Jan 17, 2019

State Department finds new funds to recall and pay furloughed workers

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Luiz Rampelotto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The State Department announced Thursday that it will "take steps to make additional funds available to pay employee salaries" in spite of the ongoing government shutdown, and that as a result, staff are expected to return to work next week.

Details: Employees will be paid for work beginning on Jan. 20 and will receive paychecks on Feb. 14. Staff will not be paid for the first 2 pay periods that passed during the government shutdown, from Dec. 22 to Jan. 19, until the agency is funded. If the shutdown continues, the Department said it will "review balances" to try to allocate funds beyond the current pay period.

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Trump gets "woke" in 15-city campaign to court black voters

The Trump campaign is leaning into its effort to woo African-American voters, opening "Black Voices for Trump" offices across six swing states, the campaign says.

Why it matters: "Woke" stickers, "Black Voices for Trump" T-shirts and other branded swag is part of this storefront approach as the campaign ramps up its efforts to erode Democrats' lock on this key demographic.

House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.