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Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

In the Nation: Bill could subsidize local paper subscriptions, SCOTUS hears student loan arguments, Biden nominates Julie Su for Labor secretary

Leo Woods

New bill in Mass. could subsidize local newspaper subscriptions

In an attempt to help Massachusetts’ struggling local newspapers, a new bill was introduced in the Massachusetts House of Representatives that would subsidize newspaper subscriptions, according to The Boston Globe. 

The bill involves a tax credit up to $250 that would reimburse Massachusetts residents at the end of the year.

According to the Globe, for a newspaper to qualify for the tax credit, the organization has to primarily publish its own content and employ at least one journalist who lives in the area that the newspaper covers. 

Representative Jeffrey Rosario Turco, who introduced the bill last month, told the Globe “the reality is almost all of us have a local newspaper in our district. So almost everyone will benefit from this.”

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act proposed a similar idea in the past, but it wasn’t pursued. 

Dr. Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber, an associate professor of communication, journalism and media at Suffolk University, said this bill could be a great step on the way to helping local newspapers, but it won’t be the only thing to save them. 

“The crisis of the declining local news outlets is too great to resolve with this bill alone. We also need to make sure that some assistance is given directly to independent local news outlets through payroll tax credits and other tax credits such as what is offered by [the] federal bill,” said Madmoni-Gerber.

Supreme Court hears oral arguments surrounding President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case surrounding the constitutionality of President Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness plan on Feb. 28. 

Biden announced on Aug. 24 a plan that would forgive $10,000 of federal student loan debt for borrowers making under $125,000 per year and $20,000 for borrowers with Pell Grants.

A federal appeals court issued a hold on the plan on Oct. 21 following challenges by six GOP-led states that the plan violates separation of powers and is an overstep by the Department of Education. A lawsuit was also brought against the plan by two individual borrowers who did not qualify for relief. 

Questions by several justices, including Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Ketanji Brown Jackson, to U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar focused on the standing of both the six GOP-led states and of the two individuals to bring the issue to court in the first place. 

Alito made an argument that the states have standing for the issue, citing financial harms that the plan may cause for the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, a student loan servicer started by the state. 

Jackson and Prelogar countered with an argument that the servicer’s financial interests do not directly impact the state’s, a statement seconded by questions from Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

In the arguments, several justices cited the case as a broad argument surrounding the executive branch’s ability to act without Congressional approval in times of national emergency. 

President Biden announces nomination of Julie Su for labor secretary

President Biden announced his nomination of current Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su for the position of U.S. Secretary of Labor on Feb. 28. 

“It is my honor to nominate Julie Su to be our country’s next Secretary of Labor. Julie has spent her life fighting to make sure that everyone has a fair shot, that no community is overlooked and that no worker is left behind,” Biden said in a statement.

The nomination comes following an announcement by current Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh that he will be leaving the cabinet position in mid-March. Following his departure, Walsh will serve as executive director for the National Hockey League Players’ Association. 

Before being confirmed as the deputy secretary of labor in July 2021, Su served as California’s labor secretary and labor commissioner. Su began her career as a civil rights attorney after graduating from both Stanford University and Harvard Law School. 

“Over several decades, Julie has led the largest state labor department in the nation, cracked down on wage theft, fought to protect trafficked workers, increased the minimum wage, created good-paying, high-quality jobs and established and enforced workplace safety standards,” Biden said in the statement.  

If confirmed to the position, Su would become the first Asian American to serve as a cabinet secretary in the Biden administration.

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About the Contributors
Sarah Roberts, News Editor | she/her
Sarah is a senior from Taunton, Mass. majoring in print and web journalism. She’s on the cross country and indoor/outdoor track and field teams. When she’s not running along the Charles or doing laps on the track in Eastie, you will probably find her in a coffee shop. Sarah is a coffee connoisseur and enjoys trying new coffee places frequently. In her free time if she isn’t reading, she’s watching some true crime shows or rewatching Gilmore Girls for the hundredth time. After college, she hopes to work in investigative journalism.
Maren Halpin, News Editor | she/her
Maren is a sophomore print/web journalism major with a minor in political science from Milford, Massachusetts. When she’s not in The Journal office, you can find Maren at a program council meeting or in Suffolk’s orientation office. In her free time, she loves to go to her favorite coffee shops, listen to Noah Kahan, Hozier and Taylor Swift on repeat, explore the city and spend time with family and friends. Maren is passionate about politics and hopes to go into political journalism in the future. 
Leo Woods, Photo Editor | he/him

Leo is a senior political science major with a minor in journalism from Clinton, Conn. He has photographed political events, protests, performing arts groups and documented Boston Pride for the People for the History Project. Outside of Suffolk, Leo is an avid Dungeons and Dragons player and podcast listener. After graduation, he plans on attending law school and working in politics.

Follow Leo on Twitter @leowoods108

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In the Nation: Bill could subsidize local paper subscriptions, SCOTUS hears student loan arguments, Biden nominates Julie Su for Labor secretary