skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Progressives call push to change Constitution "risky," Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire; new report compares ways NY can get cleaner air, help disadvantaged communities.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

House Speaker McCarthy aims to pin a shutdown on White House border policies, President Biden joins a Detroit auto workers picket line and the Supreme Court again tells Alabama to redraw Congressional districts for Black voters.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A small fire department in rural Indiana is determined not to fail new moms and babies, the growing election denial movement has caused voting districts to change procedures and autumn promises spectacular scenery along America's rural byways.

Groups Push to Reject WV Bills Seen as Punitive

play audio
Play

Thursday, April 1, 2021   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Advocates for impoverished people are urging West Virginia lawmakers to oppose two bills being heard in a House committee Thursday, that they claim punish low-income people and drug users.

Senate Bill 387 would make permanent a pilot program that screens recipients of the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, for drugs.

Josh Lohnes, food policy research director at West Virginia University, thinks the bill places an unnecessary burden on low-income people and is a waste of taxpayer dollars since not many recipients test positive.

He pointed out the bill would restrict access to cash for the most vulnerable families with children during the pandemic, when they need assistance most.

"This is anti-poor legislation," Lohnes argued. "It's discriminatory, and there's this notion that the poor are irresponsible with their funds, that they don't know how to manage money, and they're going to go and use state funds to buy drugs, which is absolutely untrue."

Supporters of the bill say it's meant to help folks with substance-abuse problems get clean.

West Virginia is one of only 15 states in the nation to require drug screenings for cash assistance.

The second bill the House Committee on Health and Human Resources will consider would make it more difficult to run harm-reduction programs such as needle exchanges and syringe services that decrease the spread of diseases.

Jill Kriesky, retired associate director of the Southwest Pennsylvania Environment Health Project and author of a West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy report on harm-reduction solutions in the state, said the bill's requirements would make the programs too expensive to run and harm folks who depend on clean equipment.

"People who don't have access to clean syringes will reduce or share syringes, and diseases that are carried through used syringes like HIV and hepatitis C will increase significantly," Kriesky predicted.

She added the bill's provisions go against the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will cost more money for medical care.

Advocates for Senate Bill 334 say the programs cause needle litter and needle-stick injuries and pose a risk to the public.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Conservative legal groups are calling for a constitutional convention as early as 2025. (Kasia Biel/Adobestock)

Social Issues

play sound

Progressive groups are speaking out against the idea of a constitutional convention, warning it could be used to impose conservative policies on …


Health and Wellness

play sound

Today is National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and Nevada is one of the 10 states with the highest HIV infection rates. In 2021, more than 11,00…

Environment

play sound

The current Farm Bill expires Sept. 30 and with a looming government shutdown, reauthorization does not appear imminent. Wisconsin farm groups say …


More than thirty states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized low-level cannabis possession offenses, according to The Marijuana Policy Project. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Kentuckians continue to be charged, jailed and fined for cannabis-related offenses at high rates, despite dramatic shifts in public opinion, …

Environment

play sound

Three conservation groups have sued to stop a large logging project near Yellowstone National Park they say threatens endangered species in Montana…

A $27 billion fund managed by the Environmental Protection Agency is designed to help states and local communities construct sustainable green projects to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gases. (Adobe Stock/AI)

Environment

play sound

Elected officials in New York and across the country are urging state and local governments to use new funding available through the Environmental Pro…

Environment

play sound

A new poll found Pennsylvania Republican voters want political candidates to prioritize preserving and growing manufacturing including tariffs in the …

play sound

New polling data showed most Ohio Republican voters say small-town factory jobs are not coming back, and want their elected representatives to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021