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President Trump asks SCOTUS to block release of his tax returns; use of the death penalty is on the decline across the country; and a push to make nutrition part of the health-care debate.

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It's World Diabetes Day, and health care, including the high cost of insulin and other drugs, is a top issue for many voters. Plus, do early states like Iowa and New Hampshire have an outsized role in the nomination process?

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Report: Economy Impacting Well-Being of Tennessee Children

The well-being of Tennessee children is not as positive as it was a year ago, according to a report released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (morguefile.com)
The well-being of Tennessee children is not as positive as it was a year ago, according to a report released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (morguefile.com)
June 23, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - While there are some signs of a recovering economy in Tennessee, many are being left out of the uptick, and that's now being illustrated by how the state's children are doing when it comes to access to resources and health care. According to the 2016 Kids Count Data Book, the state's overall ranking for child well-being slipped from 36 last year to 38. The Foundation looked at a number of factors including poverty, access to health coverage and parent employment.

Linda O'Neal, executive director with the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, said this year's ranking is an illustration of an uneven economic recovery.

"The improvements in the economy since the Great Recession have been very uneven, and this report really highlights the fact the improvements for poor people, low-income people, for working folks have not been as much as for those who are at the higher income levels," she said.

Since 2008, according to the Casey Foundation, Tennessee has seen an increase in the percentage of children in poverty, those whose parents lack secure employment, and an increase of children in single-parent families. One in four children in the state lives in poverty and about one in three lives in a household that spends more than 30 percent of its income on housing, which makes it difficult to get ahead.

O'Neal said problem-solving for ways to help the state's children succeed has to include supporting their parents at the same time.

"We know adverse childhood experiences have intergenerational impacts; and improving conditions for children and their families, the use of two-generation approaches that help parents develop the skills and job training they need to be able to work, and at the same time develop quality early care for their children," she added.

There was some progress in access to health coverage. More children have health insurance, compared with 2008, but there remain 78,000 who are not covered.

The full report can be read online here.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN