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SCOTUS rules for Trump on ballot issue; CA high school students earn Google Career Certificates in high-demand fields; NY faith leaders help people address ecological grief; and a group offers abortion travel benefits for Mississippi women.

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The SCOTUS rules no state can remove a federal candidate from an election ballot saying that power rests with Congress, Super Tuesday primaries are today in sixteen states and a Colorado Court rules in the killing of Elijah McClain in police custody.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Groups Push Congress to Make Child Tax Credit Permanent

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Friday, July 23, 2021   

PHOENIX -- Starting this week, most Arizona families with children are seeing extra money in their bank accounts, and more than 1.5 million Arizona kids will benefit.

The new monthly payments of $250 to $300 per child, per family, are part of an expanded federal Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan Congress approved in March.

The money can be used for anything families need; groceries, rent, utility bills, or childcare.

Ilana Lowery, Arizona director for the nonprofit Common Sense, said the only problem with the plan is, it expires at the end of this year.

"We really want to urge Congress to extend those benefits because after six months, if it goes away at the end of the year, what happens then?" Lowery questioned. "We want Congress to include a permanent extension in the upcoming American Family Plan."

President Joe Biden has proposed extending the tax credit through 2025 as part of his American Families Plan. Republicans say the plan is too expensive and would put taxpayer dollars at risk for fraud or improper payments.

A Census Bureau survey last month found one-third of Arizona families with children were having problems paying their bills, 15% often didn't have enough to eat, and 12% said they were behind on their rent.

Lowery pointed out an expanded Child Tax Credit especially helps families living at or below the poverty line.

"Children that grow up in poverty, even for short periods of time, they have such long-term consequences; I mean, emotional stress, poor health," Lowery outlined. "This is a big deal, and this money can help families rise up out of poverty."

Congress is currently negotiating with the White House over which items will be included in the American Families Plan.

Disclosure: Coalition on Human Needs contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Census, Children's Issues, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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