Ohio Supreme Court Dismisses Case on Governor DeWine’s Halt to Additional COVID Unemployment Benefits

The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously dismissed a case on if Governor Mike DeWine had the authority to cut off an extra $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits.

Justices dismissed the case as “moot.” Without a court order requiring the federal government to keep these additional unemployment benefits, it was unclear if the money still existed.

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Walmart Shooter Who Killed Seven, Including Himself, Was An Employee, Police Say

A Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart store employee shot seven people fatally, including himself, and injured several others Tuesday night, according to authorities.

Six victims died and four were hospitalized, with the suspect dying of what police believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky explained at a Wednesday morning press conference streamed by ABC News. The shooter was a Walmart employee and used a pistol, Solesky said.

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Court Vacates Contempt Order Against Catherine Englebrecht and Gregg Phillips

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Texas-based True the Votes’ Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips by vacating a contempt order filed against them by a district court.

“Catherine and Gregg offer their profound gratitude to the Fifth Circuit’s vindication and are committed more strongly than ever to defending the integrity of American elections,” according to a statement from True the Vote.

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Arizona GOP Nominee Sues Election Officials Alleging Incompetence Impacted Outcome of Midterms

Arizona’s Republican Attorney General nominee Abe Hamadeh on Tuesday evening sued election officials across the state, alleging that “incompetence and mismanagement” had caused “pervasive errors” in the midterm elections.

In a statement, Hamadeh said the Republican National Committee had joined him in filing the 25-page complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court.

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Rejected, Spoiled Ballots at Maricopa County Vote Centers Mishandled, Election Observers Allege

As many vote centers in Maricopa County experienced issues with election equipment on Election Day 2022, many ballots were rejected by tabulators and spoiled, but not always properly, according to a report filed with the Arizona attorney general’s office.

The affidavit was compiled by Mark Sonnenklar, a roving attorney with the Republican National Committee’s Election Integrity program in Arizona, from observations he and 10 other roving attorneys made as GOP election observers at Maricopa County vote centers. The 11 observers visited a combined 115 of the 223 vote centers in Maricopa County on Election Day.

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Ohio Senators Propose Increasing Penalties for Disrupting Religious Services

State lawmakers are proposing stiffer penalties in cases where an individual disrupts a religious service. The measure passed the Ohio House in April and is now progressing through the Senate.

In a hearing of the Judiciary Committee last week. Mike Rodgers, director of policy and legislation from the Attorney General’s office put forward the concept behind the “Sacred Spaces Act.”

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Obama to Campaign with Warnock Urging Georgians to Cast Early Ballots in Runoff

Former President Barack Obama will rally with Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) on December 1, and urge Georgians to cast early ballots for Warnock in his runoff U.S. Senate race against Republican Herschel Walker.

According to a report at NBC News, Obama’s team said, following the former president’s rally for Warnock at the end of October, attendees “signed up to complete hundreds of door knocking shifts.”

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DOE Rejects Funding for Palisades Nuclear Plant

The Department of Energy has rejected the Palisades nuclear plant’s application for federal funding.

Palisades was sold to Holtec Decommissioning International in June 2022, which applied for a federal Civil Nuclear Credit on July 5 to reopen Palisades.

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Pennsylvania Congressional Candidate Bognet Sues Luzerne County over Election Problems

Pennsylvania Republican congressional candidate Jim Bognet sued the Luzerne County Board of Elections in the county’s Court of Common Pleas this week over problems with administration of the 2022 election. 

This year, Bognet challenged incumbent Democrat Matt Cartwright to represent the Eighth Congressional District which includes Scranton, Wilks-Barre, Hazleton, Mount Pocono and neighboring communities extending northeastward to the New York and New Jersey borders. While many observers considered Cartwright’s reelection effort vulnerable, he ultimately received 51.3 percent of the 283,580 votes cast for Congress in the district while Bognet got 48.7 percent.

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Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward Sends Letter to Maricopa County Demanding Answers to Election Shortcomings

Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP) Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward sent a letter to Maricopa County Tuesday demanding answers to several issues and shortcomings seen on Election Day.

“Given the systemic election failures experienced by voters in Maricopa County on Election Day, it is of paramount that a full accounting of every reconciled ballot and checked-in voter be done to assure the public that every vote was properly counted,” wrote Ward.

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Ohio Republican Senator Changes Course on Red Flag Proposal, Adds New Restraints

Ohio State Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) has taken a step back from his initial plan to establish a red flag law in Ohio. He instead proposed, during legislative committee, a restriction on future gun purchases after a judge deems a person is a threat to themselves or others despite opposition from gun rights activists.

Senate Bill (SB) 357 originally aimed to add extreme risk laws, commonly known as red flag laws, to supposedly “protect the public and the gun owner” by temporarily removing a firearm from someone deemed by a judge to be suffering from a severe mental health condition.

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Florida Continues 30-Month Job Creation Streak, Record Low Unemployment

Job gains have continued in Florida for 30 consecutive months, new labor data shows.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 9,542,500 in October 2022, an increase of 36,400 jobs over the month. The Sunshine State gained 457,400 jobs over the year, an increase of 5%, higher than the national rate of 3.6% over the year.

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Miyares Launches ‘One Pill Can Kill’ Campaign Warning of Dangers of Counterfeit Drugs

Attorney General Jason Miyares announced a “One Pill Can Kill” awareness campaign over the risks of fentanyl and counterfeit drugs to try to launch conversations among families ahead of the holidays.

The opioid epidemic has had a devastating effect on our Commonwealth. There isn’t a corner of our state that hasn’t been touched by its pain and destruction. Tragically, overdose deaths are now not limited to addiction, but to counterfeit pills laced with a highly potent, deadly substance – fentanyl,” Miyares said in a press release Tuesday. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many young people overdose and die after experimenting with these powerful drugs. As a father, this new threat terrifies me. That’s why I launched ‘One Pill Can Kill,’ a public awareness initiative aimed at generating conversations around the dangers of counterfeit drugs and fentanyl.”

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University of Minnesota to Host Author of ‘The 1619 Project’

The University of Minnesota has announced an event with Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the The 1619 Project, a journalistic endeavor that “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”

On the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 6, Jones will be participating in a “moderated discussion” with Kyndell Harkness, a photographer and assistant managing editor of diversity and community at the Star Tribune. The event, free and open to the public, is hosted by U of M’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

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WarRoom Pandemic: The Star News Network CEO Michael Patrick Leahy Talks Election Irregularities in Arizona Midterms

Stephen K. Bannon welcomed The Star News Network’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief Michael Patrick Leahy on Tuesday’s War Room: Pandemic to discuss Arizona’s 2022 midterm election process, competence, and irregularities.

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Automatic Recount Coming for Arizona Attorney General and Other Races

Counties across Arizona have finished counting votes for the 2022 General Election, but several races remain too close to call and are within range of an automatic recount, including the highly contested race for Arizona Attorney General.

“We’re not done fighting and we are optimistic the recount will further expose the gross incompetence and mismanagement by Maricopa County officials that disenfranchised and silenced the voices of so many Arizona voters,” tweeted Abe Hamadeh, the Republican nominee for the position.

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Arizona Freedom Caucus Demands Resignation of Maricopa County Officials Following 2022 General Election

The Arizona Freedom Caucus (AFC) blasted Maricopa County Election Officials for allegedly breaking the law during this election cycle and demanded that the officials involved resign from their positions.

“After taking an absurd and unnecessary amount of time to count ballots, we are now finding Maricopa County election officials may not merely be incompetent but may also be criminals,” said AFC Chairman, State Rep. Jack Hoffman (R-Maricopa).

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Affidavit Details Election Day Problems in Maricopa Far Wider than County Admitting

Numerous issues plagued vote centers in Arizona’s Maricopa County on Election Day 2022, from ballots rejected by tabulators to hours-long lines for voting, according to affidavits filed with the Arizona attorney general’s office.

According to an affidavit report by Mark Sonnenklar, a roving attorney with the Republican National Committee’s Election Integrity program in Arizona, he and 10 other RNC roving attorneys reported their observations and those of Republican observers at vote centers on Election Day.

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Arizona Man Responsible for Exploiting Minors Over the Internet now Behind Bars

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell (R) announced Friday that Devon Ray Sharma, 28, of Chandler, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the sexual exploitation of minors over the internet.

“Young women and teenagers can be easily exploited by internet predators. It takes courage for victims of these crimes to come forward and the bravery demonstrated by the victims in this case has prevented future acts of exploitation by this individual,” said Mitchell in a press release.

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First Lady Youngkin Presents Spirit of Virginia Award to William King Museum of Art

First Lady Suzanne Youngkin and Governor Glenn Youngkin presented a Spirit of Virginia award to the William King Museum of Art located in Abingdon. An announcement from the First Lady highlighted women leaders at the museum, which aims to provide arts education and preserve the culture of the southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee region.

“William King Museum of Art serves as a shining example of the positive intersection of art, history, culture, education, rehabilitation, workforce readiness and community engagement,” the First Lady said in a Thursday press release. “I am so proud of the women who shepherd this organization and brighten the lives of Virginians living in Southwest Virginia and beyond.”

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Ohio Senate Republicans Aim to Clarify Women’s Health Exemptions on Six-Week Abortion Ban

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) said after feedback from medical professionals, Republicans in the Ohio Senate are working to clarify language on the six-week limits on  abortion.

According to Huffman, they are working to clarify definitions regarding the health and life of the mother. The new limit known as the “heartbeat bill,” prohibits most abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is at about six weeks of pregnancy.

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Sen. Warner: Trump Right About Threat from TikTok

Senate Intelligence Chair Mark Warner (D-VA) told Fox News that former President Donald Trump “was right” in his warnings about social media platform TikTok.

“TikTok is a enormous threat,” Warner said. “It’s a threat on two levels.  One, it is a massive collector of information, oftentimes of our children. They can visualize even down to your keystrokes. So if you’re a parent and you’ve got a kid on TikTok, I would be very, very concerned. All of that data that your child is inputting and receiving is being stored somewhere in Beijing.”

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Goldwater Institute Applauds Pima County for Listening to Constituents and Addressing Homeless Situation

Austin VanDerHeyden, the Municipal Affairs Liason for the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute (GI), applauds Pima County for listening to its constituents and taking steps to address the homelessness crisis in the City of Tucson.

“Pima County has taken an encouraging first step by hearing its constituents’ concerns and by passing – in unanimous and bipartisan fashion – several motions to address the homelessness crisis. Now, Pima County officials must ensure they follow through on the action they’ve pledged to take to protect law-abiding citizens’ rights by enforcing the law. Moreover, it’s time for the Tucson City Council to step up, hold a similar meeting, and follow in Pima County’s footsteps,” said VanDerHeyden in a statement emailed to the Arizona Sun Times.

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FTX Founder Funded Phoenix-Based PAC that Helped Democrats in 2022

The founder of now-defunct FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that went bankrupt earlier this month, reportedly donated millions to a Political Action Committee (PAC) based in Phoenix. 

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly donated $27 million to the Protect Our Future PAC, according to Arizona Free News. 

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Del. Hudson Announces Primary Challenge Against Sen. Deeds

Delegate Sally Hudson (D-Charlottesville) announced her campaign for Senate District 11 on Monday, pitting her against Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath). That sets up a dynamic of a progressive challenger against a more moderate Democrat incumbent that is likely to typify the 2023 Virginia State Senate Democratic primaries, according to CNalysis Executive Director Chaz Nuttycombe.

“The Dems aren’t as united as they were back in the Trump era or even in 2021. So I think the left sees the opportunities they can make this year, especially with redistricting, because if not now, when,” Nuttycombe told The Virginia Star.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost to Host Anti-Trafficking Summit in January

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) will host his Fourth Annual Human Trafficking Summit next January 26 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. 

Seventeen workshops will take place at the event, including examination of the trauma inflicted on trafficking survivors, best practices for serving those who have endured such crimes, discussion of why individuals solicit sex and review of state policies to reduce the demand for labor trafficking.

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Maricopa County Voting Centers Plagued with Tabulation Errors on Election Day Affected Areas Averaging Well Over 300 Percent More Republicans Than Democrats

Voters encountered problems casting their ballots at 70 of the 223 vote centers in Maricopa County on Election Day, November 8, 2022, resulting in long lines and concerns that ballots ended up not tabulated or “misread,” and commingled with ballots that had already been tabulated. Averaged together, the problems occurred in areas where Election Day voting was more than 300 percent Republican versus Democrat. Of those 70 precincts affected, 59 were in heavily Republican-voting areas, and two were Republican-leaning but not heavily, with only nine from Democrat-leaning or solidly Democrat areas.

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Pennsylvania Charter School Enrollment Up 12 Percent, Public Enrollment Down Three Percent

Since the pandemic began, Pennsylvania’s public charter schools enrollment has gone up by almost 12% as parents have chosen to take their children out of traditional public schools.

According to a new report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools,  the change isn’t unique to Pennsylvania. Since the 2019-20 school year, the 41 states examined in the report with charter systems had a 7% increase in charter school enrollment and about a 3.5% decrease in public school enrollment.

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Ohio House Passes Bill to Close Loophole that Can Shield Bad Educators from Investigations

The Ohio House has approved legislation that will close a loophole in disciplinary investigation procedures for teachers and school employees.

House Bill (HB) 403 sponsored by Representatives Sarah Fowler Arthur (R-Ashtabula) and Adam C. Miller (D-Columbus) aims to close a loophole enabling a teacher or school employee who retires under threat of disciplinary investigation or termination to avoid further investigation. Under this bill school districts would report these teachers to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) even if they retire.

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Clinton Global Initiative Funded Energy Project for Raphael Warnock’s Church After His 2016 Campaign Efforts for Hillary Clinton

Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D) church reportedly received key funding from the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) for a climate change-related project shortly after he campaigned for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2016.

Warnock, who is facing a runoff election against Republican Herschel Walker, has served as pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, which reportedly was the recipient of a $550,000 grant from CGI soon after he stumped for Hillary Clinton during her 2016 campaign for president, Fox News reported Friday.

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Wisconsin Republican Budget Chiefs Insist Latest Surplus Numbers Don’t Give Governor ‘Blank Check’

The Republicans who will write Wisconsin’s next state budget say Gov. Tony Evers shouldn’t get excited about the latest surplus numbers.

The Department of Administration on Monday said Wisconsin’s budget surplus could top $6.6 billion by the time the current state budget ends in June.

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Two Arizona Counties Delay Certification of 2022 Midterm Results as Irregularities Probed

Two Arizona counties, Cochise and Mohave, will delay certifying their ballot canvasses for the Arizona 2022 election results for a while longer as a result of some potential irregularities.

Arizona took a week to announce the projected winner of the governor’s race due to irregularities in Maricopa County where ballots took longer to be counted and some machines didn’t work for a period of time.

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Republican Maricopa County Elected Officials Brush Off MAGA Election Integrity Concerns

Amid widespread reports of Election Day irregularities suppressing Republican votes in Maricopa County, Ariz., Republican elected officials in the county have been brushing off concerns of their fellow party members with a mixture of anger and condescension.

Marred by hundreds of complaints, including malfunctioning machines and prohibitively long lines to vote, the county’s handling of the 2022 midterm elections is now under investigation by the Arizona attorney general’s election integrity unit for possible “statutory violations” of state election law.

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Kelli Ward May Not Seek Reelection as Chairman of Arizona GOP

Following the apparent losses of major races to Democrats in the state, Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP) Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward has faced calls to resign from her position, with significant backlash coming from former Republican gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson. However, Tyler Bowyer from Turning Point USA said this backlash is unnecessary because Ward will not be seeking reelection as party chair.

“Karrin has been a no-show, never helped GOP only herself, did zero after she lost & only helped Dems turnout for prop 308 to help illegals. If she was semi-involved she’d already know Ward isn’t even running,” tweeted Bowyer.

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Court Orders Michigan Park to Repay $750,000 Loan

An Ingham County Circuit Court ordered Detroit-based Recovery Park to repay $750,000 in Michigan Strategic Fund loans.

A May 2022 lawsuit filed by Michigan assistant attorneys general says the nonprofit Recovery Park and its subsidiary for-profit Recovery Park Farms failed to reach a third milestone of hiring six additional employees for loan forgiveness.

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Virginia Second in Nation in Leapfrog Hospital Safety Ranking

Virginia scored second in the Fall 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade rankings, after scoring second in the Spring 2022 ranking and first in the Fall 2021 ranking.

“Hospitals across Virginia are unique in many ways including where they are located, the communities and patients they serve, and the types of medical care they most commonly provide. But what each hospital has in common is an unparalleled commitment to giving each patient high-quality care in a safe environment,” Chair of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) Board of Directors Peter Mulkey said in a press release. “It is an honor to be part of a hospital community that prides itself on achieving exceptional patient care and safety.”

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Minnesota AG’s Office Objects to Pro-Life Group’s Attempt to Intervene in Abortion Case

A Minnesota-based advocacy group called Mothers Offering Maternal Support (MOMS) has taken action to restore common-sense abortion restrictions for young girls and women, against the wishes of Attorney General Keith Ellison.

The group, which has close to 50 members, filed a new motion on Monday, Nov. 14 in its effort to oppose a ruling made by Ramsey County Judge Thomas Gilligan on July 11.

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Georgia Judge Allows Saturday Vote in Senate Runoff, After Warnock, Washington Democrats’ Suit

A judge in Georgia has ruled that state law allows counties to offer early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving – the only possible Saturday before Election Day – in the Senate runoff between Democrat incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP challenger Herschel Walker.

The ruling Friday was in response to a suit earlier in the week by the Warnock campaign, the state’s Democrat Party and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to the Associated Press.

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Air Force Selects 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield, Ohio for Air National Guard’s First Cybersecurity Wing

Governor Mike DeWine (R-OH) this weekend welcomed an announcement by Air Force Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr. that the Air Force is formally designating the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield as the first wing of its cybersecurity mission.

The Air Force and the National Guard Bureau made the designation after analyzing the possibility for the past year. In August 2021, the Air Force publicized its assessment that the north-central Ohio wing was the frontrunner to become the initial cyberspace-mission site. The new mission will be oriented toward protecting aircraft and weaponry software systems from attacks and other risks. It will bring in 175 new high-technology staff positions which DeWine touted as an important step in making the Buckeye State a more high-profile venue for the science, mathematical, engineering and cybertechnology fields. 

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Pennsylvania Representative Bonner to Head District Attorney Krasner’s Impeachment Trial

Pennsylvania Representative Tim Bonner (R-Grove City) will serve as lead manager of the Senate impeachment trial of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) over the next few weeks. 

State House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Quarryville) appointed Bonner to head the three-person team of House managers on Friday. Representatives Craig Williams (R-Chadds Ford) and Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia) will round out the group. (State law requires at least one impeachment manager to come from the House minority party.)

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Tucson Ban on Landlords Considering Income Could Hobble Its City Budget

An Arizona lawmaker wants the state Attorney General’s office to investigate an action taken by the City of Tucson.

Arizona House Speaker-elect Ben Toma, R-Peoria, filed an SB 1487 complaint with the Arizona Attorney General on Wednesday, asking the office to investigate Tucson’s policy forbidding landlords from considering people’s sources of income on rental housing applications. Toma wants the Attorney General’s office to investigate whether this violates state law.

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Report: Pennsylvania Lags in Health Care Due to Restrictions on Nurse Authority

Pennsylvania is out of step with its neighbors and deregulating some health care services could give residents of the commonwealth better access to treatment, a new analysis argues.

The Commonwealth Foundation released a report arguing that Maryland’s effort to grant nurse practitioners full practice authority is a model for Pennsylvania. 

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Georgia Officials Tout Unemployment Rate That Is Lower than National Average

Georgia officials said Thursday the state’s October unemployment rate remained lower than the national rate, news that follows a new finding that nearly half a million Georgians have dropped out of the workforce.

While Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.9% was lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.7%, it was slightly higher than last month’s rate of 2.8% but down from last October’s 3.4% rate.

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Arizona AG Opens Inquiry into Maricopa County Election Irregularities, Possible Legal Violations

The Arizona attorney general’s office has opened an inquiry into Maricopa County’s handling of the mid-term elections, demanding a full report of well-publicized irregularities and warning there is evidence of “statutory violations.”

The letter from Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s election integrity unit marks a major escalation in the dispute over how voters were treated on Election Day in the state’s largest county, where scores of ballot tabulators had problems because of printing problems.

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Connecticut Leaders Blast Higher Energy Costs

Connecticut energy consumers will be digging deeper into their pockets this winter with the state’s two largest utilities seeking hefty rate increases.

In a filing to the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, Eversource is proposing to increase electric rates charged to consumers by nearly 50%, or $85 per month for the average customer.

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Arizona Saw Continued Job Growth in October

Arizona had a rise in both employment and unemployment last month.

Arizona added 7,300 nonfarm jobs in October, a 0.24% increase in the state’s labor force participation. However, the state’s unemployment rate rose by 0.2% to 3.9%. It marked the fourth consecutive month where the state’s unemployment rate rose. Arizona’s rise in unemployment is due to a rising labor force participation rate. Since May, the state’s unemployment rate has increased from 3.2% to 3.9%, according to Common Sense Institute Arizona. 

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Support for Pennsylvania’s 800,000 Veterans Is Still Lacking

Pennsylvania has the better part of a million veterans living within the commonwealth, but support for them can be lacking.

“I don’t like that veterans have to take care of veterans,” Rep. Joe Webster, D-Collegeville, said, noting a lack of centralized support. “Our nation should be taking care of these veterans. It shouldn’t fall to a 501(c)(3) or a group of guys just helping a veteran down the street … Our nation asks for the full measure – we’re not then taking care of them when they have sacrificed greater than the average citizen.”

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Florida Tourism Numbers Continue to Grow

Florida’s tourism numbers continue to grow, according to new data released by VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s tourism agency.

In the third quarter, between July and September, Florida welcomed 35.1 million visitors, marking a 6.9% increase from Q3 2021. It’s also the fifth consecutive quarter of overall visitation that’s surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

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U.S. Western District Attorney Announces Sentences in Three Cases, Including One Prosecuted by Attorney from Miyares’ Office

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia Christopher Kavanaugh announced sentences in three separate drug dealing cases on Friday, including a case prosecuted by an attorney cross-designated between the Office of the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Special Assistant United States Attorney M. Suzanne Kerney-Quillen prosecuted the case against Pedro Loza, who was sentenced to 72 months after he was convicted on charges related to the distribution of methamphetamine as part of an organization that trafficked drugs from Texas and Indiana into Southwest Virginia, according to a joint press release from Miyares and the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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