Last Friday, states lost 5 billion dollars in funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), when a provision of the 2009 economic stimulus package expired. With the unemployment rate stubbornly high and the economy sluggishly chugging out of the recession, SNAP has been a part of many Americans' lives. The US House of Representatives has approved a Farm bill that cuts an additional $40 Billion from the SNAP. The San Antonio Food Bank and organizations like it expect to see far more business as a result of SNAP cuts.
99 percent of Texas counties are in drought according to the Texas Water Development Board. What does this mean for Texas Agriculture. Last year 12 billion dollars were paid out in federal crop insurance across the country, but we have a record planting of corn this year. And there is no garauntee that an early fall won't wipe that planting out.
Attorney General, Eric Holder, weighed into the voting rights act fracas here in Texas, saying he will seek to ensure pre-clearance of voting maps takes place by enforcing other provisions of the Voting Rights Act. We speak with William Yeomans, 26 year veteran of the Justice Department who litigated several civil rights cases on what it means. Yeomans is now a Professor of Law at American University.
For years the decline of participation in American Churches has been predicted and borne out. A recent Gallup poll shows that people think the influence of religion has declined. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows an increase in the nonreligious and that the country is nearly evenly split on how it feels about the growth of the nonreligious. Byron Johnson, Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor joins us along with Gabriel Acevedo Sociology Professor at UTSA.
Tonight PBS's "Frontline" presents a new special, "Rape in the Fields," describing the working conditions of immigrant women in our country's agricultural industry. Legendary news producer Lowell Bergman joins us to talk about his investigation, and details the sometimes tragic circumstances these women find themselves in.
July first marks the end of a temporary reprieve from student loan rates that was passed by Congress last year -- the rates will go up to over six percent. What does this jump in rates mean for students, for the government, and for taxpayers?