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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Donald Trump declines to take the witness stand; Colorado first in nation to offer free mental health care to youths; NE Center for Rural Affairs' $62 million EPA grant will expand solar access; and new report reveals long-term salary slide for MI teachers.

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Republicans may use the phantom of noncitizen voters to overturn the election, Supreme Court Justice Alito's display of an upside-down American flag reignites calls for an ethics code, and Missouri Dems filibuster for abortion rights.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Alabama

Alabama has a unionization rate of 7.5%, which is lower than the national average. In 2023, 156,000 people in Alabama's workforce belonged to a labor union. (Adobe Stock)
Workers at AL Mercedes Benz plants to make union decision

Today, workers at the Mercedes Benz plants in Vance and Woodstock, Alabama, will decide whether to form a union. More than 5,000 employees are …

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According to the Brennan Center, since the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the gap in voter participation in Alabama between white and nonwhite voters has been expanding. (Adobe Stock)
AL faces battle at ballot box; groups look to federal laws for protection

Alabama has long been at the forefront of voting rights issues in the United States and despite some progress, advocates said residents continue to …

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Medicaid expansion in Alabama could help an estimated 283,636 people gain access to health care. (Adobe Stock)
Calls grow for AL Medicaid expansion as legislative session winds down

Alabama is running out of time to tackle Medicaid expansion this legislative session. More than 230 people gathered earlier this month with the …

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According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, every dollar spent on SNAP generates between $1.50 and $1.80 in local economic activity during a financial downturn. (Irina Mikhailichenko/Adobe Stock)
Advocates rally for 2025 summer EBT funding amid Alabama meal gaps

Alabama is one of 14 states opting out of the 2024 summer electronic benefit program. As summer rolls around, there will be no programs in place to …

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Faith in Action Alabama is a nonprofit working toward community safety, equal access to liberty and inclusive democracy. (Adobe Stock)
Alabama groups focus on year-round voter education, activism

Alabama civic-engagement groups are searching for strategies to maintain voter engagement outside of major election years. As candidates gear up for …

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama has the fourth-highest rate of gun violence in the United States. (Adobe Stock)
Alabama groups unite to combat gun violence

Leaders from across Alabama are banding together in a united effort to combat gun violence and seek effective solutions. Alabama has one of the …

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Alabama's Senate Bill 1 makes it a crime for anyone, except in specific situations, to
Alabama advocacy groups sue to block restrictive new voting law

Alabama's front line advocates focused on disability, voting and civil rights are taking legal action against what they see as voter suppression…

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According to Thrivent, FAFSA delays are expected to affect more than 17 million students trying to make plans for the 2024-2025 academic year. (Adobe Stock)
AL students reflect on FAFSA delays

The revamp of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid - or FAFSA - was supposed to streamline the process for college hopefuls this fall…

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According to research from the Brennan Center, if the voter participation gap had not existed in 2020, 9 million more ballots would have been cast. (Adobe Stock)
Southern groups advocate for democracy amid legislative challenges

In the battle for democracy, grassroots organizations throughout the South are actively engaging voters on the issues that directly affect their …

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According to the Brookings Institution, one major barrier to higher education is affordability, as college prices and student debt levels have risen. (Adobe Stock)
Alabama Possible forges pathways to education equity with annual event

Alabama's goal of adding 500,000 more college-educated people to the workforce by 2025 is quickly approaching. One group is dedicated to breaking …

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The White House predicted more than 6,500 people with prior federal convictions for simple possession of marijuana, and thousands of such convictions under D.C. law, could benefit from pardons. (Adobe Stock)
AL man's presidential pardon highlights marijuana reform trend

A man from Dothan, Alabama, serving a life sentence for selling drugs received a presidential pardon, which sparked discussions about long sentences …

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In the Alabama Legislature, Senate Bill 57 would ban protestors near residences, defining
Alabama grassroots groups fight restrictive legislation

In the thick of Alabama's legislative battles and with election season peaking, a surge of controversial bills is sparking concern among civic groups…

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