Trump Pledges to Never Give Ducey His Endorsement

Former President Donald Trump released a statement blasting Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for his lack of support in examining concerns of election security for the November 2020 election. 

Additionally, Trump pledged to never give Ducey his endorsement, should Ducey elect to run for another office. The two-term Governor is prevented from running for re-election due to the state’s term limit rules. 

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Federal Appeals Court Upholds Dismissal of Virginia Lieutenant Governor Fairfax’s Defamation Lawsuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Court upheld the dismissal of Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax’s defamation lawsuit against CBS. The court said that Fairfax had failed to make the case that CBS’ actions were defamatory under heightened requirements of proof for public officials.

“Fairfax’s complaint fails to plausibly allege that CBS made the allegedly defamatory statements with knowledge or reckless disregard of their falsity, as required to state a claim for defamation of a public official,” the June 23 decision states.

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Arizona State Representative Diego Rodriguez Announces Bid for Attorney General

Diego Rodriguez

PHOENIX, Arizona – State Representative Diego Rodriguez (D-Phoenix) has joined the attorney general race. Rodriguez made the announcement as the Arizona House convened once more to discuss the budget. As The Arizona Sun Times reported this week, House Democrats staged a walkout on Tuesday in protest of the budget.

“For too long, corporate lobbyists have been the ones calling the shots in our AZ. It’s time working families have someone fighting for them,” wrote Rodriguez. “I’m running for Attorney General to bring integrity, accountability and compassion to our justice system.”

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St. Paul Schools Committee Calls for End to School Suspensions After Examining ‘Racial Inequities’

Seven Indigenous students from AIMS middle school participated in the "This is Me: Indigenous in 2020" art exhibition exploring self portraiture in representational, symbolic and abstract work. The exhibition has been located in the Minneapolis U.S. District Court House since November 2020.

St. Paul Public Schools’ Equity Committee recently called for an end to school suspensions among other recommendations as a way to tackle inequities in the district.

The Equity Committee in the St. Paul Public School District was created in 2019 and is led by Superintendent Joe Gothard. The committee meets monthly to identify and examine “racial inequities” and equity disparities, as well as craft recommendations for the school board at large.

During a June 15 St. Paul Public School Board meeting, the Equity Committee brought forward a list of recommendations, including ending the use of suspensions in the district.

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Conservatives Criticize Washington Post for Misleading Headline on DeSantis

Many conservatives noted that The Washington Post issued a misleading headline on Thursday that mischaracterizes the contents of a bill signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The legislation, HB 233, “requires state colleges and universities to conduct annual assessments of the viewpoint diversity and intellectual freedom at their institutions to ensure that Florida’s postsecondary students will be shown diverse ideas and opinions, including those that they may disagree with or find uncomfortable.” DeSantis signed the legislation on Wednesday in addition to two other bills aimed at boosting civics education requirements throughout the state at all levels.

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Arizona House Passes Tax Reforms Adopting Flat Rate, Reduced Income Tax

PHOENIX, Arizona – Thursday, the Arizona House passed tax reforms to implement a flat tax rate and reduced income tax during the ongoing debate over the budget. With it, they ushered in a $1.9 billion tax cut and lowered taxes to about 2.5 percent.

House Republicans announced their victory early that afternoon.

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Ohio House Passes Bill Banning Transgender Student Athletes from Women’s Sports

Girl up to bat, swinging her bat at a softball game.

The Ohio House of Representatives passed an amendment, known as the Save Women’s Sports Act, which will ban transgender athletes from joining female teams in both high school and college sports.

Many Republicans celebrated the move and argued the amendment will protect the integrity of women’s sports throughout the state. 

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Arizona Rep. Lesko Introduces Bill to Stop Taxpayer Funds Given to Organizations That Ignore Federal Law

U.S. Representative Debbie Lesko (R-AZ- 08) introduced a bill intended to cease government funding to all organizations that decide to ignore federal laws.

The Stop the Outlay of Payments Act would immediately stop the use of taxpayer funds to any organization that has demonstrated an effort to violate these regulations.

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Arizona House Adopts Rule Change to Shut Down Prolonged Debate on Budget; Democrats Livid

PHOENIX, Arizona – In an effort to speed along passage of the budget, Arizona House Republicans pushed through a rule change to limit debate on bills to 30 minutes. After that, amendments on that bill would be moved, explained, and voted on without debate, explanation of vote, or questions. Additionally, all protests were directed to be made in writing and submitted to the chief clerk.

The rule change passed along party lines, 31 to 29.

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Kemp Ends Georgia’s Public Health State of Emergency as of July 1

Georgia’s public health state of emergency will end on July 1 under an executive order signed by Gov. Brian Kemp.

Kemp first declared a public health state of emergency on March 14, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration helps the state easily access supplies and other resources needed to combat the spread of the coronavirus. It lifts certain medical and commercial transportation regulations.

Tuesday’s order extends the declaration by one day and one minute.

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Florida Board of Governors Sets Rules for Athlete Compensation

Florida Gators

The Florida Board of Governors (BOG) established a set of regulations designed to assist in the implementation for collegiate athlete compensation in Florida’s universities. According to the standards, athletes will be able to hire agents but will have to disclose contracts and payments to their university.

These measures were taken by the BOG due to a bill signed into law last year by Governor Ron DeSantis allowing college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness, and will take effect July 1.

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Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender Unhappy That City Removed Graffiti in Uptown

After city employees went to clean graffiti off the streets of Minneapolis, City Council President Lisa Bender allegedly stopped the process. When Bender first heard about the clean-up work being done, she wrote that she assumed the city employees, “were talked into this [cleaning up the graffiti] by the business association.”

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Ohio Vaccine Lottery Ends with Mixed Results

Ohio has ended its drive to encourage residents to receive the coronavirus vaccine — awarding $1 million prizes to 5 different individuals and additional college scholarships to teenagers. 

The lottery-style giveaway used taxpayer funds to award the prizes and paved the way for many states to follow its example. 

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Local Minnesota Restaurant Adding ‘Equity’ Charge to Customer’s Bills

A Minneapolis restaurant, Broders Pasta Bar, is now adding an ‘equity’ charge to all checks. Broders official statement regarding the new charge says that, “Studies have also shown that there is inequity and built-in bias in the way consumers give tips. In general, Black or Brown servers receive less tips than Caucasian servers. There is gender bias as well.”

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Leads Challenge at SCOTUS Related to Hobbs

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed an amicus curiae brief Monday in the U.S. Supreme Court with 22 states signing on, demanding the court overrule a decision by the Sixth Circuit allowing state officials to surrender in lawsuits challenging state laws they don’t want to defend.  The move comes as Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, is refusing to appeal adverse decisions striking down Arizona’s elections laws.

The brief relates to Kentucky v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center, where Democratic Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear failed to appeal a court decision striking down a Kentucky law banning dismemberment abortions during the second trimester of pregnancy. Kentucky’s Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron is trying to intervene in order to defend the law.

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Florida Democrats Prepping for 2022 Election Cycle

The Florida Democrat Party (FDP) announced the hiring of seven regional field directors in preparation for the 2022 election cycle.

As reported by Florida Politics, Democrats will be looking to capitalize on grassroots organizing and, they say, will hope to “get a head start on high-profile 2022 contests.”

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Virginia Sen. Warner and 21 Other Senators Announce Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan, But Biden Says Democrats Still Need to Pass Separate, Larger Proposal

Mark Warner of Virginia

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and other members of a bipartisan team of 21 senators announced an infrastructure plan that includes $579 billion in new spending over the next five years. President Joe Biden also announced his support for the deal on Thursday. Warner and Biden highlighted it as a win for bipartisanship. At the same time, Biden emphasized that he wouldn’t sign the bill without Democrats passing an additional larger infrastructure bill through reconciliation.

“This group of senators, and all the American people, can be proud today, because we’ve reaffirmed once again: we are the United States of America,” Biden said. “I know a lot of you in the press, particularly, doubt that unity is possible, that anything bipartisan is possible. It’s hard, but it’s necessary, and it can get done.”

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Interview: Arizona Governor Hopeful Kari Lake on Her Faith, Media Bias, and Why She’s Running

Kari Lake

PHOENIX, Arizona – Longtime Fox News Emmy Award-winning anchor Kari Lake discussed faith, media bias, and her plans for governorship in an interview with The Arizona Sun Times. The governor hopeful offered insight honed from nearly 30 years of reporting in the state – how it was the people’s stories and needs that inspired her to take the leap from reporting to running for office.

“I have no special interests except for the people of Arizona,” said Lake.

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A Recap in the Last Days of the Arizona Audit: Mainstream Media Meddling and ‘Blue Pen Jen’

PHOENIX, Arizona – The most eventful aspect of the Arizona audit appears to have had nothing to do with the audit itself – rather, it was antics from the mainstream media who came to cover it. Officials recounted to The Arizona Sun Times one incident in which several reporters left their designated seating, returned to the entryway, propped open the doors, and took pictures. Later, those reporters published stories claiming that the doors were left wide open during the audit.

After that, The Times was told, officials had to direct some of the Arizona Rangers serving as security to escort media and ensure they didn’t roam freely.

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Former President Trump to Host Rally in Florida

Former President Donald Trump is hosting a major rally in Sarasota, Florida on the eve of the Fourth of July.

In a statement released by his Save America PAC, Trump announced the rally will be co-sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida, and the event “marks President Trump’s further support of the MAGA agenda and accomplishments of his administration.”

The former President is becoming increasingly more active in his rally-style events — which he was notorious for on the campaign trail. Largely, Trump drew thousands to each address he gave during his campaign and his presidency.

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University of Minnesota Labor Union Demands University of Minnesota Police Be Disarmed

The University of Minnesota’s UMN AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, demanded that the University of Minnesota disarm their police force and create a Civilian Police Accountability Council.

The negotiations started this month between the University of Minnesota’s management team and four unions represented by AFSCME.

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Republican State Leadership Committee Targeting 13 Democrat-Controlled Virginia House of Delegates Districts

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) announced 13 target House of Delegate districts held by Democrats. Republicans need to flip six seats in the General Election, and both parties have candidates in nearly every district in an effort to control the majority. The RSLC list of districts primarily focuses on areas around three urban centers: northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Richmond.

“Those are definitely where the battle is. It’s where we lost a lot of seats in ’17,” Prince William GOP Vice Chairman Willie Deutsch told The Virginia Star. “[It] also shows RSLC is trying to capitalize on perceived Democrat overreach in D.C. in these legislative races.”

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Osseo School Board Introduces New Gender Inclusion Policy

The Osseo Area school board has been pushing to introduce a new Gender Inclusion Policy for the Osseo District 279, which they say would help to create a new inclusive space for students of all genders, gender identities, gender nonconformities, and sexual orientations. The proposed policy reads that the school district will, “Respect all students’ sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and gender nonconformity.”

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Florida DOE Releases 2021 Third Grade Testing Results

Third grade students who were able to attend in-person teaching had “more consistent learning outcomes” in English Language Arts (ELA), according to the Florida Department of Education (FDOE).

The FDOE made an announcement Tuesday based off ELA results in the Grade 3 Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) between Spring 2019 and Spring 2021.

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Arizona Sen. Kelly Pressured to Recuse from Chipman Confirmation Vote

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) is facing calls to recuse himself from the confirmation process David Chipman, the controversial nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). 

According to Breitbart, a proclamation was issued against Kelly in the Arizona House of Representatives over a conflict of interest. It was first introduced by Rep. Quang Nguyen (R-District 1).

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Arizona Senate Passes Budget After House Democrats Walk Out to Block Proceedings

Arizona Senate Passes Budget

The Arizona Senate worked late into the night on Tuesday in order to pass the state’s budget and other key initiatives, such as expanding the state’s school voucher program and blocking Critical Race Theory (CRT) education.

The proceedings began on the Senate side after Arizona House Democrats refused to show up at the Capitol, blocking the deliberative body from being able to conduct debate on a budget and tax cuts for the state’s residents.

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St. Paul Mayor Carter Pledged to Pay Reparations to Group of Black Residents

Melvin Carter

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said that he will pay reparations to Black residents of St. Paul and not just talk about doing it. Mayor Carter was one of the founding members who helped to launch the group, Mayors Organized for Reparations and Equity (MORE).

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Native American Owned Construction Business Equipment Vandalized to ‘Support Native Americans’

A Native American man who owns a construction company, Gordon Construction, spoke out against those who destroyed his equipment and claimed to speak for Native Americans. Matt Gordon, a Native American, owns one of the construction companies contracted to help finish the Line 3 project, a pipeline carrying oil from Canada into the United States.

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DeSantis Continues Fundraising Spree with Small Contributions

Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis raised more than $800,000 in the first two weeks of June, largely by small contributions from outside Florida. While touting some high-dollar donations, the recent fundraising influx has come from approximately 1,200 donors, including around 1,000 people who have given less than $1,000.

DeSantis’ popularity has gained traction nationally and is reflected by the states where his political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, has been receiving donations. Many conservatives and Republican voters have looked to DeSantis as a leader for his handling of COVID, the signing of “pro-law enforcement” legislation, banning transgender women from competing in women’s sports, banning Critical Race Theory, and prioritizing religious freedom.

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DeWine to Skip Ohio Trump Rally

As former President Donald J. Trump prepares for a highly-anticipated rally in Ohio this weekend, the state’s top two politicians announced that they will not be in attendance. 

According to several reports, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has ““has previously scheduled family commitments” that disallow him from attending. Lt. Gov. John Husted (R) will also not attend. He has not given a reason for missing the event.

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GOP Gubernatorial Challenger Renacci Labels DeWine as ‘Ultimate Never-Trumper’

GOP primary challenger Jim Renacci released a new ad on Wednesday labeling Ohio Governor Mike DeWine as the “ultimate Never-Trumper.”

“Mike DeWine is not only the ultimate corrupt political insider, but he’s also the ultimate Never Trumper with a record of undermining President Trump’s America First policies,” Renacci claimed in a statement.

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68 Percent of Previously Missing Fulton County Drop Box Transfer Forms Lack Receipt Time that Documents Chain of Custody

A preliminary analysis by The Georgia Star News of Fulton County drop box transfer forms covering five days in October 2020 that were previously missing reveals that 68 percent lack a recording of the time the absentee ballots were received by the registrar or designee which documents the ballot chain of custody.

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News published a report on the transfer forms that they said they received from Fulton County on June 15. 

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Virginia Rep. Spanberger Co-Sponsors Bill to Help People Transition from Unemployment Benefits to Jobs

U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia-07) is co-sponsoring a bill that would provide $180 per week through Labor Day to people who get jobs after being unemployed. The Strengthening Unemployment Programs to Provide Opportunities for Recovery and Training (SUPPORT) for New Workers Act is meant to incentivize people to return to work who are currently receiving unemployment benefits, including an extra $300 federal pandemic unemployment benefit.

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Commission Looking for Long-Term Loans of Art to More Accurately Represent Virginia History in State Capitol

The Speaker’s Advisory Group on State Capitol Artifacts heard a presentation from Librarian of Virginia Sandy Treadway about art currently in the Capitol — art that commission members noted largely represented white men. In the Tuesday meeting, the commission members suggested seeking long-term loans of appropriate art from museums and other institutions.

“It is primarily, with one or two exceptions, men who served either Virginia’s government over the years from the 18th century to the present, or served Virginia in the United States Congress, or who served in positions such as secretary of state, secretary of war, so forth,” Treadway said.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bills to Enhance Civics Education

Classroom full of kids, that are being read a book

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed multiple bills on Tuesday aimed at increasing the level of civics education throughout the state’s schools.

“The sad reality is that only two in five Americans can correctly name the three branches of government, and more than a third of Americans cannot name any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. It is abundantly clear that we need to do a much better job of educating our students in civics to prepare them for the rest of their lives,” DeSantis said when explaining the need for the legislation. 

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Concerned Parents Arrested While Objecting to Critical Race Theory Teachings at School Board Meeting

Hundreds of concerned parents in Loudoun County, Virginia showed up a school board meeting to demonstrate their objection to teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) and multiple policies regarding transgender students in the school system. 

However, after numerous parents expressed their apprehensions to the school board members, the members immediately shut down discussion. Many parents continued to object, and at least two of the worried parents were arrested.

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George Floyd Square Still Occupied and Seemingly Supported by Attorney General Keith Ellison

George Floyd Square

In a TikTok video dating May 8, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison appears to be registering voters with the “gatekeeper” of George Floyd Square, Marcia Howard. In the video, Howard says that she is there protesting for the “24 Demands,” while Ellison nods and smiles along.

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Medical Marijuana License Reserved for African American Farmer

A $50 million medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) license will soon be reserved for an African American farmer after Florida’s Supreme Court upheld a 2017 law that included a provision designating such application to litigants in the Pigford vs. Glickman lawsuit from 1999.

The class action lawsuit accused the U.S. Department of Agriculture of discrimination against African American farmers when allocating farm loans and other financial assistance from 1981-1996, which was settled in favor of the farmers.

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Scuffle Broke Out at American Experiment Anti-Critical Race Theory Tour

A Black Lives Matter activist was arrested for ripping an “All Lives Matter” button off a participant at the Moorhead stop of the Center for the American Experiment “Raise Our Standards” tour. The tour – taking place across Minnesota – aims to educate parents and others about Critical Race Theory and the danger that they say it poses to schools.

Catrin Wigfall, a presenter during the tour, says there are ways to teach the history of America without implementing critical race theory as a teaching tool. She explained, “The problem with Critical Race Theory is it puts a race-based lens on everything.”

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Virginia Tea Partiers Submit Petition to Recall State Senator Louise Lucas

After nearly a year of collecting signatures, Virginia Tea Party members turned in a petition to recall Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth). The petition alleges “Misuse of Office” as the reason for removal, and the grassroots group’s President Nelson Velez said it’s been signed by approximately 8,000 people – nearly double the number statutorily required.

On June 10, 2020 a protest erupted at the Portsmouth Confederate monument. A man was seriously injured when part of the monument fell down, and local police filed charges against Lucas for “conspiracy to commit a felony” and “felony injuring to a monument in excess of $1,000.”

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70 Percent of Adult Virginians Have Received at Least One Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

Governor Ralph Northam announced Monday that Virginia has reached a key vaccination milestone: 70 percent of adult Virginians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Virginia has reached a significant milestone in the fight against COVID-19,” Northam said in his announcement. “Thanks to the millions of Virginians who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, the virus is in retreat, our economy is growing, and we are closer to putting this pandemic behind us.”

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Florida Chamber Releases Report Card for Lawmakers

Last week, the Florida Chamber of Commerce released their annual Legislative Report Card which reviews Florida’s lawmakers’ efforts during the legislative session and tabulates corresponding grade. The lawmakers’ grades are determined by alignment to Florida Chamber priorities and Where We Stand, another annual publication detailing the policy positions of the Florida Chamber heading into each legislative session.

For the 2021 Legislative Session, 88 lawmakers earned an “A” and 39 earned failing grades.

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DeSantis Leads Trump in Poll of Republican Voters

A straw poll at the Western Conservative Summit, an annual gathering of conservatives in Denver, showed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ahead of former President Trump.

Members of the group were asked to select all candidates of potential GOP contenders that they would vote for. DeSantis beat out former President Donald Trump, getting 74% approval compared to Trump’s 71%.

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Nine Year Old Minnesota Girl Speaks About Masking in Schools, Goes Viral

9-year-old Novalee, who attends elementary school in Lakeville, Minnesota went viral after her speech to the school board regarding masking children in schools and the Black Lives Matter movement. Novalee recently shared at a Mask Off MN meeting, calling out Minnesota Governor Tim Walz for his inaction regarding masking requirements for children.

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Ohio Group Joins Another Legal Battle to Stop Eviction Ban

Eviction Notice for Nonpayment document with a wooden judge gavel

A Columbus-based think tank recently joined a Tennessee lawsuit calling for the end of the federal government’s eviction moratorium, saying the government lacks authority to rewrite private rental agreements.

The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief in Tiger Lily v. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, which currently sits before the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. A U.S. district court ruled in favor of landlords, saying the law does not authorize the eviction moratorium.

“The Buckeye Institute is asking the court of appeals to affirm the district court’s decision that Congress did not give Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the authority to rewrite millions of private rental agreements across the country,” Jay Carson, senior litigator at the Buckeye Institute said. “Further, while the CDC’s intentions in imposing the moratorium may have been good, the repercussions are that small landlords face difficulties paying their mortgages, taxes and for the upkeep on their properties, which studies show lead many to exit the market, leaving fewer housing options available.”

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Arizona House Democrats Stage Walkout After Allegedly Promising Republican Leadership They’d Stay

PHOENIX, Arizona – In a move mirroring the Texas House Democrats last week, the Arizona House Democrats walked out of the budget hearing on Tuesday. House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding (D-Laveen) and House Minority Whip Domingo DeGrazia (D-Tucson) reportedly committed to Republican House leadership that they wouldn’t stage a walkout.

In an interview with The Arizona Sun Times, State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Gilbert) asserted that the Republican side of the House showed up willing to listen to and discuss the Democrats’ amendments. He said that this latest stunt was an indicator of who had the people’s best interest at heart.

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Michigan House Votes to Suspend $300 Weekly Federal Unemployment Payments

David Martin

The Michigan House of Representatives voted to approve House Bill 4434, which would end the state’s participation in the federal unemployment program.

The bill passed Thursday by a 350-49 vote, and now moves to the Michigan Senate.

House Republicans rallied hard behind the bill, which would immediately halt the federally funded $300 weekly boost to Michigan unemployment checks. The federal program currently is scheduled to cease in September, but legislators argue the additional money is hindering the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Virginia Emergency Ending Could Affect Masks, Remaining COVID-19 Regulations

Young boy getting vaccination

Gov. Ralph Northam intends to let the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency expire June 30, which could affect mask wearing throughout the commonwealth and the remaining restrictions on businesses.

Virginia law normally prohibits a person from covering one’s face with the intent of concealing one’s identity in public spaces, which was put on hold during the state of emergency. According to the Virginia code, a person can only wear a mask in certain situations, which include a legitimate medical reason when advised by a physician or during a health-related state of emergency when the governor expressly waives this section of law.

With the governor ending the state of emergency, it’s unclear whether wearing a mask in public could be grounds for prosecution absent a doctor’s note. The governor has said a person would not be prosecuted for wearing a mask and that he has been in contact with police groups that told him police would not arrest anyone for wearing a mask. The provision that states a person would only be guilty when intending to conceal his or her identity with the mask could be difficult to prove when a person is simply following guidelines from the governor’s office and the Center for Disease Control.

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Primary Challenger Jim Renacci Accuses Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine of ‘Defending’ Violent Protesters

Mike DeWine in a political ad

Jim Renacci, former U.S. Representative and GOP gubernatorial candidate, released an ad on Tuesday, accusing Governor Mike DeWine of defending violent protestors and placing them ahead of small businesses throughout Ohio.

“While mobs and violent protesters were burning our state down, Mike DeWine defended them and did nothing to protect us from their looting and destruction. Instead, he implemented Andrew Cuomo’s playbook and put the mob first at the expense of Ohioans who were being terrorized,” Renacci said in a statement detailing the new ad.

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