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Sound Bites: Bill provides job skills training for disconnected young people

Business Wire

Good morning. U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the YouthBuild for the Future Act. 

The measure reauthorizes a national program to provide education, employment and leadership skills to teenagers and young adults aged 16-24 who are disconnected from school and work opportunities, including those who are homeless, foster care youth, migrants, disabled or offenders. The bill targets reserve grants for rural and tribal communities, out-of-school youth services participant meals and matching national community service requirements.

Here’s a bite-sized look at what else we’re hearing:

National Grid has proposed a 17% rate hike for Long Island and New York City. Any changes would go into effect in April. The energy company said it needs the money to comply with federal and state safety mandates and climate laws. The proposed rate hike allows for preparing the pipeline system to deliver renewable natural gas. However, customers and environmental groups said it is too much money to invest in a system that should be phased out.

Connecticut denied most “Right to Read” waivers. The state Department of Education has approved 85 school districts and charter schools for waiver applications for state-approved reading models for kindergarten through third-grade education. Most programs met or partially met requirements. The Right to Read law requires schools to implement reading curriculum models and submit comprehensive reports every two years to advance early literacy. A statewide Center for Literacy Research and Reading Success is expected to develop a tiered reading readiness program for districts to follow.

Long Island’s foreign-born population has increased since 2018, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Most have become naturalized U.S. citizens. This represents a nearly 14% increase from the previous five years, and makes up 19% of Nassau County's population.

Should college athletes be allowed to unionize? U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) is reintroducing the College Athlete Right to Organize Act, allowing college athletes to unionize. The bill amends the National Labor Relations Act to classify athletes as employees, allowing them to bargain for fair compensation and better working conditions collectively. It also ensures athletes have the freedom to organize at individual colleges.

Connecticut will reevaluate UConn Health due to long-standing financial issues. The center has requested millions in funding for fringe benefits for state employees at John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington. Under Gov. Ned Lamont's direction, the state could fund pensions and retiree health care. UConn Health officials are attempting to block the request, fearing it could damage the center's reputation and faculty retention.

A Suffolk County legislator wants the county police department's timesheets examined. Legislator Robert Trotta, (R-Fort Salonga) a former police detective, said Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison and his deputies might have changed vacation days to sick days on old time sheets. Trotta said the move would accumulate vacation days to make for a larger payout at the time of retirement from the department. Harrison had previously announced that he would be leaving his position this month. Trotta also requested the district attorney restrict access to all timesheets to prevent any new alterations.

Guitarist Mark Barden has shared his story before on WSHU of how music died within him after his son's death in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 11 years ago. Musician Sheryl Crow has a 90-minute documentary, "A Father's Promise," coming out Friday. It follows Barden and his family, Sandy Hook Promise and other gun violence prevention movement leaders in Newtown. Barden is also doing more performances with a coalition called Artist for Action.

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Andrea Quiles is a fellow at WSHU.