Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Releases June Revenue Numbers

The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration announced Friday that overall June state tax revenues exceeded budgeted estimates. On an accrual basis, June is the 11th month in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

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The DOJ Is Creating a ‘Reproductive Rights Task Force’

President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) is forming a “Reproductive Rights Task Force” to monitor state and local abortion restrictions, the agency announced Tuesday.

The task force will track state and local legislation that restricts women’s ability to seek abortions or seeks to legally penalize medical workers who perform abortions in a manner consistent with federal law, according to the DOJ announcement. The unit will also collaborate with other federal agencies and take steps to secure and promote abortion access, “including proactive and defensive legal action where appropriate.”

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‘Grossly Inflated’: China Is Lying to the World About Its Population Crisis, Expert Says

Leaked population data from Chinese police files confirmed that China has been fudging its demographic statistics, according to one researcher who has long argued that China’s birth numbers are “grossly inflated.”

Official statistics show that China’s population topped 1.4 billion in 2021, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Researcher Fuxian Yi told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he analyzed a sample of leaked population data and found that birth rates fell short of the requirements to produce the population growth China claims.

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Republican National Committee Panel Recommends Milwaukee over Nashville for 2024 GOP Convention

The Site Selection Committee of the Republican National Committee voted to recommend Milwaukee as the host city of the group’s 2024 convention.

In a statement announcing the decision, GOP leaders pointed to the “forthright and professional behavior” of the city’s leaders throughout the process.

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Border Deaths Surge Under Biden Compared with Trump, Obama

Under the Biden administration, deaths of migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021 increased by almost 300 from the prior year, and by 200 from the last non-pandemic year, according to a United Nations agency that now classifies the southern border as the “deadliest land crossing in the world.” 

Moreover, more border deaths have occurred in the first half of 2022 than for the entire calendar years of 2020, 2018, and 2017, according to data from the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project.

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Gallup Poll Shows Americans’ Distrust of Public Schools Along Party Lines

A new Gallup poll shows how declining trust in America’s public schools differs along party lines. 

Overall American trust in public schools remains low, with only 28% reporting that they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools, which is down from 32% last year. Both numbers are short of the 41% reported in 2020, a level of trust not seen since 2004, with only 29% of Americans reporting having a “great deal” or  “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools in 2018 and 2019. 

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Commentary: After 18 Months of Biden, We Have Yet to Hit Bottom

Next week will mark one and a half years since Joe Biden became president on Jan. 20, 2021. On July 20, every American should look within and ask: “Am I better off than I was 18 months ago?”

To Biden’s credit, the unemployment rate has fallen from 6.4% when he took office to 3.6% in June. Today’s figure is a notch higher than the 3.5% joblessness that Americans enjoyed in February 2020, thanks to President Donald Trump’s Republican tax cuts, deregulation, energy dominance, and other pro-growth initiatives.

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Georgia’s Cobb County School System Allows Employees, Not Teachers, to Carry Guns at School

The Cobb County School Board approved a policy that allows some school employees, but not teachers, to carry guns at school.

Proponents say the policy will keep students safe and help deter the likelihood of a school shooter. Opponents said the measure would not make students safer.

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Ohio Senator Advocates Policy Changes in Wake of Inflation Report

In response to this week’s news of the consumer price index rising to 9.1%, Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio gave a blistering summation and offered direction to the Biden administration.

Portman said numbers provided for Ohio indicate residents are spending an additional $8,300 a year on energy needs, food and clothing. Jonathan Church at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, contacted by The Center Square, responded in an email for response to getting state-specific index numbers, “The CPI program does not produce state-level indexes.”

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New Polling Data Spells More Bad News for Angie Craig

As the 2022 midterm elections draw near, data continues to show that a Minnesota congresswoman occupying a crucial seat for the Democratic Party may be in danger of losing.

Angie Craig currently represents Minnesota’s Second Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. In the 2020 election she narrowly defeated Republican challenger Tyler Kistner — by only 10,000 votes out of a total 424,512 cast.

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Gov. DeSantis Speaks at Moms for Liberty Conference in Tampa

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke for about an hour Friday during the opening day of the first-ever Moms for Liberty National Summit held in Tampa, which was scheduled to continue on Saturday and Sunday.

The summit welcomed “all moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, and friends concerned about the attack on parental rights in education and are ready to defend those rights at all levels of government.”

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New Pennsylvania Child Care Tax Credit May Not Benefit the Neediest Families

Tucked into the Pennsylvania budget is a provision for a child care tax credit, funded with almost $25 million. The credit, however, might not be the best way to help families struggling with child care costs. 

As WESA in Pittsburgh detailed, the tax credit refunds up to 30% of child care expenses that a worker claims on their federal income tax return. Filers can claim up to $3,000 for expenses with one dependent or up to $6,000 if they have two or more dependents. 

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Michigan Bill Aims to Stop Gas Station Price Gouging

Democrats say a price-gouging bill would stop “Big Oil” greed, but others say it would penalize independent operators of gas stations.

Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, and Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, D-Livonia, sponsored Senate Bill 1136, which defines price gouging as “an unjustified disparity of more than 20%” between the price of a comparable energy product or service in a market before, during, or after a market disruption.

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Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association Launches New Hospital Price Transparency Tool

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) launched an online tool to direct consumers to price transparency documents, including estimates and services pricing for hospitals across Virginia.

VHHA President and CEO Sean Connaughton said in a press release, “This new online tool continues a long tradition of Virginia hospitals promoting transparency about health care prices, the COVID-19 pandemic, inpatient behavioral health admissions, health care quality in hospitals, and so much more. With the support of our member hospitals and health systems, we are pleased to present this information to the public.”

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GOP Leaders Call for Public Hearing on Connecticut Health Care Costs

A public hearing pertaining to rising health care costs is the focus of a new call from Connecticut’s Senate and House leadership.

Republican legislative leaders in both chambers renewed a call for a public hearing to be held at the Capitol that would focus on proposed health insurance rate filings next year for individual and small group markets.

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Andy Biggs Sends Letter to U.S. Departments Demanding They Stop Transporting Illegal Immigrant Minors Across State Lines for Abortions

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs sent a letter Friday to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the Department of Health and Human & Human Safety (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, demanding they cease transporting illegal alien minors across state lines to receive abortions.

“The Biden Administration is now savagely transporting alien minors in federal custody to receive abortions,” Biggs said in a press release. “This outrageous use of federal resources to transport minors across state lines for abortions or otherwise providing or facilitating abortions in DHS or HHS custody is a heinous act and must be stopped.”

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Polls Show Majority of Arizona GOP Voters Still Unsure in Several Races as August Primary Approaches

As early voting for the August 2nd Arizona Primary Election is underway, OH Predictive Insights (OHPI) held a poll showing that many Arizona Republican Party (GOP) Voters remain unsure who they want to vote for in several races.

“The Governor and Senate primary is taking up much of the oxygen (and airtime) away from these down-ticket races,” said Mike Noble, OHPI Chief of Research. “With voters predominantly undecided in these races, their respective campaign efforts will be critical as they chase ballots, get out the vote, and spend their hard-earned campaign dollars leading up to Election Day.”

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House Democrats Advance Abortion Bill that’s Twice Failed in Senate

The House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that aims to protect rights for women seeking abortion and those providing abortion services despite two previous rejections.

The vote fell mostly along party lines, earning no votes from Republican representatives while only one Democrat, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, opposed it. The Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 would provide protections for abortion providers and patients nationwide, expanding abortion access across the country.

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Commentary: What I Saw at Teachers Union Convention

As a teacher, I attended the National Education Association convention last week, and my worst fears were confirmed. 

Public schools are no longer a safe place for families who hold traditional values or for families who believe gender (as in male/female binary) is biologically determined. 

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Migrant Encounters at U.S.-Mexico Border Hit Another Historic High

The number of migrants encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border decreased in June, but remained at a historic high, according to numbers released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Friday.

CBP encountered 207,416 migrants at the southern border, a 14% decrease compared to May. There were 92,274 migrants immediately expelled under Title 42, the public health order activated during the COVID-19 pandemic, in June.

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Commentary: First Vote on Abortion After Roe Reversal

Minutes after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the 49-year-old constitutional right to abortion, President Biden addressed the nation. “Voters need to make their voices heard. This fall, Roe is on the ballot.”

Make that late summer. On Aug. 2, Kansas will become the first state to vote on reproductive rights since the landscape-altering U.S. Supreme Court decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which took away the federal guarantee of abortion and gave the issue back to the states.

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Madison Mayor Proposes $1,000 Fine for Harassing Election Officials

by Benjamin Yount   Less than one month before Wisconsin’s next election, Madison’s mayor is proposing a new ban on harassing election workers. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway unveiled a new ordinance Tuesday that would make it a crime to “engage in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct under…

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Commentary: Catholic Voters Sour on Biden, Split over Midterms

Neither Republicans nor Democrats have a clear edge with Catholic voters nearly four months before the pivotal midterm elections that will determine control of Congress and how much of President Biden’s agenda will get passed in the next two years, according to an in-depth new survey of American Catholics.

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Arizona Committee Focuses on Affordable Housing

Increasing affordable housing in Arizona is the focus of the bipartisan Housing Supply Study Committee, which held its first meeting Tuesday at the state capitol.

The committee was created in order to, “review data on the scope of housing supply and access in Arizona, compile an overview of ways to address Arizona’s housing shortage and to mitigate its causes, and solicit ideas and opinions of industry and subject matter experts and the community on additional recommendations.”

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2022 McMinn Regional Job Fair Set for July 21st at Athens Regional Park

The McMinn County Economic Development Authority is hosting the 2022 McMinn Regional Job Fair at Athens Regional Park on July 21. The job fair will be held from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (EST) and will host over 20 regional employers with current job openings ready to hire.

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Nashville Middle School Plagued with Resignations of More than Two Dozen Teachers

One Metro Nashville middle school has been plagued by continued resignations of more than two dozen teachers since the state of the 2021-2022 school year. 

According to a report from WSMV, 29 teachers have left the school for various reasons, as many cited a chaotic work environment and a lack of communication from school leaders.

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