House Legislators Cut Food Stamps for 48 Million Americans
On Thursday afternoon, the US House of Representatives passed a severely reduced version of The Farm Bill. This version of the bill eliminated the food stamp program and the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). The bill passed in a close vote of 216 to 208 along stark party lines.
In 2013, 48 million Americans, approximately 1 in 7, utilized the Food Stamp program. Between April of 2012 and April of 2013, 39 states and the District of Columbia saw an increase of SNAP beneficiaries, with Maryland, Illinois, and Wyoming recording SNAP caseload increases of 8% or higher.
The food stamp provision was originally added to the farm bill 50 years ago in an effort to bring partisan support to legislation for farm subsidies during an era when rural congressional members were decreasing in numbers. Since that time the amount of spending within the farm bill for SNAP benefits account for 80% of the bill.
The separation of the Food Stamps program from the Farm Bill was protested formally by a collection of 532 farming organizations that drafted a letter to House representatives stating their desire for the two pieces of legislation to remain together.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .