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Thursday, September 28, 2023

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UAW strike continues: Officials say EPA standards must catch up; Mississippians urged to register to vote ahead of the Nov. 7 general election; NYers worry about impacts of government shutdown.

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Senate leaders advance a plan to avoid a government shutdown, an elections official argues AI could be a threat to democracy and voting rights advocates look to states like Arizona to rally young Latino voters.

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A small fire department in rural Indiana is determined not to fail new moms and babies, the growing election denial movement has caused voting districts to change procedures and autumn promises spectacular scenery along America's rural byways.

NY Bill Aims to Grow Outreach via Community Media

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Tuesday, May 23, 2023   

New York lawmakers are considering a bill to broaden statewide outreach through local media. The Local Community and Ethnic Media Commitment Act would require state agencies to spend about 50% of their print and digital advertising budget in local community and ethnic news outlets. This issue hit home for State Senator Jessica Ramos, who introduced the bill, since she represents the multi-ethnic Jackson Heights neighborhood in Queens. A 2022 Census report finds more than 6-million people in places like New York City speak a language other than English. Ramos feels this bill is an effective way to get important information to people of all backgrounds.

"If we want people to take advantage of programs, if we want to educate people about different government processes, then we should certainly be doing so in their language, so that they're engaged and truly feel a part of our community - as they are," Ramos said.

While the bill has not faced much opposition, some media outlets feel government involvement in local media is complicated. In a 2021 report from Northwestern University, experts noted government financial support of local media might provide leverage for politicians to shape the news as they see fit. Currently the bill is in the Senate Finance Committee.

As lawmakers are still learning about the bill, it has not faced many legislative hurdles yet.
But Assemblymember Sarahana Shrestha, its sponsor, noted one barrier to getting the bill passed is time.

"Because of how much time the budget ate into, with a month delay," Shrestha said. "So on our side, with the Assembly, we're just rushing to get bills numbered, get bills moved through the committee."

She added having this provision in next year's budget would help all New Yorkers learn about new rules, programs and funding opportunities they might be eligible for. The current legislative session is set to adjourn June 8th.


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Montana has more than 30 million acres of state and federal lands, nearly one third of the state. Conservation advocates are holding a photo contest featuring people and their dogs to celebrate being outdoors. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

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This is the last weekend to get involved in a photo competition designed to encourage Montanans to explore the wilderness with their pets. There …


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Social Issues

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New Yorkers are preparing for an impending government shutdown. State officials are worried about how it could impact the work state agencies have …


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