Funding Cuts Hit America’s Most At-Risk Preschoolers

Aug 20, 2013, 12:01 pm EDT

Federal budget cuts are preventing 57,000 children from attending Head Start programs.

Due to the $85 million federal budget cuts, 51,299 children won’t be able to attend the Head Start programs and 5,966 toddlers won’t be attending the Early Head Start programs this year. 57,000 children cut from the programs is actually better than the 70,000 analyst were expecting. Head Start programs across the country are being affected by the budget cuts. Thousands of head Start programs are cutting the amount of days that they will operate, cutting an estimated 1.3 million days of school. Some of the programs have had to cut back staff and hours offered, which will affect about 18,000 Head Start employees. The government spends $8 million a year on the Head Start programs, which have about 1 million children enrolled in them, reports CNNMoney.

The Head Start programs lost around $400 million due to the federal budget cuts. This is the largest cut to the program since is was created in 1965. Read 

Gov. Chris Christie Bans Gay Conversion Therapy

Aug 19, 2013, 2:32 pm EDT
Gov. Chris Christie Bans Gay Conversion Therapy

Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill on Monday that bans gay conversion therapy in the state of New Jersey.

Christie said that he believes people are born gay and that it isn’t a sin. That view isn’t shared by the Catholic church, which Christie is a member of. The Catholic church believes that homosexual acts are a sin. Christie went on to say that he doesn’t believe that children should be exposed to a therapy that can result in health risk such as depression and suicide. The bill was backed by openly-gay assemblyman, Tim Eustace, who believes that gay conversion therapy is a form of child abuse. Christie previously vetoed gay marriage, instead showing his support for New Jersey’s civil union law. The civil union law awards homosexual couples the same rights as married couples, reports the Associated Press.

“We may disagree with the governor on the issue of marriage, but it’s good to see that we see eye-to-eye when it comes to the dangers of nonsensical ‘ex-gay’ therapy and treating all life with dignity,”  Log Cabin Republicans, a GOP gay rights group, told USA Today. Read 

Gay Married Couples May Face Higher Taxes

Aug 19, 2013, 1:36 pm EDT

There is still much uncertainty regarding taxes and same-sex marriages since the IRS has yet to clarify how federal tax will apply to married gay couples.

Forbes reports that same-sex couples may not be able to file federal tax returns as a married couple unless they live in a state that recognizes gay marriage. The IRS has yet to decide whether a couple is married based on where they live or based on where they were married.

Less than two months ago, the Supreme Court did not pass Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. This law would’ve allowed federal recognition of same-sex marriages, but the Supreme Court ruled against it, deeming it unconstitutional. Read 

This U.S. City Is Pushing for a $15 an Hour Minimum Wage

Aug 19, 2013, 12:15 pm EDT

A campaign in Seattle, Washington that is pushing for a $15 an hour minimum wage is being considered by the City Council and mayoral candidates.

This push would put fast-food, retail, and other minimum wage workers to the highest minimum wage pay in the nation. The current city with the highest minimum wage is San Francisco, which pays minimum wage workers $10.50 an hour. Washington is already the state with the highest minimum wage, which is set at $9.19 an hour, reports The Associated Press.

The jump to $15 an hour is almost double what other states pay minimum-wage workers. Read 

CIA Admits Area 51 Exists

Aug 16, 2013, 12:31 pm EDT
CIA Admits Area 51 Exists

The CIA, in newly declassified documents, admitted to the existence of Area 51 on Thursday.

The CIA admitted to the existence of Area 51 in documents that were turned over to George Washington University’s National Security Archive. The documents are the history of the U-2 spy plane program and they mention Area 51. The documents have been reviewed in the past, but all references to Area 51 were removed from them. The documents say that test pilots of the U-2 found an abandoned airstrip next to a salt-bed lake. After examining the area the pilots believed it would be the perfect place to continue testing the U-2. The CIA then obtained the area from the Atomic Energy Commission, and referred to it by its map location, Area 51, reports USA Today.

The documents make no mention of Area 51 after 1974. Read 

Health Insurers Set to Shrink Pool of Doctors You Can See In-Network

Aug 16, 2013, 11:58 am EDT

To lower the cost of insurance plans, health insurers like WellPoint’s (WLP), Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield are cutting doctors from their networks.

This change is causing many consumers to take another look at their insurance. John Nowak, who has insurance through Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is one of these people. When President Obama’s health-care bill hits this fall, he’ll be left with the options of keeping his current insurer and losing his doctor, or switching to an insurer that cost more but includes his doctor. Nowak isn’t alone in his problem, this is an issue that many Americans will have to face when the healthcare bill goes into affect. While Nowak admitted that the cost of his insurance plan was important to him, he says that keeping his doctor outweighs the cost, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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