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PNS Daily News - May 22, 2017 


Today’s news highlights several issues: a new era in U.S. – Arab relations? The Catholic church commits to major fossil fuel divestment before G-7 meetings. And some farmers are accused of using immigration threats to discourage legal claims.

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Public News Service - WV: Budget Policy & Priorities

West Virginia lawmakers are due back at the Capitol on Tuesday to continue a special session focused on the state's finances. (wolfmansotherbrother/Wikipedia)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Legislature is getting closer to securing the revenue the state needs. But Ted Boettner, executive director with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, says lawmakers aren't there yet. Bills have passed in the House and Senate that would increase stat

A group of protesters at the West Virginia State Capitol, awaiting the arrival of U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price. (Public News Service-Dan Heyman) (Note: photo was originally misidentified. Heyman took the photo, he was not in it.)

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Reporter Dan Heyman, who covers West Virginia and Virginia for Public News Service, was arrested inside the State Capitol in Charleston on Tuesday afternoon. Heyman was at the Capitol to cover a visit by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and White House adviser

Medicaid supports much of the health-care provided in West Virginia schools. (Mary Kuhlman)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Health care providers say a Republican bill that includes Medicaid cuts would threaten West Virginia's school health services. Medicaid pays much of the cost for school nurses and therapists here, and for more than 50 school-based community clinics, many in rural areas.

Natural gas worth hundreds of millions of dollars is vented or flared from federal land each year. (FracTracker Alliance)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A rollback of a rule against the flaring of waste gas on public land is up before the U.S. Senate. A group of military veterans led by five retired generals want Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito to vote no. Senate Joint Resolution 11 would undo an Obama admini

The end of the regular legislative session has set the stage for a fight over West Virginia's state budget  a battle organizers say might be settled by public opinion. (W. Va. Legislature)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- At the last moment, the State Legislature passed a budget with deep cuts to to Medicaid and to K-12 and higher education. Now community groups are saying the voices of West Virginians are going to be vital to resolving the state's budget standoff. The Republican leadership of

Under Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota raised taxes on high-income households - taking an approach opposite to what many West Virginia lawmakers favor. But Minnesota is growing much faster than the national average. (Gov. Mark Dayton's office)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia lawmakers are looking at flattening or phasing out state income taxes. But the state of Minnesota increased taxes on the wealthy, and their economy is booming. Several states, including Kansas and Wisconsin, have slashed taxes on higher income households in hopes

West Virginia lawmakers are considering imposing work requirements on people seeking federal food aid, but many of those people have barriers to employment. (West Virginia Center on Budget And Policy)

CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- Bills to put hurdles in the way of people seeking federal food aid are cruel and counterproductive, say advocates for the poor. Senate Bill 60 and companion House Bill 2132 would put asset tests and possibly work requirements on West Virginians seeking help from the Supplemen

The Obamacare replacement backed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price would be bad for rural areas, analysts say. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr/Wikipedia)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Congressional Budget Office figures show the main GOP replacement for Obamacare would have a negative impact on rural areas, and especially on older residents. The House's American Health Care Act would let insurance companies charge up to 40 percent more for folks in the

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