State Issues
Depending on where you live, getting around can be a challenge.  If your city does not have cabs zooming down the streets or a complex subway system, your options can be limited.
Between 2005 and 2014, there have been 4,695 security breaches exposing 633 million records, according to the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center. The average cost of a breach to an organization is estimated at $3.5 million.
Legislators are tackling issues ranging from public pensions funds to Common Core, and from body cameras to infrastructure. The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) has ratified several resolutions that offer lawmakers guidance on solving issues that affect our communities. Below are summaries addressing the trending policy debates in legislatures: Public Pensions, Health Insurance Subsidies, Medicaid, Carbon Emissions, Infrastructure, Net Metering, Marijuana, Police Oversight, and Common Core State Standards.
States often face challenges in linking vital, public programs and services to eligible groups—especially when the targeted groups are disparate, hard to identify, or historically difficult to reach. As a result, policymakers have sought to utilize existing state-wide institutions to connect with constituents. An example of this is working with a state department of motor vehicles.
Since the founding of the Republic, gun rights have been a major issue for African Americans, who still today seek the right balance of public safety, self-defense, and Second Amendment protections. This issue has gained even more attention with recent large-scale shootings across the country and the gun violence occurring in Black, impoverished communities.
Perspectives on marijuana use are changing, especially at the state level. Colorado and Washington State legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012. Several other states, including Arizona, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, have already legalized marijuana for medical use. Currently, Florida, Kentucky, New York, and West Virginia are considering bills to legalize marijuana for medical use and others look to follow the Colorado-Washington example to allow recreational use through legislation or ballot referenda.
In March of 1931, nine Black teens aged 13 to19 boarded a train in Scottsboro, Alabama. Their names were Olen Montgomery, Clarence Norris, Haywood Patterson, Ozie Powell, Willie Roberson, Charlie Weems, Eugene Williams, Andy Wright and Roy Wright. When a fight broke out, these young boys were arrested for assault and later, two White women accused the young men of rape.
In March 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. The sweeping legislation reforms the nation’s health care and insurance system and provides greater safeguards for patients. The law aims to ensure that all Americans have access to quality and affordable health care when they need it.
This past July, the City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy becoming the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, a title formerly held by Jefferson County, Alabama.
A recent National Public Radio news headline read, “Black Children Cost Less to Adopt.” Besides alarming readers as they sifted through their morning news feeds, this news headline and full story used a satirical beginning to shed light on a topic that continues to be an issue across the United States. The issue is the large number of African-American children that remain in the foster care system, looking for families and searching for homes.
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