State Could Approve $300 Million More for Ohio Schools

State leaders, including Gov. Mike DeWine, want the Ohio Controlling Board to approve $300 million in federal funding for schools across the Buckeye State.

They want $200 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund for higher education and $100 million from the fund for K-12 schools. The money would help schools pay for safety measures brought on by COVID-19.

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North Minneapolis Democrat Says City Facing ‘Real Emergency’ Amid Ceaseless Violence

A north Minneapolis Democrat said his constituents are “facing a real emergency” as the city continues to experience alarming levels of gun violence.

“Every Minnesotan deserves to be safe in their own neighborhood, but right now many people are experiencing gun violence at unsustainable levels,” Rep. Fue Lee (DFL-Minneapolis) said in a statement released Saturday. “The neighborhoods I represent in north Minneapolis are facing a real emergency.”

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Jim Jordan Hoping for Indictments in Durham’s Probe of Origins of Russia Investigation

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-04), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said his constituents want to see someone go to jail for targeting President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The Ohio Republican said he hopes U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe will produce indictments.

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Minneapolis May Lay off 40 Workers, Cut Spending Projects to Fill $156 Million Budget Deficit

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey presented a plan to patch a more than $155 million revenue gap using furloughs, cash reserves and spending freezes.

The deficit followed the COVID-19 pandemic and riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody, which combined brought a steep drop in parking, utilities and general revenue.

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The Detroit Pistons’ Onetime Home, the Palace of Auburn Hills, Torn Down

One of Michigan’s most beloved sports and entertainment venues was turned into rubble on Saturday with a series of controlled explosions.

The shell and roof of the Palace of Auburn Hills, which was home to three championship Detroit Pistons teams and three Detroit Shock teams and played host to some of the world’s biggest musical acts during its nearly 30-year run, crumbled to the ground following a series explosive pops. The rest of the arena had already been removed.

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Trump Rejects Gov. Walz’s Request for Federal Support to Rebuild Minneapolis from Riots

President Donald Trump has rejected Gov. Tim Walz’s request for federal financial assistance to help rebuild portions of the Twin Cities that were destroyed by rioting.

Nearly 1,500 Twin Cities businesses were vandalized, burned, or looted during the late May riots, with current estimates of the damage exceeding $500 million.

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Gov. Whitmer Mandates Masks Indoors with $500 Fine; Retail Group Says Rule ‘Impossible’ to Enforce

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-147, requiring Michiganders to wear a mask when in an indoor public space starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

The order also requires residents to wear a mask in crowded outdoor spaces and mandates any business open to the public to refuse entry or service to those without a mask, with some exceptions.

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Walz Calls Another Special Session, Says He Will Extend COVID-19 Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz said he plans to extend his COVID-19 peacetime emergency declaration for another 30 days when lawmakers return to St. Paul Monday for a special session.

The governor announced Friday night that he has convened a special legislative session for July 13, the same day his peacetime emergency declaration is set to expire. According to Minnesota law, the governor must convene both houses of the Legislature if he wishes to extend a peacetime emergency when the Legislature is not in session.

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AG Yost Files Injunction Trying to Stop Illegal Alcohol Sales in Ohio

  Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a preliminary injunction on Wednesday aimed at trying to stop the illegal flow of liquor sales in Ohio. This injunction, which is one of the first-ever lawsuits surrounding the 21st Amendment, comes after a month-long investigation that showed many out-of-state wine and liquor…

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DeWine’s Baseball Team’s Paycheck Protection Program Loan Nets Millionaire Governor $189K of Forgivable Taxpayer Handout

With news that Gov. Mike DeWine’s minor league baseball team cashed in on the Paycheck Protection Program, one may ask how Ohio’s top executive came to own a team in North Carolina or why he needed a taxpayer handout.

DeWine has a 32 percent stake in the Asheville Tourists minor league team, The Ohio Star reported this week.

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Ohio State Professor Arrested for Allegedly Using $4.1 Million in American Grant Money to do Research for China

  The Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged Son Guo Zheng, an Ohio State rheumatology professor and researcher, with alleged grant fraud and making false statements for not disclosing that he maintained employment in China while continuing to work at American universities. Zheng allegedly accepted “$4.1 million in grants from…

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Michigan Health Professionals to Be Required to Undergo Implicit Bias Training

Health professionals in Michigan will soon be required to undergo implicit bias training in order to obtain a license, registration or renewal of license and registration, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Thursday.

Whitmer said the move was recommended by the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, which was created to respond to the impact COVID-19 had on communities of color.

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DFL Targets State Senate Republicans on Police Reform in New Ad Campaign

The Minnesota DFL Party launched a new ad campaign this week targeting key Republican state senators who are accused of “standing in the way of passing real police reform.”

Jason Lewis, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said in a recent interview that Democrats don’t “want reform” so much as they “want a political issue.”

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Majority of Minnesota Parents Say They Are Comfortable Sending Children Back to School in Fall

A survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Education found that the majority of parents would feel comfortable sending their children back to school this fall.

Between June 15 and July 6, the agency collected more than 130,000 responses to the informal survey, which was offered in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali. A total of 64 percent of respondents said they would feel comfortable sending their children back to school in September. Of that 64 percent, 94 percent said they would send their children back to school full time.

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Buckeye Institute Sues Over Law Allowing Columbus to Collect Income Taxes From Commuters Despite Emergency Order Preventing Them from Working in the City

The Buckeye Institute said that it and three employees filed a lawsuit over the taxing of workers’ income in Columbus since they do not live in the city and were not allowed to work there during Ohio’s Stay-at-Home order.

The lawsuit, which is available here, was filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Franklin County.

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Michigan’s Unemployment Once Again Begins to Drop

 New unemployment claims dropped slightly in Michigan last week, a trend also reflected in national numbers reported by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The week-over-week numbers reported for Michigan the week ending July 4 show 34,470 DOL new initial claims, a decrease of 3,839 initial unemployment claims from the previous week’s 38,309 new claims.

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Minnesota’s Unemployment Numbers Exhibit Slight Increase

New unemployment claims increased slightly in Minnesota last week, as well as overall total unemployment, running opposite from the falling national trend reported by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The week-over-week numbers reported for Minnesota the week ending July 4 show 19,886 new initial claims, an increase of 513 initial unemployment claims from the previous week’s 19,373 new claims.

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DOJ Announces Twin Cities Violent Crimes Task Force In Response to ‘Extraordinary Spike’ in Violence

The Department of Justice announced the formation of a new Twin Cities Violent Crimes Task Force Wednesday in response to an “extraordinary spike in gun violence and violent crimes.”

Erica MacDonald, U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota, said the task force will bring together federal and state resources to assist local law enforcement in investigating, arresting, and prosecuting individuals responsible for gun violence.

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Jason Lewis Says Parents Should Be Refunded for Property Taxes If Schools Don’t Reopen

Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis said parents should be refunded for property tax payments and tuition if schools aren’t allowed to reopen in the fall.

“The more we learn about COVID, the more it becomes apparent that we have done a huge disservice to our children in the way we have handled this virus. Research has proven that COVID presents minimal risks to young people. But what isn’t minimal is the toll this prolonged lockdown and social isolation has on our kids’ social, mental, and physical well-being,” Lewis said in a statement released Wednesday.

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Michigan State University Administrator Resigns Over Police Research After Petition Pressure

Michigan State University administrator Stephen Hsu has resigned as vice president of research and innovation after a petition called for his removal over Hsu touting Michigan State research that found police are not more likely to shoot African-Americans.

Hsu had given a small amount of funding to the author of a 2019 study title “Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings.” The study had gained national recognition after it was cited by Heather MacDonald in the Wall Street Journal as evidence that systemic racism in policing is nonexistent, according to The Blaze.

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Ohio’s New Unemployment Numbers Continue Slight Decline

New unemployment claims dropped slightly in Ohio last week, a trend also reflected in national numbers reported by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The week-over-week numbers reported for Ohio the week ending July 4 show 33,176 new initial claims, a decrease of 2,732 initial unemployment claims from the previous week’s 35,908 new claims.

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George Floyd Protests Cause Nearly $158,000 in Ohio Statehouse Damages

  Repairing damage to the Ohio Statehouse and surrounding Capitol Square that occurred during protests against racial injustice will cost about $158,000, according to the board that oversees the property. That tally from protests in Columbus between May 28 and June 18 doesn’t include repairs for damage on other state…

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Three Sexual Assaults Reported at Minneapolis Homeless Encampment in Public Park

Police are investigating a string of sexual assaults at a homeless encampment in a Minneapolis park, according to various news reports.

Since June 26, Minneapolis Park Police have received three reports of sexual assault in Powderhorn Park, where more than 850 people have set up a 560-tent encampment, according to KARE 11. Two of the assaults involved juvenile victims.

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Michigan Rising Action Director Pushes Back on Coronavirus Task Force Timeline

Executive Director of Michigan Rising Action Tori Sachs criticized the timeline of the state’s coronavirus task force on Wednesday.

The Michigan Nursing Home COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force — which includes 13 members, several leaders from state health and regulatory departments, and state legislators — has until August 31 to present a plan to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for “any future wave of COVID-19 cases by developing an action plan based on timely and high-quality data,” according to the executive order that created the task force in June.

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Gov. DeWine Determines Seven Ohio Counties Must Wear Face Coverings in Public

Gov. Mike DeWine announced this week seven counties in Ohio will start wearing face coverings in public as the coronavirus cases continue to surge in the state.

Counties that need to follow this mandate are currently in Red Alert Level 3 Public Health Emergency, according to DeWine’s press release.

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Republican Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Sell Minnesota’s $6.9 Million COVID-19 Morgue

A Republican lawmaker has drafted a bill that would require Minnesota to sell a facility it purchased for the storage of deceased COVID-19 patients.

Due to a projected surge in COVID-19 fatalities, the state of Minnesota spent $6.9 million in May to acquire a warehouse for the “temporary storage of human remains.” As of early June, however, the facility had yet to be used.

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Nessel and Four States Sue DeVos over Federal School Aid Rule

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the attorneys general of four other states are suing U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over a July 1 rule that requires sharing funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act between private and public schools.

Nessel called DeVos’ rule “a flagrant violation of the plain language of the [CARES] Act.”

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Lt. Gov. Flanagan Shares Post Calling Mount Rushmore ‘Symbol of White Supremacy’

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan shared a post on social media over the Independence Day weekend calling Mount Rushmore a “symbol of white supremacy.”

“Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that’s still alive and well in society today. It’s an injustice to actively steal Indigenous people’s land, then carve the white faces of the colonizers who committed genocide,” said the post, which Flanagan shared on her Instagram.

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Whitmer Announces Appointments to Coronavirus Nursing Home Task Force

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday announced that she had appointed 13 health industry and medical professionals to the Michigan Nursing Home COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force.

In addition to the 13 members appointed by Whitmer, the task force also includes Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon or his designee, Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Orlene Hawks or her designee, Michigan State Long Term Care Ombudsman Salli Pung, State Sens. Rosemary Bayer (D-12-Oakland) and Curt VanderWall (R-35-Benzie) and State Reps. Leslie Love (D-10- Redford) and Hank Vaupel (R-47-Livingston).

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Ohio Town Announces It’s a ‘Sanctuary City’ for Historical Statues

The manager of a small town in Ohio has declared his municipality a “sanctuary city” for statues being toppled in other parts of the country.

A proclamation signed July 4 by Newton Falls City Manager David Lynch declares that monuments of the Founding Fathers and others will find safety in Newton Falls.

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State Lawmaker Wants to Give Attorney General Power to Prosecute Vandalism on State Property

A state lawmaker has proposed a bill to give the state attorney general the authority to investigate and prosecute vandalism on state property, including the Ohio statehouse.

Republican state lawmakers have expressed their frustration as protesters in downtown Columbus vandalized the Ohio Statehouse in recent weeks. In announcing his proposal, state Rep. Jeff LaRe, R-Violet Township, cited a WBNS-TV report that the Columbus city prosecutor dismissed at least 59 charges stemming from the recent protests.

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Walz Expected to Call Another Special Session to Extend Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to call another special session by the end of the week in order to extend his peacetime emergency powers.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) alerted members and staff in a Monday email about the likely special session.

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Minnesota Board of Medical Practice Investigating Republican Senator for Speaking Out on COVID-19

State Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska), a practicing physician, revealed Sunday that anonymous complaints were filed against him with the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice for his public comments on the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is one of the most important videos I’ve made and one of the hardest,” Jensen said in a video posted to Facebook. “Less than a week ago, I was notified by the Board of Medical Practice in Minnesota that I was being investigated because of public statements I had made.”

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Loyalty Is with China, Not America

by Charles Misfud   While our loyalty as Americans is with God and our country, Joe Biden’s loyalty is with China. During his decades in the U.S. Senate and eight years as vice president, Biden consistently supported globalist policies that sent millions of blue collar American jobs to China. In…

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Federal Judge Dismisses Republican Lawsuit Over Constitutionality of Redistricting Commission

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit backed by the Michigan Republican Party that claimed restrictions on members of the redistricting commission in the state were unconstitutional.

The Michigan Republican Party and Tony Daunt, the executive director for the Michigan Freedom Fund, had originally submitted two separate lawsuits that later joined together claiming that the voter-backed redistricting commission violated their constitutional rights, including right to association.

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Michigan State University Student Government Seeks to Ban All ‘Chemical Compounds’ Used by Campus Police

Michigan State University’s student government recently passed a police reform measure hoping to ban the use of chemical compounds and decrease funding and called for non-citizen financial aid.

The 57th Session of the Associated Students of MSU (ASMSU) met June 18 for an emergency meeting called by ASMSU President Abii-Tah Bih, citing “turbulent times.” The assembly discussed six pieces of legislation using Zoom.

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Gov. DeWine’s Company, which Owns a Minor Baseball Team in North Carolina, Gets Loan from Federal Virus Aid Program

A company partly owned by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is among those that received loans from a $600 billion-plus coronavirus aid program.

The data released Monday shows DeWine Seeds-Silver Dollar Baseball received a loan under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program for a range of $150,000 to $350,000.

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Electronic Security Question to be on Michigan’s November Ballot

Michigan Supreme Court

Michigan voters will see a question on the Nov. 3 ballot asking whether police should need a warrant to search electronic data.

The federal and state Constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure of people’s “houses, papers, and effects” without a warrant.

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Officer Shot and Killed, Suspect Found Dead in Ohio

Toledo Officer Anthony Dia was shot in the chest just after midnight in the parking lot of a Home Depot, and later pronounced dead at a hospital, Police Chief George Kral said at a news conference.

Witnesses told police the man shot the officer with a handgun and then went into a wooded area. At some point, officers heard a single gunshot coming from the woods, Kral said. The gunman, only described as a 57-year-old white male, was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound to the head around 3:15 a.m.

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Dave Yost Seeks Public’s Input on Whether Google Uses ‘Deceptive Sales Practices’

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said he wants the public to weigh in on the question of whether internet search engines should be “allowed to favor their own products and services in search results.”

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President Trump Endorses Christina Hagan in Her Bid to Unseat U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan in 13th Congressional District

President Donald Trump has set his sights on one of Ohio’s big races — former State Rep. Christina Hagan’s bid to defeat U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13).

Trump on Friday tweeted his support for Hagan.

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Pharma Trade Group Sues State Over Affordable Insulin Law Hours Before it Became Law

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) filed a lawsuit late Tuesday seeking to strike down affordable insulin legislation the day before the law took effect.

The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act was named after a 26-year-old who died in 2017 while rationing his insulin medicine because he couldn’t afford the $1,300 refill after aging out of his parent’s insurance coverage.

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Michigan AG Nessel Will Comply with U.S. House ‘Partisan’ Request to Investigate Whitmer’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Policies

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel defiantly responded to a letter from U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., regarding the number of nursing home deaths in the state attributed to COVID-19.

Scalise is ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Coronavirus. His June 25 letter – also signed by Reps. Jim Jordan, R- Ohio; Blaine Luetkeymer, R-Mo.; and Jackie Walorski, R-Ind. – followed a similar letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to which she did not respond.

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Republicans Invoke Independence Day In Opposition to Walz’s Coronavirus Response

Gov. Tim Walz recently filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against him regarding his use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit was filed on May 28 by four members of the New House Republican Caucus, the Free Minnesota Coalition, and at least eight businesses across the state. The complaint argues that the governor does not have the authority to “suspend the constitutional rights of Minnesotans.”

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Michigan Diverts a Third of All Gas Tax Revenues Away from Road Repairs

Every U.S. state taxes fuel sales to fund road repairs.  

Fully half of them, however, divert a portion of those taxes for other purposes. And Michigan, with a gas-tax diversion rate (GTDR) of 33.9 percent, is ranked with New Jersey as the third highest GTDR in the nation. Only New York (37.5 percent) and Rhode Island (37.1 percent) have higher GTDRs.

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Franklin County Sees Surge in Suspected Drug Overdoses in 2020’s First Quarter

Franklin County saw a 55 percent increase in suspected drug overdose deaths for the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2019’s first quarter.

Between January and March of 2020, Franklin County experienced 191 drug overdose death. During this same time span in 2019, the county saw 123 deaths.

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Ilhan Omar Introduces Federal Job Guarantee Bill

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) introduced a bill last week that would create a “job guarantee program” at the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Workforce Promotion and Access Act, sponsored by Omar and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12), seeks to get more Americans “back to work in living-wage jobs created directly by the federal government.”

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