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PNS Daily Newscast - March 5, 2021 


New rules should speed large-scale clean-energy projects in NY; Texas' Gov. Abbott tries to shift COVID blame to release of "immigrants."


2021Talks - March 5, 2021 


A marathon Senate session begins to pass COVID relief; Sanders plans a $15 minimum wage amendment; and work continues to approve Biden's cabinet choices.

Public News Service - NE: Housing/Homelessness

Medicaid has provided health-care coverage to hundreds of thousands of low-income Nebraskans, helping children in Nebraska succeed in school. (Pixabay)

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Health advocates are working with the new Legislature and state agencies to strengthen and streamline Nebraska's Medicaid program. A recent Nebraska Appleseed report includes recommendations for getting more eligible Nebraskans to sign up for and keep health coverage during the glo

Nebraskans who lost jobs through no fault of their own because of the coronavirus pandemic are posting their stories at 'essentialnebraska.com.' (Coalition for a Strong Nebraska)

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska's 107th Legislature kicked off yesterday, and a coalition of some 100 nonprofits have launched a new online portal to connect lawmakers with Nebraskans experiencing unprecedented economic hardship in the wake of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Laurie Ponce Lage, directo

Demand for food assistance in Nebraska has spiked during COVID-19, with Omaha's Together drive-through food pantry serving some 250 cars daily. (Wikimedia Commons)

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OMAHA, Neb. -- The number of Nebraskans not sure where their next meal would come from was on the decline in 2019, but that was before the coronavirus pandemic upended the nation's economy, sending millions of Americans into unemployment lines. Mike Hornacek, president and CEO of the group Together

The U.S. Census Bureau provides translated web pages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in Braille and large print. (U.S. Census Bureau)

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OMAHA, Neb. -- As the Trump administration works to end the U.S. Census Bureau's once-a-decade tally required by the U.S. Constitution one month early, nonprofits throughout Nebraska are making a final push to ensure all residents are counted. Hannah Young, public policy manager for the Nonprofit A

Nearly 30 million Americans  currently are receiving unemployment insurance. The previous high, during the Great Recession, was roughly 12 million. (Needpix)

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LINCOLN, Neb. - If Congress does not extend enhanced unemployment benefits - the $600 per week meant to help Americans who lost jobs due to the novel coronavirus pandemic's economic fallout - more than five million jobs would be lost, including more than 1,500 in Nebraska. Heidi Shierholz, senior e

Bus Rapid Transit lines have helped transform communities across the globe, boosting local economies. (Adam Coppola Photography/Flickr)

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OMAHA, Neb. -- The city of Omaha is expanding its public transit service, and if it adopts a proposed Transit Oriented Development policy, neighborhoods along Dodge Street will have the opportunity to create "age-friendly communities." AARP Nebraska state director Todd Stubbendieck said smart zonin

Use of programs including Medicaid, SNAP and Section 8 public housing will factor into the determination by immigration officials of who gets a green card. (Wikimedia Commons)

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LINCOLN, Neb. — The Trump administration has finalized a new rule that could deny green cards to immigrants if they access public benefits - including health care, nutrition and housing assistance - or if officials believe they might do so in the future. Olivia Golden, executive director at

In 2017, 546 Nebraska children were adopted from foster care. The average length of time spent in foster care before adoption was just over 31 months. (Pixabay)

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Officials from child welfare agencies in Nebraska and across the country are headed to Washington this month to exchange hard-won lessons for helping children and families navigate foster care, adoption and child abuse prevention. They'll also meet with lawmakers to highlight

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