04-14-2021  8:05 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Leaders Respond to City Council Compromise on Gun Violence Prevention

Nearly million will fund community-centered approaches to uptick in shootings.

Portland Police Declares Riot After Vigil for Daunte Wright

Police said they issued verbal warnings to the crowd but around 10:30 p.m. police declared the gathering as a riot and bull-rushed protestors, knocking them to the ground and macing them, news outlets reported.

Portland Leaders To Re-Establish Anti-Gun Violence Unit

Mayor Ted Wheeler and city commissioners have reached a deal on proposals intended to stem a spike in gun violence over the past year.

Three Black Candidates File to Run for Board Positions in Portland Schools and PCC

May 18 election presents handful of openings for four-year terms.

NEWS BRIEFS

WA Black Lives Matter Alliance: Weekend Legislative Wins Mark an Historic Step Toward Police Accountability

The Alliance urged quick reconciliation on the 9 bills passed this weekend and immediate signing by Gov. Jay Inslee. ...

FEMA Trailers Being Used for Oregon Wildfire Survivors

Rumors that the trailers housed unaccompanied immigrant children spurred people with guns to show up at the site ...

Tishaura Jones Makes History As First Black Woman To Become Mayor of St. Louis

Jones has just been elected as the first Black woman to hold the title in the city’s 257-year-history ...

COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Cases in Oregon

168 vaccinated individuals have tested positive for the virus through April 2, including three deaths ...

VIDEO: Short Film Released on Portland Metro’s COVID-19 Response

Six-minute documentary shares the voices of people on the front lines of the pandemic and pays tribute to the local community health...

Idaho authorities seek help in search for 3 missing kids

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Authorities in Idaho are asking for help finding three missing children, including two who were last seen months ago. The Gem County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday night that investigators are looking for 17-year-old Tristan Conner Sexton, 14-year-old...

Dry conditions triple number of fires sparked in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Forestry said Tuesday the number of small wildfires has tripled this spring partly because of dry conditions across Oregon. The agency said Tuesday they’ve already doused 70 fires, almost half of which resulted from escaped...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri. Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the...

OPINION

An Open Letter To the Community From Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese

Sheriff Reese outlines Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office's strategic plan and goals to reinforce equity now and in the future. ...

Candace Avalos On The Right Track With Public Housing

Our unhoused neighbors deserve a safe and clean place to sleep ...

Providence’s Equity Pledge Should Start With Paying Workers a Living Wage

Rep. Mark Meek says Providence’s public commitment to racial equity does not match up with what’s happening inside their hospitals ...

Eugene Senator Welcomes Passage of "Critical" Covid Rescue Plan

State Sen. James I. Manning Jr. (D- North Eugene, West Eugene, Santa Clara, and Junction City) sends us a letter welcoming the passage of President Biden's "critical" jumi.9T Covid stimulus plan and praising the efforts of Democrats in Oregon's delegation to...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Review: A book celebrating Black American farming history

"We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers Land and Legacy,” by Natalie Baszile (Amistad) Farming would seem to be one occupation that Black Americans could find refuge from discrimination. Consumers choose their fruits and veggies by their size and...

In Minnesota, suburban mayor is thrust into policing debate

Mike Elliott is among many who celebrated his election as mayor of Brooklyn Center as the beginning of a new era, marking the first time one of Minnesota's most racially diverse places would be led by a person of color. Elliott, a Black man who had emigrated from Liberia as a child, was almost...

Royal funeral offers chance for William, Harry to reconcile

LONDON (AP) — When Prince Philip’s funeral takes place on Saturday, it will be more than a focal point for national mourning. Many will also be watching for any signs of reconciliation between Prince Harry and the royal family, especially with his elder brother Prince William. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Nielsen, networks clash on stats showing fewer viewers

NEW YORK (AP) — People have been stuck at home for a year due to COVID-19 restrictions, with movie theaters closed, concert venues closed, restaurants closed, sports attendance restricted — yet television viewing is down? That makes no sense to networks and cable and...

Rowling children's story 'The Christmas Pig' out in October

NEW YORK (AP) — J.K. Rowling has a new book coming this fall, a holiday children's story with all new characters. Scholastic announced Tuesday that “The Christmas Pig,” the story of a boy named Jack and a beloved toy (Dur Pig) which goes missing, will be released...

ACM nominee engineer Gena Johnson crafts hit records

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Inside the Nashville basement studio of audio engineer Gena Johnson, she has mementos from many of the artists she's helped to record and who have also shaped her own career. A turn of the century upright piano that Ben Folds helped her find sits...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Senate filibuster test over Asian-American hate crime bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is poised to start debate on legislation confronting the rise of potential hate...

100 Days: Tokyo Olympics marked by footnotes and asterisks

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo pitched itself as "a safe pair of hands” when it was awarded the Olympics 7 1/2 years ago. ...

Royal funeral offers chance for William, Harry to reconcile

LONDON (AP) — When Prince Philip’s funeral takes place on Saturday, it will be more than a focal point for...

Greece, Libya to discuss delineating maritime boundaries

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece and Libya are to discuss delineating maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean, the...

Opposition accuses UK govt of sleaze amid lobbying scandal

LONDON (AP) — A lobbying scandal swirling around former British Prime Minister David Cameron has deepened with...

We need to plan: UK travel urges clarity from government

LONDON (AP) — Leaders from Britain's aviation industry joined forces Wednesday to urge the British government to...

By Paul Wiseman Economics Writer for the Associated Press


WASHINGTON DC--If Congress lets unemployment benefits expire this week for the long-term unemployed, they won't be the only ones to feel the pain. The overall economy would suffer, too.
The Skanner News Video
Unemployment benefits help drive the economy because the jobless tend to spend every dollar they get, pumping cash into businesses. A cut-off of aid for millions of people unemployed for more than six months could squeeze a fragile economy, analysts say. Among the consequences they envision over the next year:

  • Annual economic growth could fall by one half to nearly 1 percentage point.
  • Up to 1 million more people could lose their jobs.
  • Hundreds of thousands would fall into poverty.


"Look for homelessness to rise and food lines to get longer as we approach Christmas if the situation can't be resolved," says Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial.
The issue is expected to be taken up in the lame-duck session of Congress that resumed Monday. Among other unfinished business, lawmakers are likely to vote on whether to extend 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that are set to expire at year's end.
The average weekly payment for the roughly 8.5 million people receiving unemployment benefits is $302.90. But it ranges widely: from an average of $118.82 in Puerto Rico to an average of $419.53 in Hawaii. Each state sets the amount through a formula meant to replace a portion of an unemployed person's old income.
That money ripples through the economy, into supermarkets, gasoline stations, utilities, convenience stores. That allows those businesses to hire more people, who, in turn, spend more money.

The Congressional Budget Office says every $1 spent on unemployment benefits generates up to $1.90 in economic growth. The program is the most effective government policy for generating growth among 11 options the CBO has analyzed.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, puts the bang-for-a-buck figure at $1.61, and a recent Labor Department study estimates it at $2. Analyst Mark Miller of William Blair & Company figures that, in particular, discount retailers like Dollar General and Family Dollar will see their revenue pinched by a couple of percentage points next year if extended unemployment benefits expire.
"If you've been unemployed for six months, you've gone through your savings," says Heidi Shierholz, economist at the Economic Policy Institute. "You have no choice but to spend (benefits) immediately."

By contrast, money given to higher-income families — say, through tax cuts — tends to deliver less economic benefit because those taxpayers typically save a big chunk of their windfall.
In July 2008, Congress began extending unemployment benefits, which can now last for up to a record 99 weeks: 26 weeks of regular benefits from the states, plus up to 73 weeks in federal aid in states, plus up to 73 weeks in federal aid in states with high unemployment rates. The extended federal benefits will start phasing out on Wednesday if Congress doesn't act.

When lawmakers extended the benefits, they were responding to a jobs crisis: Unemployment was on its way to double digits for the first time since the 1981-82 recession. The long-term unemployed — those out of work for more than six months — hit a record-high 6.8 million in May this year. Those people represented 46 percent of all unemployed Americans. That's the highest such proportion on record dating to 1948.
At its peak in the first week of this year, just over 12 million people were receiving unemployment benefits — the most on records dating to 1986. The Labor Department estimates that if Congress lets the aid run out, nearly 2 million people will lose their benefits by Christmas.

Without an extension of aid, the number of impoverished Americans would rise, economists say. The income from unemployment checks kept 3.3 million people from falling into poverty in 2009, according to government estimates. The Census Bureau defines poverty as annual income of roughly $22,000 for a family of four.
Still, some economists worry that renewing jobless aid would discourage some unemployed people from seeking work. A study this year by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco lent some support to that notion. But it downplayed the impact as "quite small."

For most recipients, the average $300 weekly unemployment check doesn't go very far: It covers just half of basic household expenses, according to the National Employment Law Project.
In Glenview, Ill., Robert Horvath is barely hanging on. He says his jobless aid — $385 a week — doesn't amount to even 15 percent of his former income as a commercial loan officer. Out of work nearly six months, he's paying $1,300 a month to keep his health insurance. He's burning through his savings and is trying to hold onto his home of 25 years.

Thirty-three economists have signed a statement circulated by the Economic Policy Institute calling for benefits to be extended for 12 more months. Signatories included Alan Blinder, a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, and five winners of the Nobel Prize in economics, including Joseph Stiglitz and Robert Solow.
Republican lawmakers oppose an extension of the jobless aid if it would enlarge the government's $1.3 trillion budget deficit. They insist that the cost — around $5 billion a month — be offset with budget cuts elsewhere. Those cuts would reduce the economic impact of extending the jobless benefits. Some in Congress want to pair an extension of unemployment aid with a deal to also extend the Bush-era tax cuts.
Just outside Chicago, Horvath wonders why the lawmakers can't reach a deal: "What's going to happen Dec. 1 when I have no benefits at all?"

AP Business Writer Christopher S. Rugaber contributed to this report.
 PHOTO: Republican leaders, such as John Boehner, center, and Mitch McConnel, right, say cutting taxes will solve the jobs problem and spur growth.

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