Ohio Senate President Tweets Zero Chance of Raising Taxes

Ohio State Senate President Larry Obhof responded plainly to a tweet from a Cleveland-area think tank encouraging the state to close income tax loopholes.

“Let me save you some time on this. There is 0% chance @OhioSenateGOP will raise income taxes,” Obhof tweet at Policy Matters Ohio.

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Think Tanks Square Off Over More Government Oversight of Michigan’s Charter Schools

A report recommending expanded government oversight of Michigan’s charter schools has prompted a rebuttal from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (MCPP).

“Improving Oversight of Michigan Charter Schools and Their Authorizers” was issued on Feb. 25 by the Levin Center at Wayne State University Law School, which had commissioned the study from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC), a Michigan-based think tank.

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Pew: At Least 17 States Have Drawn from Their Rainy Day Funds This Year to Cover Fiscal Shortfalls

At least 17 states have authorized and or made withdrawals from their rainy day funds this year in order to fill budget holes, according to a new analysis by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Some withdrawals were small, others were more than half of what was set aside.

In fiscal 2020, at least 36 states had planned to make additional rainy day fund deposits but were constrained by fiscal and economic difficulties resulting from their respective state COVID-19 shutdowns, which resulted in increased unemployment and decreased revenue.

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State Agency Issue New Workplace Orders, Mirroring Whitmer’s Now-Void Orders

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has issued new emergency orders for many businesses.

MIOSHA, within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, promulgates rules clarifying the safety requirements for employers.

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Minneapolis to Spend $2 Million of CARES Money on Tiny Houses for Homeless

The Minneapolis City Council on Friday voted to spend nearly $2 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) money to house the homeless.

The council passed the proposal for the project dubbed Indoor Villages, which will be operated by Avivo, a company that offers treatment, recovery and employment services.

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Tennessee Crushes First-Day Early Voting Turnout Record

A total of 273,325 in-person and absentee votes have been cast by Tennesseans – a 91% increase in voter turnout over the first day of early voting in the 2016 presidential election and a 120% increase in turnout over the first day of early voting in 2012.

More than 167,000 Tennesseans cast ballots in-person Wednesday on the first day of early voting this week, and more than 105,500 absentee ballots already have been cast, according to data released Thursday by Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

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Senators Introduce Bill to Amend Rule Over Third-Party Internet Content

In the wake of allegations of big tech companies suppressing political speech and news stories on their platforms, Republican senators and congressmen introduced legislation to amend Section 230, part of a federal code that regulates third-party content on the internet.

Federal Communication Communications (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai also weighed in on Thursday after senators announced they were subpoenaing Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey.

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Nearly 900,000 U.S. Workers File New Unemployment Claims

Nearly 900,000 American workers filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, an increase of 53,000 new claims from the week prior and a sign that the U.S. economy has a long way to go to recovery.

According to U.S. Department of Labor satistics released Thursday, 898,000 new claims were filed in the week ending Oct. 10, when seasonally adjusted. That’s up from the previous week’s revised level of 845,000 claims.

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Lawmakers Approve COVID-19 Liability Bills, Extend Unemployment Benefits, and Nursing Home Policy Changes

After a session exceeding 12 hours, Michigan lawmakers passed bills replacing a framework for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 executive orders deemed unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court.

Lawmakers approved measures aiming to allow local governments to meet electronically for any reason through Jan. 1; extend unemployment benefits to a full 26 weeks; change nursing home policy barring nursing homes from caring for COVID-19 patients unless the building provides a “designated area” for those patients; and, by Nov. 15, implement a statewide policy allowing in-person visitations for all nursing home residents.

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Ohio Voters Flock to the Polls Thus Far in Early Voting

Ohio’s first week of early voting saw long lines at major cities and record numbers of Ohioans heading to the polls.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said in a news release Tuesday that triple the number of early voters have gone to the polls this year than at the same point in 2016.

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