Unlike their government employee peers, Metro Nashville City Council members receive special treatment when it comes to health benefits. If they serve the two-term limit in full, they are eligible to receive lifetime health benefits on the taxpayer’s dime. All other Metro Nashville employees must work 20 years before earning similar lifetime benefits. These lifetime benefits reportedly cost taxpayers over $800,000 annually, which is projected to reach over $1.2 million by 2024.
Council member Tonya Hancock proposed BL2020-387 to change that rule in August. Hancock argued the bill was a step toward balancing the city budget and, in turn, lower property taxes. The bill would cut back on the 75 percent government-subsidized lifetime insurance for Metro council members. Hancock noted that a 2014 study discovered that no other peer cities offer retiree medical coverage for their council members. She bolstered her argument for the bill by noting that last year’s largest-ever property tax increase and over $4 billion debt with depleted reserves were further signs that the lifetime benefits were unwise spending of taxpayer money.
A massive new national project called “Educating for American Democracy” will be launched on Tuesday with the explicit aim of “redefining” and then “harmonizing” American civic education nationwide.
From the days of Thomas Jefferson, Noah Webster, Horace Mann, and the McGuffey readers to Ronald Reagan’s farewell address and the controversy over national history standards, citizenship education (broadly understood) has always been a vital function of American schools for the perpetuation of the American way of life. That’s about to change for the worse.
President Joe Biden endorsed the ongoing effort to unionize the workforce at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama, giving hope to labor leaders.
Biden tweeted his support for the effort on Sunday, nearly one month after the Bessemer, Alabama warehouse workers began voting in favor of or against unionizing. Biden said workers in Alabama, and nationwide, deserved the right to choose for themselves whether they wanted to join the union, but didn’t mention Amazon by name.
Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine began distribution across the country Monday, and the company’s CEO said shots could begin within 48 hours.
“We’re shipping 4 million [doses] literally as we speak,” Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told NBC News Monday morning. “Within the next 24 to 48 hours, Americans should start receiving shots in arms.”
Gorsky added that the company was on track to distribute 100 million shots by the end of June and 1 billion by the end of 2021. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was recommended by the FDA’s vaccine advisory panel on Friday and officially approved one day later.
Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to discuss the Democrats cancel culture, the bogus stimulus package, and Trump’s resurgence as leader of the Republican Party.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill used money intended for COVID relief to create an app that allows people to report potential safety violations on campus and in the surrounding community.
The “SaferWays” application (right) encourages people to report violations on campus, such as a lack of social distancing and non-mask usage. Because the app updates in real-time, law enforcement or university administrators could use the app to pinpoint where to enforce infractions.
The United States Navy’s official curriculum is set to include new books on “anti-racism” and “gender politics” that will further push the message of social justice in America’s military ranks, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Of the 37 books included in the full reading list, 16 books are listed under the category of “personal and leadership development.” Of these 16, four of them deal directly with social justice; among the titles are How to be an Anti-Racist, The New Jim Crow, and Sexual Minorities and Politics. These four stand out in particular against the other 33, which focus on the more traditional subjects such as military strategy and the history of the Navy.
Federal authorities have indicted an Internal Revenue Service tax examiner for allegedly defrauding her employer by filing false tax returns for various taxpayers in the Memphis area. A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee identified the woman as Linda Williams, 52, of Memphis.
Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Republican Congressional candidate for Nashville’s fifth district Robby Starbuck to the newsmakers line to discuss his background and top priorities if elected.
President Biden’s State Department announced Wednesday the creation of a chief diversity officer position, as well as a council of deputy assistant secretaries from each of its bureaus, in an effort to bring “diversity and inclusion” to the department, Fox News reported.
“I am committed to bringing the diversity and inclusion work already underway at the State Department to the next level,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Wednesday. “To make that happen, I am pleased to announce the creation of a new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer position at State.”
Two bills are wrestling over whether Tennessee will have immediate or postponed legalization of medical marijuana. The two bills – the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act and the proposal to establish a medical cannabis commission – pose a direct challenge to one another. The former would outright legalize medical marijuana, enacting an entirely new chapter within the Tennessee Code under Title 68: Health, Safety and Environmental Protection. If passed, Tennessee would join 36 states in legalizing cannabis for medical purposes.
The latter would pump the brakes on the momentum sought by the former. Instead, the bill would establish a commission reviewing federal and state laws on the subject, and would provide that no medical cannabis program be enacted by the state until the federal government removes marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The commission would publish annual reports and recommendations, beginning next year and continuing indefinitely – that is, until the federal government adjusts marijuana on its controlled substances list.
A trio of pro-Trump groups are ready to wage a massive battle against Silicon Valley titans of industry after the former president was drummed off social media prior to leaving office.
“The Center for American Restoration, the new organization stood up by former Trump administration official Russ Vought, is leading a coalition of groups calling for a ‘proliferation of legislative activity’ to reform Big Tech,” Axios reported.
In 2010, California voters approved Proposition 14, which fundamentally changed how general elections are conducted in the state. Prior to Prop. 14, the general election ballot would include the names of every qualified party’s nominee. The new system created the “jungle primary,” an open primary in which all registered voters could vote for any candidate running, regardless of party affiliation, with just the top-two finishers appearing on the ballot in November.
Governor Ralph Northam approved legislation on Thursday to require cultural competency training for educators to be licensed by the Virginia Board of Education. HB 1904, introduced by Delegate Clinton Jenkins (D-Suffolk), and companion SB 1196, introduced by Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton,) require that anyone seeking licensure or re-licensure must complete cultural competency training by the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. Licenses with social science or history endorsements require additional training in African American history.
A former Republican congressman known for his public spats with former president Donald J. Trump has expressed his support for a bill introduced by two progressive Democrats that would end qualified immunity for law enforcement officers.
“End qualified immunity. Thanks to [Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07)] and [Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)] for reintroducing our bill in this Congress,” Justin Amash said on Twitter.
Democrats in the Georgia General State Senate have proposed certain resolutions for this current session, all of which support politically left-leaning causes, one of which cites influence from the United Nations. Georgia State Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) and 15 other state senators filed a resolution that urges the U.S. Congress to grant statehood to Washington, D.C.
Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) appeared on the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) Patients Come First podcast on Sunday. Kaine explained two upcoming financial relief packages, provided an update on Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and explained his Medicare-X Choice Act.
The cruel fortunes of politics mean that David M. DeVillers stopped being the top federal law enforcement official for Southern Ohio on Sunday. But the attorney who last July announced the arrest of then-House Speaker Larry Householder, last week said the investigation that led to the arrest isn’t going anywhere.
The Minneapolis City Council Friday approved a plan to pay social media “influencers” cash to spread city-approved messages during the trial of former Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officer Derek Chauvin.
“The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously Friday to approve a $1 million communications and de-escalation plan that involves partnering with community leaders, local media and social media influencers during Chauvin’s trial set to begin in March, as well the August trial of three other former officers charged in [George] Floyd’s death,” Fox News reported.
A former state representative said the Georgia Chamber of Commerce influences the agenda of House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), even though that agenda favors large corporate entities and sometimes frustrates average Georgians’ best interests. As The Georgia Star News reported last week, former State Rep. Jeff Jones said “the Georgia Chamber of Commerce is not the friend of the average Georgia citizen.”
Ohio Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH-08) said Saturday he is looking closely at either a run for the U.S. Senate or a bid for the Ohio Governor’s chair in ’22.
“I have considered the Ohio Senate, you know, senator for the state of Ohio. I was surprised that Senator Portman wasn’t running. And, look, it’s flattering to have my name come up in that race and frankly, in the governor’s race. So we’re taking a hard look at our options,” Davidson told FoxNews.
The Ohio Star interviewed one of Davidson’s top aides on Monday who confirmed the Congressman is looking at both races “he’s definitely looking at it; quite a few people have reached out and urged him to ‘please take a look at it,’ so he is.”
The City of Alexandria in Virginia is considering an ordinance to provide collective rights to workers, but the current proposal would not allow employees or the city government to challenge the determination of certain votes.
As it is currently written, the proposal would allow a labor relations administrator to determine the results of a majority vote in the following areas: a petition for certification without an election, certification by representation election and decertification. No person, whether it be employees or the government, would have the right to challenge this determination.
In order to curtail illegal alien employment, employers with six or more employees may be required to verify their workers’ eligibility. Current law only requires that level of verification for employers with over 50 employees. The proposed bill would also remove the immunity for employers who rely on forms of verification other than E-Verify, the federal electronic employment verification service. The legislation includes a sole exemption for farmers.
State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) introduced the legislation earlier this month. Its companion bill in the Senate, introduced by State Senator John Stevens (R-Huntington), was referred to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee last week. The legislation mirrors Griffey’s similar bill from last year, which was passed by the House but died in the Senate.