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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

Report: Idaho in bottom 10 for transportation spending policies

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Monday, December 11, 2023   

Idaho is in the bottom ten in a report ranking states' spending on transportation.

With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act, John Bailey - senior state and federal transportation advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council - said transportation funds roughly doubled.

His organization evaluated how states used that money and ranked Idaho 44th in the report. He said while the federal government writes the check, states can use the money flexibly, which Idaho didn't do.

"That funding doesn't require more taxes," said Bailey. "It doesn't require the state to spend more money, but it's just a different way to think of the kind of funding Idaho automatically gets from the federal government."

Bailey said the didn't spend money on equity issues, such as for rebates on electric vehicles for low-income buyers.

The NRDC used 22 metrics for the analysis, including measures for states' planning for climate and equity. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions in the country.

Bailey said transportation is an important policy in rural areas, too.

"Transit plays a very important role in getting people to work, in getting people to school," said Bailey. "I think there's a stereotype that it's strictly an urban thing, but that's really not the case. Rural transit plays an integral role in the transportation system in states all across the country."

Bailey noted that transportation funding will be renewed in 2026, but likely not at these levels.

"So this is a unique time period to take advantage of it," he added. "It probably won't happen again for another generation."




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