Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Leads 24 States Objecting to SEC Requiring Climate Change Disclosures by Businesses

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is leading a coalition of 24 states objecting to proposed rule changes by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) that would require publicly-traded businesses to disclose information about their greenhouse gas emissions and discuss climate risks. The coalition filed formal comments indicating the 500-page rule titled “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” goes beyond the jurisdiction of the SEC and into environmental regulation. 

In a 44-page letter addressed to the SEC, Brnovich and the others stated that the Biden “administration has tried and failed to impose regulation directly, and it now appears content to use back-door financial regulatory actions to implement its political will.” The coalition warned, “profit will become secondary to political interests, and capitalism will fall by the wayside.” The proposed rule “seeks to make ‘decisions of vast economic and political significance.’” They accused the SEC of “taking on major policy decisions that belong to Congress.” 

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Businesses Fail to Find Workers, and Experts Say Federal Policies Have Made It Worse

A new labor market survey found that a majority of employers, particularly restaurants, still cannot find enough workers.

The new report from Alignable said that 83% of restaurants can’t find enough workers. Overall, the report found that “63% of all small business employers can’t find the help they need, after a year of an ongoing labor shortage.”

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Division of Consumer Affairs Releases Top Ten 2021 Consumer Complaint Categories in Tennessee

The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) announced the top ten complaint categories for 2021 in a press release this week. The DCA received a total of 5,561 complaints in 2021 and recovered both services and funds for Tennessee by working with consumers and businesses.

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Biden Unveils $5.8 Trillion Budget Proposal with Increased Taxes on Businesses, Wealthy Individuals

President Joe Biden unveiled a new 2023 budget proposal Monday along with major tax increases to help pay for it.

Biden’s budget, which comes in at about $5.8 trillion, is not expected to become law, but presidential budgets help set the legislative priorities for the year to come.

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Ohio Employers Not Struggling as Much to Fill Jobs as Rest of Nation

While filling jobs continues to be a source of struggle for businesses across the nation, Ohio employers seem to be dealing with it better than most, according to a recently released study.

A WalletHub report compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the rate of job openings for the latest month and the past 12 months.

“Lots of businesses are struggling to hire enough workers, which has sometimes led to delays in services and reduced business hours,” the report read. “In fact, the labor force participation rate has experienced the slowest recovery of any recession since World War II. Some businesses aren’t even able to keep the employees they already have – as Americans are quitting their jobs at record rates in what’s been dubbed the ‘Great Resignation.’ ”

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Survey: More Than One-Third of Wisconsin Businesses Plan to Pay More

woman working in a warehouse

It is a good time to be a worker with in-demand skills in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business group, on Monday said its latest Employer Survey shows many businesses across the state plan to raise wages by more than 4% at some point this year.

“Wages are rising much faster than they have in recent memory,” WMC President & CEO Kurt Bauer said. “Wisconsin does not have enough people to fill the jobs we have available, and that creates an aggressive competition for talent. We are seeing wages rise at a faster rate, sign-on bonuses, work flexibility and many other strategies from companies to attract and retain talent.”

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Ohio Businesses Could Get $25K in Tax Breaks to Train Truck Drivers

The Ohio House has passed a bill that would give employers $25,000 in tax credits to train new drivers in an effort to help companies across the state alleviate a growing truck driving shortage.

House Bill 197, backed by trucking and business organizations, now heads to the Senate. It passed the House, 97-0, this week.

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Secretary of State’s Office Warns of New ‘Certificate of Good Standing’ Scam Targeting Tennessee Businesses

Secretary of State Tre Hargett warned Tennessee business owners in a video message about a new scam targeting businesses with a deceptive mailer from a company called Business Document Center incorrectly implying that businesses need a Certificate of Good Standing.

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Georgia Lawmakers Ban State Contracts with Business Boycotting Israel

State agencies would be barred from doing business with any company or contractor unless they vow not to boycott Israel under a bill approved by the Georgia General Assembly.

The House voted, 146-9, to approve the Senate’s changes to House Bill 383. The amended bill was approved by the Senate, 47-2, last March, but it did not make it back to the House for a final vote before the end of the 2021 legislation session.

“Trade with Israel is a compelling state interest for the state of Georgia, I would argue, and this bill preserves free speech rights for individuals and sole proprietorships,” said Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta, who presented the bill Thursday on the House floor. “But it also says we as a state are not going to contract – we’re updating our statute to say we are not going to contract with groups that embrace boycott, divestment and sanctions against the state of Israel.”

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Ohio Attorney General Turns Away Proposed Law to Ban Vaccination Mandates for Second Time

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost rejected a citizens’ petition on a proposed law that would support vaccine choice and privacy for the second time because it did not contain enough verified signatures.

Yost originally turned down the submission last month. It proposed the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Choice and Anti-Discrimination law that would require the state to protect the privacy and freedom of Ohioans in their ability to refuse vaccinations or gene therapy.

The proposed law would require the state to protect Ohioans’ privacy regarding vaccination choice from vaccine registries and discrimination, provide transparency, reinforce schools must honor vaccine choice and privacy, protect Ohio businesses honoring vaccine choice and provide legal recourse for vaccine choice and privacy violations.

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State Rep. Quang Nguyen Introduces Bill to Protect Religious Arizonans from Liability If an Employer Requires the COVID-19 Vaccine

Religious employees in Arizona who suffer an injury due to being required to get the COVID-19 vaccine by their employer will have a remedy if a proposed bill makes it into law. State Rep. Quang Nguyen (R-Prescott), along with several co-sponsors, introduced HB 2043 that makes employers liable for a “significant injury” to an employee resulting from the vaccine if the employer denies them a religious exemption. 

“This is one of the most important bills I’m introducing this coming session,” Nguyen said in a statement. “The reality is COVID-19 is going to be with us for a long time. Public and private health mandates are not a good solution and could instead cause harm in some cases. If businesses and employers are intent on mandating vaccinations as a condition of employment, they should be held accountable if their employees face serious harm or illness.”

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Arizona Reps. Gosar, Biggs, and Lesko Join Brief Demanding SCOTUS Block Biden’s Vaccine Mandate on Large Private Employers

Three Arizona members of Congress are joining in on a lawsuit against the Biden administration over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. Reps. Paul Gosar (R-04-Ariz.), Andy Biggs (R-05-Ariz.), and Debbie Lesko (R-08-Ariz.) along with 180 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate filed an amicus curiae brief in NFIB v. OSHA challenging the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to implement the mandate.

The members of Congress argued that the mandate violates federalism, encroaching on the states’ authority. “[T]he sudden ‘discovery’ of authority under the OSH Act confirms that it was never intended to displace state authority in this area.” They assert, “Congress did not give that power to an agency bureaucrat.”

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Michigan Governor Whitmer Signs $1 Billion Bipartisan SOAR Economic Development Package

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed into law a $1 billion bipartisan economic development package.

The Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) package aims to support small businesses and attract businesses to the state, and includes:

Establishment of an economic development fund.
Funding programs “to make our economy more adaptable to the rapid pace of technological change, supporting small businesses, and creating or retaining good-paying jobs.
Creation of a financing mechanism for both programs.
Appropriates $407 million to fund small businesses affected by COVID-19.

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DeSantis Announces Anti-Woke Legislation

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced at a press conference yesterday the unveiling of new anti-woke legislation referred to as the Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (WOKE) Act. After DeSantis banned Critical Race Theory (CRT) from Florida’s schools he said this is the next step in legislation to fight back against “woke indoctrination.”

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Tennessee Comptroller Suspends COVID-19 Exemptions for Businesses

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office this week suspended all exemptions that allowed businesses, governmental agencies, schools and other employers to impose COVID-19 vaccination as a condition to receive federal funds.

The decision, which Comptroller Jason E. Mumpower announced Wednesday, came after federal judges in Kentucky and Louisiana issued preliminary injunctions on Tuesday. It also follows a sweeping bill signed by Gov. Bill Lee on Nov. 12 that says government entities cannot require private businesses to instate COVID-19 mandates.

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Tennessee Comptroller’s Office Launches COVID-19 Exemption Site for Businesses Wanting to Impose Vaccine Mandates Despite Statewide Legislation

On Monday, the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office announced in a press release that it has launched a new webpage that will allow Tennessee businesses, governmental entities, or schools to seek an exemption from a new law that prohibits Tennessee businesses from imposing vaccine mandates.

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Michigan Businesses Brace for Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Michigan businesses are scrambling to handle President Joe Biden’s Jan. 4 national vaccine mandate for private businesses exceeding 100 workers.

Michigan Occupational Safety Health Administration (MIOSHA) Director Bart Pickelman told The Center Square in an email that starting Nov. 5, federal OSHA issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. An ETS summary is here.

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich and Nearly Half the Attorneys General Send Warning Letter to Biden About Vaccine Mandate, Include Policy Concerns

After filing the first lawsuit in the country against President Joe Biden over his sweeping business COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich next signed onto a letter with 23 other attorneys general to Biden listing their objections, including non-legal ones. The attorneys general stress that the mandate will drive healthcare workers out of hospitals where they are desperately needed. If Biden does not reverse course, the 24 threaten to sue the administration.

“President Biden’s vaccine mandate lacks both legal authority and integrity,” Brnovich said in a statement. “I am proud to stand alongside my colleagues to push back on this assault on state sovereignty and the liberties of Americans.”

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Research Shows Tennessee as Popular Destination for Big Businesses Fleeing California

Outside of a Carl's Jr.

According to new research by The Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Tennessee is the second most popular destination for companies fleeing California. With the top destination being Texas, Arizona and Nevada followed the Volunteer state in 3rd and 4th place. 

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Gov. Kemp Signs Order Blocking COVID-19 Mandates on Georgia Businesses

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order Thursday that blocks local governments from mandating COVID-19 restrictions on businesses.

Private sector businesses and sports teams can follow local COVID-19 requirements if they chose, but Kemp’s order stops them from being required to do so.

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U.S. Retail Sales Increased as States Ended Restrictions

Male checking out on Square program at retail store

U.S. retail sales jumped in June, boosted by states widely loosening coronavirus restrictions and businesses returning to full capacity.

Retail sales increased 0.6% and totaled $621.3 billion in June, according to the Department of Commerce report released Wednesday. The monthly increase was driven by general merchandise, including food service, clothing, personal care, electronics and gasoline sales, the report showed.

“Sectors that were buoyed by the pandemic are slowing down a little bit, but not to a degree that I’d be concerned about,” Square economist Felipe Chacon told The Wall Street Journal. “Household finances have been bolstered by a few rounds of stimulus spending, so it bodes pretty well.”

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Michigan Business Leaders Expect Robust Economic Recovery, Return to Partial In-Person Work

Man in business suit walking on crosswalk in city

Michigan’s business leaders anticipate robust growth in the state’s economy within the next year.

They also plan a return to in-person office work in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2021, according to a quarterly economic survey completed by Business Leaders for Michigan.

Approximately 92% of survey respondents say the state’s economy will likely remain strong and growing during the next six to 12 months.

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Crom Carmichael Discusses the Shuttering of New York’s Hotel Business and COVID Shutdown Effects on Businesses

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the show to discuss failing businesses and the uncessary shutdowns due to COVID.

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State Agency Issue New Workplace Orders, Mirroring Whitmer’s Now-Void Orders

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has issued new emergency orders for many businesses.

MIOSHA, within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, promulgates rules clarifying the safety requirements for employers.

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Business Leaders Call on Whitmer to Reopen Bowling Alleys, Gyms, and Movie Theaters

Four business groups sent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a letter asking to reopen industries that have been closed for five months, although they’re open in certain parts of Michigan and surrounding states.

After five months with no revenue and continued fixed costs, some gyms, movie theaters and bowling alleys are on the brink of bankruptcy.

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For Every One New Regulation Created in Washington, D.C., Seven Have Been Rolled Back

President Donald Trump announced the preliminary results of his administration’s efforts to deregulate the federal government.

Before taking office, Trump pledged to roll back two regulations for every new regulation added in Washington, D.C. However, that ratio has since increased to seven regulations rolled back for every new one created, Trump said.

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Lawyers Help Ohio Business Owners Organize Lawsuits Into Class Action to Take on DeWine’s Shutdown Regulations

Ohio business owners who are fed up with Gov. Mike DeWine’s ever-lasting shutdown regulations are joining their lawsuits together into a class action against the state.

Three lawyers are working together to help combine existing lawsuits and are looking for other owners whose livelihoods are being threatened by what they say are unconstitutional orders. The suit against the DeWine administration and other government agencies was filed in the Ohio Court of Common Pleas in Lake County.

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