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Monday, June 17, 2024

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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.


Child poverty increased by 5% from 2019 to 2022, with Alabama ranking 45th in the nation at 22%, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Book. (Adobe Stock)
Report: Alabama children need more educational, economic support

A new report sheds light on child well-being in Alabama, highlighting the need for greater academic and economic support. According to the latest …

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Think Big is a national narrative learning community seeking to fill the gap in the progressive communications infrastructure. Think Big Alabama is powered by Topos Partnership in cooperation with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (Adobe Stock)
Alabama groups launch training to increase community advocacy

Alabama groups are empowering residents to influence community policies with a new training program. Alabama Arise and Alabama Values are launching …

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According to the Prison Policy Initiative, about 39,000 people are confined in Alabama's state or local jails, compared to about 3,400 in federal prisons in the state. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)
Calling on Congress to reduce state prison populations

Alabama prisons are considered some of the most crowded in the country, with over 22,000 people housed in facilities designed to hold just 12,000…

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Alabama has experienced one of the largest declines in FAFSA completion rates, with a staggering 23% decrease in the number of students completing their applications. The state now ranks 50th in terms of year-over-year change. (Adobe Stock)<br />
Alabama group works to increase college access with summer support

Advocates for higher education in Alabama are mobilizing to ensure students have the support they need for federal student aid applications this summe…

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Vehicles manufactured in Alabama are now the top exported product, reaching more than 70 nations annually. In 2023, Alabama's vehicle exports exceeded $11 billion, primarily driven by shipments to Germany, China and Canada. (Adobe Stock)
UAW challenges election loss at Alabama Mercedes-Benz factories

The United Auto Workers union continues the fight to add workers at two Alabama Mercedes-Benz plants in Vance and Woodstock to its union rolls…

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According to the Prison Policy Initiative, Alabama has the lowest parole approval grant rate in the country. (Adobe Stock)
Advocating for restorative justice, 'second-chance' policies in parole system

Fewer than 8% of people in Alabama prisons are granted parole when they apply for it. Criminal justice experts got together for a discussion of how …

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Alabama has a unionization rate of 7.5%, which is lower than the national average. In 2023, 156,000 people in Alabama's workforce belonged to a labor union. (Adobe Stock)
Workers at AL Mercedes Benz plants to make union decision

Today, workers at the Mercedes Benz plants in Vance and Woodstock, Alabama, will decide whether to form a union. More than 5,000 employees are …

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According to the Brennan Center, since the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the gap in voter participation in Alabama between white and nonwhite voters has been expanding. (Adobe Stock)
AL faces battle at ballot box; groups look to federal laws for protection

Alabama has long been at the forefront of voting rights issues in the United States and despite some progress, advocates said residents continue to …

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Medicaid expansion in Alabama could help an estimated 283,636 people gain access to health care. (Adobe Stock)
Calls grow for AL Medicaid expansion as legislative session winds down

Alabama is running out of time to tackle Medicaid expansion this legislative session. More than 230 people gathered earlier this month with the …

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According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, every dollar spent on SNAP generates between $1.50 and $1.80 in local economic activity during a financial downturn. (Irina Mikhailichenko/Adobe Stock)
Advocates rally for 2025 summer EBT funding amid Alabama meal gaps

Alabama is one of 14 states opting out of the 2024 summer electronic benefit program. As summer rolls around, there will be no programs in place to …

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Faith in Action Alabama is a nonprofit working toward community safety, equal access to liberty and inclusive democracy. (Adobe Stock)
Alabama groups focus on year-round voter education, activism

Alabama civic-engagement groups are searching for strategies to maintain voter engagement outside of major election years. As candidates gear up for …

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama has the fourth-highest rate of gun violence in the United States. (Adobe Stock)
Alabama groups unite to combat gun violence

Leaders from across Alabama are banding together in a united effort to combat gun violence and seek effective solutions. Alabama has one of the …

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