skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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

Electric bus movement looks to accelerate; Macron says he has not ruled out using Western troop to help Ukraine stand-up to Russia; two rural Iowa newspapers saved from extinction; BLM announces added protections for sensitive Oregon landscape.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Speaker Johnson commits to avoiding a government shutdown. Republican Senators call for a trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And a Democratic Senator aims to ensure protection for IVF nationwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

Virginia Lawmakers Urged to Direct COVID Funds to Working Families

play audio
Play

Monday, August 2, 2021   

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates for low-income families are urging the money be targeted for those hit hardest by the pandemic.

Kim Bobo, executive director of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, said she thinks it's fine that lawmakers have promised more than $350 million to support businesses and long-term infrastructure projects, like sewer systems.

But she also said she sees a need for equitable investment for working-class families, which so far is missing from the budget proposal. Bobo said it's especially important to help with evictions, since many landlords are refusing to take rental-assistance dollars.

"We need budget language that would require landlords to take the rental assistance before trying to evict tenants for nonpayment of rent," said Bobo. "Because we are very worried that there's going to be a huge number of evictions."

Officials from Gov. Ralph Northam's administration formed the budget bill with only Democratic lawmakers, causing an outcry from House Republicans, who say the budget process should be more transparent when deciding how to spend such a large amount of money.

Bobo said she agrees, noting there also have been no community hearings for public input - which could have helped allot more money for priorities like restocking food banks.

She said legislators have been told they can't make any budget amendments, and the governor didn't release the full budget until this past Friday.

"The result right now is that a year ago, there was a huge amount of talk about justice and equity," said Bobo. "And now, we have an opportunity to focus our dollars on low-income people - on people of color, on folks who've been marginalized - and the budget does not do that."

She added the American Rescue Plan budget calls for spending on a range of initiatives, from increasing broadband access to paying for air-quality improvements in public schools.

But she said she thinks those dollars might be better spent helping families pay for their own broadband access or computer equipment. And the money for schools requires one-to-one matching, which is more difficult for low-income communities.




get more stories like this via email
more stories
A new report shows that people who complete Prop 47-funded programs like those offered at Safe Harbor Recovery Center in Los Angeles are much less likely to be reincarcerated. (Safe Harbor)

Social Issues

play sound

Programs intended to reduce the chances that someone will end up back behind bars are working, according to a new analysis of California state data…


Social Issues

play sound

Arizona is gearing up for its presidential preference election that takes place in less than a month, and registered Democrats and Republicans were …

play sound

You might say "every day is 'bring your child to college day'" at New Hampshire's Manchester Community College. On-campus childcare programs are …


Social Issues

play sound

The number of Black mothers in Ohio who die during or following pregnancy continues to climb and health advocates said they hope to shine a light on t…

Legislative supporters say had South Dakota taken part in a new federally funded summer meal program for low-income families, an estimated 54,000 children around the state would have benefited. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

It's been an uphill battle for childhood nutrition advocates to advance meal access policies in the South Dakota Legislature. However, organizers say …

Environment

play sound

A cooperative effort has seeded more than 26,000 acres in eastern Nevada. It's all in an effort to increase desirable grasses, forbs and shrubs while …

Social Issues

play sound

Texas postal customers, especially in rural areas, are experiencing delays in mail delivery, and some letter carriers feel it could get worse…

 

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