Friday, January 21, 2022


Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.


President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.


Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

Report: Utah Among Top 5 States for Children's Well-Being


Wednesday, June 23, 2021   

SALT LAKE CITY -- Families with children in Utah and other states remained mostly steady over the past year in an annual report on children's wellbeing, but it warns that a return to pre-pandemic levels of support could harm millions of kids.

The 2021 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation tracks children's health, education and family stability by state. Utah's overall ranking, based on 2019 data, dropped slightly, from fourth place to fifth.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Foundation, said states need to enact policies that ensure kids have food and housing security, mental-health care, and strategies to overcome racial inequality.

"We know that children who grow up in poverty have lower health outcomes," Boissiere explained. "They live in substandard housing that has issues like mold and lead that go untreated. Lower-income families live in poorer neighborhoods that have poorer-resourced schools, so their education outcomes tend to be worse."

The Data Book showed Utah made gains from 2010 to 2019 in most key indicators, but also saw increases in the rate of low birth-weight babies and child and teen deaths over the decade.

Martín Muñoz, data analyst at Voices for Utah Children, said perhaps the biggest gain for Utah kids is coming in July with the expansion of the federal
Child Tax Credit, which will directly provide families with $300 to $350 a month per child.

"With the number of children under 17, I believe they're close to a third of our population in Utah, it will make a significant difference in a lot of families to know that each month, they will have this money sent to their checking account," Muñoz contended.

He asserted making the tax credit permanent would be a major step toward eliminating childhood poverty.

Muñoz added while the current ranking, based on pre-pandemic data, is good, it could lull policymakers into a false sense of how Utah kids are really doing.

"That's where we need to make sure our legislators, our policymakers understand that we've slipped a little," Muñoz emphasized. "But how much more are we going to slip, once we start seeing the COVID effects on some of these numbers?"

The Casey Foundation has published its KIDS COUNT Data Book each year since 1990.

Disclosure: Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Republican Jeff Flake. (Flickr)

Social Issues

A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …

Social Issues

Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …

Pennsylvania has over 300 million square feet of big-box building rooftops, which new research suggests could provide almost half the electricity that these buildings consume if they were outfitted with solar panels. (Adobe Stock)


As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …

Social Issues

If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…

Over the course of the pandemic, North Dakota has received more than $350 million in federal aid to help struggling renters, but says it has sent back roughly 40% of that money unspent. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, but groups working …

Social Issues

Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …

Social Issues

After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021