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Disinformation endangered lives as it disrupted emergency response during the Oregon wildfires last fall. To adequately prevent further floods of disinformation, it may take a “whole of government” approach.
To avoid rebuilding billions of dollars worth of rail infrastructure, transit officials are looking to replace diesel locomotives with battery-powered ones. NJ Transit and LIRR are both testing electric alternatives.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week that the state will double its pandemic rent relief budget to $5.2 billion, using part of the unexpected $38 billion surplus. Details of who will be eligible have not yet been released.
The legislation would raise $3.8 billion over the next 10 years through increased fees on gas and online delivery purchases, but some are concerned that not enough would be invested in climate change proposals.
Colonial Pipeline has taken some of its technology systems down after they were compromised in a security breach. If the pipeline remains shut down for several days, gas prices could increase.
California could have as much as $16.7 billion more in revenue than what was predicted in January. Some of the surplus may be sent back to taxpayers in refunds, helping the governor’s chances in the recall election.
Officials are worried the city could lose 24 percent of its current workforce by mid-2022. Competition from the private sector has hurt recruitment, especially for specialized fields, such as engineering.
Ridership dropped by 50 percent last year as stay-at-home orders and COVID-19 concerns kept many people off public transit. Even as the economy begins to reopen, ridership remains still down 45.5 percent.
The bill blocks certain topics in government diversity and inclusion training. Some worry it will discourage discussions on institutional racism and implicit bias.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s new Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program will provide $1 billion to improve Internet access for tribal governments, colleges and organizations.
The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has limited the languages available for written driver’s license tests to seven options, removing some of the state’s most-widely spoken languages.
Gov. Ron DeSantis approved a law that will put limitations on ballot dropoffs, establish ID requirements and restrict the number of absentee ballot drop boxes. Critics argue the law is just another voter suppression tactic.
  • The People’s Collective for Environmental Justice’s Ivette Torres, regarding the increased number of retailer warehouses that are being built closer to residential areas that have experienced increased levels of pollution that can cause asthma, heart attacks and Parkinson’s disease due to delivery trucks’ diesel fuel. Amazon, one of the nation’s most prominent retailers, plans to expand its American warehouse square footage by 50 percent this year. (Ars Technica — May 11, 2021)
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House Democrats introduced legislation that would establish nationwide EV infrastructure within five years to allow a smoother transition away from gas vehicles, but Republicans argue it’s too much too fast.
The New Jersey Labor Department said the transition to the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program would be seamless for unemployment claimants, but many are still without pay after weeks.
The state’s four historically Black universities will plan to use the money to increase funding for STEM and certificate programs in an effort to close the wealth gap between Black graduates and other races.
To convert more than 240,000 housing units from gas- to electric-power could cost the city as much as $5.9 billion. Natural gas currently makes up 38 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Only two of Texas’ major companies have spoken publicly about the recent legislation that some are claiming is an act of voter suppression. But some organizations are uniting privately and plan a stronger public stance.
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News in Numbers
64%
The proportion of LGBTQ social media users who have experienced harassment and hate speech, according to a new report by GLAAD. Of those who experienced harassment, 75 percent encountered the problem on Facebook, while Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok had much smaller shares.
34
The number of racial lynching victims that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan posthumously pardoned last Saturday, a first-of-its-kind pardon by a governor.
The proportion of people who moved during the pandemic to be closer to family — an increase of approximately five percentage points from pre-pandemic levels. The pandemic sped up an existing trend of people migrating out of metropolitan areas into smaller cities. Still, some researchers were surprised to find that more people were moving for reasons other than coronavirus case rates or jobs.
30%
The amount of American land and water that the Biden administration has pledged to conserve over the next decade.
70%
The proportion of Americans that President Biden hopes will have at least one of their COVID-19 shots by July 4. So far more than 56 percent of U.S. adults have received at least one shot, and it is expected that approval will be given to start vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds in the coming days.
The proportion of new COVID-19 cases that are in children, an increase from a year ago when children accounted for just 3 percent of all cases.
The number of passengers that went through TSA screening at airports across the nation on Sunday, May 2, the highest number since March 2020, despite it still being about 35 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels.
The amount that California Democrats have proposed to help combat drought, bolstering programs and projects the state is already working on.
The amount that Amtrak has requested from Congress over a five-year timeline to overhaul some of the railway’s busiest corridors in the country. The first installment would be $5.4 billion for the upcoming fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1. The rail company wants to add as many as 39 new corridor routes and include 166 cities, increasing its service to 20 million people annually, by 2035.
The updated deadline for Real ID. The Department of Homeland Security postponed the original Oct. 1, 2021, deadline due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The amount that West Virginia will pay to those between the ages of 16 and 35 who get vaccinated, as a way to further incentivize vaccinations.
The year by which Honda Motor Co. will transition all of its vehicles to electric and fuel cell vehicles.
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