Milwaukee ARPA Commission Turns Down Request for Repairs to Landmark Mitchell Park Domes

There is, apparently, a limit to what Milwaukee County considers coronavirus-related relief.

Milwaukee County’s American Rescue Plan Act Task Force last week unanimously rejected a proposal to spend $19 million of ARPA dollars to rehabilitate the Mitchell Park Domes.

“This Task Force has spent millions of dollars on initiatives to ensure that houses in suburban Milwaukee aren’t falling into disrepair, potentially rushing foreclosures.

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Commentary: Enormous Amounts of Money Flow into the Bottomless Education Pit

Spurred by COVID panic, schools have been the recipient of ungodly sums of money. And it’s not as if the beast was starving before. To put things into perspective, the United States spends about $800 billion on national defense, more than China, Russia, India, the UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Japan combined, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. America now spends even more on K-12 education, with an outlay of about $900 billion dollars a year, which includes an additional $122 billion from the COVID-related American Rescue Plan. 

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Ohio Republican Senator Introduces Gun Control Legislation

An Ohio Republican state senator introduced gun-control legislation that would require a co-signer for 18- to 21-year-olds to buy any gun other than a single-round rifle or shotgun.

State Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, who lost a U.S. Senate primary earlier this year to J.D. Vance, said Senate Bill 357 protects both Second Amendment rights and the public.

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Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Funds Raised to $100 Million

During a visit to the Whitehall Police Department this week, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) indicated he will expand funding for the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program from $58 million to $100 million, citing a nationwide spike in violence.

According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2011 and 2020 Uniform Crime Reports, homicides in the Buckeye State rose sharply in the decade between those years. Five hundred murders occurred in Ohio in 2011 and 820 took place in 2020. Regional figures also show violence worsening, with one poll of Franklin County police chiefs showing that aggravated assault increased by 36 percent in that jurisdiction between 2020 and 2021.

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Regional Foundation Awarded $9.2M in COVID Relief Funds from ARPA Competition

The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber Foundation is one of 32 organization splitting $500 million in the Good Jobs Challenge.

The Ignite Initiative Regional Workforce Training System is receiving $9.6 million. It focuses on training underserved communities in the border region of North Dakota and Minnesota that include people of color, veterans, immigrants and formerly incarcerated individuals, according to a release from the foundation. The training is for positions in the agriculture, manufacturing and technology industries.

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U.S. Treasury Greenlights Connecticut’s ARPA Spending Initiative

A plan that would allocate federal funding to small businesses in Connecticut has been approved.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, who is running unopposed on the state’s Aug. 9 primary, said the U.S. Treasury Department has greenlighted the state’s $119.5 million plan to assist small businesses in the state using American Rescue Plan Act funding. The funds will be placed into the State Small Business Credit Initiative.

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As Ohio Gas Prices Surge, Vance Criticizes Ryan and Biden for Energy Policies

Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance criticized the energy and fiscal policies of his Democratic opponent and of the White House on Wednesday, blaming them for the steep gasoline prices Buckeyes now endure.

The average price of a regular gallon of gas in Ohio exceeded $5.00 on Wednesday. That’s a 118.91-percent increase over the $2.32-per-gallon average cost state motorists faced when President Joe Biden took office. In Vance’s estimation, “no one else” bears responsibility for this other than Biden and his “extreme allies in Congress like Tim Ryan (D-13).”

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Lawmakers Call for Challenge to ARPA Rules Limiting Connecticut Tax Reduction

Ned Lamont

Connecticut Republican legislators said on Saturday they want the state to challenge a part of the American Rescue Plan Act which limits states’ ability to cut taxes.

GOP senators and representatives are calling for tax reduction beyond the targeted relief backed by Gov. Ned Lamont (D). A major roadblock to greater decreases will be the COVID-relief bill President Joe Biden signed into law last year. The act included $195.3 billion in recovery funds for states and barred states accepting allocations from using them to “directly or indirectly offset a reduction in net tax revenue… or delay the imposition of any tax or tax increase.”

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Lamont Proposes Connecticut Gas Tax Suspension; Republicans Press for Vote

Gov. Ned Lamont (D) this week proposed a holiday from the state’s 25-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax to last through the month of June.

He said he does not believe the gas-tax break can be extended beyond July 1 insofar as Connecticut’s acceptance of federal funds under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) restricts the state as to how much it can reduce taxes. The governor also voiced concern that a longer tax holiday would compromise the state’s ability to fund transportation. The gas tax’s suspension will cost the state over $90 million.

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Pennsylvania Senator Toomey Pushes for Accounting of COVID Spending

While President Joe Biden proposed $22.5 billion in coronavirus-related spending this week, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey (R) urged clarification of how the government has spent almost $6 trillion in earlier COVID relief.

Toomey joined 35 Senate colleagues in writing to Biden asking for a detailed explication of the disbursements made over the last two years which, the authors noted, amounted to the largest allotment of taxpayer money for one concern in American history.

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Georgia to Start Accepting Applications for American Rescue Plan Funds Sunday

COVID Testing station

Georgia is still deciding how to divide more than $8.1 billion from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March.

Applications for more than $4.8 billion in funding opens up Sunday. State government entities, local governments, businesses and nonprofits have 30 days to apply for the aid.

The aid will be issued in two installments and cover expenses from March to the end of 2026, but the state has until December 31, 2024, to allocate all of the funds.

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