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    PNS Daily News - December 19, 20140 


    Among the stories featured on our Friday rundown; President Obama reported to be ready to take executive actions concerning Cuba; North Carolina marks another year without an execution; and Congress makes it easier for people with disabilities to save.

Budget Policy & Priorities

PHOTO: The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allows those with disabilities to establish a savings account of up to $100,000 for related expenses, without putting their benefits in jeopardy. Photo credit: Erin Sparling/Flickr.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A common barrier to financial stability for individuals with disabilities is on its way out with Congressional approval of the Achieving a Better Life Experience or the ABLE Act. Rik Shannon, public policy manager with the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, says the legisla ...Read More

GRAPH: Millions of American jobs have been lost to trade with China, including tens of thousands in Pennsylvania. Graphic courtesy of the Economic Policy Institute.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — International trade is promoted as a job creator – and it is – but it's all about where the jobs are created. A meeting of Chinese and United States representatives is taking place this week (Dec. 16-18) in Chicago, and the topic is the trade relationship between ...Read More

PHOTO: New York Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens presented Gov. Cuomo and his Cabinet with their reports recommending a continued ban on fracking for natural gas. Photo Credit: Office of the Governor.

ALBANY, N.Y. - In a long-awaited announcement, the administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday ruled the potential health and environmental risks of fracking for natural gas are too great and not enough is known about them to allow it in New York. In extending a de facto ban on using ...Read More

PHOTO: Half of working Marylanders, at least 1 million people, don't have access to a retirement savings plan through work. A task force is looking at ways to change that. Photo credit: Microsoft Images.

BALTIMORE - Half of working Marylanders - at least 1 million people - don't have access to a retirement savings plan through work. The Governor's Task Force to Ensure Retirement Security for all Marylanders has kept that fact front and center as it explores options to help people at all wage levels ...Read More

PHOTO: Colorado may have to return the $30 million collected so far from the tax on recreational marijuana because of the state's Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR law. Photo credit: Meghan Barkley/Flickr.

DENVER - At least $30 million has been generated so far by Colorado's special tax on the sale of marijuana, but some "fine print" in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) law may force the state to refund the money marijuana sales have generated, instead of it going to schools. According to Propositi ...Read More

PHOTO: Gov. Bill Haslam has announced a plan to expand Medicaid in Tennessee, which will be the focus of a special session in the state's 2015 General Assembly. Photo credit: Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce/Flickr.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In a move that could help some 200,000 low-income workers in Tennessee obtain heath insurance, Governor Bill Haslam has announced his plan to expand Medicaid in the Volunteer State. According to Shelley Courington, advocacy director with AARP Tennessee, the proposal leverages fed ...Read More

PHOTO: Shyne Brown of Doddridge County says both of his daughters have used services provided by the state Family Resource Network. He says West Virginia should provide a steady funding stream for the programs. Photo by Dan Heyman.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The agenda for the Our Children Our Future initiative in the upcoming West Virginia legislative session is heavy on prevention, in part because experts say prevention works in ensuring stable, long-term heath for children. Part of the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coal ...Read More

PHOTO: Under a new health care proposal from a state Medicaid redesign group, Idaho would save $173 million over 10 years. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith.

BOISE, Idaho - Health care coverage for about 78,000 Idahoans, and a savings to the state and its 44 counties of $173 million over 10 years. Those are the benefits calculated by the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy in the new health care proposal from Governor Butch Otter's Medicaid Redesign Workgrou ...Read More

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