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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

ID anti-DEI bill in higher ed could have 'ripple effects' for state

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Monday, March 25, 2024   

Idaho lawmakers are considering a measure that would eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion programs on college campuses.

Critics say it could keep potential students from attending school in the state. Senate Bill 1357 would prohibit the use of state funds for DEI, and DEI offices from operating at colleges and universities.

Nick Koenig is a PhD student in geography at the University of Idaho.

"These positions that are trying to be taken away from this bill are specifically to foster student success on campus," said Koenig, "not just for students from marginalized groups but also just the totality of the campus community."

Lawmakers supporting the bill say eliminating DEI programs would save the state more than $3 million.

But Koenig said the consequences of eliminating these positions will have ripple effects. He said he spoke with the LGBTQ office at the University of Idaho before deciding to attend.

"The person I originally chatted with before coming to this university," said Koenig, "if her position was just not there, I would not have come to this university at all."

Koenig said the legislation would also make it hard to recruit people to colleges and universities in Idaho.

"People go to school say that they can see themselves as COOs or as teachers or as sociologists or as geographers, like in my case," said Koenig, "and if I saw that they're actively trying to remove me as a queer person from the state then, yeah, why would I want to spend four years in a state that wants to remove me as a person?"

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.



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