05-22-2022  12:28 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

State Representative Janelle Bynum Calls for Legislative Inquiry into Clackamas County Election Debacle

Bynum says Elections Clerk Sherry Hall has repeatedly failed to adapt and accept enough help to remedy the current crisis

Here's How Abortion Clinics Are Preparing for Roe to Fall

In March, Oregon lawmakers approved million to pay for abortions and support services such as travel and lodging for in-state or out-of-state patients who travel long distances, and to expand abortion availability.

'Twitter Philanthropy' Reveals Chasms in Social Safety Net

Online direct giving is nothing new – for years, people have used sites like GoFundMe to get money for medical expenses, funeral costs and other unforeseen bills. But Pulte’s approach is nearly instantaneous

Blurry Ballot Barcodes Delay Oregon House Primary Results

Election officials in Oregon's third-largest county scrambled to tally tens of thousands of ballots with blurry barcodes that were being rejected by vote-counting machines.

NEWS BRIEFS

'Twitter Philanthropy' Reveals Chasms in Social Safety Net

The California-based chip maker said Thursday the new “mega lab” will investigate ways to make data centers operate more...

Local Podcast Wins Awards at Home and Abroad

Let’s Talk About Race is a production of Grassroot News NW and KBOO Community Radio. ...

Multnomah County Planning Commission Seeks New Member

Multnomah County’s Land Use Planning Division is looking for a Multnomah County resident to serve as a volunteer member on the...

2 Pleasure Boats Catch Fire on Columbia River

Two pleasure boats caught fire on the Columbia River between Vancouver and Caterpillar Island Sunday afternoon. One boat sank,...

WA Childhood Immunization Rates Decline During Pandemic

Immunization rates have decreased by 13% in 2021 when compared to pre-pandemic level ...

US women's soccer equal pay victory decades in the making

The U.S. women's national team has not only been wildly successful on the field, the players have also been unabashedly outspoken, using their platform to advocate for equal rights for themselves and others. The team's efforts to secure equitable pay finally came to fruition this...

Parole canceled for man who killed 3 in Washington state bar

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has overturned a decision to grant parole to man who killed three tavern workers during a robbery in 1980. Timothy Pauley was 21 when he and associate Scott Carl Smith robbed the Barn Door Tavern near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport...

OPINION

Costly Auto Repairs Driving Consumers Into a Financial Ditch

Research documents new, growing form of predatory lending ...

Can Federal Lynching Law Help Heal America?

Despite decades of senseless delays, this new law pushes America to finally acknowledge that racism often correlates to a level of violence and terror woven into the very fabric of this country. ...

The Skanner News Endorsements: May Primary 2022

Primary election day is May 17, 2022. Read The Skanner's endorsements for this important election. ...

Men’s Voices Urgently Needed to Defend Reproductive Rights

For decades, men in increasing numbers have followed women’s lead in challenging gender-based violence and promoting gender equality, so why are we stuck when it comes to abortion? ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Buffalo shooting victim laid to rest; city marks 1 week

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Roberta Drury, a 32-year-old woman who was the youngest of the 10 Black people killed at a Buffalo supermarket, was remembered at her funeral Saturday for "that smile that could light up a room,” as the city marked one week since the shooting with sorrowful moments of...

Interstatedaydream wins Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico

BALTIMORE (AP) — Interstatedaydream's owner and trainer decided to skip the Kentucky Oaks two weeks ago. That paid dividends at the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Friday. With jockey Florent Geroux aboard, the well-rested filly was able to hold off race favorite...

Handling of Buffalo suspect spurs talk of uneven restraint

NEW YORK (AP) — When police confronted the white man suspected of killing 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket, he was the very poster boy for armed and dangerous, carrying an AR-15-style rifle and cloaked in body armor and hatred. Yet officers talked to Payton Gendron,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Seeing a country with the most high-ranking tour guide

NEW YORK (AP) — With one notable exception, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan seemed to enjoy guiding American journalist Peter Greenberg around her country for the television show “The Royal Tour.” The time spent recording voiceovers she could have done without. ...

Ozzy Osbourne's daughter Aimee escapes Hollywood studio fire

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne’s daughter Aimee was among those who escaped a Hollywood recording studio fire that killed a 26-year-old music producer, Sharon Osbourne and others who work in the space said. Aimee Osbourne's producer also escaped the blaze that began...

Slimmed-down Billy Gardell savors TV success, family life

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Billy Gardell is scrupulous about giving credit where it’s due, at home and at work. He describes his wife, Patty, as the “North star” who helped him through tough times and kept their family on track. Chuck Lorre, the prominent producer who cast the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Preakness updates | Late Derby withdrawal wins on undercard

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on the 147th running of the Preakness Stakes (all times local): 5:30...

2 dead; northern Michigan town cleans up from rare tornado

Roofs and walls on a busy business stretch were turned to tangled rubble. Mobile homes were destroyed. Tornadoes...

AP source: Giuliani interviewed for hours by 1/6 committee

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rudy Giuliani, who as a lawyer for then-President Donald Trump pushed bogus legal challenges...

Albanese elected Australia's leader in complex poll result

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — Australians awoke on Sunday to a new prime minister in Anthony Albanese, the...

Turkey's Erdogan talks to Swedish, Finnish leaders on NATO

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday discussed his objections to Sweden and...

Mining companies back away from Brazil's Indigenous areas

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Some of the world’s biggest mining companies have withdrawn requests to research and...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley co-sponsored legislation Friday outlawing predatory "refund anticipation loans" targeting low and middle income families expecting to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The bill also promotes the use of secure financial services by millions of taxpayers.
Advocates say the loans are meant to bridge the gap between the time a taxpayer submits their taxes and the time they receive their refund. Right now, many low and moderate income taxpayers are forced to choose between waiting a month or more for their tax refund or turning to high-interest "anticipation" loans.
The loans can have an annual interest rate ranging from about 50 percent to nearly 500 percent and tack on additional fees, resulting in massive costs for a very short-term loan.
Merkley said in a statement that more than half of such loans are used by earned income tax credit recipients, despite the fact that only 17 percent of taxpayers receive the EITC. B
y banning these high-cost loans and expanding the use of low-cost Electronic Transfer Accounts to include EITC benefits, the Taxpayer Abuse Prevention Act allows more taxpayers to receive their refunds quickly and securely.
"The Earned Income Tax Credit benefit is designed to assist working families with their vital needs like food, housing, and clothing," Merkley said. "By tricking taxpayers into high-interest refund anticipation loans, tax preparers who offer these loans are undermining the EITC and basically stealing money away from working families."
The Taxpayer Abuse Prevention Act provisions include:
-- Prohibiting refund anticipation loans that utilize earned income tax credit benefits;
-- Ending the Debt Indicator program, which shares taxpayers' personal information - beyond what is necessary - with tax preparers;
-- Prohibiting mandatory arbitration clauses for the loans to ensure that consumers have the ability to take future legal action if necessary; and
-- Requiring that the Treasury Department provide the opportunity for low and moderate income taxpayers to open a low-cost direct deposit account at a federally insured bank or credit union through the use of appropriate tax forms.
Filing electronically and having the refund direct deposited into a bank or credit union account permits taxpayers to receive their refunds in approximately seven to ten days, without paying the high fees associated with "anticipation" loans.
Between 25 and 56 million American adults are not using mainstream, insured financial institutions like checking, savings, or electronic transfer accounts, Merkley said.

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