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PNS Daily Newscast - March 5, 2021 


New rules should speed large-scale clean-energy projects in NY; Texas' Gov. Abbott tries to shift COVID blame to release of "immigrants."


2021Talks - March 5, 2021 


A marathon Senate session begins to pass COVID relief; Sanders plans a $15 minimum wage amendment; and work continues to approve Biden's cabinet choices.

Public News Service - MA: Social Justice

Just 5% of Americans who received post-secondary degrees lack a bank account, compared with 13% of people with a high school degree or less. (Paul Lowry/Flickr)

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BOSTON -- Advocates for postal banking contend having more financial services accessible at U.S. Postal Service locations could help the nation make a more equitable recovery from the COVID-19 economic crisis. More than 12 million people, or 6% of American adults, don't have a bank account. Another

A new coalition has formed to address the fact that Black and Latino residents of Massachusetts have received comparatively fewer doses of the COVID-19 vaccine than white residents. (STOATPHOTO/Adobe Stock)

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BOSTON - This week, a new coalition of civil-rights, immigrant-justice and public-health groups has laid out a path toward more equitable vaccine distribution in the Commonwealth. More than 20% of Massachusetts' population is Black and Latino - including nearly a quarter of healthcare workers. But

Black and Indigenous women die at rates three to four times the rate of Caucasian women due to pregnancy-related causes. (Wikimedia Commons)

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BOSTON -- Massachusetts members of Congress are among the sponsors renewing the push to pass the Anti-Racism in Public Health Act. It would expand federal research and investment into the public health impacts of structural racism and require the federal government to take a public health approach

Boston is one of the many cities across the country that erupted in protests over police brutality this summer. More than half a year later, a police reform bill nears passage in the General Court. (Fitz/Adobe Stock)

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BOSTON -- Massachusetts is on the verge of joining the 36 other states that have independent, civilian-led commissions in charge of decertifying police officers who violate conduct standards. An updated police reform bill now is in the House of Representatives, after state senators last week agreed

Massachusetts voters added five women to the Legislature in November, after another five were elected the previous cycle. (jpellgen/Flickr)

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BOSTON -- This year's elections didn't change the racial or political imbalances in the Massachusetts state Legislature, and electoral competitiveness remains at an all-time low, according to new data. The latest report from the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, or MassINC, found that

The Voter Protection Corps, a national nonprofit led by Quentin Palfrey in Quentin, Mass., launched in 2019 to address voting difficulties ahead of the 2020 election, including Election Night. (David/Flickr)

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WESTON, Mass. - Election experts, including a secretary of state, recently spoke with Massachusetts-based Voter Protection Corps about how election night can go smoothly. During a Zoom panel, they said most people should have an easy experience voting, whether in person or by mail. But Election Ni

In the Massachusetts General Court, a bill to make phone calls free from prisons and jails during the pandemic has reported favorably out of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. (Pikist/Creative Commons)

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BOSTON, Mass. -- As COVID-19 spreads through prisons and jails, there's legislation - both state and federal - to curb the high price of phone calls for people who are incarcerated, including in Massachusetts. In some parts of the country, a 15-minute call from behind bars can cost $25. Close to 2

The new Harvard Kennedy School and Brookings Institution report,

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Voting is required in a lot of countries, but not the U.S. A new Harvard and Brookings Institution report considers what universal voting could look like here. The paper argues that mandatory voting would improve democracy by getting more people to the polls. María Teresa K

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