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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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Federal funds boost Northeast high-speed EV charging network; the Heat Dome remains the top story over more than half the nation; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in TX face health disparities; Groups debunk claims of 'skyrocketing' numbers of non-citizen voters.

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U.S. House passes the National Defense Authorization Act, with hard-right amendments. Political scientists say they worry a second Trump presidency could 'break' American democracy, while farmers voice concerns about the Farm Bill.

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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.


A 2015 study by the Boston Federal Reserve Bank found the median net worth for white households in Greater Boston was $250,000, while for Black households it was just $8. Researchers are currently updating those findings. (Adobe Stock)

Monday, June 17, 2024

MA Commission on Poverty tackles historic wealth gap

A Legislature-backed Commission on Poverty in Massachusetts aims to address the state's historic wealth gap. The commission will study demographic …

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Of the nearly 2.5 million people living within the 78 coastal communities in Massachusetts, roughly 55% are in state-designated Environmental Justice Block Groups, communities of color and low-income populations dealing with the effects of climate change. (Adobe Stock)
Federal funds help build Boston’s climate-ready workforce

The City of Boston has been awarded nearly $10 million in federal funding to help build a Climate-Ready Workforce. More than 1,000 people will …

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Up to $31 trillion in U.S. economic activity hinges on helping young people complete learning delayed by the pandemic, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Research shows that students who don't advance beyond lower levels of math may be 50% more likely to be unemployed after high school. (Adobe Stock)<br />
High housing costs in MA impacting childrens’ overall well-being

Massachusetts is known for its quality education and health care systems, but high housing costs are straining family budgets and impacting …

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Over the past two decades, 5,329 patients in the United States have utilized medical aid-in-dying laws, while at least 8,451 patients received a prescription, according to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. (Adobe Stock)
MA could become 11th state with medical aid-in-dying law

Lawmakers in Massachusetts are considering legislation to allow medical aid in dying as an option for mentally capable, terminally ill adults…

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MassEducate would invest $75.5 million in new spending to cover tuition and fees for all residents, and offer an up to $1,200 stipend for books, supplies and other costs to students who make 125% or less of median income in the state. (Adobe Stock)<br /><br /><br />
Free community college plan in MA burdens underpaid, overworked staff

The Massachusetts Senate has proposed free community college for all residents, but educators say an influx of new students could overwhelm the …

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Economic factors often influence access to health care. In Massachusetts, adults age 65 and older with less than a high school education are more than 11 times as likely to have teeth extracted than those with a college degree, according to United Health Foundation's 2024 Senior Report. (Adobe Stock)
Housing, transportation limit MA seniors' access to quality health care

High housing and transportation costs are preventing some Massachusetts seniors from seeing their health care providers, according to a new report…

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Federal regulators are considering the effects modernizing America's energy grid will have on wildlife. A 2023 NatureServe report showed 40% of animals are at risk of extinction and 41% of ecosystems are at risk of range-wide collapse. (Adobe Stock)<br />
New transmission planning rule takes MA wildlife into account

Conservation groups in Massachusetts are backing the Biden Administration's new plan to update the nation's power grid. Studies show the U.S…

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States are increasingly dropping high school standardized exit exams in favor of alternative assessment methods. In 2014, 24 states required students to pass a standardized test to receive their diploma. Now, only eight maintain the requirement. (Adobe Stock)
MA ballot measure would end MCAS graduation requirement

Massachusetts voters could face a possible ballot measure this November to end the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System graduation requiremen…

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Parents of young people harmed by social media platforms are urging Congress to pass the
Parents press for online child safety reforms amid Congressional reform

Massachusetts parents of children harmed by social media platforms are calling on Congress to advance the bipartisan "Kids Online Safety Act." The bi…

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A recent Federal Trade Commission report found major grocers nationwide are overcharging customers for groceries. Retailers' revenues were 6% higher than their total costs in 2021, and then jumped to 7%, despite an easing of pandemic-related supply-chain disruptions. (Adobe Stock)
MA household debt grows as grocery prices remain at post-pandemic highs

Massachusetts residents struggling to pay high food prices are acquiring a growing amount of debt to pay their bills, according to a new report…

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Communities nationwide are facing a shortage of maternity health care providers with nearly 7 million women living in so-called ">
MA lawmakers push Medicaid expansion to improve maternal mortality rates

On the heels of Mother's Day, Massachusetts lawmakers are backing legislation to address the country's high rates of maternal mortality. The "Mamas …

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Students and faculty at Northeastern University in Boston surround a pro-Palestinian encampment on their school's campus, which stood for two days before administrators called in police to remove it. (Ehn)
Northeastern University students, staff condemn arrests, charges of antisemitism

Students and faculty at Northeastern University are demanding their school issue a public apology for what they say are false charges of antisemitism …

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