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    PNS Weekend Update - May 23, 20150 


    In focus on our nationwide rundown: The U.S. Senate shoots down a comprise on domestic spying; a new survey finds a majority of voters in the Lone Star State oppose LGBT discrimination; and a safety mindset for boaters over this long Memorial Day weekend.

Consumer Issues

PHOTO: Sandy Simmons of Baptist Health Medical Center presented Frank Gardner with a plaque in recognition of his 16 years of partnership with them in teaching AARP Driver Safety. AARP Arkansas is highlighting Memorial Day Weekend as a good time to consider taking a safety course. Photo courtesy AARP Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Road-trip season officially gets under way this Memorial Day weekend. Summer travel planning is a good time to also brush up on safety tips, and AARP Arkansas offers driver-safety courses. Bob Rogers, AARP Arkansas Driver Safety coordinator, made it clear that there is no judgme ...Read More

PHOTO: Hundreds of families are expected to be impacted by Arizona lawmakers limiting welfare benefits to a one-year lifetime cap, making it the nation's shortest cap. Photo credit: Gov. Doug Ducey.

PHOENIX - It appears Arizona will have the nation's shortest lifetime cap on welfare benefits after state lawmakers approved action limiting it to one year. The Arizona Department of Economic Security will implement the policy change to the "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" (TANF) program ...Read More

Photo: People can help those that are hungry by adding a row to their garden this spring. Photo by GDNS.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - To celebrate its 40th anniversary and help feed hungry people, Feeding South Dakota is starting its "Plant A Row" campaign with a goal of receiving 40,000 pounds of fresh produce. The organizations Development Director Kerri DeGraff says while the organization normally asks for ...Read More

PHOTO: A new study finds more workers can't afford to live in Denver, and says Colorado needs less growth in low-paying jobs and more that pay enough for workers to make ends meet and contribute to the local economy. Photo credit: Anne Hornyak/Wikimedia Commons.

DENVER - A restaurant dishwasher would have to clock 61 hours a week to afford to live in the Mile High City. Things aren't much better for housekeepers, who'd need to put in 59 hours - or janitors, who'd need to work 51 hours a week, according to a new Colorado Fiscal Institute study of wages versu ...Read More

PHOTO: Critics of SB 1628 say consumers are being squeezed out in a legal fight between the insurance industry and trial lawyers over the payment of claims dealing with hail-damaged roofs and other storm-related losses. Image courtesy of Federal Emergency Management Agency.

AUSTIN, Texas - A bill making its way through the Texas Legislature would eliminate penalties for insurance companies when they're late paying claims. The author of SB 1628, Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), says it would stop what he terms "lawsuit abuse by storm-chasing trial lawyers." Taylor ...Read More

PHOTO: Leisurely retirement isn't in the cards for the 462,000 Washingtonians ages 45 to 64 who have saved less than $25,000 for retirement. A new state plan to allow small business employees to save through at-work payroll deductions should help. Photo credit: Wax115/Morguefile.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington has taken a step toward addressing the retirement savings crisis in the state. Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law on Monday to create an online marketplace where small business owners can choose from low-cost retirement plans offered by financial service companies. ...Read More

PHOTO: Summer vacation adventures on public lands could change dramatically if the push to turn federal lands over to state control succeeds, and there have been moves to do that in both the U.S. House and Senate. Photo of beach-goers at Assateague Island courtesy of the National Park Service.

AUGUSTA, Maine – Summer vacation adventures on public lands could change dramatically if the push to turn federal lands over to state control succeeds. Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, warns allowing state control would lock up lands for private development, and other parc ...Read More

PHOTO: A group of fourth-grade students has made passing a smoke-free law in Middlesboro their civics project. Their City Council votes on it this week. Photo credit: Greg Stotelmyer.

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. – In Kentucky, local smoke-free laws now cover about a third of the state's nearly 4.5 million people. And it may come as a surprise who is leading the call for a smoke-free ordinance in one town – seven fourth-graders. They are members of the Destination Imagination ...Read More

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