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This is just in from the good folks at the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children:

For Immediate Release: 

Senate slashes infant mortality prevention programs:
Proposed budget draws ire from child advocates

RALEIGH, NC – The Senate’s proposed budget for 2012-13 would discontinue funding for all state-funded infant mortality prevention programs, according to the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children, a statewide children’s advocacy group.

“This is a terrible budget for North Carolina’s children,” stated Rob Thompson, Executive Director of the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children. “North Carolina has an abysmal history when it comes to infant mortality, but we’ve made substantial progress over the past two decades. Unfortunately, the Senate budget has the potential to undue all of that.”

The specific programs discontinued in the Senate budget were: Read More

Author and Duke University history instructor Gabriel Rosenberg has an excellent op-ed in today’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer about the Obama Administration’s recent and unfortunate capitulation to big business over proposed rules that would have provided somewhat tougher restrictions on child labor in dangerous occupations.  

About all you need to know about the proposed regs and their importance is to know that Sarah Palin was one of the big critics.

Here’s Rosenberg: 

“The criticisms contained startling inaccuracies. Read More

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There’s some new and concrete confirmation of the common sense analysis highlighted earlier this morning in the post about last night’s Democratic gubernatorial debate. It comes from this study released by Action for Children North Carolina, entitled “Public Investments Matter for Child Well-Being: Smart State Policy Can Change Lives.”

“The public policy in each state that most strongly correlates with high child well-being is the state and local tax rates and related revenues (r = +0.50).x

Figure 4 shows that states with higher tax rates and revenues have higher child well-being scores than states with lower tax rates and revenues.” Read More

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How old were you when you got your first paying job? For most of you the answer will be 16 or later. In 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act was amended to establish for the first time a minimum age for lawful employment in the United States.  That age was- and still is- 16. In those industries identified as particularly hazardous, such as mining, the minimum age is 18. But in agriculture, which ranks among the most hazardous industries, kids as young as 10 can be lawfully employed.  As an article in this week’s Independent Weekly explains, children working on North Carolina farms face all kinds of risks, including heat stress and pesticide exposure.

Last fall the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) proposed new rules  to protect children from dangerous work in agriculture.  This is the first update to the rules in 40 years. The proposed changes were based largely on recommendations made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Those rules would create 15 new Agricultural Hazardous Occupation Orders, or “Ag. H.O.s.”  Children under age 16 would not be allowed to work in the occupations designated as an “Ag. H.O.” unless it is on a farm owned and operated by their parents.  If adopted, the rules would, among other things: Read More

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Maybe a lot of you are already aware of this remarkable story, but I confess that I just found about it today.

Florida prosecutors are trying 12 year-old Christian Fernandez as an adult for the murder of his two year-old brother. I’ll say that again: prosecutors are trying a 12 year-old — a boy born in1999 — as an adult. The boy, who was himself born to a 12 year-old mother and has endured a dreadful life of abuse, faces life in prison. Read More