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January 23, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

DC officials take steps to protect unpaid federal workers during shutdown

SHUTDOWN
– The DC Council passed emergency legislation on Tuesday to expand the safety net for unpaid federal employees and contractors during the partial government shutdown, and the Bowser administration is providing $2 million in emergency funds to help food stamp recipients. (WaPo, 1/23)

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser also announced she was introducing legislation to give the city authority to grant unemployment benefits to essential employees who must show up to work without pay, such as TSA airport screeners and special police. The U.S. Labor Department denied her request to authorize such benefits last week. “They are deemed essential, they are required to go to work, and they are not getting paid,” she said at a news conference at a warehouse for the Capital Area Food Bank, one of the charities ramping up services during the shutdown. “They provide some of the most vital services for us.”

– ‘Barely Treading Water’: Why The Shutdown Disproportionately Affects Black Americans (NPR, 1/14)

RACIAL EQUITY | The DC Council voted on Tuesday to override Mayor Muriel Bowser’s veto of its legislation decriminalizing fare evasion on Metro, arguing that Black residents are disproportionately impacted by fare evasion enforcement. (WaPo, 1/22)

HEALTH | Maryland could become the first state to put a cap on prescription drug costs by creating a state board tasked with limiting what people pay for prescriptions. (WAMU, 1/22)

EDUCATION | The Kirwan Commission approved a $3.8 billion increase in spending on public schools to make Maryland’s public schools some of the “best in the country.” (Sun, 1/18)

ENVIRONMENT | DC Mayor Muriel Bowser signed a sweeping clean energy law, requiring all of DC’s electricity to come from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2032. (GGW, 1/22)

LGBTQIA | The Supreme Court has reinstated President Trump’s ban on transgender military service during a lower-court appeals process. (NPR, 1/22)

VIRGINIA
Equal Rights Amendment Proposal Fails To Advance In Virginia Legislature (WAMU, 1/22)

– Virginia lawmaker proposes legislation to help youth in foster care. (Inside Nova, 1/21)

PHILANTHROPY
– United Philanthropy Forum members are working to eliminate racism and advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion in philanthropy.

– A new Urban Institute report validates the recent Chronicle of Philanthropy findings that ranks greater DC as a place of exceptional giving, but also shows that there is considerable variation among giving patterns within the region. (Urban Institute, 12/21)


To help stem population decline, small towns around the world are offering homes to newcomers at almost no-cost – hellloooooo Australia!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday!

– Buffy

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