Friday, October 22, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.


House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Federal Pandemic Program Gives Discounts on Internet, Laptops


Monday, September 13, 2021   

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Advocates for older Americans are working to spread the word about a federal program to cut people's internet bills.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program gives people who qualify a $50 credit on their monthly internet bill and a $100 voucher toward a laptop or other mobile device.

Joe Garbanzos, state president for AARP California, said for tribal communities the program goes further, providing a $75 subsidy per month.

"High-speed internet connection is not a luxury. It is a necessity," Garbanzos argued. "Because you need good internet to do social connection with friends and family, entertainment, telehealth and work."

Congress approved $3.2 billion for the program, and $2.7 billion is still unused. So far, 5.3 million households have signed up, including 660,000 in California.

To apply, visit the AARP website, or text the word "internet" to the number 22777, or call 833-511-0311.

People who qualify for the lifeline program, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI benefits or free or reduced-price school lunches are encouraged to apply. Garbanzos noted the income limits cover quite a few people, especially those who lost work during the lockdown.

"Those that have been impacted by the pandemic, loss of income," Garbanzos outlined. "If your income is $99,000 in 2020 or below for single filers, you're eligible."

Joint filers who made up to $198,000 in 2020 can qualify. The temporary program will continue until the money runs out. Participants will be notified 60 days before the payments are scheduled to stop.

Disclosure: AARP California contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


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