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PNS Daily Newscast - February 26, 2021 


A new study finds big gains in living-wage jobs under Biden Infrastructure Plan; U.S. House passes major protections for LGBTQ Americans.


2021Talks - February 26, 2021 


A $15 minimum wage is out for now; Capitol Police on past and current threats; House passes major milestone for equality; and voting rights targeted across the nation.

Public News Service - MA: Civic Engagement

In 2019, Massachusetts lawmakers passed a law called the Student Opportunity Act to provide funding to bridge the gap between wealthy and low-income school districts. (AndriiKoval/Adobe Stock)

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BOSTON -- Educators and labor leaders in Massachusetts say the level of funding for education in Gov. Charlie Baker's proposed state budget falls short. The Student Opportunity Act was passed in 2019 to allocate more state funding over seven years to school systems with many low-income students and

Although still present at the Massachusetts State House, city council buildings in some municipalities have opted to remove the state flag, a symbol that many have sought to update for more than 30 years. (Jen Lobo/Adobe Stock)

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BOSTON - Native American leaders in Massachusetts are coming together to study and recommend changes to the state's seal, flag and motto. It's part of a new law establishing a commission to re-examine these symbols. The state seal, pictured on the flag, currently features a Native person and the se

The National Popular Vote compact needs states representing 74 more electoral votes to sign on for it to go into effect, and turn the method of electing presidents into a one-person, one-vote system. (Philip/Adobe Stock)

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BOSTON -- The Electoral College vote happens today, and some good-government groups and democracy reformers are taking the opportunity to renew their calls for a one-person, one-vote system. Massachusetts is part of the National Popular Vote compact, which says if states representing 270 electoral

Massachusetts voters added five women to the Legislature in November, after another five were elected the previous cycle. (jpellgen/Flickr)

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BOSTON -- This year's elections didn't change the racial or political imbalances in the Massachusetts state Legislature, and electoral competitiveness remains at an all-time low, according to new data. The latest report from the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, or MassINC, found that

Proponents of ranked-choice voting say a side benefit is that it discourages negative campaigning, since voters can rank more than one candidate in their order of preference. (Tom Ruen/Wikimedia Commons)

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BOSTON -- At this election, Massachusetts will consider ranked-choice voting starting in 2022. If it's approved, Question 2 would mean that voters rank the candidates in order of preference. If no one gets a majority of first-choice votes, the lowest-ranked candidate is eliminated and their voters'

The Voter Protection Corps, a national nonprofit led by Quentin Palfrey in Quentin, Mass., launched in 2019 to address voting difficulties ahead of the 2020 election, including Election Night. (David/Flickr)

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WESTON, Mass. - Election experts, including a secretary of state, recently spoke with Massachusetts-based Voter Protection Corps about how election night can go smoothly. During a Zoom panel, they said most people should have an easy experience voting, whether in person or by mail. But Election Ni

More than 1.7 million people voted in the Sept. 1 Massachustts primary, whereas less than 400,000 voted in the 2016 state primary. (Lindsey Bieda/Flickr)

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BOSTON -- For the first time, registered voters in Massachusetts can ask for mail-in ballots online, and without any physical paperwork. Secretary of State William Galvin launched the new mail-in ballot online application system on Wednesday. The creation of the online portal was part of legislati

A new training and recruitment program for Massachusetts poll workers incorporates input from town clerks across the state. (Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock)

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BOSTON -- Good-government groups are partnering with local election officials to recruit and train students and other young people to fill poll-worker positions vacant due to the pandemic, ahead of the September 1 Massachusetts primary. In 2018, around two-thirds of poll workers nationwide were ov

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