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Conservationists tout Indiana's old mines and brownfields to develop renewable energy; Louisiana becomes 1st state to require the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools; Black Hills Visitor Center under new joint tribal, federal oversight; Judge set to rule on massive MT logging project.

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Former President Donald Trump says he loves Milwaukee, civil rights groups reject designated protest zones for the RNC convention and a New York Equal Rights Amendment is restored to the November ballot.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

MA Lawmakers Press for Federal Childcare Relief Legislation

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Wednesday, February 8, 2023   

Massachusetts lawmakers joined advocates for early childhood education and child care workers on Tuesday to press for federal child care relief legislation.

One in four parents reports being fired from their jobs due to a lack of consistent and affordable child care, costing the nation about $122 billion annually in lost wages and tax revenue.

Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass, the House Democratic Whip, said child care is infrastructure.

"Just like our roads and bridges, just like our airports and railroads, child care is essential to a healthy, inclusive economy," Clark contended.

Democrats are urging passage of the Child Care for Working Families Act, but it has no Republican co-sponsors. Despite a 30% boost to federal child care funding last year, advocates say the industry is still reeling from the economic effects of COVID-19, with day care facilities down about 50,000 workers from pre-pandemic levels.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass, said child care workers deserve a living wage, with strong benefits and a paid family-leave policy codified into federal law.

"This is as much about our GDP as it is our families," Pressley argued.

Pressley added the voices of early childhood educators and day care providers belong in Washington, where policy decisions are made. Her guest for the State of the Union address Tuesday was child care worker Jacueline Sanches of Mattapan, who said she has struggled to find adequate care for her own children as well.


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