TN Bill Would Tie Student Performance to Welfare Benefits
A bill that would cut welfare benefits if a recipient's child does not perform satisfactorily in school has advanced in committee in both the Tennessee state House and state Senate.
The bill would cut Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits for parents by 30% if a child does not show "satisfactory academic progress." "Satisfactory academic progress" will be determined by how a child is advancing through grade levels and their scores on standardized tests.
While not included in the original legislation, the bill has been amended to exclude children with learning disabilities or handicaps and to exclude children whose parents are making an effort to improve their child's school performance in various ways, including attending a "parenting class," arranging for a tutor, or attending parent teacher conferences. The bill does not apply to children who are home-schooled.
The bill must now be approved by a second committee in the state House, but can be brought directly to the floor of the state Senate.
Media Resources: ThinkProgress 4/1/2013; Knoxville News Sentinel 3/31/2013; Fox News 1/28/2013
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. . . .