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Congressman Elijah Cummings has died. Also on the rundown: President Trump puts some distance between himself and policy on Syria. South Dakota awaits a SCOTUS ruling on the insanity defense, plus the focus remains on election security for 2020.

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Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, two members of the Squad, endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders. Plus, some candidates are spending more than they're raising.

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Ten Million Happy Returns for Virginia Taxpayers

January 14, 2008

Richmond, VA – If the State of Virginia spends a quarter-million dollars, it can put more than $10 million in Virginia taxpayers' pockets. That's a bargain, according to the Virginia Community Action Partnership. The group will discuss how to achieve that goal as it opens its legislative conference in Richmond today.

The organization would like to see full funding restored for efforts to make sure low-income Virginians take full advantage of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and child tax credits. This year's state budget cut $11,000 from the outreach program that would have told people eligible for the credits how to get them. Jim Schuyler, the Partnership's executive director, hopes to see that reversed.

"Everyone has been advocating for doing whatever we can to make people aware that they're eligible, and then provide the free tax preparation. Some of those people don't file returns, so they are not getting the Earned Income Tax Credit or the child tax credit. Or they may file a return, but not know that they are eligible."

Schuyler says investing in this type of outreach brings a lot of money into the state, and it's money that helps those who need it most.

The Virginia Community Action Partnership includes 29 anti-poverty agencies representing cities and counties across Virginia, although about 30 percent of the commonwealth is not in the group's overall service area. This week's conference will explore ways to ensure that low-income people everywhere in the state receive help.

John Robinson, Public News Service - VA