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Pay for public sector jobs such as those in healthcare and education, as well as 'frontline' or 'essential' workers, need to improve if we’re going to prepare for future economic challenges.

The federal response to mass unemployment and business closures due to COVID-19 helped fast-track the recovery - but the lasting effects of the pandemic on the labor force and how well prepared policy makers are to handle a potential recession or another pandemic is unclear. Read more»

The Census Bureau may change how it asks about race and ethnicity, a shift that could end what one advocate called the 'painful irony' of Native Americans, Latinos and those of Middle Eastern or North African descent having to identify as white or 'other.'

A proposal by the Census Bureau could overhaul the way it questions race and ethnicity, in an attempt to “ensure that all people are able to identify themselves within one or more of the minimum categories," and "categories reflect meaningful and easy to understand distinctions.” Read more»

Pima County Administrator Jan Lesher will unveil her proposed $1.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2023-24. It could get dicey with the board.

Pima County Administrator Jan Lesher seems to want to adjust the county's base budget upward a tad after the Great Recession forced supervisors to push it down. It's part of a plan to recruit talent and invest in roads, as the surplus reaches $159 million. Plus more in local government meetings this week. Read more»

Boats sit in Lake Powell, the nation’s second-largest reservoir, which relies in part on snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains. As water reserves have shrunk, scientists have started to study the gap between snowfall and runoff.

Some years see a big gap between snowfall and the water runoff that follows, and while there is limited data on why the disparity happens, that gap has far-reaching implications for tens of millions of people who draw water from the Colorado River. Read more»

A dust storm hits several hundred migrants as they wait on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande to be picked up and processed by immigration officials on Monday in El Paso.

A top Biden administration official said on Friday that there was no “major influx” of migrants rushing to the southern border overnight after the expiration of the emergency public health order used to quickly expel people from the country. Read more»

Migrants are escorted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents near the Paso del Norte International Bridge in El Paso on June 15, 2019.

A sharply divided U.S. House passed a border security package Thursday - dubbed the Secure the Border Act and approved largely along party lines - that was heavily influenced by Texas Republicans who took the reins on their party’s border agenda this year. Read more»

Voting rights advocates in the case have argued the court could still address the independent state legislature issues presented in the case, but was the only party that urged the justices to move forward with a ruling.

A redistricting battle that could decide the future of checks and balances on elections is now moot, the Biden administration told the Supreme Court, after North Carolina’s top court reversed a prior decision on partisan gerrymandering. Read more»

Starting Friday, border agents will expel illegal immigrants by way of a different law, Title 8, which requires screening for asylum claims but also allows for a similar expedited removal process.

The Biden administration is projecting a sense of preparedness but sought to blame Congress for inaction, while Republican lawmakers attacked the administration for not taking a stronger stance on immigration, as human rights activists are sounding the alarm over a potential crisis. Read more»

U.S. Sens. Thom Tillis and Kyrsten Sinema on a Jan. 9, 2023, visit to the border in El Paso, Texas.

In a rare sit-down with reporters, U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona said Thursday that border states are not prepared for the end of a pandemic-era measure called Title 42 used to expel millions of migrants at the border. Read more»

Though public opposition to approving over-the-counter use of Opill has been limited to a small group of conservative Christian anti-abortion groups, the anti-abortion voice has been loud when it comes to birth control access in the U.S.

Health experts unanimously voted for the FDA to immediately approve the contraceptive drug norgestrel - sold as Opill and approved by the FDA decades ago for prescription-only use - for over the counter sales, the first time a birth control pill would be available without a prescription. Read more»

The declines mostly are a reflection of historically low fertility rates, which have been below the replacement rate of two children per woman since 2010. Births increased in only a handful of states in 2021.

Thirty-five states have fewer children than they did five years ago, a situation caused by declining birth rates nationwide, but also by young families migrating across state borders in search of cheaper housing. Read more»

Still refusing to accept the results of an election he lost, Trump made numerous false claims about how the 2020 presidential election was 'rigged.'

Former President Donald Trump’s town hall event felt like a lightning round of false and misleading claims — most of which we’ve heard before - on voter fraud, immigration, classified documents and more. Read more»

The debt ceiling is the legal amount of money the U.S. can use to pay the nation’s creditors. If Congress fails to raise the limit, the U.S. will default on its bills.

U.S. House Republicans have requested more than $10 billion in earmarks to be included in next year’s appropriations bills, despite demanding massive spending cuts as a contingent for raising the nation’s debt ceiling. Read more»

Many migrants won’t be eligible for asylum under the new rules, and others who are caught crossing illegally could be deported under Title 8 and face tougher consequences, including a five-year ban on re-entry and criminal prosecution.

Migrants who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border without first seeking protection in a country they passed through – or without first applying online – will largely be denied asylum under a new immigration order that’s set to go into effect when Title 42 expires. Read more»

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in Nogales, Ariz., in March.

As Title 42 ends, the Biden administration announced a rule Wednesday that drastically restricts asylum claims by migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, prompting sharp criticism from immigration advocates and civil rights groups. Read more»

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