National

Minnesota won't get hit by food-aid cuts in farm deal

Food-assistance funding in the bill won’t have an impact here because Minnesota officials didn't use a heating-assistance loophole to get more food stamps for hungry residents as other states did. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

From where Byron Laher sits, the economy and the bitter-cold will have a more profound effect on Minnesotans needing food than the reported federal farm bill deal in Washington.

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New bill may kill phone theft, requires controversial phone "kill switch"

In attempts to combat rising smartphone theft across the nation, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is planning to introduce a bill requiring cellphone manufacturers to include a “kill switch” on their products.

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More Head Start funding and turnaround flexibility in new federal spending bill

There are some hopeful signs for education policy coming out of the new federal spending bill, and not just for the programs that got big wins. In addition to restoring most of the federal money cut during the sequester, the bill also includes some tweaks to school turnaround that suggest a rewrite of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) might actually be possible at some point.

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Network neutrality decision underscores importance of community owned networks

In a decision announced a few hours ago, the DC Circuit of Appeals has largely ruled against the Open Internet, or network neutrality. These are rules established by the Federal Communications Commission to prevent massive ISPs like Comcast and AT&T from degrading or blocking access to certain sites on the Internet. Decision here [pdf].

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Minnesota anti-trafficking model inspires federal legislation

Minnesota passed the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act in 2011, laying the groundwork for a victim-centered response to sexually exploited children and those at risk of sexual exploitation. The Advocates for Human Rights knew when we drafted the Safe Harbor Act that it marked a sea change in how sexually exploited youth are treated in Minnesota by identifying these kids as victims of crimes, rather than criminal perpetrators.

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Voting with our forks isn't enough to build true food security

The illusion of choice takes away from our ability to get to a just, sustainable food system, meaning we’ll have to “Vote with our Vote.” We can’t afford to just “Vote with our Fork.”

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Federal budget deal averts shutdown, but without some important measures

Last week, the chairs of the budget committees in the U.S. House and Senate announced a budget deal that provides for additional discretionary funding in federal fiscal years 2014 and 2015, which is offset with lower spending and higher fees over the decade. The House passed the deal last week with a bipartisan vote, and the Senate passed it this week.

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Federal cuts squeeze housing assistance for low-income Minnesotans

Federal budget cuts to housing assistance for low-income renters “have left local Minnesota authorities scrambling to keep their programs solvent and administer needed housing assistance,” according to a new report.

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Federal spending: From whence comes the deficit?

Congress has just passed a budget for Fiscal Year 2014. The amount authorized in the budget is $1.012 trillion. This amount covers only federal discretionary spending and does not reflect the reality of what our federal government spends in totality. So, where does all the money come from, and where does it go?

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