In one year, Customs and Border Protection agents encountered triple the number of people entering the U.S. illegally compared to the previous year. From October 2020 to September 2021, 1,734,686 people were encountered at the U.S. southern border.
From October 2019 to September 2020, that number was 458,088. Read More
Hillsdale County Clerk Marney Kast’s office will run the Nov. 2 election next week in Adams Township after the Michigan Bureau of Elections said Adams Township Clerk Stephanie Scott failed to comply with legal requirements for election security.
“The voters of Adams Township expect, deserve, and have a right to have their election carried out in accordance with all state and federal laws,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement. “I am confident that the Hillsdale County Clerk’s office will administer the election in a manner that ensures that it is legal, transparent, and secure.” Read More
by Abbey Smith One Kansas school board member and four Wisconsin school board members are facing recall elections on Nov. 2. Supporters of both efforts listed the school board’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the reasons for recall. In the Nemaha USD 115 in Kansas, District… Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2022 campaign funds have grown to about $12.6 million after raking in $3.1 million between July 21 and Oct. 20.
The Democratic governor has continued claiming an exemption to accept contributions above the state-imposed limit of $7,150 from an individual throughout the entire election cycle. Whitmer’s campaign says it can do this, citing a loophole by which donors may exceed campaign funding limits if their candidate of choice is facing a recall election. Despite several past recalls against the governor over the past three years, none are currently active.
The GOP has challenged this strategy in court, where an Oct. 13 court filing suggests roughly $3.4 million in excess donations must be returned or given to a charity since no recalls are active. New large contributions include Whitmer’s father, Richard Whitmer ($40,000), billionaire George Soros ($25,000), and Vice-Chair of the Detroit Pistons Arn Tellem ($25,000). Read More
Hunters in Wisconsin are pleading with the state’s Department of Natural Resources to save this year’s wolf hunt.
A Dane County judge on Friday issued an order that essentially ends this year’s hunt. The judge said Wisconsin’s wolf quota should be zero, not the 130 that DNR regulators approved this fall.
“I’m not overruling the wolf hunt law, I’m not saying it’s enjoined from ever being enforced,” Judge Jacob Frost wrote in his ruling. “In fact I’m saying that it has to be enforced as it was written and intended.”
Frost sided with environmentalists and advocates who’ve been fighting Wisconsin’s wolf hunting law for years. Frost’s ruling, however, singles out the DNR for failing to adopt formal wolf hunting rules since lawmakers approved a wolf hunt back in 2012. Read More
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked the U.S. District Court in Arizona for a temporary restraining order and nationwide preliminary injunction against the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
“The COVID-19 vaccine mandate is one of the greatest infringements upon individual liberty, federalism, and the separation of powers by any administration in our country’s history,” Brnovich said in a news release Friday. Read More
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stirred up more fears around inflation with his comments over the weekend saying that hyperinflation is “happening.”
“Hyperinflation is going to change everything,” the tech leader posted on Twitter. “It’s happening.”
The post sparked a flurry of responses. Replying to comments on his post, Dorsey added, “It will happen in the US soon, and so the world.”
Hyperinflation is defined by Investopedia as “rapid, excessive, and out-of-control general price increases in an economy.” Read More
There will be more questions from lawmakers in Madison as to just what happened before and during last year’s election.
Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu on Monday announced that the State Senate is launching its own investigation into the 2020 election. Read More
The city of Phoenix will incentivize receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at city-sponsored vaccination clinics by handing out $100 gift cards.
The Phoenix City Council approved the pilot program to increase vaccination rates. The program will be funded by federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act. Read More
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shuttered much economic activity in Michigan without compensation for lost revenue. While groceries stores stayed open, venues designed for packing people into spaces like theaters, museums, and zoos to enjoy art shuttered for longer than five months.
So the U.S. Small Business Administration administered over $16 billion nationwide through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grantees (SVOG) nationwide. In Michigan, 279 businesses ranging from museums to art centers to theaters have been promised a total of $280 million, with amounts from $3,500 to up to $10 million. Read More
President Joe Biden’s administration wants to lead an electric vehicle (EV) revolution, but apparently doesn’t want domestic production of rare earth minerals vital to EVs.
The Biden administration announced a two-year study on a proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeast Minnesota that could delay it for 20 years and stop one of the few planned copper-nickel mines in the nation while the U.S attempts to pivot to EVs from gasoline-powered internal combustion vehicles. Read More
Tense negotiations have continued for months on Democrats’ proposed several trillion dollars in federal spending, leading to major changes for the plan. Notably, Democrats now say the $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure”plan will likely end up closer to $2 trillion, though that figure still remains too high for many lawmakers.
At the same time, President Joe Biden has still been unable to rally Congress around a method to actually pay for the proposal, which Biden claims will add nothing to the national debt.
Democrats’ separate, roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill appeared set to pass in recent weeks, but some progressive Democrats withheld their support fearing that giving up their votes would cost them leverage in making sure the larger reconciliation bill is passed and signed into law. Read More
The majority of Americans believe the threat of the coronavirus is getting less serious, and a plurality believe President Joe Biden and government health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci don’t want lockdowns to end, according to a new poll conducted by the Convention of States Action in partnership with The Trafalgar Group.
“Despite the fact that Big Media and Big Tech are working tirelessly to suppress the truth, this poll reveals that most Americans aren’t fooled in the least,” Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action, said. “They clearly see that the pandemic is on a downward trend, and they also understand that President Biden and Dr. Fauci have no intention of easing restrictions and mandates,””
According to the poll, 63.1% of likely voters believe the threat of the coronavirus is getting less serious, with 25.9% saying it’s much less serious, compared to 26.1% who say it’s getting more serious. Nearly 11% said they weren’t sure. Read More
Democratic leaders are targeting church goers to get out the vote, endorsing Democratic incumbent Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is slightly behind in the polls for the first time after making controversial remarks about parents not having a say in their children’s education.
Some argue the Souls to the Polls campaign violates IRS rules governing tax-exempt entities such as churches. Read More
A bipartisan bill aims to revive a killed business subsidy incentive that they say will spur new job creation in Michigan.
State Reps. Mark Tisdel, R-Rochester Hills and Angela Witwer, D-Delta Township, introduced House Bills (HB) 5425 and 5426 that aim to form the Michigan Employment Opportunity Program (MEOP) to provide incentives for business developments similar to the Good Jobs for Michigan (GJFM) program, which expired in 2019.
“The Michigan Employment Opportunity Program will form a public-private partnership to bring good jobs to our state,” Tisdel said in a statement. “Government can make it easier for businesses to invest in our communities and support more Michigan workers, bringing economic growth – and the revenue that comes with it.” Read More
Tennessee’s State Funding Board is scheduled to approve $22.7 million in FastTrack economic incentive grants at its Monday meeting.
The grants include $10.5 million to Life Technologies Corporation’s Thermo Fisher Scientific for its technology assembly facility in Lebanon, which the company has invested more than $100 million in and is expected to employ 1,400 people.
The Smith & Wesson Company is set to receive a $9 million FastTrack grant as it prepares to move its operations and corporate office to Maryville in Blount County. Read More
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a second joint lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday over the ongoing border crisis.
Meeting on the banks of the Rio Grande River south of El Paso, Texas, the two Republican attorneys general said they are demanding that the federal government continue to build the border wall using funds Congress appropriated for its use. One of Biden’s first acts in office was to halt construction of the border wall, which they argue violates federal law.
Additionally, it currently costs taxpayers $3 million a day to not build the wall due to contractual obligations with the construction firm tasked with building it. Read More
About a quarter of teacher vacancies across the state remain unfilled in 2021, with 55.4% of the vacancies are filled by teachers who do not meet the state’s standard certification requirements, according to a Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association survey of 145 school districts and charter schools.
This marks the sixth consecutive year of teacher shortages in Arizona. Approximately a quarter of teacher vacancies have remained unfilled a month into each school year since 2016, ASPAA’s press release said.
Twenty-six percent of teaching positions were open a few weeks into the school year, a 6% increase from the 21% vacancy rate in 2019, even though there were 400 less positions to fill this year than in 2019. As of Sept. 10, 2021, ASPAA counted 1,698.67 vacancies in its Oct. 12 report. Read More
Virginia is on pace to have universal broadband access throughout the commonwealth by 2024 following a record number of local and private sector applications to match state investments, Gov. Ralph Northam announced.
After the most recent application window closed, the state received 57 applications from 84 localities for about $943 million worth of state funding, which leverages about $1.15 billion worth of private and local matching funds. In total, this amounts to an investment larger than $2 billion, which the governor’s office estimates will connect more than 250,000 homes to broadband internet.
“Broadband is as critical today as electricity was in the last century,” Northam said in a statement. “Making sure more Virginians can get access to it has been a priority since I took office, and the pandemic pushed us all to move even faster. Virginia is now on track to achieve universal broadband by 2024, which means more connections, more investments, easier online learning, and expanded telehealth options, especially in rural Virginia.” Read More
When Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), was asked five times in a row whether Benton Harbor’s water was safe to drink, she repeatedly said, “the state of Michigan wants citizens to be drinking bottled water.”
“Come on, let’s talk like normal people here,” Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Wayland, responded. “It’s a normal question: Is the water in Benton Harbor safe to drink or not?”
Clark eventually answered “no,” and recommended residents drink bottled water. Read More
What started out as frustration over coronavirus rules and face masks has now grown into an effort across Wisconsin to recall dozens of local school board members.
Voters in the Mequon-Thiensville school district will decide on Nov 2 if four members of the local school board should keep their seats. Mequon-Thiensville is just the latest of Wisconsin’s school board recalls. Read More
Foreign languages, business education and home economics still will be a required part of curriculum in Ohio schools after the Ohio Senate voted unanimously to stop a proposal from the Ohio Department of Education that would have allowed them to be eliminated.
The Senate concurred with House Concurrent Resolution 35 to stop a plan that would have changed the state’s administrative code to eliminate those required courses of study, a change put forth by the State Board of Education. The House passed the resolution, 95-0.
Wednesday’s vote marked the first time in 25 years the General Assembly stopped a rule from going into effect, according to Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, who serves on the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. Read More
The Ohio Senate has solidified gun rights, limited government power in an emergency and clarified knives are included in the right to bear arms.
Senate Bill 185, which passed 23-7, stops the state or local governments from confiscating any lawfully owned gun during a declared emergency. Sen. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, said it protects Ohioans’ right to protect themselves and does not add any new gun rights.
“This legislation will protect the rights of Ohioans to their firearms recognizing their natural right to self-defense, as well as to feed their families during times of declared emergencies,” Schaffer said. Read More
Preliminary results from Auditor Doug Ringler’s analysis of Michigan’s long-term care facility COVID-19 death data found about 800 additional confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths than the state initially counted overall statewide between Jan. 1, 2020, and July 3, 2021.
Ringler responded to a request from the Oversight Committee to investigate the accuracy of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) COVID-19 death data in long-term care facilities. The request followed questions about the accuracy of MDHHS COVID-19 death data.
Ringler told Johnson he used death certificate information from the Electronic Death Record System and COVID-19 case and death data from the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS). The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services counts total COVID-19 deaths on their pandemic website using data from MDSS. Read More
The majority of Americans oppose the Biden administration’s plans to monitor and investigate outspoken parents at school boards meetings, new polling from Convention of States Action reveals.
The poll found 57% of those surveyed do not support the announcement while 19.8% are in favor. The rest are not sure.
“…One can plainly see that those who are aware that Merrick Garland made this announcement oppose him by large majorities, while there’s a group who marked ‘not sure’ because they don’t know about his announcement or don’t know enough about it,” said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action. Read More
The latest version of Wisconsin’s new political map will not become law if Gov. Tony Evers has anything to do with it.
The governor on Thursday told Republican lawmakers that he will not sign the map they unveiled on Wednesday.
“If Republicans want to get serious about passing maps I can sign, they need to do a heck of a lot more listening to the people of this state,” Evers said in a statement.
The governor claims the Republican-drawn map is “gerrymandered,” but didn’t offer any specific suggestions of the changes he’d like to see. Read More
The new Ohio Redistricting Commission, facing an Oct. 31 deadline to redraw the state’s congressional district maps, is receiving the same criticism from Democratic lawmakers as it did during the state legislative map-drawing process.
House Democratic leaders have called on Republican members of the commission to release draft maps so the commission can work toward an agreement before the Oct. 31 deadline. The commission, made up of five Republicans and two Democrats, must reach a unanimous decision for maps to last 10 years. Read More
Wisconsin’s new political map doesn’t look much different from the current map.
Republicans released their iteration of the Wisconsin districting map Wednesday. The new map maintains Republican majorities in both the State Assembly and the State Senate. It would also give Republicans an advantage in most of the state’s congressional districts. Read More
A group of Ohio economists believes government subsidies for coal power plants create distortions in the market, eliminates competition and does not produce positive results, according to a new survey from Scioto Analysis.
State leaders continue to pick apart House Bill 6, the scandal-ridden energy bill passed two years ago that produced billions of dollars for two state nuclear power plants but also included subsidies for coal plants and renewable energy producers. It also led to what federal prosecutors call the largest government corruption scandal in state history and the ouster of indicted former Speaker of the House Larry Householder. Read More
The Minneapolis Police Department has lost nearly 300 officers since 2020, and the city is trying to fund a budget that replaces those officers and protects residents from an increase in violent crime.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s 2022 recommended budget would increase the Minneapolis Police Department’s (MPD) budget by $27 million, or 17%, if approved by the City Council. Read More
Lawmakers in Madison are looking send a lot more of Wisconsin’s agricultural products around the globe.
The Joint Committee on Finance on Tuesday approved a $5 million, five-year plan that orders the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to come-up with a plan to increase ag exports in Wisconsin by 25%. Read More
In what was characterized as a blow against the state constitution’s Blaine amendments, members of the House and Senate on Tuesday passed a slate of bills aimed at providing opportunity scholarships for Michigan students.
Senate Bills 687 and 688 and House Bills 5404 and 5405 all passed mainly along party lines, with Republicans supporting the legislation and Democrats in opposition. Each chamber’s respective education committees moved the bills forward earlier in the day. Read More
The Tennessee Legislature finished its special session on Ford’s $5.6 billion electric truck project Wednesday by approving $884 million in spending and creating a Megasite Authority of West Tennessee board to oversee operations.
“This is the largest single economic investment in rural Tennessee’s history,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “… It is, most importantly, a win for western Tennessee’s workforce.” Read More
The Biden administration is making changes to its plan to require banks to report to the IRS on all accounts with at least $600, but banks say those changes are not enough.
Biden has pitched increasing federal tax revenue through more auditing and a stricter IRS as a way to help fund his proposed trillions in federal spending. His initial plan to require reporting of all $600 accounts sparked major controversy. Read More
Emails show that in May 2020, the federal government warned Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance (UIA) about its lax jobless aid qualification questions. Despite a second warning as early as Jan. 6, 2021, the UIA still didn’t fix its mistakes.
The unheeded warnings are now costing nearly 600,000 Michiganders stress as well as potentially thousands of dollars to repay Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits erroneously paid out. Read More
Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction on Friday released enrollment figures for this school year, and statewide enrollment once again fell.
“Wisconsin’s total school district headcount for the third Friday of September 2021 was 814,101, a decline of 0.5 percent from September 2020,” DPI said. “4K and preschool special education headcounts rebounded with a 7.0 percent increase from last year, and kindergarten headcount increased slightly by 0.7 percent . First through 12th grades — where Wisconsin’s mandatory school attendance laws apply — were down 1.1 percent.” Read More
Workers at the University of Arizona must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
That’s the news from university President Robert Robbins in response to President Joe Biden’s order that any public or private organization that benefits from federal tax dollars must install a vaccination mandate. Read More
One state Republican lawmaker says Gov. Tony Evers’ violence prevention efforts ignore the police.
Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin, on Monday said the governor has failed to support law enforcement.
“We have seen what Bash the Blue solutions have done to help combat the spread of crime – absolutely nothing. In fact, it has only made things worse. Homicides are up. Aggravated assaults are up. Motor vehicle thefts are up. Arson is up,” Sanfelippo said. Read More
A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic separating employees from their day care outlets and new workers moving in has parents in Arizona facing a shortage of places to keep their young children while they work.
Day cares around the country saw their clientele vanish when the pandemic laid off millions of parents who paid handsomely for their children to learn while they worked. Read More
Ohio Democrats again have introduced legislation that would give universal health care to Ohioans, despite failing with the effort over the past decade.
Sen. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, said Senate Bill 253, the Ohio Health Care Plan, would provide universal, single-payer access to health care, dental care and vision care for all Ohioans.
Similar legislation has been introduced in each two-year-session over the past 10 years. Each has had little movement. Lawmakers have not yet said how much the proposal would cost the state. Read More
Virginia received a $5 million federal grant to fund a K-12 to university training pipeline intended to produce shipbuilding workers for the Navy, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday.
The money, which the Department of Defense awarded to the Virginia Defense Manufacturing Community, will be used to teach skills to students in the Danville and Norfolk areas that would prepare them to work for defense manufacturing industries. It is designed to boost the local workforce in those industries with local people. Read More
A series of economic struggles that have grown increasingly worse this year will likely have a significant impact on the holiday season, many economic experts predict.
After President Joe Biden gave remarks from the White House this week, one reporter called out, “Will Christmas presents arrive on time, sir?” The president did not respond to that question or the flurry of others as he walked away from the podium. Read More
With rankings near the bottom in five key categories, Ohio stands as one of the least safe states during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recently released report.
WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranked Ohio the fifth-least safe state in the nation based on data from five key areas, including COVID-19 transmission, positive tests, hospitalizations, deaths and the percentage of the eligible population vaccinated.
Ohio’s highest ranking was in transmission rate, which still ranked 35th. Its death rate was 41st, while vaccination rate (42nd), positive test rate (43rd) and hospitalization rate (44th) were among the worst in the country. Read More
Wisconsin’s latest open enrollment suggestion would allow parents to send their kids to a new school based on whether or not the school enforced mask mandates.
The Senate Committee on Education on Thursday heard from lawmakers on Senate Bill 587, which would give parents the ability to send their kids to a new school based solely on a school district’s coronavirus policy. Read More
As Tennessee begins looking at revamping its Basic Education Program (BEP) to fund public schools, one factor looming in the discussion of a new funding formula is teacher pay.
Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle recognize teacher pay and how the BEP funds teacher pay are an issue. Read More
Seven Democratic U.S. representatives have asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, to not target the oil and gas industry in the budget reconciliation bill before Congress.
Despite the concerns they and those in the industry have raised, Democrats in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee pushed through a section of the bill, which includes billions of dollars in taxes, fines and fees on the oil and gas industry in the name of climate change.
Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., said the section of the bill that passed “invested in millions of American jobs” and put the U.S. “on a more stable long-term economic and environmental path.” Read More
Multinational technology company Cisco will expand its operations in Georgia, creating 700 new jobs, Gov. Brian Kemp and company officials announced Wednesday.
Cisco plans to invest up to $41 million in opening a Talent and Collaboration Center in the Coda Tech Square in Midtown Atlanta. The new positions would add to the more than 1,000 Georgians currently working for Cisco across the state. Read More
Ohio Speaker of the House Bob Cupp has left little doubt about the future of bills that would give most Ohio workers and students the ability to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine by ordering a committee chair to cancel an upcoming meeting.
House Bill 435 failed to get a full vote Wednesday in the House for the second time in two weeks, with Cupp, R-Lima, saying the House was moving on to different things. He reiterated that message Thursday in a letter to Health Committee Chair Scott Lipps, R-Franklin, shutting down a seventh hearing on House Bill 248, the Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act, a separate bill dealing with the same subjects. Read More
While much attention has been focused on the fallout of increased illegal immigration and crime at the southern border, Customs and Border Patrol agents also say they are routinely finding packages shipped from China containing fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.
CBP says its agents have seized more than 6,000 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards in Chicago, Memphis, Anchorage and Pittsburgh in the past few months. Read More
A statewide coalition is backing a spending schedule of $6 billion of federal government money from the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
The Coalition for a Strong and Prosperous Michigan represents businesses, government organizations, local elected leaders, and statewide associations. They aim to detail strategic ways to invest Michigan’s ARP funding for future growth and prosperity. Read More