Sumner County School Whistleblower Makes Explosive Allegations About Policy Violations Against Only Candidate Recommended by Tennessee School Board Association for District Director Position

A Sumner County Schools employee whistleblower has made explosive allegations of multiple policy violations and the creation of a hostile work environment against the only candidate recommended by the Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA) for the district director position.

Dr. Scott Langford, the Sumner County Schools (SCS) Chief Academic Officer (CAO), was the sole candidate recommended as a finalist by the TSBA for the director position that will be open at the end of June.

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While Pennsylvania Labor Secretary Pushes Minimum Wage Hike, Few Workers Make Only $7.25 an Hour

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) officials testified before state senators Tuesday, requesting an increase in the department’s budget as well as a hike in the commonwealth’s minimum wage. 

Governor Josh Shapiro’s Fiscal Year 2023-24 spending proposal envisions an 11.4-percent rise in L&I’s allocation to $89.8 million. The agency’s acting secretary Nancy Walker also asked lawmakers to consider backing the governor’s goal to raise the Keystone State’s legal wage floor to $15 per hour. 

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Federal and State Environmental Protection Agency Officials Testify on East Palestine Derailment at U.S. House Hearing

Federal and state Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials were questioned about the East Palestine train derailment at a Tuesday hearing of the U.S. House Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee over a month after a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio.

Debra Shore, the regional administrator of the U.S. EPA Region 5, and Anne Vogel, the director of the Ohio EPA, both gave testimony and detailed the actions they have taken in reaction to the incident.

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Controversial Green Bay Mayor Faces Ethics Complaint over Alleged Campaign Materials Sent on City Email

Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich is facing an ethics complaint from a former mayoral candidate alleging the Democrat used his office to send out campaign materials to hundreds of residents. 

Genrich, engaged in a tough re-election battle against Brown County administration director Chad Weininger, has also been embroiled in a city hall bugging scandal. 

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Georgia Taxpayers Have the Eighth-Best Return on ‘Investment’

Georgia taxpayers have the eighth-best return on their “investment.”

WalletHub used 29 metrics to analyze the efficiency of state-government services across five categories: education, the economy, health, safety and infrastructure and pollution, to develop the rankings.

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Deadline Approaching to Join Michigan Unemployment Class-Action Suit

Michiganders who believe they were falsely accused of fraud between 2013-15 for receiving unemployment insurance benefits should know two upcoming deadlines to join a $20 million class action settlement with the state of Michigan.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency blames an old computer system for wrongly accusing roughly 40,000 people of fraud.

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Connecticut Seeks to Reduce Solid Waste Costs

Connecticut trucks hundreds of thousands of tons of solid waste to landfills in other states, which costs the state and taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

Gov. Ned Lamont has pitched a plan to reduce the amount of waste going to other states by increasing recycling and requiring manufacturers to reduce packaging materials, but the effort has faced pushback from the solid waste industry and some lawmakers. 

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Minnesota Elementary School to Hold ‘Gender Resource Fair’ for Kids

Minneapolis Public Schools will be hosting a “Gender Resource Fair” for elementary school students next month.

The local teachers union promoted the event on Twitter, calling it a “very cool event for families and their gender-creative kids.”

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Lawmakers Furious at Governor Katie Hobbs for Cutting Border Strike Force with Crime Surging on the Border

Democratic Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs announced shortly after entering office in January that she would eliminate the Border Strike Force (BSF) that former Governor Doug Ducey created in 2015, sparking outrage from Republican lawmakers concerned about rising crime and violence related to Arizona’s porous border with Mexico. Hobbs said as part of her budget, she would reroute the funding for the BSF elsewhere.

“In the same manner that Joe Biden has destroyed our country with his welcomed support for the prolonged lawlessness and drug crisis along our southern border, Katie Hobbs is destroying Arizona in three short months since taking office by her reckless dismantling of the Border Strike Task Force,” Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ-09) told Fox News. “Countless more people will die from Hobbs’ open border policies.”

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DeSantis-Aligned Super PAC Taps Another Former Trump Aide

Never Back Down, the political action committee (PAC) that intends on recruiting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president in 2024, hired a strategic communications director – another former aide to President Donald Trump, according to The New York Times.

Matt Wolking, former deputy communications director for the 2020 Trump campaign, will join the super PAC founded by former Trump official Ken Cuccinelli, according to the NYT. Wolking also served as a spokesman for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin in his 2021 campaign.

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Pence Returns to Iowa as He Mulls a Run for the White House and Faces Judge’s Order to Testify About Trump

Former Vice President Mike Pence is returning to Iowa Wednesday for a three-city trip as he moves closer to making an announcement on his presidential run. 

Pence is among at least four would-be GOP presidential contenders with plans to hit the Hawkeye State in the next few weeks.

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Senator JD Vance Says ‘Extreme Left’ Needs to do a Lot of ‘Soul Searching’ After Nashville School Shooting

In the wake of the murder of six people at a Christian School in Nashville, Tennessee by an individual who reportedly “identified as transgender” on Monday, U.S. Senator JD Vance (R-OH) said that the extreme left needs to do a lot of “soul searching.”

According to Vance, this terrible incident should prompt the extreme left to deeply consider the correctness of their ideals.

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Arizona Court Declares Phoenix Needs to Clean Up Large Homeless Encampment

The Maricopa County Superior Court made a preliminary order Monday regarding the lawsuit against Phoenix by city residents alleging that it was creating a public nuisance by not cleaning up “the Zone,” a massive homeless encampment near downtown. Judge Scott Blaney ruled in the resident’s favor, ordering the city to clean up.

“Today’s ruling offers hope not just for the homeless themselves—who, after all, don’t deserve to be left in a ghettoized section of the city’s roads—but to the ignored small-business owners in the area, who are forced to try to earn a living in the midst of such chaos,” wrote Timothy Sandefur, Vice President of Legal Affairs at the Goldwater Institute (GI), who previously filed an amicus brief in this case.

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GOP State Legislators Disappointed by Arizona Gov. Hobbs’s Decision to Veto Grocery Tax Cut Legislation

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) announced several legislative actions on Tuesday, including the veto of Senate Bill (SB) 1063, sponsored by State Sen. Sonny Borrelli (R-Lake Havasu), which would have prevented Arizona municipalities from enforcing a tax on groceries.

“This veto is a disgraceful windfall for cities and an absolute gouge for families,” said Majority Leader Borrelli. “We’re not only paying inflated prices to feed our families, but we’re also paying more in taxes as the cost of food rises. Food is not a luxury; it is a necessity. A tax on our groceries is regressive and hurts everyone.”

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Attorney General Yost Files Lawsuit Against Swiss-Based Drug Pricing Racket Affecting Ohio

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against several pharmacy benefit management firms on the grounds that they have erroneously raised the cost of medications like insulin.

Yost claims that the companies, one of which is based in Switzerland, have maintained dominance over most of the pharmaceutical market due to industry consolidation. Yost named Ascent Health Services LLC, Express Scripts Inc., Cigna Group, Evernorth Health Inc., Prime Therapeutics LLC, Humana Pharmacy Solutions Inc., and Humana Inc. as defendants in the lawsuit. Yost filed the lawsuit on Monday in the Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

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Pennsylvania Lawmaker Presses Officials to Withdraw from Multi-State Voting Data-Sharing System

During discussions with Pennsylvania’s top election officials this week, state Senator Cris Dush (R-Bellefonte) urged the commonwealth to leave the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), an election data-sharing system. 

Over the last 14 months, five states have nixed their participation in ERIC. This month, both Iowa and Ohio indicated they will also do so. Some Republican-led states in the partnership wanted greater autonomy regarding use of the data collected by the organization; these participants also desired an end to a stipulation in ERIC’s bylaws instructing states to contact unregistered voters to remind them to vote. In a recent meeting, the nonprofit’s board rejected the suggested changes. 

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Early Voting Begins in Battleground Wisconsin’s State Supreme Court Election

Early voting has begun in Wisconsin for the state’s High Court, and this election becomes the most important decision of 2023, with ramifications far beyond the Badger state, and into 2024.

Tested constitutionalist Daniel Kelly seeks to rejoin the state Supreme Court in Madison. Kelly is an unabashed conservative, but also a careful, balanced, and restrained jurist who does not legislate from the bench or engage in partisan power grabs.

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Pennsylvania County Election Officials to Sit Out House Hearing on Midterm Ballot Paper Shortage

The House Administration Committee is holding a hearing on Tuesday to investigate a ballot paper shortage that marred the midterm election in Luzerne County, Pa., but three key county election officials have declined invitations to testify.

On the morning of Election Day 2022, multiple precincts in Luzerne County experienced ballot paper shortages, which resulted in long lines, the distribution of provisional ballots to some voters, a judge’s order to extend voting hours until 10 p.m. and the delayed certification of the election by the county elections board.

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Long-Serving Wisconsin Secretary of State La Follette About to Cash in on Lucrative Taxpayer-Subsidized Pension

Secretary of State Doug La Follette’s sudden retirement from the post he’s held for nearly half a century raised questions, particularly when Governor Tony Evers swiftly appointed former state treasurer and Democratic Party political climber Sarah Godlewski to take La Follette’s place. 

But it’s the millions of dollars La Follette — and his survivors — could take home in retirement benefits that may really raise eyebrows. 

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Pennsylvania State Police Emphasize Diversity in Recruiting Efforts

Leaders of the Pennsylvania State Police emphasized their recruitment efforts as they testified in front of the House Appropriations Committee on Monday.

They also supported Gov. Josh Shapiro’s call to create a dedicated fund, rather than relying on money from the Motor License Fund to support operations.

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Methodology and Motive Questions Surround Poll Showing DeSantis Ahead of Trump in Iowa

Two polls showing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis “running more competitively” against former President Donald Trump in first-in-the-nation nominating states Iowa and New Hampshire are missing some key data, raising questions about the validity of the surveys. 

The polls, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) from March 21-23, were provided exclusively to Axios.

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Pennsylvania State House Members Support State Police Funding Increase; Off-Budget Account Questioned

Pennsylvania’s House Appropriations Committee members signaled general agreement with  Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget-increase goals for Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) on Monday, though some related issues remain contentious.

Representatives questioned PSP Commissioner Christopher Paris, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Operations George Bivens and other lead staffers at the agency in preparation for the budget process which lawmakers aim to wrap up by June 30. 

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New Laws Mean Greater ‘Buying Power’ for People with Disabilities

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed into law a pair of bills Monday aimed at providing greater financial flexibility for individuals with developmental disabilities who receive waiver services – a move supporters say will translate to greater “buying power” for people with disabilities to invest in technology that allows them to live independently. 

Virginia currently offers several kinds of Disability Waivers – including Community Living, Family and Individual Supports, and Building Independence waivers – for individuals diagnosed with a developmental disability. The waivers offer long-term support for people with developmental disabilities and include access to services, including assistive technology and electronic home-based services. 

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One Week Before Wisconsin’s Pivotal Supreme Court Election, Candidates Make Closing Arguments

With just one week before Wisconsin’s spring election, it’s all hands on deck in the bruising battle for control of the Badger State’s high court. 

Conservative former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly and liberal Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz are making their closing arguments before Tuesday’s pivotal election — the brunt of the statements being made through expensive and negative ads blanketing Wisconsin’s TV markets. 

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Ferris State University Responds to Gotion Controversy

In a video posted on YouTube, Ferris State University President Bill Pink says the university hasn’t discussed housing Chinese nationalists to work at the nearby electric vehicle battery plant.

Pink posted the video on March 23 to dispel rumors surrounding the planned Gotion electric vehicle battery plant. Last week, The Center Square reported that the company – with $1.14 billion of state and local backing – must adhere to communist rules.

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DeSantis Signs Universal School Choice Program into Florida Law

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a piece of legislation into law on Monday creating a universal school choice program.

House Bill 1, sponsored by the Education Quality Subcommittee, establishes an Education Savings Accounts (ESA) program under which every family is eligible to receive up to $8,000 to cover education expenses outside of the public school system. The vouchers will be distributed on a “priority” basis, with families of four making less than $51,000 annually receiving the funds first.

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‘Radical Progressives’ Are ‘Targeting the Minds of Our Children,’ Senator Says

A state senator is attempting to keep drag queens away from Minnesota kids with a bill introduced at the Capitol.

Sen. Eric Lucero, R-St. Michael, has introduced SF 933 to classify drag queen performances as adult entertainment.

Lucero spoke to Liz Collin on her podcast about the bill and other topics from the legislative session.

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Wisconsin State Senate Supermajority at Stake for Republicans in April Election

Wisconsin’s race for the state Supreme Court is the paramount race in the state next week, but there is another important race on the ballot.

Voters in Wisconsin’s 8th Senate district will decide if Republicans maintain a super-majority in the state’s upper chamber.

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Georgia Sets Trend by Allowing Property Tax Relief for Natural Disasters

Georgia will be the only state among its neighbors to allow local governments to give residential property owners a temporary break on their taxes for storm damage.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law last week House Bill 311, which was authored by State Rep. Lynn Smith, R-Newnan. It allows local governments to provide tax relief on property taxes, either through a millage rate reduction (one mill equals $1,000 worth of property value) or a credit once a disaster is declared by the federal government.

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Illegal Immigrants Turn to Hang Gliders Unlawful Entry to the U.S.

As more foreign nationals are caught attempting to illegally enter Florida and are repatriated to their country or port of origin, a new method to bypass law enforcement efforts by sea is underway by air: hang gliders.

On Saturday, two Cuban nationals landed at the Key West International Airport using a powered hang glider. They were taken into custody by Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies, who then turned them over to U.S. Border Patrol. No injuries were reported, the sheriff’s office said.

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States Continue Attempting to Block the Transport of East Palestine Waste

States throughout the nation that have facilities for storing hazardous waste are still working to stop the transport of contaminated debris from an Ohio train disaster that culminated in a fire to their states.

On Saturday, the City and County of Baltimore, Maryland announced in a joint statement that they are “seeking a legal opinion from the Attorney General’s Office regarding the City’s requirement to treat and discharge the waste from the Norfolk Southern Railroad derailment.”

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Fights Back Against Biden’s Attempt to Revoke Protection for Student Religious Groups

On Friday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education urging the department to maintain a regulation that mandates public universities to uphold the First Amendment or risk losing grant funding.

In accordance with the current rule, which was put in place in 2020 to carry out Supreme Court precedent, public universities are not allowed to deny religious student organizations “any right, benefit or privilege that is otherwise afforded to other student organizations at the public institution” because of the group’s “beliefs, practices, policies, speech, membership standards or leadership standards, which are informed by sincerely held religious beliefs.”

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Ohio Narcotic Intelligence Center Releases Public Safety Notice Connecting Emojis to Potential Drug Activity

The Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center (ONIC) has released a public safety notice in order to warn parents that children are using emojis to advertise, sell, and acquire illegal substances on social media and in electronic communication.

According to ONIC Executive Director Cynthia Peterman, this kind of emoji usage is becoming more popular around the country, and the analysis of electronic devices seized in current drug investigations has shown activity in Ohio related to the use of emojis in this way.

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Activist Hijacks School Shooting Press Conference, Demands Gun Control

An unidentified activist took to microphones shortly after a Monday briefing by Nashville authorities to rant about gun control, asking the media if they were tired of covering shootings.

“Aren’t you guys tired of covering this? Aren’t you tired of being here and having to cover all of these mass shootings?” the activist asked members of the press. “I’m from Highland Park… on a family vacation with my son, visiting my sister-in-law. I have been lobbying in D.C. since we survived a mass shooting in July.”

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Georgia Unemployment Rate Remains Low for Seventh Consecutive Month

For the seventh straight month, Georgia’s unemployment rate remained at 3.1%, 0.5% below the national average in February.

The Georgia Department of Labor says the Peach State in January had the highest labor force participation rate in the Southeast at 61% and also had the highest employment-to-population ratio in the region, 59.1%.

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Vivek Ramaswamy, the GOP’s Youngest Presidential Candidate, Showing His Energy on Latest Swing Through Iowa

While Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy may be lagging in the polls, in his first month on the campaign trail no one has outworked the Ohio businessman to connect with voters. 

In the words of Geoff Mack and Johnny Cash, Ramaswamy has been everywhere, man — from Iowa to New Hampshire to South Carolina and Maryland. He’s made the media rounds, too, from the smallest small town newspapers to the network talking heads. 

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State Representative Kolodin Speaks on Progress to Find Immediate Solution to Rio Verde Foothills Water Crisis

Arizona State Representative Alexander Kolodin (R-Scottsdale) told The Arizona Sun Times that the State Legislature is trying to find an immediate solution to the water supply issues in the unincorporated Rio Verde Foothills (RVF) area. He called for all members of the State Legislature to come together, put politics aside, and pass a solution for the people who desperately need one.

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Michigan Senate Approves Cocktails-to-Go

The Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill 141 on a vote of 37-1, which aims to make cocktails-to-go permanent.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers allowed cocktails-to-go to provide businesses another way to generate revenue while the operation of bars and restaurants were restricted by the state.

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Bills Declaring Fentanyl a Terror Weapon, Increasing Jury Duty Pay, and more Among the Hundreds Gov Youngkin Signs into Law

Facing a Monday deadline to act on bills passed by the Virginia General Assembly, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed hundreds of bills into law this week. 

Lawmakers in the Virginia General Assembly sent hundreds of bills to the governor’s desk during this legislative session.

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Minnesota House Passes ‘Trans Refuge Bill’ That Would Reform Child Custody Laws

The Minnesota House passed legislation, dubbed a “Trans Refuge bill” by proponents, that would prevent laws in other states from interfering with the medical gender transition of children in Minnesota, but critics argue the bill could cause parents to lose custody if they do not support their child’s life-altering sex change.

Minnesota’s first transgender lawmaker, Rep. Leigh Finke of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, introduced the bill, HF 146, which passed the House in a 68-62 vote Friday.

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Ohio Lawmakers Reintroduce ‘Parents Bill of Rights’ Promoting School Transparency

Republican lawmakers have re-introduced a bill to require school systems to have policies in place that allow parents to be more active in their child’s education.

House Bill (HB) 8, known as the “Parents Bill of Rights,” sponsored by state Representatives D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron) and Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton) aims to require school systems to give parents notice of sexually explicit materials and create a health care plan for students with their parents.

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DeSantis to Reward Teachers with $3K Bonus for Refresher Training on Civics

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants Florida teachers to emphasize civic education and reward those who do with a $3,000 bonus.

The second-term Republican held a news conference in Orange Park Thursday to discuss the importance of teaching American civics and how it is being better implemented in Florida for school students.

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Pennsylvania GOP State Lawmaker Proposes Freight-Train Length Limit

A Republican Pennsylvania lawmaker is urging colleagues to cosponsor state-level legislation to limit a freight train’s length to no greater than 8,500 feet.

State Representative Louis Schmitt, Jr. (R-Altoona) reasoned in a memorandum describing his proposal that the February 3 derailment in East Palestine, less than half a mile from Pennsylvania’s western border, shows current rail-safety requirements are inadequate. 

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Arizona Democrats, Republicans Spar over Which Side Has Best Teacher Raise Plan

Teacher pay in Arizona has become a hot-button issue, with both Democrats and Republicans proposing increases but not supporting the alternative. Meanwhile, teacher’s unions are demanding a spending hike worth more than both parties’ plans.

Rep. Matt Gress, R-Phoenix, has introduced H.B. 2800 – seeking to increase the salary of teachers statewide by $10,000 by 2025. The bill would cost taxpayers $1.1 billion over two years but it makes Arizona’s average teacher pay the fourth-highest in the nation. 

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State Senate, House at Odds Over Ohio Transportation Budget

The Ohio Senate and House, along with Republicans and Democrats, agreed on rail safety issues in the state’s proposed transportation budget. But there were other differences.

The nearly $13.5 billion budget that unanimously passed the Senate on Thursday funds state and local road and bridge construction, improvements and repair maintenance. House Democrats said that version negatively impacts working Ohioans, labor unions and competitive bidding.

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Tennessee Legislature Moving Competing 18-Year-Old Firearm Carry Bills

A bill that would allow those 18 years old and older to concealed carry and obtain a permit in Tennessee now has different versions moving through the Senate and House.

House Bill 1005 lowers the age of permits to 18 and changes the term handgun to firearm in Tennessee code. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Todd, R-Madison County, is aimed at matching a court agreement between the Firearms Policy Coalition and Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti following FPC’s lawsuit against Tennessee’s current law, which restricts through between ages 18 and 21 from receiving permits.

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Pennsylvania Colleges Still Unaffordable Despite Tuition Freeze

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education said this week its tuition freeze has done little to stave off enrollment declines, even as the costs at other institutions around them all climb.

“We’re particularly expensive for students who we’re born to serve, low and middle income students,” said Chancellor Dan Greenstein. “You’re asking their families or their households to pay basically 45% of their disposable income to send one student to one of our universities for one year.”

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Wisconsin Congressman Bryan Steil Demands Answers on Manhattan DA Investigation into Trump

Representative Bryan Steil (R-WI-01) and his fellow co-chairs on three key House committees are not taking no for an answer from the intransigent Manhattan District Attorney investigating former President Donald Trump.
“The American people deserve to know the answers to the questions we asked,’ Steil, chairman of the House Committee on Administration, told The Wisconsin Daily Star. 

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Georgia’s Roads Are Increasingly Dangerous for Pedestrians and Motorists

Georgia’s highways are increasingly dangerous for motorists and pedestrians, anecdotal and limited empirical data reveals.

“There are several reasons why drivers have gone haywire since the start of COVID,” Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist, told The Center Square via email. “When COVID and lockdowns began, there were fewer cars on the streets and highways, so drivers took advantage of this by speeding and making ‘whimsical’ impulsive maneuvers.

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