California Ordered to Pay $2 Million in Legal Fees to Church that Violated Coronavirus Restrictions

Inside of a church with stained glass and low lighting

After a lengthy court battle, the government of the state of California backed down in its efforts to enforce coronavirus restrictions on a church that continued hosting in-person worship services, and has now agreed in a settlement to pay the church’s $2 million worth of legal fees, Breitbart reports.

When the state repeatedly attempted to enforce strict capacity limits, mask mandates, and other “social distancing” requirements on the San Diego-based Pentecostal church, the church’s lawyers filed suit with the United States Supreme Court, winning all three suits. This ultimately led to lawyers on behalf of the state of California agreeing to the settlement, which was approved by a federal judge.

Responding to the settlement, an attorney with the Thomas More Society, a legal group that represents churches facing suppression of their First Amendment rights, pointed out that while businesses such as Costco were limited to 50 percent capacity, while churches were forced to stay as low as 25 percent, and sometimes even lower.

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Senior Fellow of Real Clear Foundation Rupert Darwall Sees the Polity of Businesses Becoming Armed Tools of Political Agendas

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Senior Fellow at Real Clear Foundation Rupert Darwall to the newsmakers line to discuss capitalism, socialism, and what he calls ESG investing.

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Virginia Businesses Will Benefit from Paycheck Protection Program Extension, Groups Say

Virginia businesses will benefit from the federal government extending the deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans, according to associations representing industries.

With bipartisan support, federal lawmakers passed legislation to extend the loan application from March 31 to May 31 and give the Small Business Administration an additional 30 days to process the applications. The legislation is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden.

The loans allow businesses economically harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic restrictions to borrow money from the federal government. If businesses use the money in accordance with federal guidelines, the loans will be forgiven, meaning that the businesses will not have to pay the money back.

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Lawsuit Claims Northam’s COVID-19 Restrictions Discriminate Against Certain Businesses

A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Roanoke claims COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Gov. Ralph Northam discriminate against certain businesses while allowing others to operate more freely.

Northam recently eased the COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor gatherings for amusement and entertainment venues. However, the governor failed to include wedding venues and other businesses in the recent change.

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Ohio Ranks First in Nation for Attracting New Business, Report Says

One of the nation’s leading economic development publications ranked Ohio as No. 1 in its state economic and business attraction rankings for bringing more corporate facility projects per capita than any other state.

Ohio also ranked second for total projects.

Site Selection, a corporate real estate economic development magazine, recently announced its rankings as part of its 2020 Governor’s Cup.

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Dan Gainor VP of MRC TechWatch Explains the Left’s ‘Freedom of Speech Does Not Equal Freedom of Reach’

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Dan Gainor Vice President of Business and Culture for the Media Research Center to the newsmakers line to discuss America’s international battle for its civil rights.

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Tennessee Spent 25 Percent More Per Job to Recruit Businesses in 2020

Attracting new jobs to Tennessee in 2020 has cost taxpayers 25% more in FastTrack economic incentive grants than last year, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD).

The TNECD has spent an average of $5,448 this year for each new job commitment incentivized by a FastTrack grant. Rural job recruitment proved particularly costly. On average, the state provided $9,765 in FastTrack grants per rural job – more than three times last year’s average.

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Commentary: Entrepreneurship Is Accelerating at the Fastest Rate in Decades During This Pandemic

As officials in many areas impose new pandemic lockdowns and restrictions going into the holiday season, things can seem bleak. Depression rates are up, people are fleeing cities in droves, elected leaders regularly violate their own orders, and fraud is rampant in the government’s COVID-19 stimulus programs.

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Dems With Power Flex Their Muscles Ahead of Election Day to Push Agendas, Punish Trump Supporters

As Election Day draws near, Democrat business owners and politicians are increasingly flexing their muscles to push their politics into peoples’ faces and punish those who have opposing views. There have been multiple reports in the past year about Trump supporters being fired for expressing their support for the president.

In the past couple of weeks, two more Trump supporters have been fired and a CEO of a major software company has sent a mass email to millions of customers telling them to vote for Joe Biden.

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Whitmer Signs Bills Protecting Workers, Giving Businesses COVID-19 Liability Protection, Changing Nursing Home Policy

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a packages of bipartisan bills into law Thursday. In part, the bills aim to protect Michigan workers from COVID-19 and surprise medical billing for any treatment, as well as protect businesses from COVID-19 related lawsuits.

“No Michigander should have to worry about going into work when they’re sick, especially during a global pandemic,” Whitmer said in a statement.

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Governor Lee Denies Nashville Mayor Cooper’s Request for $82.6 Million Additional Coronavirus Relief Funding

Governor Bill Lee responded in writing Thursday denying Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s request for an additional $82.6 million in coronavirus relief funding.

In addition to the letter, Lee addressed the issue during a press conference Thursday, saying “I have to believe the strategy that I’m investing in is one that is consistent and aligned with the state’s strategy and Nashville’s are not.”

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Michigan Launches Ambassador Program To Guide Businesses Through Coronavirus Guidelines

Michigan state employees will visit businesses one-on-one to help them reopen safely under a swath of COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The program, launched by the Department of Labor and Economic and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), features ambassadors that will visit businesses to help them navigate through safety guidelines and regulations. Unlike their MIOSHA counterparts, these ambassadors will not issue penalties or citations.

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Michigan Fines Businesses More Than $33,000 for Coronavirus Safety Violations

Six Michigan businesses were fined more than $33,000 after they failed to follow safety protocol designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the state announced on Friday.

The businesses were fined under “general duty” citations through the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), rather than through any of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders. The “general duty” clause requires employers to provide a workplace free from recognized harms and carries a fine of up to $7,000.

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Gov. Lee Considers Calling Special Session of Legislature to Pass Bill Giving Businesses Protection From COVID-19 Lawsuits

Gov. Bill Lee is thinking about calling the Legislature in for a special session to pass a bill to provide retroactive COVID-19 legal protection for businesses, the Chattanooga Times Free Press said.

The General Assembly ended their session on Friday without the House passing the Tennessee Recovery and Safe Harbor Act. It received 46 of 50 votes needed. House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) questioned whether the measure was legal under Tennessee’s Constitution regarding the impairment of contracts. (The Senate had approved the bill.)

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Buckeye Institute Supports Businesses Being Immune to COVID-19 Lawsuits

The Buckeye Institute submitted written testimony Wednesday to the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee on the policies of Senate Bill 308, which would provide businesses and workers with immunity from COVID-19 related lawsuits.

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Industry Leaders Warn Hundreds of Businesses Won’t Survive Reopening Plan, Extended Stay-Home Order

Michigan business leaders are concerned some businesses won’t survive Michigan’s mandated closures by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which she extended yesterday through at least May 28.

Whitmer announced a plan to reopen the economy Thursday but provided no dates, other than for manufacturing, for when additional businesses could reopen.

Michigan Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley said the order “may be a foreclosure notice” for many small and seasonal businesses.

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DeWine Calls for Phased-In Reopening Starting May 1 With Restrictions on Workforces

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton on Friday discussed how the state will develop its plan to reopen the economy.

DeWine said, “Ohioans have done a great job, a phenomenal job, fighting back, staying home, ensuring physical distancing. We’ve been doing all the things that needed to be done. I’ve never been prouder to be an Ohioan and I’m very grateful for what you have done. You have flattened the curve.”

Beginning May 1, the state will begin a phased-in reopening of the state economy. The plan will be fact-driven over a long period of time to minimize the health risk to business owners, employees, and customers.

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Tennessee Brick Maker General Shale Buys Watsontown Brick, Expanding Into Northeast, Canada

Tennessee-based General Shale said it has reached an agreement to buy Watsontown Brick Co. and will expand into the Northeastern United States and Canada. General Shale made the announcement in a press release Thursday. The deal will close at the end of the year. The deal adds a unique, high-quality…

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Southwest Airlines Begins Nonstop Flights Between Nashville, Atlanta

Southwest Air

Southwest Airlines has begun nonstop flights from Atlanta to Nashville. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the airline launched the flights from Atlanta to Nashville, The Associated Press reported. Nashville International Airport celebrated the inaugural flight from BNA to Atlanta Tuesday. The airline will operate five flights a day Monday through Friday…

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Nashville International Airport Sets Another Record, Making It Fourth Fastest Growing Among Largest In Nation

Nashville Airport

Nashville International Airport served more than 14.9 million passengers in the fiscal year just ended, The Associated Press reported, making it one of the nation’s fastest growing airports. The record makes Nashville International, or BNA, the fourth fastest growing airport among the top 50 airports in North America, the airport’s…

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Tennessee Loses Money Spending $17,500 Per Job to Lure 1,000 AllianceBernstein Employees to Nashville from New York City

Tennessee Capital building

A $17.5 million tax incentive from the state of Tennessee to lure 1,000 jobs to Nashville–$17,500 per job—came at the expense of taxpayers to lure well-paid corporate executives when they already were drawn to the state’s other features like a favorable tax structure, experts say. The Tennessee Department of Economic…

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US Steel Says It Will Add 800 Jobs Thanks to Tariffs

steel factory

US Steel is hiring in the wake of President Donald Trump’s steel tariffs, CBS Pittsburgh says, citing a CNN Money report. US Steel said Tuesday it’s restarting the second of two blast furnaces at its plant in Granite City, Illinois, near St. Louis. It will bring on 300 workers to…

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Real Estate Moguls Bill Freeman, Jimmy Webb Buy Nashville Scene and Nashville Post

Jimmy Webb, Bill Freeman

Multifamily real estate firm Freeman Webb Co. has entered the publishing business by buying the Nashville Post, the Nashville Scene and Nfocus. The Nashville Post made the announcement Friday after the deal with previous owner SouthComm, a holding company, closed. The sales price was not disclosed. SouthComm put the publications…

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Sharing o’ The Green: Americans Spent a Record-Breaking $5.9 Billion on St. Patrick’s Day

Maybe they’re tired of the winter, or suffering from political fatigue. Whatever the reason, Americans are dropping an unprecedented $5.9 billion on St. Patrick’s Day this year according to the National Retail Federation. A decade ago, Americans were spending about half that amount. “The holiday falls on a Saturday this…

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Small Businesses Carry Burden of High Taxes in Tennessee

Small business owners in Tennessee are paying the price — literally — for large corporations raking in tax breaks. “What we keep seeing is that small business owners are taking on the burden of higher taxes for governments to give their tax dollars to big businesses,” said Mark Cunningham, a…

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Trump’s Labor Secretary Targets Occupational Licensing for Elimination

Tennessee Star

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta took on occupational licensing reform Friday, calling for the elimination of unnecessary licenses and the streamlining of those that make sense. Acosta urged while speaking at the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Denver, Colorado, state legislators roll back burdensome occupational…

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