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Florida faces lawsuits over its new election law, a medical board fines an Indiana doctor for speaking about a 10-year-old's abortion, and Minnesota advocates say threats to cut SNAP funds are off the mark.

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The White House and Speaker McCarthy gain support to pass their debt ceiling agreement, former President Donald Trump retakes the lead in a new GOP primary poll, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is impeached.

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The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

Legislation Could Cut Cord on MN Landline Phone Services

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Thursday, March 5, 2015   

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Legislation being considered at the state Capitol could leave many Minnesotans disconnected, with consumer groups saying there are several bills that may jeopardize the availability of affordable and reliable landline phone service.

One proposal would prohibit the regulation of voice-over-Internet phone services but Will Phillips, state director AARP Minnesota, says as a result those companies could stop servicing traditional landlines.

"In certain parts of the state, broadband or cellular service is spotty at best," says Phillips. "We also know in case of emergencies, in case of wanting to connect with 9-1-1, landline services are things people count on."

Despite the increase in cell and Internet phone services in recent years, the number of homes using landlines is still greater than the number that have gone wireless only.

Phillips says in addition to the impact on those in rural Minnesota where Internet or cell service can be spotty, the loss of landlines would also effect many seniors.

"We know many older Minnesotans choose to have both a landline and a cell phone, and then certainly again people in Greater Minnesota where that coverage is not quite where it needs to be," he says. "We want to make sure that landline services are there for those folks until those types of things are fixed and really brought up to speed."

More information on the related legislation is at the AARP Minnesota website.


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