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Thursday, April 18, 2024

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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Lt. Gov: Pause funding cuts for 'most vulnerable' Hoosiers

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Tuesday, January 30, 2024   

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch asked the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Monday to pause budget cuts that could punish Indiana's "most vulnerable" residents. The clawback follows a $1 billion mistake made by state revenue forecasters.

The contentious change poses a direct threat to state money paid to family caregivers, impacting parents who rely on the Legally Responsible Individuals program. It provides a paycheck for parents who give around-the-clock care to their medically complex children.

Amanda Walker, a parent from Crawfordsville, is the primary caregiver for her four-year-old son William.

"This program allows me to take him to Cincinnati multiple times a month when you have more than ten specialists out of state," she said. "This program allows me to know that our family has food stability and we're not going to lose our home."

Walker said the FSSA has not provided an estimate of the number of families who could be affected by cuts. However, an online release indicates the overall package would save $300 million. The window for input closes Feb. 16, adding urgency to parents' plea for reconsideration.

Tendra Duff, a parent from Westfield and program advocate, is the primary caregiver for her twin boys, both of whom have Down syndrome.

"They're going to be with us a little bit longer than normal -- so, we're setting ourselves up for long-term sustainability and not just utilizing that extra paycheck for short-term sustainability," she said.

Duff added parents plan to rally every Monday at the Statehouse while the Legislature is in session, and are using social media to spread awareness with an online petition.


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