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U.S. mayors train to fend off increased threats and harassment, the Illinois governor signs a ban on 'Ghost Guns,' and death anxiety could play a role in Vladimir Putin's Ukraine invasion.


The White House asks Congress for more pandemic support, the House passes a domestic terrorism bill, Kansas' Supreme Court upholds a new congressional map, and a House committee hears testimony on abortion access.


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Flood Resiliency: One NY Priority for "Build Back Better" Plan


Friday, September 17, 2021   

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 calls on Congress to pass tax hikes proposed to pay for it.

The plan includes shoring up social safety-net programs, but also boosts clean-energy jobs and creates a Civilian Climate Corps - to be paid for by increasing tax rates for the country's highest earners.

Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said the infrastructure investment is dire, especially since the state was hit hard by Tropical Storms Henri and Ida.

"So, we know we have a great need to be making our communities more resilient," she said, "and having the water infrastructure investments that are included as part of Build Back Better will make a big difference in making New York better prepared for flooding events, which are going to be more frequent and more intense here in the Northeast."

Fourteen New Yorkers are among those who signed the letter. The plan unveiled by House Democrats calls for top corporate and individual tax rates of 26.5% and 39.6% respectively, rolling back Trump-era tax cuts made in 2017.

In the letter, high-net-worth individuals said it's time for those who have been able to build wealth to pay what's referred to as "their fair share."

Sandra Fluke, president of Voices for Progress, a group that organized the letter campaign, said this tax-based support could fund programs that change the trajectory for families across the country.

"Everything from the care economy, around child-care affordability, to things like protecting all of us from the natural disasters we're currently experiencing are good investments," she said, "investments that will help to rebuild our economy and to strengthen our democracy."

Build Back Better also includes funding for paid family and medical leave and universal pre-K. President Joe Biden has pledged not to increase taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year.

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