Monday, January 30, 2023


Massachusetts could restrict police use of facial recognition technology, Wyoming mulls more health coverage for workers, and a report finds low salary contributes to social workers leaving the field.


Civil rights activists push for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act following the killing of Tyre Nichols, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he can reach a deal with President Biden on the debt ceiling, and election experts say 2023 could shape voting rights across the country.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

IA Lawmakers Propose Severe Restrictions for Food Assistance


Monday, January 23, 2023   

A Republican-backed bill in the Iowa Legislature seeks to put strict new limits on which foods people could buy at the grocery store using public-assistance benefits.

House Bill 3 would limit people to items on the state's WIC list, supplemental nutrition for Women, Infants and Children.

The bill would restrict the purchase of such items as grains, baked, refried or chili beans, and fresh and frozen meats. Even American cheese would be off-limits.

Luke Elzinga, chair of the Iowa Hunger Coalition, said the extensive list of banned items includes many foods that people rely on every day.

"No flour, butter, cooking oil," said Elzinga. "No herbs and spices, not even salt and pepper. No bottled water. No frozen prepared goods. Even the items that are on the list are very strict in the specific brands and types of things."

Any changes to Iowa's nutrition assistance programs would require approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Almost 40 Republicans support the bill, saying it is needed to ensure the "integrity" of the program. It moves next to committee.

Elzinga said the proposal sends a message that the state doesn't trust low-income Iowans to buy the food their family needs, and ignores the choices people make based on culture, specific nutritional needs or even to avoid food allergies.

He said it would also create a stigma for shoppers who are stopped at the cash register when certain items don't qualify.

"It has to have an effect on Iowans' mental health, who are struggling right now to feed their families," said Elzinga, "to hear that the state's leadership is going to try to tell them what they can and cannot buy for their families to meet their food needs, when food prices are increasing like they have."

The bill also requires people who receive food benefits to be working, looking for work or in job training.

It would also raise the bar to apply for Medicaid in Iowa, which Elzinga said would jeopardize people's physical health as well.

get more stories like this via email
Facial-recognition technology companies, which originally partnered with law enforcement, are now working with schools and universities to increase safety and prevent shootings by denying campus access to people who have been banned, or to monitor activity inside school buildings. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Lawmakers in the Commonwealth are considering legislation to ensure police use of facial-recognition technology also protects people's privacy and civ…


Next week, Ohio farmers and their advocates head to Washington, D.C., to push for shifting federal programs toward growing nutritious food, as …

Social Issues

Social justice advocates have just launched a new public education campaign. It's called "Just Safe," and it's aimed at changing the conversation …

Since the beginning of 2022, seven Western states have initiated programs to maintain wildlife habitat and safe passage, through fencing, signs, overpasses and underpasses, according to Pew research. (TaborChichakly/Adobe Stock)


Reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions is the goal of a bill before the New Mexico Legislature this session. Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-…

Social Issues

A Nevada nonprofit is celebrating a 94% graduation rate among its high school seniors for the 2021-2022 school year. Tami Hance-Lehr. CEO and state …

Super Bowl LVII will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 12. (Katherine Welles/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Super Bowl LVII is right around the corner, which means Arizona will see hefty spending and wide exposure because of the massive sporting event…

Health and Wellness

It is not a pandemic yet, but eye doctors worry the constant use of digital devices could eventually result in long-term health problems for many …


Maine's small farmers are encouraged to complete the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture census to ensure they have a voice in federal decisions …


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