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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.


According to research from Virginia Commonwealth University, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative created 2,115 local jobs in Virginia. (Adobe Stock)

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

VA General Assembly considers RGGI budget amendments

Virginia's General Assembly will consider budget amendments to reenter the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI. Gov. Glenn Youngkin …

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The Center for Economic and Policy Research reported if the minimum wage kept up with productivity, it would be $21.50 per hour. (Adobe Stock)
Advocates rip VA governor's vetoes of minimum-wage bills

A bill vetoed by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin would have raised the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour starting in 2026. While the bill moved out …

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AARP data shows the prices for the top 25 Medicare Part D drugs tripled since they were introduced. (Adobe Stock)
VA advocates upset about prescription drug affordability veto

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has vetoed legislation making prescription drugs more affordable. The bill would have created an independent body to evaluate …

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In 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a request for information about updating Essential Health Benefits requirements. It is the first time comments have been requested since 2014. (Adobe Stock)
VA Senator calls for updates to ACA health coverage

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., wants to update the 14-year-old Affordable Care Act. He and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., are asking for updates to the Act's …

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Environmental justice communities are linked to health issues that include asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The4 effects of climate change often exacerbate these issues. (Adobe Stock)
VA groups angry over Youngkin’s Environmental Justice Council picks

Environmental organizations in Virginia have united in opposition to Gov. Glenn Youngkin's picks for the state Environmental Justice Council…

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Solar energy makes up 4% of Virginia's energy profile, with the most coming from utility-scale facilities generating one megawatt or more of electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Adobe Stock)
Expanding solar in VA can provide numerous benefits

Virginia energy experts feel a recent push for solar energy legislation could have benefited the state. Senate Bill 697 would have removed a ban on …

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Up to 50% of eligible residents in Virginia's counties were enrolled in a dual-eligible special needs plan in 2021. (Adobe Stock)
VA seniors can benefit from dual-eligible special-needs plans

Virginia seniors can see daily health and well-being benefits from certain health-care plans. Dual-eligible special-needs plans offer Medicare and …

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Drug prices in the United States are, on average, almost three times higher than in 33 other countries. The gap widens to more than four times higher for brand-name drugs. (Adobe Stock)
Advocates urge VA governor to sign prescription-drug affordability bill

With the approval of the Virginia General Assembly, a bill reducing prescription drug prices is sitting on Gov. Glenn Youngkin's desk. The bill …

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More than 876,000 Virginians use SNAP/EBT benefits, costing the state almost $150 million per month. (Adobe Stock)
VA group helps SNAP/EBT users afford fresh foods

During National Nutrition Month, groups like Virginia Fresh Match are providing people with healthy fresh food options. Since 2009, the coalition of …

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Although U.S. government subsidies have helped keep the biomass industry afloat, the programs have a lengthy track record of being unsuccessful. (Adobe Stock)
Biomass company bankruptcy filing shows industry’s instability

Biomass producer Enviva's recent bankruptcy filing is being considered a sign of the industry's volatility. Recent financial challenges have …

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As of June 2023, the World Resources Institute estimates there are 2,277 electric school buses on order, delivered, and operating in the U.S. (Adobe Stock
VA school districts, parents working to get electric school buses

By Elizabeth McGowan for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Edwin J. Viera for Virginia News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism …

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Federal legislation has been introduced to improve the efficiency of the U.S. electrical grid. The FASTER Act would amend the Federal Power Act to expedite the review and permitting of electric transmission facilities. (Adobe Stock)
Transmission upgrades needed to keep U.S. climate goals on track

Environmental groups in Virginia are among those looking at how to improve and modernize electrical grid transmission. Experts said the grid's age …

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