State Highlights: Concerns In Oregon About Housing For People With Mental Illness; Faith Community In Indiana Pushes Universal Health Care
Media outlets report on news from Oregon, Indiana, California, Ohio, Texas and Florida.
Mental Health Advocates Blast Oregon Health Authority
A leading advocacy group has asked Oregon to halt a key component of its massive effort to move people into less restrictive housing for people with mental illness, citing serious concerns about people’s safety. Disability Rights Oregon highlighted problems with a state contract with Kepro, a company hired to review medical needs of people with mental illness. Neither Kepro nor the state has tracked outcomes to ensure people remain healthy after moving out of locked or other specialized facilities for people with mental illness. (Zarkhin, 12/5)
Indiana's Religious Left Flexes Its Political Muscle
The group, consisting of a broad political spectrum of Muslims, Jews and Christians, has organized in minority communities on issues like immigration, universal health care, criminal justice reform, and early childhood education. They're offering a new call to action for religious voters, says Nicole Barnes, Faith in Indiana's voter engagement director. (Chapman 12/6)
San Francisco Chronicle:
California High Court Signals Possible Agreement With State On Worker Pension Rollback
Confronting a public pension system with rising deficits, the California Supreme Court seemed inclined Wednesday to approve some legislative reductions in future retirement benefits for hundreds of thousands of state and local government workers, but not the far-reaching cuts backed by Gov. Jerry Brown.The justices heard arguments in Los Angeles on the right of public employees to buy additional retirement credits while still employed. (Egelko, 12/5)
More Suburban Cincy School Kids In Poverty, Census Estimates Show
Poverty for school-age children rose in 39 of 48 Southwest Ohio school districts from 2007 to 2017, an Enquirer analysis of U.S. Census Bureau estimates released earlier this week shows. In Northern Kentucky, poverty rose in 7 of 14 districts. The recession officially started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. (Curnutte and DeMio, 12/6)
South Texas DA Will Seek Death Penalty Against Border Patrol Agent Accused Of "Serial Killing Spree"
The United States Border Patrol agent who authorities say went on a killing spree in September on the Texas-Mexico border will face the death penalty if convicted of capital murder, the Webb and Zapata County District Attorney’s office announced Tuesday. Juan David Ortiz, an intelligence supervisor for the Border Patrol, was arrested in the pre-dawn hours Sept. 15 after local and state law enforcement say he allegedly murdered four Laredo-area sex workers, including one transgender woman. (Aguilar, 12/5)
American Airlines Workers In Miami Making Below Living Wage
First passed in 1999, the living wage applied to companies working directly for Miami-Dade, including airline subcontractors like Eulen America, which provided wheelchair transportation for airline passengers. American Airlines used to pay Eulen for wheelchair service, but recently moved hundreds of attendants to its own subsidiary, Envoy, which is exempt from the living-wage law. One of those workers, who spoke to the Miami Herald anonymously for fear of retribution, said she went from making $16.15 per hour to making $9.50 per hour when the switch happened in November. (Dolven, 12/5)