What's Happening

Alanna Joyner

Congress leaves town without a coronavirus stimulus deal, allowing $600 unemployment benefit to end

By Alanna Joyner / August 3, 2020

Another round of coronavirus relief package talks began today, as Congress adjourned for the weekend without coming to any deal on the program or a larger emergency stimulus package. The $600 weekly unemployment benefit that helped 32 million Americans stay afloat, officially ended on Friday — leaving unemployed Americans in limbo while Congress continues to…

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Port City Daily: The Covid-19 safety nets are gone. Now a flood of evictions is here.

By Alanna Joyner / August 3, 2020

Last week marked the end of statewide eviction moratoriums in more than 30 states, including North Carolina, that had protections for renters in the CARES Act. More than 40 million Americans may lose their homes — almost four times the amount seen during the Great Recession. In North Carolina, Gov. Cooper mandated a months-long statewide…

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The News & Observer: With weekly $600 gone, NC unemployment benefits alone are not enough, workers say

By Alanna Joyner / July 29, 2020

As Congress debates how to shape the next phase of coronavirus relief, the extra $600 federal unemployment benefits that were legislated through the CARES Act have now expired for millions across the country.  The last payment rolled out this past weekend, as the House and Senate are considering different economic stimulus packages.  Instead of extending…

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Millions of Americans are about to experience utility shutoffs, evictions and loss of homes

By Alanna Joyner / July 28, 2020

Numerous moratorium on evictions across the nation, including in North Carolina, are set to end in the coming days. According to a Census Bureau survey, almost 24 million Americans say that they don’t expect to be able to make their next monthly rent or mortgage payment, as the blockage of utility charges and the eviction…

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Progressive Pulse: N.C. is fifth in the nation in lost health insurance coverage due to the COVID-19 recession

By Alanna Joyner / July 22, 2020

According to a new report from researchers at the group Families USA, North Carolina is one of the hardest hit state by COVID-19’s economic impact with 238,000 people losing health insurance through May. One-in-five adults under age 65 in North Carolina was uninsured as state lawmakers refused to pass Medicaid expansion in the latest legislative…

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The New York Times: Trump Administration Strips C.D.C. of Control of Coronavirus Data

By Alanna Joyner / July 20, 2020

Last week, the Trump Administration stripped control of all COVID-19 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and has ordered hospitals to send the information to the Department of Health and Human Services through a private company. Since the pandemic began, the CDC has regularly published data on availability of hospital beds,…

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WRAL: Safety, equity and resources are key to begin N.C. school year right

By Alanna Joyner / July 20, 2020

Decisions on reopening schools is happening across the country as the Trump Administration has pressured governors to reopen schools his fall. With numerous threats to cut school funding for states that do not adhere to Trump’s strong-arm approach, North Carolina was one of many states that announced school plans.  For North Carolina, the choice of…

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Progressive Pulse: As the General Assembly adjourns, it leaves money on the table while needs go unmet

By Alanna Joyner / July 14, 2020

The General Assembly adjourned on Saturday, with lawmakers coming back into session on Sept. 2. In its most recent legislative session, Republican lawmakers did not set aside politics on many issues, but rather ignored public health officials and sought to force the reopening of the state. During an unprecedented moment, the demands of the wealthy…

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N.C. Policy Watch: New research confirms presence of toxic “forever chemicals” in scores of NC water supplies

By Alanna Joyner / July 2, 2020

According to a new study, raw water supplies for at least 150 public utilities in North Carolina contained some level of toxic fluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS or “forever chemicals”, because they never break down in the environment. This comes after researchers from N.C. State University finding GenX chemicals in wells and water from 70 …

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Trump and his EPA dismantle environmental protections under cover of COVID-19 crisis

By Alanna Joyner / June 24, 2020

Last week, the federal government overruled North Carolina’s objection to seismic testing off the coast, saying the activity proposed by the company, WesternGeco, is in the national interest. Trump’s offshore drilling plan will allow the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management to issue permits for seismic testing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, from Maryland…

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