Friday, January 27, 2023


A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.


Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.


"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.

Policy Expert: Good News on Poverty Should Be the Norm


Monday, September 19, 2022   

On the heels of a promising poverty report, there are renewed calls to make permanent certain pandemic policies that helped struggling families in Minnesota and around the country.

Last week, an annual Census Bureau report showed that child poverty fell sharply last year to a record low of 5.2%.

Arloc Sherman, vice president for data analysis and research with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said that was largely fueled by the temporary expansion of the federal Child Tax Credit.

He noted that other census information revealed monthly payments from the credit helped eligible households meet basic needs.

"The families were saying, 'We're spending this money to buy food, we're spending it to pay the rent, we're buying books for our children's school,'" said Sherman.

But the expanded credit expired, and Sherman predicted that an uptick in poverty this year if Congress doesn't revisit the issue.

In Minnesota, the Children's Defense Fund urges the Legislature to use surplus money to create a separate state Child Tax Credit. Opponents, including GOP lawmakers, say expanding government spending long-term will contribute to more inflation woes, hurting family budgets.

But Sherman argued that global supply-chain issues and other factors are playing a role in the current inflation problem. And he said if future investments are geared more for low-income families, rather than the large pandemic relief bills, they shouldn't register negative economic waves.

Instead, he said it would help the country down the road.

"The good news is that now we've shown we actually know how to reduce that kind of poverty and poverty-related stress," said Sherman.

He said moving forward with this blueprint will result in better outcomes for kids, building on some of the progress that was seen even prior to the pandemic.

In Congress, lawmakers who support reviving the Child Tax Credit are looking for new opportunities to negotiate, including pending changes to certain business tax breaks.

get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…

Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …

From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…


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