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PNS Daily Newscast - May 7, 2021 


President Biden proposes expanding the Pell Grant program to reach more students in need and the Navajo Nation addresses the need for tougher methane emissions rules.


2021Talks - May 7, 2021 


President Biden talks hurricane aid in Louisiana, Vice President Harris visits Rhode Island, defense officials talk about clamping down on domestic extremism in the ranks, and plan for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Public News Service - MA: Civic Engagement

New census data shows Massachusetts has more than seven million residents, and will keep nine representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next decade. (Siberian Art/Adobe Stock)

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BOSTON -- The first batch of 2020 Census data came out this week, with population counts and an announcement of the number of representatives each state will have for the next decade, but key block-by-block information for drawing new voting district maps will be delayed until the fall. Good-govern

Massachusetts voters casting ballots in upcoming municipal elections can vote early in person or by mail. (Seventyfour/Adobe Stock)

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BOSTON -- Massachusetts lawmakers passed a bill to extend early voting and vote-by-mail through the first half of this year, and advocates said it's a key step toward making the reforms permanent. Ahead of the 2020 elections, the Commonwealth opted to allow voters access to alternatives to in-perso

In 2019, Massachusetts lawmakers passed a law called the Student Opportunity Act to provide funding to bridge the gap between wealthy and low-income school districts. (AndriiKoval/Adobe Stock)

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BOSTON -- Educators and labor leaders in Massachusetts say the level of funding for education in Gov. Charlie Baker's proposed state budget falls short. The Student Opportunity Act was passed in 2019 to allocate more state funding over seven years to school systems with many low-income students and

Although still present at the Massachusetts State House, city council buildings in some municipalities have opted to remove the state flag, a symbol that many have sought to update for more than 30 years. (Jen Lobo/Adobe Stock)

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BOSTON - Native American leaders in Massachusetts are coming together to study and recommend changes to the state's seal, flag and motto. It's part of a new law establishing a commission to re-examine these symbols. The state seal, pictured on the flag, currently features a Native person and the se

The National Popular Vote compact needs states representing 74 more electoral votes to sign on for it to go into effect, and turn the method of electing presidents into a one-person, one-vote system. (Philip/Adobe Stock)

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BOSTON -- The Electoral College vote happens today, and some good-government groups and democracy reformers are taking the opportunity to renew their calls for a one-person, one-vote system. Massachusetts is part of the National Popular Vote compact, which says if states representing 270 electoral

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

Proponents of ranked-choice voting say a side benefit is that it discourages negative campaigning, since voters can rank more than one candidate in their order of preference. (Tom Ruen/Wikimedia Commons)

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BOSTON -- At this election, Massachusetts will consider ranked-choice voting starting in 2022. If it's approved, Question 2 would mean that voters rank the candidates in order of preference. If no one gets a majority of first-choice votes, the lowest-ranked candidate is eliminated and their voters'

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

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