ISSUE 159 | June 1, 2022
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Medical marijuana use can still jeopardize employment for PA workers
Drug tests reveal the presence of a substance in the body – not when the substance was ingested or whether it was used legally.

Furthermore, some employers are required by federal law to test, so they must act accordingly and terminate employment even when there are no concerns for workplace safety or illegal behavior.

Drug testing primarily takes place in blue collar jobs, which creates an equity issue as well.    

State tax revenue declines amid COVID-related budget surplus 
Although the Commonwealth has secured enough tax revenue to make up for earlier pandemic-related losses, the state has not achieved pre-pandemic growth.

PA is 2.25 percent behind estimated totals for the same period (eight quarters ending the second quarter of 2021), using pre-COVID growth trends and adjustments for inflation.

Circumstances are similar for Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

PA maintains duration limit on opioids while CDC considers relaxing its own rules 
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To reduce risk of addiction, nearly every state has implemented either duration or daily dose limits on opioids prescriptions.

The CDC still encourages other treatment solutions, but in its latest proposed guidelines has opted not to set opioid intake limits.

States are pushing back now that many have seen massive decreases in opioid prescriptions.   

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Report emphasizes importance of annual appropriations for child nutrition
Food insecurity affects the physical well-being and mental health of children, and 7.6 percent of U.S. households with children experience food insecurity.

In light of these details, The Bipartisan Policy Center has produced recommendations for strengthening nutrition and food security efforts.

Federal nutrition programs like SNAP serve one quarter of Americans. 

High Roads Kitchens program funds restaurants to pay fair wages
High Roads Kitchens works with communities and restaurants around the country, providing education about fair wages, equity and implicit bias, and revenue diversification.

Grants are awarded based on project partners – at city, county, or foundation levels.

Restaurants receive the funding, and a portion of the funds must be used to serve meals to low-paid workers on a sliding-scale basis.

Huron, CA combats inequities using green transportation
The Green Raiteros program transports residents throughout Fresno County, free of charge.

Costs are largely covered by grants from state climate (which industrial polluters are required to fund).

In terms of public charging stations, the town is now on par with wealthier regions across the country, where only a handful of communities has even attempted to integrate electric vehicles into low-income neighborhoods.

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