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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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SCOTUS rules for Trump on ballot issue; CA high school students earn Google Career Certificates in high-demand fields; NY faith leaders help people address ecological grief; and a group offers abortion travel benefits for Mississippi women.

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The SCOTUS rules no state can remove a federal candidate from an election ballot saying that power rests with Congress, Super Tuesday primaries are today in sixteen states and a Colorado Court rules in the killing of Elijah McClain in police custody.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

South Dakota

In 2022, South Dakota voters rejected a proposal to raise the approval threshold for ballot initiatives. (Adobe Stock)
SD lawmakers debate signature rules for ballot initiatives

South Dakota is once again at the center of a debate about the future of direct democracy. A legislative plan would shake up signature rules for …

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Legislative supporters say had South Dakota taken part in a new federally funded summer meal program for low-income families, an estimated 54,000 children around the state would have benefited. (Adobe Stock)
Despite setbacks, SD coalition keeps pushing for childhood nutrition access

It's been an uphill battle for childhood nutrition advocates to advance meal access policies in the South Dakota Legislature. However, organizers say …

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South Dakota's largest teacher's union said while the state has made progress in compensating educators, it still lags behind neighboring states. (Adobe Stock)
Teacher pay proposal advances in SD Legislature

South Dakota lawmakers are taking a close look at teacher pay this session. A specific plan to establish salary requirements cleared the House this …

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According to the new Census of Agriculture, the total number of farms with more than $1 million in sales has gone up by 36 percent. Advocates said such growth squeezes out smaller producers. (Adobe Stock)
New data illustrates decline of thriving farm communities

The nation has seen its total number of farmers and farmland decrease over the past five years and advocates for smaller producers in South Dakota sai…

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The Internal Revenue Service reported roughly 80% of tax returns in the U.S. are now filed electronically. (Adobe Stock)
SD tax filers to benefit from free IRS project

In the coming weeks, South Dakotans will be given a chance to file their taxes online directly with the Internal Revenue Service at no cost. Plans …

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To date, 40 states, including South Dakota, have expanded Medicaid with help from the Affordable Care Act. (Adobe Stock)
SD's Medicaid expansion becomes ensnared with work-requirement debate

As South Dakota continues to implement a Medicaid expansion approved by voters in 2022, controversy has emerged with some lawmakers seeking approval …

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The American Heart Association says 2,552 deaths from total cardiovascular disease occur each day in the United States. (Adobe Stock)
New data show disconnect in understanding heart disease risks

As American Heart Month gets underway this Thursday, experts are trying to create more awareness in South Dakota and elsewhere. But they're …

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SHIFT Garage, which provides free labor costs for car repairs in two South Dakota cities, estimates it receives around 250 applications each year for help. (Adobe Stock)
SD nonprofit tries to keep poverty from stalling car engines

Winter time in South Dakota can sometimes result in car engines not starting. For people with no money for repairs, there are options in some cities…

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Policy experts said as it stands right now, roughly 19 million children in the U.S. do not benefit from the federal Child Tax Credit because their families' incomes are too low. (Adobe Stock)
Congress announces Child Tax Credit deal

Congress is poised to consider renewing the expanded Child Tax Credit and policy analysts said the latest effort could help tens of thousands of South…

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Economic data show while consumer prices have increased 20% since the fourth quarter of 2019, wages for a typical worker have grown by 23%. (Adobe Stock)
Analysis: Workers feel 'wage power,' but more support is needed

Workforce shortages are among the issues lawmakers might address in the new South Dakota legislative session. A new analysis of wage growth progress …

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The National Low Income Housing Coalition reported South Dakota has a shortage of about 10,000 rental homes that are affordable and available for extremely low-income renters. (Adobe Stock)
SD poverty-fighting group: Affordable home builders need to step up

January is National Poverty in America Awareness Month and in South Dakota, agencies assisting low-income individuals said access to affordable …

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After nearly facing extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates about 750 black-footed ferrets now live in various locations. (Adobe Stock)
Endangered Species Act turns 50

This Thursday, the Endangered Species Act celebrates its 50th anniversary. Wildlife experts say the policy has been a big help in such states as …

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