ISSUE 244 | February 15, 2024

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Program to Help More First-Generation Students Overcome Obstacles at King’s College

A new student program at King’s College is helping to provide resources for first-generation students.

Approximately 37 percent of King’s College students are the first in their family to attend a higher education institution.

The program, titled Monarchs on a Mission, will help first-generation students navigate financial aid, interact with support groups, and balance educational activities. 

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Proposed PA State Law Creates Paid Family Medical Leave

According to research from the United States Census Bureau, around 66 percent of workers across Pennsylvania do not have paid family and medical leave benefits, relying on unpaid leave or vacation days to they or a loved one experiences illness.

The nonprofit The Executive Forum of Women is organizing for a paid medical leave state law, which they hope to get passed within the year.

This law, following the action of New Jersey, would protect workers and provide paid extended leave while caring for an injured or ill family member.  

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DOJ Settlement Will Bring New Protections for People with Opioid Use Disorder in PA Courts

A recent settlement between The PA state court system and the United States Department of Justice now offers protections for people who have been prohibited from taking medications for opioid use.

This settlement follows the accusation that courts have forced certain individuals into giving up vital prescribed medications or risk imprisonment.

The new anti-discrimination policy, in effect for two years, is a groundbreaking agreement that can protect those seeking treatment for opioid use disorders in court systems. 

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

The End of the Affordable Connectivity Program is Here, Threatening to Widen the Digital Divide


The Affordable Connectivity Program is coming to an end sometime between April and May of this year, bringing the threat of a larger digital divide in the United States into question.

The ACP provides up to 23 million homes nationwide with a monthly subsidy for broadband access.

With millions of Americans facing a lack of broadband, the change is expected not only to have negative implications on individual levels, but can have national consequences, with a recent economics working paper estimating that for every dollar spent on the ACP, the nation’s GDP increases by $3.89.


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Colorado Moves to Connect Agricultural Workers with Mental Health Resources


A new proposed law in Colorado will increase access to mental health resources for statewide agricultural workers.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, studies have suggested that levels of depression, stress, and anxiety have increased among agricultural workers, with questions of funding, environmental issues, and other factors have become more pressing for the industry.

Some aspects of the law include introducing a behavioral health liaison, and to implement and publicize suicide prevention resources within farming communities. 

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How the Federal Income Tax System Can Worsen Racial Disparities

In the United States, White families possess nearly every type of economic related asset at a higher rate than families of color, and thus reap the most benefits from lower tax rates.

The US Department of Treasury reports that up to 92 percent of the tax value of long-term capital gains went to White families. 

The following Urban Research Report explores the ways in which the Federal Income Tax System perpetuates racial disparities. 

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