It turns out that the anti-malaria drug former president Trump famously touted in March of 2020 as a promising treatment for COVID-19, would indeed have been a “game changer” if only it had been widely used.
Use of Hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus can increase survival rates by over 100 percent, according to a new study. Read More
The Democrat-led Senate is poised to approve as early as Tuesday a China security bill that will earmark billions in taxpayer subsidies to the well-heeled computer chip-making industry, which saw record profits last year and doled out millions in lobbying fees and political donations.
The $54 billion in subsidies for chipmakers inside the 1,445-page U.S. Innovation and Competition Act has some seeing an unnecessary corporate welfare program that could benefit such iconic brands as Intel, Qualcomm and AMD and increase the government’s reach over free market business.
“This bill will increase government’s influence over the private sector while weakening America by increasing our debt,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), one of the legislation’s fiercest critics. “Democrats love spending other people’s money and growing government. I have no idea why any Republican would want to help them do that.” Read More
It may not come in time for the Fourth of July, but Ohioans could add some excitement to certain celebrations if a bill passed Wednesday by the Ohio Senate eventually clears the House and gets signed into law.
Senate Bill 113 would allow people to have consumer-grade fireworks in the state and set them off on certain days and holidays.
Ohioans would be allowed to set off fireworks on New Year’s Day; Chinese New Year; Cinco de Mayo; Memorial Day weekend; Juneteenth; July 3, 4 and 5, along with the Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays preceding and following; Labor Day weekend; Diwali; and New Year’s eve. Local communities, however, can eliminate any of those days or ban the practice entirely. Read More
Advancing broadband access across Ohio became official when Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law a bill that creates a grant program that government and business groups said is critical to economic development.
DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted signed the bill Monday at Middletown’s Amanda Elementary School, along with students, Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria and Ohio Development Services Agency Director Lydia Mihalik.
“Reliable high-speed internet is a necessity for all Ohio industries, including manufacturing,” said Ryan Augsburger, president of the Ohio Manufacturers Association. “The pandemic has illuminated the need for Ohio families and businesses to efficiently access broadband in today’s technology-based economy.” Read More
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced a bill to stop the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from conducting espionage on American college campuses.
According to a press release from his office, Sen. Cotton re-introduced the “SECURE CAMPUS Act” on April 22. The bill would “prohibit Chinese nationals from receiving visas to the United States for graduate or post-graduate studies in STEM fields and would ban participants in China’s foreign talent recruitment programs and Chinese nationals from taking part in federally-funded STEM research.”
Sen. Cotton remarked that “Allowing China unfettered access to American research institutions is akin to granting Soviet scientists access to our critical laboratories during the Cold War.” Read More
Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation Tuesday that bans hormone treatment for prepubescent minors.
SB0126 goes into effect immediately, making Tennessee the second state to ban trans procedures for minors, NBC reported. The Arkansas state legislature overrode Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a bill banning transgender surgeries and procedures for minors in April.
Arkansas’ “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act,” otherwise known as the SAFE Act, prohibits physicians from performing gender transition procedures, such as puberty blockers or “top” and “bottom” surgeries, on minors before puberty. Transgender surgeries include vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, breast implants, and facial surgeries. Read More
Tax deals for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and minor league baseball’s Tennessee Smokies were signed into law this week by Gov. Bill Lee.
The governor also signed two bills that are key cogs in his criminal justice reform initiative. They aim to reduce recidivism and keep lower level offenders related to substance abuse and mental health out of jail and in community-based alternative programs.
The Titans deal is estimated to have a $10 million annual sales tax impact on the state. It will allow the team to retain sales tax revenue from all events at Nissan Stadium and keep half of the tax revenue from a planned mixed-use development around the stadium to use toward future stadium upgrades. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday signed House Bill 4469 which appropriates $37.8 million in Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grants for 76 recreation projects and land purchases throughout Michigan.
“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund supports quality outdoor recreation, giving Michiganders the ability to safely enjoy the outdoors and boosting local economies,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This funding is crucial to helping communities utilize their natural resources and make Michigan’s public spaces more accessible and attractive to residents and visitors. I am proud to sign this piece of bipartisan legislation into law and support Michigan’s recreational resources and economy.”
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is a restricted fund established in 1976 to provide funding for public acquisition of lands for resource conservation and outdoor recreation. Read More
Gov. Brian Kemp signed a trio of bills Thursday to expand education options in Georgia.
Senate Bill 47 expands the state’s Special Needs Scholarship program to students with 504 Plans. The program offers scholarships for students with individualized education plans to attend a private school or a public school of their choice.
“COVID-19 has certainly highlighted the challenges that families face and finding the right education for their child, especially those with special needs,” Kemp said Thursday during a bill signing ceremony at the state Capitol. “This bill will give more parents greater options to ensure their child has every opportunity to achieve their dreams.” Read More
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Wednesday scrapping all COVID-19 restrictions throughout the state and an accompanying bill that limits localities’ ability to enforce emergency precautions.
“I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do,” DeSantis said during a press conference Tuesday announcing the executive order. “I think folks are saying they need to be policing people at this point, if you’re saying that, then you’re really saying you don’t believe in the vaccines.”
DeSantis signed SB 2006, which says that any emergency orders can last no longer than six weeks. It gives him the authority to overrule cities that adopt restrictions deemed too harsh or unnecessary, and gives city and county commissions the power to overrule mayors. Read More
Rising Republican star U.S. Rep. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is sponsoring a new measure that would give unprecedented tax cuts to parents with children, and now he is saying his bill is on the front line of the nation’s “culture war.”
The plan in question would give a fully refundable tax credit of $12,000 for married parents and $6,000 for single parents who have children under the age of 13.
“Starting a family and raising children should not be a privilege only reserved for the wealthy,” Hawley said. “Millions of working people want to start a family and would like to care for their children at home, but current policies do not respect these preferences. American families should be supported, no matter how they choose to care for their kids.” Read More
The governor of Kansas has vetoed a bill that would have banned biological males from participating in women’s sports.
Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” Thursday, saying in a news release that the legislation “sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender — who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide,” according to local outlet KMBC.
“As Kansans, we should be focused on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude those who may be different than us,” Kelly said. “Kansas is an inclusive state and our laws should reflect our values. This law does not do that.” Read More
Arkansas became the latest state to pass a series of voting reforms this week, sending multiple bills to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk.
The bills, overwhelmingly passed by the state’s Republican legislature, focus on in-person and absentee voting, while a third transfers additional authority to county election commissioners instead of local clerks. Hutchinson has not publicly said whether he plans to sign them.
The Arkansas Senate passed HB 1715 Tuesday, which prohibits clerks from sending unsolicited absentee ballots to voters and requires them to report how many absentee ballot applications they receive each day. It also requires a voter’s signature to match their signature from when they first registered to vote, and forbids county clerks from providing a ballot if they do not match. Read More
Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D–Flint, and state Rep. Julie M. Rogers, D–Kalamazoo, are sponsoring bills aimed to allow high schoolers earn their diploma without Algebra II.
Senate Bill 318 and House Bill 4595 were introduced Wednesday with bipartisan support.
Currently, Michigan students must complete Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and a math elective to graduate. Bill proponents argue these math requirements are often excessive for students who don’t plan to enter a field requiring advanced math and will instead need to understand interest, student loan payments, and how to complete taxes. Read More
A bill that will give local school boards the sole authority to close schools was approved Thursday by the Tennessee House and is on its way to Gov. Bill Lee.
Senate Bill 103, which passed the House, 85-2, makes it clear local school boards can close public or charter schools in the state, not the governor through executive orders or local health departments.
The bill, sponsored in the House by Rep. Kevin Vaughan, R-Collierville, aimed to clarify who had the authority because during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unclear in some locales whether the county health department or local school board held the authority. Read More
A bill that bans counties and municipalities in Georgia from reducing their police department budgets by more than 5% has passed the Georgia Senate and will be sent back to the House.
Sen. Randy Robertson, R-Cataula, a law enforcement veteran, said the legislation, House Bill 286, is a response to local efforts to “defund the police.”
“I think everyone sees the things that are going on around our country right now related to law enforcement, and what this does is just guarantee the citizens of any community that they’re not caught up in the politics that revolves around policing and offers protection,” said Robertson, who sponsored the bill. Read More
A health care reform package the House passed Wednesday is creating a rift between the state’s business groups and the GOP.
Michigan business leaders formed a new Michigan Affordable Healthcare Coalition that aims to reduce health care costs without raising costs on small businesses.
In a Thursday afternoon press conference, business leaders voiced opposition to House bills 4346 and 4354, claiming they would raise health insurance premiums that are already a heavy burden for many businesses. Read More
A Minnesota senator presented a bill Monday that would disband the Board of Cosmetology and transfer control over the industry to the Department of Health.
Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, said the Board of Cosmetology has been accused of gross mismanagement and involved in two civil rights lawsuits in past years.
Her bill, S.F. 691, would transfer the Board of Cosmetology’s jurisdiction over licensing requirements to the Department of Health. The states of Vermont and Colorado have both decided to move licensing and regulatory authority from specific cosmetology boards to state agencies as well. Read More
The Michigan House unanimously passed a flurry of bipartisan bills seeking to reform the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by including the governor and legislature under the new Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).
The House passed the package during “Sunshine Week,” which celebrates government transparency, and after reporters used FOIA to expose Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration gifting $253,000 in secret, taxpayer-funded severance packages.
The bill package is virtually identical to bills introduced in the 2015-16, 2017-8, and the 2019-20 legislative session other than technical changes and effective dates.
Those packages all failed. Read More
A bill that would require local governments to approve extensions of public health emergency orders after 15 days is ready for adoption by the Missouri House.
House Bill 75, sponsored by Rep. Jim Murphy, was perfected Wednesday in a floor debate and awaits only a floor vote to be transferred to the Senate, where a raft of similar bills are matriculating in committees.
HB 75, which has already passed through the House Special Committee on Small Business and Rules – Legislative Oversight committees, would allow local public health officials to order a closure for no more than 15 days. Read More
Last summer, millions of dollars in taxpayer money were spent in response to protests that turned violent throughout Ohio. A bill proposed in the Ohio Senate looks to make sure those responsible will pay for it.
Senate Bill 41, currently being discussed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, calls for restitution from those who are convicted of property damage during riots, including vandalism. The restitution would pay the expenses of police and emergency crews who have to respond to riots. The bill also allows the government to take possession of any property left behind by those who end up convicted.
State Senator Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, is sponsoring the bill. Lou Tobin, the Executive Director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, offered his support before the committee recently. Read More
Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined in the studio during the program’s second hour by Tennessee state Senator Kerry Roberts. Read More
A new Republican-backed bill is being considered that would dramatically undo a major and controversial education initiative that was supported and signed by former Gov. John Kasich. In 2015, Ohio was facing an epidemic of failing schools. An Ohio Department of Education report for 2014-2015 found that only six of the… Read More
Gov. Mike DeWine signed Ohio’s heartbeat bill into law Thursday afternoon, and advocacy groups and legal teams nationwide are all preparing for what is sure to be a major political and legal battle. For the third time in the last decade, a bill that would ban all abortions after a fetal heartbeat… Read More
Ohio legislators revealed Monday their latest plan to save Ohio’s only two nuclear power plants from bankruptcy. As previously reported, FirstEnergy Solutions, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy that manages several power stations across the Midwest, announced that it was closing all three of the nuclear plants it owns and operates throughout the region. Two… Read More
Democratic Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown joined a bipartisan group of six Senators Thursday to introduce a bill that would sanction any country involved in the trafficking of illegal opioids into the United States. According to the U.S Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2018 National Drug Assessment, synthetic opioids,… Read More
A bill currently under consideration by the Ohio Legislature would exempt disability service pay, made to honorably discharged veterans, from state income taxes. House Bill 18 (HB 18) was introduced to the Ohio House of Representatives last month. Wednesday, the bill finally came to a vote where it passed by an… Read More
Despite bipartisan calls for a reduction in the prison population and a slew of laws aimed at doing just that, a new report released this week has found that the prison population of Ohio has continued to climb over the past decade. Since 2011, the state has passed several new… Read More
As the Ohio Senate considers legalizing hemp and hemp byproducts in the Buckeye State, the Ohio Department of Health, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is simultaneously cracking down on any form of sale of the substance. Currently, hemp is trapped in a complicated legal limbo and while state legalization will alleviate many of… Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio– In a statement made via a Facebook Video, Columbus, Ohio’s Democratic Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced that he is backing DeWine’s 18 cent gas tax hike. The mayor said he is backing the bill because: It will help us increase our funding for infrastructure in Columbus neighborhoods by 19 million a year.… Read More
Ohio Gun Owners, a citizens’ Second Amendment advocacy organization, discovered Thursday that House Bill 228 (HB 228) would make many widely-used firearms illegal throughout Ohio. The bill’s current language defines illegal “dangerous ordnance” as: (7) Any firearm with an overall length of at least twenty- six inches that is approved for… Read More
For many low-income Ohioans who have lost their drivers licenses for minor or unintentional offenses, there is no greater frustration than paying your debt to society, only to be denied your ability to drive legally because you can’t afford a government fee. Thankfully, relief is in sight for thousands of these… Read More
For the first time since 1934, government workers in Sandusky, Ohio will be working on October 12th. The city commissioners approved a measure that would officially eliminate Columbus Day as a federal holiday. In lieu of the lost holiday, Election Day would officially replace it. In a statement to the Sandusky Register, city manager… Read More
Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 255 (SB 255) Friday, reforming Ohio’s occupational licensing laws, some of which are considered to be the most economically crippling in the country. The law will require Ohio’s state legislature to examine every occupational licensing board in the state, assess their value and utility, then… Read More
On Thursday, the Ohio Senate unanimously passed a bill that would effectively end child marriage in the state of Ohio. House Bill 511 (HB 511), introduced on February 14th, 2018, would establish eighteen as the minimum age to get married, regardless of gender, with few exceptions. As the law currently stand, under… Read More
Ohio state Republican legislators were unable to override Gov. John Kasich’s (R-OH) veto of the “heartbeat” abortion bill Thursday. House Bill 258 (HB 258), first introduced on June 6, 2017, would have made it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. In most… Read More
The Ohio hourly minimum wage will be increasing on January 1, 2019. For non-tipped employees, hourly earnings will increase to $8.55 per hour, from $8.30. For tipped employees, hourly earnings will increase to $4.30 per hour, from $4.15. In addition, working longer than 40 hours will be considered overtime and… Read More
SOUTH FULTON, Georgia – Cheerleaders, students and football players recently filled Westlake High School’s gymnasium for a pep rally, but there was no football game. School leaders welcomed back injured Tennessee State University football player Christion Abercrombie, a Westlake graduate. It’s the first time Abercrombie has made a public appearance… Read More
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) ignited a conservative firestorm Friday after vetoing one of the most comprehensive pro-life bills ever proposed since the passage of Roe v. Wade. House Bill 258 would ban any abortion after a child’s first heartbeat is detected. Since fetal heartbeats, in some cases, can be detected as… Read More
TN Bill Proposes Immunity for Drivers Who Hit Protesters by Accident Nothing better to do with your day except block average, everyday people from getting to work? Protesting in the middle of a busy street or highway might be for you! That is, unless you plan to live in Tennessee… Read More