PNS Daily Newscast - April 7, 2020 

Wisconsin holds its presidential primary today, despite late action by the governor to try to postpone it. And public assistance programs are overhauled in response to COVID-19.

2020Talks - April 7, 2020 

Today's the Wisconsin primary, although Democratic Gov. Tony Evers tried to delay by executive order. A conservative majority on the state Supreme Court blocked the delay, after the Republican Legislature previously stymied similar efforts.

Public News Service - WA: Livable Wages/Working Families

Washingtonians out of work from COVID-19 are eligible for unemployment, but should wait until at least April 18 to apply. (fabioderby/Adobe Stock)

SEATTLE -- The coronavirus pandemic is taking a financial toll on Washington state families, but there are options to help them get through this crisis. Already, Washington is seeing record numbers of unemployment claims -- more than 300,000 first-time claims over the past two weeks. Marilyn Wat

Western State Hospital staff want more screening after a patient tested positive for coronavirus last week. (WFSE)

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Some workers at Washington state's psychiatric facility near Tacoma are growing increasingly concerned about the health of patients and themselves during the novel coronavirus outbreak. Mike Yestramski, a psychiatric social worker at Western State Hospital and president of the W

A survey of Seattle-area small businesses this week found more than 40% might have to close entirely because of fallout from the novel coronavirus. (coolhand1180/Adobe Stock)

SEATTLE -- Small-business owners are on the front lines as the novel coronavirus exacts its economic toll. Washington state businesses have felt sharp and immediate pain since Gov. Jay Inslee's order to close bars and restaurants last week. Fresh Chalk, a Seattle-based online platform where people

Washington workers can use paid sick leave from their employers and apply for the state's new Paid Family and Medical Leave program if they feel ill. (LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe Stock)

SEATTLE -- Washington state's sick leave policies are in the spotlight as the novel coronavirus wreaks havoc on workers and businesses. Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute, says Washington has enacted some of the most far-reaching and progressive paid leave laws

COVID-19 is affecting people's finances, especially gig-economy workers. (Koonsiri/Adobe Stock)

SEATTLE - Financial institutions are preparing for the economic impact of the new coronavirus. In Washington state, credit unions are offering services to help mitigate financial stress and the virus's effect on people's livelihoods. Ann Flannigan, vice president for public relations with the Wash

Shoreline Community College's dental hygiene program is feeling the effects of the college's budget shortfall. (Wikimedia Commons)

UPDATE: Shoreline Community College says it's proposing to only cut one faculty position and add three. It also says the dental-hygiene program will be off limits from cuts. SHORELINE, Wash. -- With a budget shortfall looming, faculty members at a Washington state community college are concerned ab

Community supervision terms for people released from prison currently run consecutively rather than all at once. (Ulia Koltyrina/Adobe Stock)

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Legislation in Olympia would reduce community supervision terms for people with multiple felonies. But corrections officers are concerned it could spread out an already thin workforce. Under the bill, supervision terms -- which are carried out after a person is released from pr

Since 2018, California has had a law in place allowing businesses to prepare food in home kitchens. (Andy Dean/Adobe Stock)

SEATTLE -- While a bill to legalize home kitchens for businesses has died in the Washington state Legislature, supporters believe the effort helped create momentum for next session. Under current law, food for public sale has to be prepared in a commercial kitchen. That creates barriers, especially

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