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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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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.

Advocates: NYC budget makes great strides, but more is needed

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Tuesday, May 7, 2024   

New York City advocates are excited yet concerned about the 2025 budget.

In recent weeks, funding was restored to certain education programs such as shelter-based community coordinators. They helped more than 40,000 city students living in temporary housing. Funding for school psychologists and social workers was also restored.

Randi Levine, policy director at Advocates for Children of New York, said other programs need to be saved.

"Funding is running out for the Mental Health Continuum, which is a program that provides students in 50 schools with access to expedited mental health care, and is very important especially when we have a youth mental health crisis," Levine asserted.

Other programs facing cuts include restorative-justice practices which help schools reduce suspension. The budget's feedback has been mixed considering many programs will stay, although some could still be cut. Although the programs began using short-term funding, Levine feels their lasting effects in a post-pandemic world make them a permanent necessity.

Immigrant education programs are on the chopping block too. Promise NYC provides child care for kids regardless of their immigration status, and the immigrant family communication and outreach initiative helps parents who do not speak English learn about their kids' school.

Murad Awawdeh, president and CEO of the New York Immigration Coalition, said it would be a mistake to cut funds for things such as the language access program.

"That program, which would expand language access across the city of New York, which would build an interpreter bank as well as build translation cooperatives across the city and could save the city millions of dollars, was defunded and not restored," Awawdeh pointed out.

He added the recently passed state budget does give New York City enough funding to restore certain initiatives, but not enough to bolster others. Awawdeh argued with housing unaffordability continuing and people struggling to make ends meet, the city has to step up to aid everyday New Yorkers.


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