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EIGHT POINT TWO. The lowest since 2009. The African American unemployment rate has been a hot issue over the last eight years — particularly around the question of whether African Americans were in need of targeted job assistance and urban jobs policy. Continue reading.

The U.S. government announced plans on Monday to invest $200 million to help shorten the waiting list for patients waiting for organ transplants.  The investment, to be led by the Department of Defense, was announced at a White House summit to discuss the role of science and technology and innovation in organ transplantation. Continue reading.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law Wednesday legislation that intends to give ex-convicts a greater chance at re-entering the workforce.  Dubbed “Ban the Box,” House Bill 266, now Act 398, prevents state government employers from asking about past criminal history on a job application. But it does not prevent an employer from asking about it during an interview or doing a criminal background check, which is required for certain positions. Continue reading.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday that juveniles convicted of first-degree murder cannot be sentenced to life in prison without parole, arguing that such punishments are “speculative” and don’t properly consider whether a juvenile prisoner can be rehabilitated. Continue reading.

The Kansas Legislature’s funding of schools remains constitutionally inequitable, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday, reaffirming its June 30 deadline for lawmakers to fix the problem or have the state’s school system shut down. Continue reading.

With little fanfare, Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday signed a law creating a strictly regulated medical marijuana program.  Kasich's communications team announced the signing without any comment, simply including it in a list with several other bills the governor also signed Wednesday. Continue reading.

Voters in as many as four states in November will consider higher levies on their wealthiest residents as income inequality steers liberal activists and politicians toward more progressive taxation. Continue reading.

A judge found police officer Edward M. Nero not guilty of all criminal charges in the case of Freddie Gray, whose death last year in police custody sparked riots and widespread anger in the city. Continue reading.

In many states, extra punishment is meted out to those who commit crimes against others because of their race or religion. Such hate-crime laws elevate the heinousness of crimes in which people are targeted because of their identity, their belonging to a group. Continue reading.

Colorado pot smokers are helping send 25 students to college, the first scholarships in the U.S. funded with taxes on legal marijuana. Continue reading.

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