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News from the Rutgers Social Policy Network
December 8, 2021

Today, the Social Work Policy Network offers a glimpse of their weekly e-update.
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REDISTRICTING 101: Why Maps Go To Court
"When you hear the word “redistricting,” your mind might jump right to lawsuits. That’s because redistricting can be a fraught process...and some of the best protection voters have against disenfranchisement is through the courts. Learn when to expect litigation over this decade’s maps and why it matters." Click here for today's explainer on why redistricting maps go to court.

NATIONAL REDISTRICTING UPDATES
Biden administration sues to block Texas redistricting maps, Politico: "The Justice Department has sued to block Texas’ updated congressional and state House maps, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday, alleging that the districts redrawn after the 2020 census disenfranchise minorities in violation of the Voting Rights Act." 
Also - How Texas Plans to Make Its House Districts Even Redder, NY Times.

LOCAL & REGIONAL UPDATES
Rules to allow thousands more perform abortions in NJ, NJ Spotlight: "New Jersey is adopting new rules that will expand access to reproductive health care by allowing certain health care providers other than physicians to perform abortions....The new regulations now allow office-based terminations of pregnancy beyond 14 weeks and have been updated to integrate reproductive care within the generally applicable rules designed to ensure the safety of patients who undergo surgery or special procedures in an office setting."

N.J. students, activists demand action on legislation to confront ‘overpolicing’ in schools, WHYY: "Make The Road New Jersey, a nonprofit that advocates for Latino communities and immigrants, organized a demonstration at the Statehouse on Monday... [The] goal is to get the state legislature to pass a bill that would require report cards to include information about the number of school mental health professionals and police officers assigned to students."

Weaknesses in NJ’s paid family leave program outlined in new report, NJ Spotlight: "Taking time off to care for family — while getting paid — is being discussed in Washington as part of the 'Build Back Better' bill. In New Jersey, we’ve had paid family leave for a while but a new report from the Rutgers Center for Women and Work finds that many residents who could benefit from paid family leave are not even aware the program exists and others are not getting reimbursed in a timely manner."

NATIONAL UPDATES
Why unions are good for workers—especially in a crisis like COVID-19, EPI: "For decades, union leaders and workers’ rights advocates have called on policymakers to reform a badly broken system, warning that the erosion of unions—and of worker power more broadly—was contributing to extreme economic inequality and threatening our overall democracy. In spite of efforts to push policy reforms, the U.S. entered the COVID-19 pandemic with a weak system of labor protections, historically low rates of union density, and extreme economic inequality." 

Biden’s bewildering decision to expand a Trump-era immigration policy, Vox: "President Joe Biden says he wants to end the “Remain in Mexico” policy, a Trump-era program that has forced tens of thousands of migrants to await decisions on their immigration cases in Mexico for months. In a seemingly contradictory move, Biden is first reinstating and expanding it. The program’s return was ordered by the courts. The policy’s expansion, however, was a choice made by the Biden administration."

Build Back Better Reduces Racial Disparities, CBPP: "The House Build Back Better (BBB) legislation takes important steps to address racial disparities rooted in this nation’s long history of racism and discrimination, which has created large gaps in both opportunities and outcomes in education, employment, health, and housing. BBB promises to achieve significant benefits for millions of people — children of color in particular — by investing in programs and policies with a proven track record.And it pays for these investments with progressive policies that require the wealthy and profitable corporations to pay a fairer amount of taxes."

Democrats offer bill to raise debt ceiling, avoid filibuster, The Hill: "The legislation would set up a one-time process to raise the debit limit to a specific number without requiring 60 votes to overcome procedural roadblocks. After that process is established with the help of Republicans, then Democrats are expected to pass the separate debt-ceiling increase without any GOP support." 

PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Policy Director, New Jersey Consortium for Immigrant Children (Jersey City, NJ)

Data Analyst, Inclusiv (New York, NY)

Data & Evaluations Manager, Philadelphia Education Fund (Philadelphia, PA)

Research Program Coordinator, Political Research Associates (Somerville, MA)

The Social Work Policy Network's e-newsletter is created by:
Brittany Libby, MSW Graduate Student, Network Research Assistant
Dr. Lenna Nepomnyaschy, RU Associate Professor, Network Founder

Are you aware of any policy updates, events or academic articles that you wish to see in this newsletter? Submit your contributions to us via russwswpn@gmail.com

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