This Week’s Under-reported News Summary April 15, 2020

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • U.S.-South Korea defense cost-sharing talks heat up
  • After $2.2 trillion stimulus, new debate over austerity for states
  • Judge expands suit over state's limits on ex-felons' voting rights

As a confrontation between the Trump administration and South Korea over sharing defense costs heats up, over 4,000 South Korean workers were furloughed on April 1st without pay. These workers support the U.S. military force of nearly 29,000 troops stationed in South Korea, there to project American military power in East Asia. The layoffs came in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Prospect forecasts that a critical debate in the months ahead will
focus on calls for austerity in state capitals, many of which are required to maintain
balanced budgets. In recent economic downturns, Republican-controlled legislatures
imposed deep cuts in education, colleges and universities, infrastructure and health care.
Fiscal troubles lie ahead, as the federal CARES Act stimulus bill approved only $150
billion in funds that will fill just 15 percent of state and local government’s projected
fiscal gap.

Florida voting rights advocates praised a ruling by Federal District Judge Robert Hinkle to expand a lawsuit challenging the state’s limits on the voting rights of former felons. The case will decide whether or not 430,000 Florida ex-felons who cannot afford to pay outstanding fines and fees, will be able to register to vote.

This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.

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