Photo: Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images

A group of 14 states along with Washington, D.C., and New York City filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the Agriculture Department over a plan to increase work requirements for food stamp recipients, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The stricter rule “eliminates State discretion and criteria” and will end “essential food assistance for benefits recipients who live in areas with insufficient jobs.” It intends to cut benefits for 688,000–850,000 unemployed people, the Post reports, and states' attorneys general who are backing the lawsuit argue the tightened SNAP requirements are unlawful.

Details: The new rule, finalized in December, is the first of three planned efforts to limit the federal food safety net and applies to able-bodied adults without children or dependents. The changes are expected to go through in April.

  • USDA expects the changes to save nearly $5.5 billion over five years.
  • Two other proposed rule changes seek to "cap deductions for utility allowance and to limit access to [food stamp benefits] for working poor families," the Post notes. Neither of the two outstanding rules have been finalized yet.

Go deeper: Seniors are increasingly going hungry

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Science

3 dead and thousands evacuated as Northern California fires explode

A building at the Meadowood Napa Valley luxury resort burns after the Glass Fire moved through the area on September 28, 2020 in St. Helena, California. Photo: by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Three people have died in a wildfire in Northern California and tens of thousands were evacuated across the state, as firefighters contended with strong winds and dry conditions that saw blazes explode across the state on Monday.

Driving the news: Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini confirmed the deaths occurred as the Zogg Fire spread across 15,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of 1,200 people. More than for 5o,000 people, per AP.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 33,273,720 — Total deaths: 1,000,555 — Total recoveries: 23,056,480Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 7,147,241 — Total deaths: 205,031 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  4. Health: Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests —The childless vaccine.
  5. Media: Fauci: Some of what Fox News reports about COVID-19 is "outlandish"
  6. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  7. World: More than 1 million people have now died from coronavirus — India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.
Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus death toll crosses 1 million

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The global toll of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 crossed 1 million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: More than half of those deaths have come in four countries: the U.S. (204,762), Brazil (141,741), India (95,542) and Mexico (76,430). The true global death toll is likely far higher.