Saturday, December 3, 2022

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Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Bill Would Restore Rights for West Virginians on Probation, Parole

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Wednesday, March 2, 2022   

West Virginians with past felonies who are on probation and parole currently are barred from voting, but new legislation aims to change that. Advocates of Senate Bill 488 say the goal is to help people reintegrate into society after leaving prison.

Deborah Ujevich, civic engagement coordinator for the West Virginia Family of Convicted People, said thousands of West Virginians cannot cast a ballot after serving time because they're on community supervision, parole, probation or otherwise still involved in the criminal-justice system.

"And it's very, very difficult to get them invested in some of these initiatives," she said, "because they are not permitted to vote."

Research by the Florida Parole Commission has found that people with felony convictions whose voting rights were restored after the state changed its laws in 2011 were less likely to end up back in prison, compared with those who were released prior to the change. Opponents have argued that people who've committed felony crimes aren't responsible citizens and shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Ujevich said people leaving prison face numerous challenges, including finding housing and employment. She said being unable to participate in elections is yet another factor that can add to feelings of hopelessness.

"We try to work really hard to educate people," she said, "and this lack of ability to get their voice heard, it creates a lot of apathy."

Federal figures from 2019 showed that about one in 59 adults in the United States is under community supervision. Black Americans make up 30% of those under community supervision, despite being just 13% of the adult population, according to research from The Pew Charitable Trusts.


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