nearly a month. Our reporting on this issue has already changed state law and led to the ire of some state lawmakers who are calling for additional changes.
  • Michigan State University: Capital expenditure

    This project analyzed 2017 campaign finance data reported by Michigan state lawmakers. The initial intent was to determine how much of those funds came from special interest Political Action Committees rather than individual contributions. It blossomed into 10 stories that looked at such things as the difference in fundraising patterns between men and women, Republicans and Democrats. It ranked the partisanship of the state’s PACs, the largest PAC donors, the lawmakers who received the most and least, those who used the most of their own money and those who used no money at all. It discovered that the NRA spends very little on individual state lawmakers and those who break campaign finance laws rarely get hefty fines.
  • Drivers Under Siege

    They are not police officers or firefighters, yet Bay Area bus drivers who work for the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) face some of the most dangerous working conditions with the fewest protections. Using public records and video footage, our analysis found that bus drivers with AC Transit faced more violent assaults than any other district in the San Francisco Bay Area. After we started asking questions, AC Transit announced it would test out new bus shields to protect drivers and California lawmakers introduced a federal bill in Congress with bipartisan support that will require transit districts across the country to reassess their safety measures. The new law would allocate $25 million a year for five years to pay for shields, de-escalation training, systems for transit agencies nationwide to track assault data and report that data to the Department of Transportation.