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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Members appointed to NYS reparations commission

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Monday, March 4, 2024   

New York state lawmakers have appointed members to the Community Commission on Reparations Remedies, created through legislation Gov. Kathy Hochul signed in 2023.

Its goal is to examine the legacy of slavery and its continuing impacts on black New Yorkers. The commission will develop a report outlining recommendations for addressing these inequities.

Linda J. Mann, co-founder of the African American Redress Network, said there is one problem facing the commission: a lack of funds.

"It is absolutely imperative that funds for these types of task force, because of the amount of research that's going into it, is an imperative," Mann emphasized.

While the bill had plenty of Democratic support, it drew the ire of Republican lawmakers.

Many areas of the country are determining how to redress past disparities Black people face. A recent report found philanthropies have received millions in funds stemming from depriving Black people of opportunities to build wealth similar to those of their white counterparts.

The New York commission will have to present its findings in 2025.

A 2021 Pew Research survey showed three-quarters of Black Americans surveyed support reparations, while only 18% of white Americans support it.

Along with the U.S., countries worldwide are navigating reparations, with Mann noting they are not always compensatory.

"We're not talking about just altering economic wellness," Mann pointed out. "There's other ways in which historical harms have led to disparities in education, in health, in housing."

Beyond New York, California is the only other state to have created a reparations commission. California's reparations task force recommended some compensatory reparations based on factors such as health harms, mass incarceration and over-policing, housing discrimination and the devaluation of African American businesses. But, it wasn't certain how much all of this would amount to.

References:  
Poll Ipsos 06/15/2023

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