SB 2616 Requires Tennessee Residency Prior to April 2019 for Candidates to Qualify for 2022 GOP Primary in TN-5

On Wednesday the sponsor of SB 2616 told The Tennessee Star if the bill becomes law, candidates for the August 2022 GOP primary in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District would qualify for the primary ballot only if they established Tennessee residency prior to April 7, 2019, three years before the April 7, 2022 filing deadline for this year’s primary.

The bill passed in the State and Local Government Committee of The Tennessee State Senate on Tuesday in a bipartisan 5-1 vote.

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U.S. Senate Lawmakers Call on the IRS to Provide Maximum Support for Taxpayers This Filing Season

Tennessee Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) have joined their Senate colleagues in urging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to do “everything it can to support taxpayers during the current tax filing season.”

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Congressman Mark Green Calls for an Investigation on the Six-Month Anniversary of the Fall of Kabul

Congressman Mark Green (R-TN-07), joined by other Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called for an investigation into the Biden administration’s Afghanistan efforts.

The remarks come on the six-month anniversary of the fall of Kabul, following a disastrous effort by Biden to withdraw American troops, citizens, and Afghan allies.

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Pro-Life Movement Pledges to Mothers and Their Children: ‘No Woman Stands Alone’

National pro-life leaders and lawmakers committed themselves publicly on Valentine’s Day to protecting life not only by promoting pro-life legislation, but also by providing concrete service to mothers and their children, born and unborn.

The pro-life leaders joined with the Heritage Foundation to announce they are prepared for a post-Roe America, and to pledge their support for girls and women experiencing unexpected pregnancy.

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State Senator Ken Yager Files Bill Addressing School Staffing Challenges in Tennessee

Tennessee State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) has filed a bill in the Tennessee General Assembly that he said would, if enacted into law, help school districts across Tennessee address ongoing staffing challenges.

The bill, SB 2702, would allow retired members of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) to seek reemployment as a K-12 teacher, K-12 substitute teacher, or as a K-12 bus driver. This, without the loss or suspension of the retired member’s TCRS benefits, Yager said in an emailed statement.

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Nashville Metro Council Considers Ordinances Modifying License Plate Reader Use

Metro Nashville Council considered three bills on first reading concerning license plate reader (LPR) use and a resolution urging Metro Nashville Police Department to expand use of mental health professionals at incidents at their February 15, 2022 meeting.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper was in attendance.

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Commentary: Lenoir City Taxpayers Can Stop a Wasteful Broadband Network

Lenoir City taxpayers have a chance to save themselves from an expensive and wasteful broadband network proposal, but they have to act soon.  There is a Lenoir City Utilities Board (LCUB) hearing on February 22, 2022, to determine whether the LCUB should proceed with constructing its proposed broadband network in areas where high-speed broadband already exists.

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Senator Bill Hagerty Co-sponsors Bill That Would Prevent Illegal Immigrants from Using Arrest Warrants as TSA ID

On Wednesday, a group of Senate Republicans introduced the Strengthening Enforcement to Curtail Unlawful, Risky Entrance to Flights Act, or SECURE Flights Act of 2022.

The bill, if passed, would prevent the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) from allowing illegal aliens to use immigration enforcement documents, such as arrest warrants, as identification when boarding commercial flights, according to a press release by one of the bill’s authors – Senator Jim Risch (R-ID).

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Tennessee One of the Top States Hit with Biggest Weekly Increase in Gas Prices

The national average price for a gallon of gas rose last week to $3.48, four cents more than a week before, as The Tennessee Star previously reported.

The price of $3.48 is 18 cents more than a month ago and 98 cents more than a year ago, according to a press release by the American Automobile Association (AAA). The national average remains the highest price for a gallon of gas since 2014.

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‘We Can Not Back Down’: GiveSendGo Comes Back Online After Hackers Stole Donor Information

Crowdfunding service GiveSendGo came back online Tuesday after a Sunday hack forced the site to temporarily shut down.

“Sunday evening, February 13th, GiveSendGo was attacked by malicious actors attempting to eliminate the ability of its users to raise funds,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter, acknowledging the hack publicly for the first time and announcing that the site was back online.

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Wholesale Prices Jump in January as Inflation Continues to Soar

Wholesale prices jumped a full percentage point in January and 9.7 percent over last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday, as inflation continues its rapid rise.

“On an unadjusted basis, final demand prices moved up 9.7 percent for the 12 months ended January 2022,” BLS said.

That increase comes after a 0.9% increase in November and a 0.4% increase in December.

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George Washington University Admits That It Tracked Student, Employee Locations on Campus Without Their Consent

The George Washington University’s president publicly apologized Friday for a fall 2021 surveillance pilot program that tracked students’ and employees’ locations on campus without their consent.

“I write to inform you of a data analytics pilot program that took place on the university campus during the Fall 2021 semester, and to apologize on behalf of the university for the failure to inform you in advance of commencing this project,” Mark S. Wrighton wrote.

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Maryland Considers Creating Constitutional Right to Abortion

Baby boy sleeping

Maryland state House Democrats proposed a constitutional amendment Monday enshrining abortion rights within the state, the Associated Press reported.

The proposal was introduced by state House Speaker Adrienne Jones, who said the Supreme Court “has allowed some of the most restricting abortion legislation we’ve seen in a generation,” according to the AP.

Jones appeared to refer to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans most abortions after six weeks, to stay in effect while the court considers whether the law is constitutional.

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Grant’s Rants: ‘The Swamp Is Real and Its Creatures Are Terrifying’

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and John Durham

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed official guest host Grant Henry in studio for another edition of Grant’s Rants.

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Commentary: Gas-Price Change, Not ‘Climate Change,’ Is What Matters to Americans

There are few more easily observable measures of the cost of everyday living than the price of gasoline at the pump. As has been widely reported, gas prices in the United States recently hit a seven-year high. The striking thing, however, is not just how high gas prices have gotten, but how fast and far they have risen.

Based on statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration—the statistical arm of the Department of Energy—weekly average retail prices for regular unleaded gasoline in the United States increased 94 percent in less than two years. Average gas prices rose from $1.77 per gallon during the week ending April 27, 2020, to $3.44 per gallon during the week ending February 7, 2022—nearly doubling in the process.

That was the largest percentage increase in gas prices within a two-year window since October of 2005, more than 16 years ago. In the election of 2006, Republicans—then the party in power—lost 30 House and six Senate seats, thereby losing control of both chambers, before losing the presidency two years later.

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Latest Durham Revelations Put Biden’s National Security Adviser in Uneasy Light

Jake Sullivan

Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation isn’t just imposing accountability for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 political trick to dirty up Donald Trump with the FBI; it’s also encroaching on the credibility of President Biden’s current chief foreign policy adviser and point man for the current Russia-Ukraine crisis.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was a senior adviser to Clinton’s 2016 campaign and, by his own admission, spread the word to reporters back then that Democrats believed Trump was colluding with Vladimir Putin to hijack the election and had a secret computer channel to the Kremlin. Neither proved true.

But long before that Russia collusion narrative crumbled like a stale Starbucks muffin, Sullivan gave sworn testimony to the House Intelligence Committee disputing that anything the Clinton campaign spread around Washington was misinformation.

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County Mayor Chad Graham Discusses Education and the Future of Bedford County

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the Mayor of Bedford County, Chad Graham to the newsmakers line to talk about his background, goals, and middle-class growth.

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Washington, D.C. Lifting COVID Mask, Vaccine Mandates but Face-Covers Still Required in Schools

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is lifting the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and will not extend its mask requirement into March.

The Democratic mayor also says that as of Tuesday many businesses in the nation’s capital will no longer be required to check that customers have at least one dose of the vaccine before allowing them to enter. However, they will still be allowed to make such a request on their own, according to dcist.com.

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New York City Fires over 1,400 Workers Who Failed to Meet Deadline for COVID-19 Vaccine

New York City recently fired nearly 1,500 municipal workers who failed to comply with its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, officials said Monday.

City officials said 1,430 workers were fired Friday and that the number represents less than 1% of the city’s 370,000-person workforce. The number was also far smaller than what they had predicted.

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‘Scientific Malfeasance’: Economists Point Out Flaws in Biden Nominee’s Signature Research

Dr. Lisa D. Cook

President Joe Biden’s latest nominee to the Fed has faced criticism for embellishing her resume, but recently some economists have raised the possibility that her most famous research contains fatal flaws.

Lisa Cook, a professor of international relations and economics at Michigan State University, was nominated to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on Jan 14. Three weeks later, on Feb. 5, an anonymous Twitter account pointed out a mistake in Cook’s 2014 paper, “Violence and economic activity: evidence from African-American patents, 1870-1940.”

The anonymous tweet sparked a flurry of blog posts criticizing Cook’s paper. Andrew Gelman, a statistics professor at Columbia University, compared Cook’s dataset with a more recent dataset from the Brookings Institution and said the results did not match. “Hey—this is a lot different!” wrote Gelman.

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Commentary: The Fascist Left Has Run Amok Thanks to COVID-19 and Americans Are Sick of It

President Joe Biden meets with staff while he talks on the phone with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and energy company executives from areas impacted by Hurricane Ida, Tuesday, August 31, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

The real pandemic in this country is one of growing fascism from our so-called political Left.

The far-Left Democratic Party doesn’t care about your essential freedoms—from speech and the free flow of ideas to freedom of assembly—particularly when those freedoms stand in the way of their pursuit of power. 

This is the party, after all, who opposed Abraham Lincoln and stood in the way of integration well into the 1960s. Where Democratic hatred of freedom has become glaringly apparent in recent times is with their obsession with COVID vaccine mandates and mask mandates, most especially for school-aged children. This “pandemic” has exposed what is truly afoot here, fascist authoritarianism at its most potent and dangerous.

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Commentary: The January 6 Pipe Bombs Look Like Another FBI Hoax

In the 15-minute time span before the joint session of Congress convened at 1:00 p.m. on January 6, 2021, two incidents that set the stage for the day’s ensuing chaos happened simultaneously.

First, a man named Ryan Samsel, after taking some sort of direction from Ray Epps, overran a thin line of police and metal racks in what would be the first official breach of Capitol grounds around 12:50 p.m. (Samsel was charged and has been incarcerated for more than a year; Epps faces no charges.) Joining Samsel were members of the Proud Boys and a still-unknown number of FBI informants.

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Virginia State Senate Approves Youngkin’s Emergency Clause in Mask-Optional Bill

The Senate has approved Governor Glenn Youngkin’s amendments to the recently passed school mask-optional bill. The amendments, which an aide said Youngkin sent to the Senate on Monday evening, include clauses making the bill take effect on March 1.

“As you can probably tell from my remarks, I would like this to take effect yesterday, but that’s not going to happen. And I do believe that we’re going to need a transition time for some of our Northern Virginia school districts and probably elsewhere in the state,” co-sponsor Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) said on the Senate floor on Tuesday evening.

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New Book by Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward Provides Insider Perspective of Maricopa County Audit

Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward has a new book out revealing what happened behind the scenes with the independent Maricopa County audit of the 2020 presidential election. Ward was one of the first to call for an audit, and was heavily involved in it every step of the way. “Justified: The Story of America’s Audit” is the story of how it all went down. As someone who was on the ground in Arizona, close to the polling and an ear to intel from the top Republican operatives, Ward’s opinion that there was significant fraud allowing Joe Biden to win Arizona carries weight.

“The state is still very much socially and fiscally conservative — deep red,” she summarized after experiencing the election and audit. “I believed that if every legal vote was counted and every illegal vote was rejected, President Trump would be the uncontested winner of the election.” Ward said the election was far more important than most people realized, “Many people have told me that as Arizona goes, the country goes.”

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Pennsylvania Fiscal Office Expects Lower Revenues Than Governor

On Tuesday, at the first legislative hearing on Pennsylvania’s next budget, the Wolf administration and the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) offered divergent near-term revenue projections.

Governor Tom Wolf (D) proposed a Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget last week that would total $43.7 billion, 16.6 percent greater than the current fiscal year’s spending allotment. The plan’s feasibility (without a tax increase) will partly depend on whether the general-fund revenues anticipated by the governor’s Revenue Secretary, C. Daniel Hassell, come to fruition. 

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Report: Voting Issues Plagued Pennsylvania’s Delaware County in 2020

A new report from Margot Cleveland and The Federalist details widespread issues with voting ballots in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, according to videos taped by a whistleblower.

The whistleblower, Regina Miller, who was a contract worker helping election employees, recorded information when she became concerned with the actions of the election officials.

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State Representative Timothy Barr Runs for Congress in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, Blasts Kemp’s HB 333 Incumbent Protection Act Bill

Timothy Barr

Tuesday morning on The Johns Fredericks Show, host Fredericks welcomed candidate GA-10, Timothy Barr to the show to talk about why he’s running and goes on record against Governor Kemp’s HB333.

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Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidate Rebecca Kleefisch Proposes ‘Office of Election Integrity and Public Trust’

Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch, who is running to replace Governor Tony Evers, proposed establishing an Office of Election Integrity & Public Trust in order to “restore confidence in elections.”

The new organization would be housed within the Wisconsin Department of Justice and have the power to investigate election complaints.

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Minnesota Senators Pass Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Bill

Eric Pratt of Minnesota

A bill to repay Minnesota’s federal Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund passed the Senate Monday and it will now travel to the House for consideration.

The bill, SF 2677, appropriates $2.3 billion from the state fiscal recovery federal fund and $408.5 million from the fiscal year 2022 general fund to the commissioner of employment and economic development. 

The commissioner would repay the federal government outstanding loans and accrued interest within 10 days of the bill’s enactment. For the 2022 and 2023 calendar years, the base tax rate would be one-tenth of one percent.

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Virginia House of Delegates Passes ‘Divisive Concepts’ Ban

The House of Delegates passed HB 787, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-Loudoun) bill focused on controversial teaching in schools.  On Tuesday, the bill passed 50-49, with Delegate Carrie Coyner (R-Chesterfield) joining Democrats in opposition and Delegate Kim Taylor (R-Dinwiddie) not voting.

Before hearing the Democratic amendments, House Education Chair Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) explained a Republican amendment, “which makes it very clear that you can teach literature, history, whatever you’d like that takes into account the past or present beliefs that are set in subsection A above, Mr. Speaker.”

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Ohio Mayor Resigns After Joking About Ice Fishers and Prostitutes

Mayor Craig Shubert of Hudson, Ohio

The mayor of Hudson, Ohio, resigned Monday after saying that allowing ice fishing with shanties could result in prostitution, multiple sources reported

Hudson, Ohio, Mayor Craig Shubert, submitted his resignation Monday morning after saying ice fishing in a shelter could lead to prostitution at a city council meeting in early February, NBC News reported.

“If you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem — prostitution,” Shubert said, NBC News reported.

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Brad Raffensperger Calls for More ‘Policing’ to Protect Georgia’s Election Integrity

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger this week said state officials must do more to protect the integrity of the state’s elections, and, toward that end, he said it’s time for the state to provide additional security. Raffensperger called for greater vigilance of elections in a statement that his office published Monday. He also said it was essential for state officials to take extra steps to protect voters and poll workers. Raffensperger said the state can accomplish this by dispatching state law enforcement resources at polling places, early voting locations, and county election offices where officials handle absentee ballots.

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Ingham County to Spend $56 Million in COVID Recovery

Ingham County will spend $56.8 million in federal funding to recover from COVID-19. The spending will be divided into two phases.

Ingham County Controller Gregg Todd said the first round of spending ranged from June 2021 through May 2022, and aims to help those hit hardest by COVID.

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Government Could Increase New Home Construction Costs in Georgia by Mandating They’re Wired to Charge Electric Vehicles, Expert Says

Some people want to mandate that every new home comes wired ready to charge electric vehicles (EVs), and those mandates, if enacted, would likely raise a home’s construction costs. And the people who want those mandates will likely push for them in about two years, said Home Builders Association of Georgia Vice President Austin Hackney.

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CNN Poll Shows DeSantis as One of 2024 GOP Favorites

A recently released poll from CNN shows Republican party voters are split between former President Donald Trump (R) and another Republican candidate, primarily Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

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Ohio Bill Would Force School Curriculum, Materials to Be Posted Online for Parents

An Ohio lawmaker wants the state to follow several others across the country and have school districts post its curriculum and instruction materials online to give parents better access to what is being taught in classrooms.

The state teacher’s union, however, believes the idea creates distrust between parents and teachers, while adding to the workload of its members.

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John Fredericks Talks to Georgia State Representative Jody Hice About His Campaign for Secretary of State

Jody Hice

Tuesday morning on The Johns Fredericks Show, host Fredericks welcomed current Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA-10) to the show to talk about his campaign in the race to replace Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and election integrity.

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Florida’s Absentee Ballot Proposal, Described as Racist, Less Stringent Than Other States

Florida legislators, led by Republican leaders, are considering changes (SB 524, HB 7067) to the absentee ballot verification process that has one critic calling the proposal  “a recipe for disaster” and another implying the new rules are racist.

Under current law, voters enclose completed mail-in ballots inside “secrecy” envelopes or sleeves before putting them inside another envelope to be mailed to county supervisors of elections or submitted at drop boxes manned by supervisors’ staff.

The new legislative proposals would require voters to put their double-enveloped ballots inside a third envelope and mark the last four digits of their driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, or state ID numbers – whichever number is on file with the election supervisor’s office – to be counted.

Lake County Supervisor of Elections Alan Hays, a Republican who is a former state senator, said the proposal is “a recipe for disaster.”

“Getting voters to follow instructions is not easy,” Hays told the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee on Feb. 1. “If you think they’re going to follow the instructions with all of these envelopes, you’ve got another thought coming.”

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Survey: More Than One-Third of Wisconsin Businesses Plan to Pay More

woman working in a warehouse

It is a good time to be a worker with in-demand skills in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business group, on Monday said its latest Employer Survey shows many businesses across the state plan to raise wages by more than 4% at some point this year.

“Wages are rising much faster than they have in recent memory,” WMC President & CEO Kurt Bauer said. “Wisconsin does not have enough people to fill the jobs we have available, and that creates an aggressive competition for talent. We are seeing wages rise at a faster rate, sign-on bonuses, work flexibility and many other strategies from companies to attract and retain talent.”

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Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson: Trump ‘Endured Eternal Coup’ During Presidency

Ron Johnson

On the heels of massive news proving that former President Donald Trump was intentionally and falsely maligned as a Russian asset and that he was spied upon by intelligence agencies during his 2016 election campaign and his subsequent presidency, one senator took to Fox News in an attempt to set the record straight. 

“For many years now, as I’ve investigated this, I’ve always thought the Russian Hoax was just one intelligence community diversionary operation to basically cover up what they had done during the 2016 campaign,” Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) told host Jesse Watters on Fox News.

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Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis Offers Support for Canadian Convoy

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis (R) issued a proclamation offering his support for the Canadian Freedom Convoy. Patronis announced the proclamation through Twitter.

“Florida stands with the truckers of Canada,” Patronis said. “May Trudeau’s repression come to an end. #CanadaTruckersForFreedom”

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Democrat Senators in Georgia, Michigan, Arizona Introduce Bill to Suspend Gas Tax

Mark Kelly, Debbie Stabenow and Raphael Warnock

In an effort led by Senator and Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), several Democrat Senators in battleground states have signed on to a bill that would suspend the gas tax until 2023. 

The Gas Prices Relief Act would lower prices at the pump as gas prices rise to nearly a decade high in a crucial election season. 

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Petition Vowing to Teach Critical Race Theory Regardless of Law Tops 8,000 Signatures

Young girl in pink long sleeve writing

A petition by teachers nationwide pledging to teach Critical Race Theory (CRT) to students regardless of whether states pass laws against the practice has reached more than 8,000 signatures.

“From police violence, to the prison system, to the wealth gap, to maternal mortality rates, to housing, to education and beyond, the major institutions and systems of our country are deeply infected with anti-Blackness and its intersection with other forms of oppression,” the Zinn Education Project’s petition page says. “To not acknowledge this and help students understand the roots of U.S. racism is to deceive them — not educate them.”

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