Sunday, September 19, 2021

Play

Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.

Play

Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

"Unintended Consequences" of Ending Pandemic Unemployment in Idaho

Play

Friday, May 14, 2021   

BOISE, Idaho - Gov. Brad Little announced this week he will pull Idaho out of the federal unemployment programs that have provided enhanced benefits to people who lost jobs during the pandemic.

Little says employers are struggling to find workers because some are making more money on unemployment, citing a federal program that adds $300 a week.

But Kirsten Pochop, policy analyst with the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy, said the move could have unintended consequences - as many Idaho families continue to struggle with low wages and rising housing costs.

"We also have an additional problem which is somewhat unique to Idaho, in that we have a child-care shortage," said Pochop. "And so, there's really a lack of spots for families to put their children under the age of six. So, that also impacts how easy it is for people to go back to work."

Idaho will end its participation on June 19 in federal unemployment programs that increase compensation, and extend benefits past the regular time limit for unemployment and to folks who usually don't qualify. Chambers of commerce across the state have praised Little's decision.

Pochop said even though more people are going back to work, about 93,000 Idahoans reported their households didn't have enough to eat in March. She said it's more proof of costs rising in the state - despite Idaho's minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the same as the federal minimum.

"For these very low-paid jobs," said Pochop, "families have to consider, 'What's my health worth?' And if they're only going to be paid a very low wage, and they have a really high risk of catching the virus, they have a really difficult calculus to make."

There have been about 190,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,000 deaths in Idaho. More than 540,000, or nearly 39% of Idahoans age 16 and older, are fully vaccinated.

Pochop said the state can help workers in a few ways, such as investing more money in child care and creating more affordable housing.

"There's federal money available to support low-income housing and to build more housing units," said Pochop. "We need more of that to help with the supply, which will ultimately help with the cost of living, to help make Idaho more affordable."


get more stories like this via email
A panel of House Democrats proposes raising $2.9 trillion in new taxes to pay for President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" plan through higher tax rates for wealthy Americans. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - As U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., takes heat this week for attending a posh fundraiser in a dress that said "Tax the …


Environment

EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …

Social Issues

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The pandemic is shining a new light on the burdens felt by family caregivers, and a bill in Congress would remove some of the …


Republican lawmakers across the country have proposed legislation to limit or forbid the teaching of such concepts as racial equity and white privilege. (Kelly Lacy/Pexels)

Social Issues

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is lashing out against the idea of Critical Race Theory, filing a bill to ban its use in all …

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. - Wealthy Americans have a message for Congress: Tax us more. More than 200 high-income taxpayers and business owners have sent an …

Better flood resiliency is top of mind in New York, after scenes like the Long Island Expressway's partial shutdown in Tropical Storm Ida. But who will pay for it? (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. - As a U.S. House committee debates the Biden administration's "Build Back Better" Act, a letter from more than 200 wealthy Americans …

Social Issues

By Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Lily Bohlke for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Environment

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Three New Hampshire professors are among those who've signed a letter urging the United Nations General Assembly to adopt what's …

 

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