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October 27-November 3 Weekly News Round Up

A round up of current news stories on the state and national level, with a focus on feminist issues

By Tess Koenigsmark

I’m a little late on this one, but it still gives me a sense of excitement to be able to highlight a project that addresses both domestic abuse and the inequities in the criminal justice system. Activists launched a letter writing campaign in support of Marissa Alexander, the Florida woman sentenced to 20 years in jail for firing a warning shot when threatened by her abusive husband. The great part of this campaign is that it asks men to write letters in support of Alexander, thereby challenging men to become more engaged on what is often seen as a “women’s issue”. Brilliant.

The Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, the Connecticut Department of Labor, and the U.S. Dept. of Labor Women’s Bureau are hosting a “roundtable on women in science, technology, engineering and math occupations” Tuesday in Hartford. Shout out to all our STEM sisters! Details here.

An update on the battle over NYC’s stop and frisk policy.

A scheduled decrease in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (also known as food stamps) went into effect Friday, even though food insecurity remains high. Even worse, Congress is currently negotiating the 2013 Farm Bill and both the House and Senate versions call for cuts to the program.

Technical problems continue to plague the federal government’s new healthcare exchange website, but rollout of Connecticut’s site, Access Health CT, has been relatively smooth by comparison. However, challenges remain for CT’s exchange, with price cited as a top concern.

Connecticut’s Democratic Party has seen a fundraising boom thanks to a new CT law that increases the amount an individual can contribute to political parties. While advocates claim the legislation better aligns CT with federal law, others fear it’s a mistake to allow a greater influx of money into the political system.

A federal court has ruled that the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act is a violation of religious freedoms. However, this fight is far from over and will most likely land at the Supreme Court. I’m no lawyer, but I’ve never understood this reasoning. If employers are allowed to deny coverage for any healthcare they disapprove of on religious grounds, what else does that open the floodgates for?

Limiting credits is not cool, UConn.

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September 16-22 Weekly News Round Up

A round up of current news story on the state and national level, with a focus on feminist issues

By Tess Koenigsmark

New US Census Bureau data shows a widening gap between the rich and the poor, with unemployment rates for the lowest group of earners at 21 percent. Connecticut is no stranger to income inequality, particularly in Fairfield County.

CT Attorney General George Jepsen is pushing for legislation that would require healthcare providers to notify patients upfront about hospital facility fees. As more doctors’ offices are acquired by hospitals, some unsuspecting patients have been billed thousands of dollars in hospital facility fees for medical procedures.

Implementation of the state healthcare exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act is making strides in CT, but lags behind in other states. A large part of the difficulty is that many states have opted not to run their own exchange, making the federal government responsible for implementation in those states.

The House of Representatives voted to cut 4 billion dollars a year from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps). California representative Jackie Speier made an unconventional and epic argument against the cuts, which included bringing steak, vodka, and caviar to the House floor. Speier chided representatives who oppose SNAP yet eat lavish business meals around the globe on someone else’s dime.

In an effort to get more men involved in reproductive justice advocacy, NARAL celebrated “Men for Choice” day Wednesday.

The Supreme Court is likely to rule on whether the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act impinges on the First Amendment rights of business owners.

CT parents have filed a complaint against the Hartford school system after their daughter went on a field trip where students participated in a re-enactment of slavery and were subject to racial epithets.

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