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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Members appointed to NYS reparations commission

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Monday, March 4, 2024   

New York state lawmakers have appointed members to the Community Commission on Reparations Remedies, created through legislation Gov. Kathy Hochul signed in 2023.

Its goal is to examine the legacy of slavery and its continuing impacts on black New Yorkers. The commission will develop a report outlining recommendations for addressing these inequities.

Linda J. Mann, co-founder of the African American Redress Network, said there is one problem facing the commission: a lack of funds.

"It is absolutely imperative that funds for these types of task force, because of the amount of research that's going into it, is an imperative," Mann emphasized.

While the bill had plenty of Democratic support, it drew the ire of Republican lawmakers.

Many areas of the country are determining how to redress past disparities Black people face. A recent report found philanthropies have received millions in funds stemming from depriving Black people of opportunities to build wealth similar to those of their white counterparts.

The New York commission will have to present its findings in 2025.

A 2021 Pew Research survey showed three-quarters of Black Americans surveyed support reparations, while only 18% of white Americans support it.

Along with the U.S., countries worldwide are navigating reparations, with Mann noting they are not always compensatory.

"We're not talking about just altering economic wellness," Mann pointed out. "There's other ways in which historical harms have led to disparities in education, in health, in housing."

Beyond New York, California is the only other state to have created a reparations commission. California's reparations task force recommended some compensatory reparations based on factors such as health harms, mass incarceration and over-policing, housing discrimination and the devaluation of African American businesses. But, it wasn't certain how much all of this would amount to.

References:  
Poll Ipsos 06/15/2023

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