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Politics, Policy, and Elections

500K Texas Voters to Benefit as Court Says ID Law Discriminates

500K Texas Voters to Benefit as Court Says ID Law Discriminates

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ strict voter ID law discriminates against minorities and the poor and must be weakened before the November elections, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday, following claims that at least a half-million registered voters could have struggled to cast a ballot. The ruling was a striking election-year victory for President Barack […]

A House Divided: Advocates See Elected Office as Path to Change

A House Divided: Advocates See Elected Office as Path to Change

Around the country, growing networks of activists and community organizers have spent years working on poverty and inequality issues. They have changed the national conversation around the minimum wage, taxation, and the need to rein in the power that big money exerts over the political process. Now, seeking to cement the changed terms of the […]

Illinois Advocates to Leaders: Stop the Damage, Pass a Budget

Illinois Advocates to Leaders: Stop the Damage, Pass a Budget

Illinois will hit an unwanted milestone on July 1 when it will mark one year without a state budget, a standoff that is threatening networks of support for families and already hitting programs for homeless youth, seniors and students. The standoff is sending shockwaves through social service agencies and nonprofits around the state, which is […]

Safety Net to Cover More Families in New California Budget

Safety Net to Cover More Families in New California Budget

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers approved a state budget Wednesday that gives liberal Democrats long-sought increases to safety net programs while socking away billions to prepare for a recession. The $122.5 billion spending plan, negotiated by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders, earned a rebuke from Republicans, who said it sets the […]

Adoption Cases Will Include Whether Child is Native American

Adoption Cases Will Include Whether Child is Native American

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new federal rule will require judges in every state to ask whether a child is a Native American during foster-care and adoption proceedings — especially when there’s reason to believe a child is a tribal member.  Under the rule announced Wednesday by the Interior Department, judges also must ask about […]

U.S. Seeks to Limit Payday Lenders and Offer ‘Debt Trap’ Protection

U.S. Seeks to Limit Payday Lenders and Offer ‘Debt Trap’ Protection

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal regulators are proposing a significant clampdown on payday lenders and other providers of high-interest loans, saying borrowers need to be protected from practices that wind up turning into “debt traps” for many. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed regulations, announced Thursday, seek to tackle a few common complaints about the […]

Dated Terms for People of Color to Be Modernized in U.S. Laws

Dated Terms for People of Color to Be Modernized in U.S. Laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal laws will no longer include outdated and offensive terms used to describe minority groups.  President Barack Obama signed a bill, H.R. 4238, striking several terms, including “Negro” and “Oriental” on May 20, the White House said. Those terms will be replaced with “African American” and “Asian American.” The bill removing the […]

Ill. Fails, Again, to Pass Budget, Putting Families and Schools at Risk

Ill. Fails, Again, to Pass Budget, Putting Families and Schools at Risk

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois appears poised to enter a second year without a budget after lawmakers finished their legislative session without agreement on a spending plan, setting up a November electoral showdown while public schools and social service providers brace for an uncertain future. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s suggestion for a last-minute, short-term budget […]

Social Service Advocates Sue Illinois Governor for $100 Million

Social Service Advocates Sue Illinois Governor for $100 Million

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — More than five dozen social service agencies sued Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday for $100 million in overdue payments, perhaps an inevitable byproduct of the historic 10-month budget stalemate. It’s the latest in an increasingly complex web of legal, political and public-relations maneuvers to short-circuit the state Capitol deadlock over […]

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