Tennessee Public Colleges, Universities Will Freeze Tuition Rates for Next School Year

University of Tennessee campus shot

Tuition at Tennessee’s public colleges and universities will not increase for the next school year after a vote from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission froze those tuition rates for the first time.

The board sets annual tuition and fee ranges that must be followed by the state’s public universities, colleges and Tennessee College of Applied Technology campuses.

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Senate Passes Largest Permanent Tax Cut in Minnesota State History

The Minnesota Senate passed what Republicans are calling the largest permanent tax cut in state history on Thursday.

SF 3692, passed in a bipartisan 42-24 vote, eliminates state income tax on Social Security benefits and reduces the first-tier rate from 5.35% to 2.80%, according to a press release.

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DeSantis Signs Bill Blocking Families, Patients from Filing Lawsuits Against Healthcare Providers over COVID

Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill this week that at least 35 organizations asked him to veto. Now health-care providers have liability protection from being sued by patients and family members over COVID-19-related injuries, deaths and refusal to try available treatment.

The new law provides liability protection to health-care providers that follow “government-issued health standards” that “include the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines, which many say aren’t working,” the groups wrote in a letter to DeSantis. “Some medical professionals have stated that these CDC protocols have led to unnecessary medicines, ventilation and deaths.”

Shawn McBride, director of The American Freedom Information Institute, Inc. who led the 35-group coalition asking DeSantis to veto the bill, told The Center Square that while DeSantis “signed a bill that may allow CDC protocols to continue in some hospitals, we’ve laid the foundation to help more folks get to medical freedom.”

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Minnesota Senators Pass Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Bill

Eric Pratt of Minnesota

A bill to repay Minnesota’s federal Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund passed the Senate Monday and it will now travel to the House for consideration.

The bill, SF 2677, appropriates $2.3 billion from the state fiscal recovery federal fund and $408.5 million from the fiscal year 2022 general fund to the commissioner of employment and economic development. 

The commissioner would repay the federal government outstanding loans and accrued interest within 10 days of the bill’s enactment. For the 2022 and 2023 calendar years, the base tax rate would be one-tenth of one percent.

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Sandy Hook Families Reach Settlement with Gun Maker Remington: Reports

Nine families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting have reached a settlement in their case against the firearms maker Remington, according to several news reports Tuesday.

The settlement comes roughly seven years after the suit was filed, according to a court document filed Tuesday and reviewed by CNN.

Remington was the maker of the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used in the massacre in which the lone shooter killed 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Minnesota Mayor: Our City Is ‘Under Attack from Mobile Criminals’

The mayor of Edina, a Minneapolis suburb in Hennepin County, has called on city leaders and residents to work together to extinguish increasing levels of crime.

Mayor Jim Hovland said in a recent letter to residents that the majority of criminals, out to steal cars and other property, are not from Edina. He called them “mobile criminals,” adding that some of them have assaulted their victims and even Good Samaritans.

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Senate, House Pass Michigan Opportunity Scholarship Bills

In what was characterized as a blow against the state constitution’s Blaine amendments, members of the House and Senate on Tuesday passed a slate of bills aimed at providing opportunity scholarships for Michigan students.

Senate Bills 687 and 688 and House Bills 5404 and 5405 all passed mainly along party lines, with Republicans supporting the legislation and Democrats in opposition. Each chamber’s respective education committees moved the bills forward earlier in the day.

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Commentary: IRS Guidance Would Punish Small Business Owners with Families

Outside of IRS building

Most IRS guidance documents make for poor pleasure reading. Then again, most IRS guidance doesn’t effectively impose a retroactive tax on small business owners merely for having a family. IRS Notice 2021-49, issued on August 4, includes a bizarre interpretation of the law that will effectively raise taxes for business owners with close relatives, even if their family members have no involvement in the company.

A core goal of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed early on in the pandemic was to assist businesses in keeping employees on their payroll even as they dealt with the economic effects of lockdowns. Part of the plan was the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), which provides a tax credit against employer payroll tax liabilities.

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Commentary: The Other Back to School Story

Back to school stories this year will focus, naturally, on the Covid-19 pandemic’s toll on students and families and on remedying these difficulties.

But another story is being shortchanged: it’s about how parents sought new options for their children like homeschooling, small learning pods, and micro-schools, with civic entrepreneurs and their partners creating new organizations or expanding existing ones to meet this demand.

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Migrants Coming to America Illegally Say They’re Coming to the U.S. for a Variety of Reasons

MCALLEN, Texas — Some migrants who spoke to the DCNF said they were motivated to come to the U.S. by the Biden administration, while others cited death threats from “narcos” and disaster in their home countries.

“Suddenly, the situations during the previous years weren’t like this one. This year was much more difficult,” a Honduran migrant named Javier told the DCNF after illegally crossing into the U.S. near the Hidalgo Point of Entry early Tuesday morning.

Javier said increasing “crime and a lot of insecurity” including “extortions and death threats from the cartels” motivated him to leave Honduras. He said it took him a little over a month to reach the U.S.

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Commentary: China’s Three-Child Policy Shows Xi Jinping Is Terrified

Xi Jinping

The Chinese government has carried out a massive population control campaign since the 1970s with the hope that it would generate economic prosperity. The government unremorsefully forced women to receive abortions, pressured or forced millions of women to be sterilized, and punished families with multiple children with debilitating fines. More than 300 million children were aborted under China’s one-child policy. 

Last week, the Chinese government ended the two-child policy, which had been in effect since 2016, and instead enacted a three-child policy. The new policy is essentially an admission that the Chinese Communist Party’s heinous population control policies will not give it the riches it had hoped for. Instead, the population control program will deliver a demographic disaster, which will ravage the country’s economy for generations. 

Many economists recognize that population control never improved China’s economy — that was the result of increased freedom in the marketplace and foreign investment. And the Malthusian crisis the government was so desperately trying to avoid with population control was an entirely false specter. 

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President Trump Will Sign an Executive Order to Suspend the Separation of Minors from the Illegal Alien Adults Who Accompany Them

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he is signing an executive order that would end the policy of separating migrant children from their parents as they illegally crossed the southern border with Mexico into the United States. In perhaps the biggest policy reversal of his 17-month presidency, Trump said, “We want…

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