Casey Quinlan is an economy reporter for States Newsroom, based in Washington D.C. For the past decade, they have reported on national politics and state politics, LGBTQ rights, abortion access, labor issues, education, Supreme Court news and more for publications including The American Independent, ThinkProgress, New Republic, Rewire News, SCOTUSblog, In These Times and Vox.
Food sanitation company fined $1.5 million for illegal child labor
By: Casey Quinlan - February 21, 2023
A company responsible for cleaning meatpacking plants across the country has paid $1.5 million in civil penalties for making children as young as 13 work in dangerous conditions. The fine, announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, followed an investigation by the agency into Packers Sanitation Services Inc., at 13 plants in eight states, […]
Rural hospitals gird for unwinding of pandemic Medicaid coverage
By: Casey Quinlan - February 20, 2023
Experts say looming change underscores the urgency of Medicaid expansion bill advancing at the NC General Assembly Donald Lloyd, CEO and president of St. Claire HealthCare in Morehead, Kentucky, has spent more than a year dealing with higher costs for food and medical supplies for his regional hospital. Now he’s trying to prepare for another […]
Advocacy groups ask FTC to expand Biden administration efforts to rein in junk fees
By: Casey Quinlan - February 13, 2023
President Joe Biden devoted 19 sentences of his State of the Union speech to “junk fees,” which includes credit card late fees, service fees for concert tickets and airplane seating preferences that he said strain families’ budgets. Biden did not mention the numerous and opaque fees faced by prisoners and their families every day. But […]
Proposed federal rule would lower credit card late fees
By: Casey Quinlan - February 7, 2023
As Americans continue to struggle with high credit card rates, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed a rule to help lessen some of their financial burden — in the form of lower late fees. The new rule would limit late fees to $8. Currently credit card companies can charge as high as $41 — penalties that the CFPB’s director, Rohit Chopra, said are charged for “no purpose beyond padding the credit card companies’ profits.”
States criticized for spending federal relief funds on tax cuts, prisons
By: Casey Quinlan - February 2, 2023
As states plan how they’ll spend the $25 billion remaining in federal COVID relief funds, some also are facing criticism and renewed scrutiny over how they allocated money already received from the American Rescue Plan Act. Of the $198 billion authorized by Congress in 2021, $173 billion already has been appropriated by states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Much of the money went — as it was intended — to deal with the COVID-19 public health emergency...
States that limit business with banks that ‘boycott’ fossil fuels could pay high cost, study says
By: Casey Quinlan - January 13, 2023
Republican state policymakers’ efforts to boost fossil fuels by prohibiting their governments from doing business with companies that take sustainability into consideration has the potential to cost states millions, according to a study released Thursday. Researchers looked specifically at the possible effects on Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and West Virginia if they passed Texas-like legislation limiting investment options on municipal bonds and found it could cost them between $264 and $708 million...
Here’s what you need to know about new workplace protections for pregnant, nursing workers
By: Casey Quinlan - January 5, 2023
The $1.7 trillion federal spending bill President Joe Biden signed last week ushers in expanded protections for workers who are pregnant or nursing. Proponents of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act — both included as amendments to the spending bill — say the measures clarify rights for these workers, who weren’t properly covered under existing laws.
Child poverty rates highest in states that haven’t raised minimum wage
By: Casey Quinlan - December 26, 2022
Analysis shows that North Carolina remains stuck among the lowest performing states Of the 20 states that have failed to raise the minimum wage above the federal $7.25 an hour standard, 16 have more than 12% of their children living in poverty, according to a States Newsroom analysis of wage and poverty data. Anti-poverty advocates […]
Voters embraced affordable housing initiatives. Advocates say Congress should do the same.
By: Casey Quinlan - December 15, 2022
Bond referenda successes in Buncombe County and Charlotte seen as emblematic of growing national support Voters in Colorado approved a statewide affordable housing initiative in November; while voters in nine communities across the country (including two in North Carolina) OK’d measures to finance the construction of affordable housing, preserve existing rental properties and support renters. But as housing costs soar, analysts and advocates say more needs to be done and argue that federal action is needed.
Here’s why food prices remain stubbornly high even as inflation cools
By: Casey Quinlan - December 13, 2022
Shoppers hoping for a little relief at the grocery store for their holiday meals will be disappointed by the Consumer Price Index released Tuesday. The CPI shows inflation cooling but food prices — particularly for some holiday staples — remain high. The CPI increased 0.1% in November, which was lower than some economists expected. Over […]
Here’s when drug prices will start to decrease for Medicare recipients | Analysis
By: Casey Quinlan - December 6, 2022
Medicare patients spent $1B on insulin in 2020, according to Kaiser Family Foundation Starting next month, a $35 cap on insulin prices will go into effect for millions of Medicare recipients. The lower pricing is one of the first of several policy measures Americans will see in the coming months and years under the Inflation […]
Two communities find a cure for medical debt: pandemic stimulus funds
By: Casey Quinlan - November 21, 2022
Local governments in Ohio and Illinois are using American Rescue Plan Act money to relieve residents struggling with medical debt by partnering with an organization that buys debt and wipes the slate clean for debtors. It’s a strategy advocates say could be duplicated across the country to help erase a multi-billion-dollar problem.