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As Democrats bicker over massive spending plan, here’s what’s at stake for Medicaid

Democrats are moving to close the Medicaid coverage gap as they forge a package of new domestic spending that could run as high as $3.5 trillion over 10 years and would significantly enhance other federal health programs, but the cost is raising concerns within the party.... Read more»

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How COVID-19 pushed Americans to the brink of homelessness

Across the country, as many as 1 in 5 renters say they have fallen behind on rent during the pandemic, and for families who have no financial safety net to fall back on, the economic consequences of the coronavirus have pushed them to the precipice of homelessness.... Read more»

FactCheck

Senators Sinema and Portman claim infrastructure bill Is 'paid for'; experts disagree

Both Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, the senators who negotiated a bipartisan infrastructure bill, have claimed the legislation is “paid for” - but a budget watchdog group says the bill only pays for about half of the $548 billion in new spending.... Read more»

Black women with children excluded from federal cash assistance program, report finds

Experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outline how states can remove restrictive requirements placed on Black families to receive cash assistance for food, bills or rent, after research found that Black women with children were repeatedly excluded from the programs.... Read more»

COVID-19 relief would overhaul, boost aid for 1.5 million Arizona kids

As many as 1.5 million Arizona children could benefit from an expansion of the child tax credit that would mean monthly checks to parents of up to $300 per child if approved by Congress this week.... Read more»

Here's what you need to know about the reopening of the Obamacare marketplace

President Joe Biden signed an executive order to open up the federal health insurance marketplace for three months as of Monday so uninsured people can buy a plan and those who want to change their marketplace coverage can do so.... Read more»

Report: Arizona continues to trail other states in higher-ed support

Arizona continues to be one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to funding higher education, still reeling from deep budget cuts that were made during the recession, according to a new national report.... Read more»

As demand surges, advocates worry food stamps miss eligible families

The number of food stamp recipients in Arizona has surged over the past year, but advocates worry that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is still only reaching a portion of those eligible for assistance. ... Read more»

Communities struggle to make best use of COVID homeless aid

Congress included $4 billion in its pandemic relief package to help homeless people, but eight months after passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, many communities have yet to benefit from the funding. ... Read more»

GOP lawmakers, ALEC urge feds not to 'bail out' states

Several Republican lawmakers from Arizona are urging the federal government not to provide funding to states and cities that are coping with the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as Arizona faces a projected budget deficit of more than a billion dollars.... Read more»

State taking steps to reopen economy, but reviving it could take years

As businesses shuttered by COVID-19 and resulting high unemployment have led to a collapse in sales and income tax revenues, state and local governments may be forced to slash budgets. That, in turn, could slow the overall recovery, economists say, with fewer workers and services pumping money back into the economy.... Read more»

Congressional Dems want more federal cash to combat hunger during pandemic

Democratic lawmakers want to prioritize food insecurity in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation. ... Read more»

Advocates decry Trump administration plan to rein in food stamp access

Arizona is one of the 43 states that could be affected by a Trump administration proposal to tighten restrictions on access to food stamps for people receiving other financial assistance.... Read more»

Arizona saw biggest post-recession tuition increases in nation

Arizona universities have posted the largest tuition increases in the nation since the start of the recession, with the $5,355 increase per student more than twice the national average.... Read more»

Report: Az schools saw some of nation’s steepest spending cuts

The state's per-pupil spending fell 17.5 percent since 2008, a decline that trailed only Oklahoma and Alabama. Advocates said the cuts show up in the form of larger classes, fewer teachers and more. ... Read more»

Report: Az had steepest higher-ed cuts & tuition increases

Arizona had the nation’s steepest per-student cuts in state aid to higher education and the highest rates of tuition increase from pre-recession funding levels until today, according to a new report.... Read more»

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