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Friday, April 19, 2024

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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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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.

Budget Policy & Priorities

New research from the Episcopal Health Foundation showed the Texas economy could save billions of dollars, simply by breaking the cycle of preventable health disparities. (Colored Lights/Adobe Stock)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

New study shows health disparities cost TX billions of dollars

Health disparities in Texas are not only making some people sick, but affecting the state's economy. A new study shows Texas is losing $7 billion a …

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A housing package passed in Salem aims to create more housing in Oregon cities of all sizes. (RG/Adobe Stock)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Next steps after OR legislators make 'groundbreaking' housing investments

Oregon lawmakers passed a major housing package in this year's session, but said easing the state's housing crisis will take more work. Bills passed …

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Environmental advocates are asking California's next state budget to prioritize climate mitigation and cut tax breaks for fossil fuel companies. (The Climate Center)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Climate groups seek to remove tax breaks for oil and gas companies

As state budget negotiations continue, groups fighting climate change are asking California lawmakers to cut subsidies for oil and gas companies …

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Shore Line East train service in December 2023 was 50.5% of what it was in 2019. (Adobe Stock)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

CT lawmakers consider bills to boost public transit

Two pieces of legislation in Connecticut could bolster public transportation if they make it through the General Assembly. Senate Bill 277 would …

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In addition to consolidating the power of Iowa's nine Area Education Agencies at the state level, House Bill 2612 creates a new process for agency accreditation. (Adobe Stock)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

IA cuts historical rural school groups

Educators and public school advocates are pushing back on a measure which would consolidate state-funded services that have been an important part of …

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The New York HEAT Act could cut utility bills nearly in half for 1 in 4 energy-burdened New Yorkers. (Adobe Stock)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Advocates want NY HEAT Act in the final budget

The New York HEAT Act might not make the final budget. The bill reduces the state's reliance on natural gas and cuts ratepayer costs by eliminating …

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Senate Bill 2019, sponsored by Rep. Shane Reeves, R-Bedford, is expected to be signed by the governor. It would take effect July 1, 2024. (18percentgrey/Adobe Stock)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

TN poised to expand access to opioid treatment at Community Health Centers

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Tennesseans struggling with opioid addiction, as a bill has been passed to increase access to treatment …

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Each year since 2018, there have been more than 1 million online ads for guns which could be sold without a background check. (Adobe Stock)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

NE group predicts support for changes to gun dealer rules, background checks

Well over three-fourths of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases, but federal law allows unlicensed people to sell guns at …

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Tax credits for home solar projects have been around for a while and local leaders in Wisconsin noted new federal policies have been more aggressive in helping governments, businesses and homeowners offset costs of installing panels. (Adobe Stock)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

A snapshot of federal investments being put to use in WI

City and county governments are feeling the pinch of rising operating costs but in Wisconsin, federal incentives are driving a range of local …

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128 of the 351 cities and towns in the state have had a change in their local clerk or chief election official since the 2020 presidential election, according to the Massachusetts Secretary of State. (Adobe Stock) <br />

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Turnover in MA election officials as presidential election nears

Heightened scrutiny and harassment are helping fuel an increasing turnover rate of election officials in Massachusetts and beyond, according to a new …

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Frequent staff turnover has resulted in delays for families to start or even end child welfare-related services because of delays in response time, from either the lead caseworker or supervisors. (Halfpoint/Adobe Stock)

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

STEM model may offer hope for PA child welfare workforce crisis

The child welfare system in Pennsylvania faces a staffing crisis affecting children and families throughout the system. The Child Welfare Resource …

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A typical New Hampshire child care worker earned roughly $32,500 in 2023 while the federal poverty guideline for a family of four last year was $30,000, according to the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute. (Adobe Stock)<br />

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Burnout, low wages leave NH child care centers short staffed

A persistent child care worker shortage across New Hampshire is leaving families with few options. The state is currently short more than 7,000 …

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