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RFF's Decision to Divest

The Rockefeller Family Fund is proud to announce its intent to divest from fossil fuels. While the global community works to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, it makes little sense—financially or ethically—to continue holding investments in these companies. The science and intent enunciated by the Paris agreement cannot be more clear: far from finding additional sources of fossil fuels, we must keep most of the already discovered reserves in the ground if there is any hope for human and natural ecosystems to survive and thrive in the decades ahead. Read the complete statement here.

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FELN Protects Primary Vote for 17-year Olds in Ohio

State law in Ohio allows 17-year olds to vote in a presidential primary if the teen turns 18 by the November general election. However late last year, Ohio's Secretary of State updated a section in the state's election manual prohibiting this cohort from voting in the primary. The Fair Elections Legal Network (RFF grantee) won a court ruling on March 11 that reaffirmed the original law in time for the Ohio primary on March 15.

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Moratorium on Federal Coal Leases

In January, the Obama Administration announced that it will place a moratorium on issuance of coal leases on federal land.  This move comes in response to investigations into the leasing program prompted by a 2012 IEEFA report that showed how coal companies have received $30 billion in federal subsidies since the 1980s. 

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Just Transition Fund Leverages More Than $2.5M in Federal Grants

RFF and the Appalachian Funders Network created the Just Transition Fund (JTF) to help communities affected by power plant and coal mine closures to develop economic alternatives. In 10 weeks the Fund raised $500,000 from national funders and awarded capacity-building grants to local organizations to help them apply for federal POWER Initiative grants. In October 2015, the first round of POWER Initiative funding provided over $2.5 million to support the economic development proposals of 8 JTF organizations. A second round of funding is expected soon.

 

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Pres. Obama Expands Earned Sick Leave to Federal Contractor Employees

On Labor Day, President Obama signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to provide both full- and part-time employees with up to 7 days of earned sick leave.  Recognition of the need for family-friendly policies at the federal level reflects the growing momentum created by successful paid sick days campaigns in cities and states. From the first win in Connecticut in 2011, RFF and its partners have been leading this game-changing effort. Read the Department of Labor's report on the "Cost of Doing Nothing."

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Criminal Justice Reform

RFF grantee, the Marshall Project, is dedicated to raising awareness about systemic problems that plague America's prisons and courts. Read its commentary on how mainstream press has missed the point on fixing Riker's Island.

Updates

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Vermont Passes Statewide Earned Sick Leave Bill:

In March, Vermont's Governor signed the legislation which will guarantee the right to earned sick leave to more than 60,000 residents.  It joins Connecticut, California, Massachussetts, and Oregon, as well as 24 cities that have passed paid sick days laws.

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NY Coal Plant Closures:

Governor Cuomo announced that all of New York State’s coal plants will shut down by 2020 and that government assistance will be provided to workers who lose their jobs as a result of plant retirements and to the Upstate communities that depend on revenue from these plants to fund their schools and other important local services. RFF grantees, the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), have been at the heart of this major development. Read RFF Associate Director Larry Shapiro's op-ed in the Albany Times Union.

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Two RFF Grantees Win MacArthur Awards:

RFF's grantees have won two of the nine awards for Creative and Effective Institutions announced by the MacArthur Foundation for 2015. The Campus Network program of the Roosevelt Institute, with more than 120 chapters in 38 states, strives to train and engage the next generation of leaders to identify and participate in national policy debates, and advocate for just and sustainable solutions. And the...

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...Nat'l Inst on Money in State Politics:

...also chosen by the MacArthur Foundation, tracks campaign contributions across 50 states to reveal trends in political giving, show how contributions drive public policy debates, and document how special interests fund candidates across state lines.