Congressman John Rose Votes ‘No’ on Deficit Spending Bill to Assist Ukraine

Tennessee Congressman John Rose (R-TN-06) voted against the Continuing Appropriations and Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023 on Friday.

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New Super PAC-Funded Ads Arrive to Revive Blake Masters’ Campaign Against Senator Mark Kelly

As Blake Masters pulls to within striking distance of incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), according to new polling by Trafalgar Group, the Frontiers of Freedom Action (FFA) Super PAC has jumped in to the Arizona media market to buy ads focused on opponent Kelly’s voting record.

The Arizona Sun Times asked Frontiers of Freedom President George Landrith, who also heads the FFA, why he thought the race was still winnable after Masters lost significant financial support. Landrith pointed to the gubernatorial race in New Jersey last year, where the Republican candidate, Jack Ciattarelli, was also a little-known newcomer like Masters, and written off by some in the Republican Party. Ciattarelli surprised everyone, losing by only 3.1 points in a very blue state.

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Tennessee Department of Health Gets Grant Money for Improving Maternal Death Outcomes

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) announced Tuesday that it has received a $5 million competitive federal grant to fund community and clinical programs that improve the state’s maternal health outcomes.

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Three Tennessee Projects Awarded $64 Million for Transportation Infrastructure by the U.S. Department of Transportation

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded three Tennessee infrastructure projects a total of $64 million from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program.

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More Funding Sought to Subsidize Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Purchases

The Pennsylvania Department of Health released its annual report on the state’s medical marijuana program and is asking for more funding to subsidize patients who can’t afford medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana has been legal since 2016 in Pennsylvania and is approved for residents of the commonwealth with a “serious medical condition” and who get certified by a doctor registered with the program.

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Arizona Free Enterprise Club Labels Red4ED ‘One of the Most Expensive Failures in Arizona Political History’

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) analyzed the success of the Red4ED movement in Arizona since it launched a little over four years ago, and concluded that after spending over $30 million, the movement not only failed to accomplish anything, but failed to stop historic tax cuts. Red4Ed’s two initiatives and referendum were struck down by courts as “legally flawed,” resulting in AFEC labeling its efforts “the largest, most expensive failure in Arizona political history.” 

Arizona Educators United launched Red4Ed in 2018 ostensibly to increase teachers’ salaries and funding for K-12 education. People and teachers showed up all over, at the state capitol and at events and protests, wearing red shirts and carrying red signs. But AFEC said “the movement was quickly hijacked by the teachers’ unions and other out-of-state special interest groups.” It soon turned into “a singular quest to double the state income tax through a ballot initiative.”

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Senator Marsha Blackburn Introduces Legislation to Encourage Innovation and Entrepreneurs

Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), joined by Democrat Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), introduced legislation to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.

The bill, entitled the Leveraging our National Laboratories to Develop Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders Act, aims to use additional funding for the country’s National Laboratories to encourage the development.

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Communities Grant Program to Send $45 Million to 12 Connecticut Cities for Improvement Projects

Ned Lamont

A total of 12 cities will be receiving funding through Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s new grant program.

The governor announced $45 million will be awarded through the Connecticut Communities Challenge Grant Program, which works to leverage $74 million in nonstate, private funding to prop up projects aimed at improving livability and vibrance of cities.

“Investing in our communities is a key part of our plan to accelerate long-lasting and equitable economic development in Connecticut,” Lamont said in a release. “This new grant program we launched will have wide-ranging impacts as we emerge stronger than ever from the pandemic, creating new jobs, improving the vibrancy and quality of life in our neighborhoods, and making all corners of the state even more attractive for investment and opportunity.”

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Study Recommends ‘Dynamic Upgrades’ to Address Disparities in Michigan’s Per-Pupil School Funding

Ben DeGrow

Asserting “student aid should take precedence over school aid,” a new study seeks to address among other topics the funding disparities between traditional public schools and charter school academies.

Released earlier this week, “From School Aid to Student Aid” was written by Ben DeGrow, Education Policy director at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

DeGrow notes the COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in parents selecting alternatives to publicly funded schools for their children. He also says schools are recognizing the effects of declining birth rates.

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Governor Evers Approves $10 Million to Improve Maritime Infrastructure

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Wednesday approved $10 million in funding for infrastructure improvements at ports and harbors across the state.

In collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the money seeks to encourage economic development.

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Analysis Details $8.9 Billion Spending Increase in Lee’s Budget Proposal

Bill Lee speaking

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s $52.6 billion budget proposal uses $8.9 billion more in general fund dollars than the state’s current budget, according to an analysis from The Sycamore Institute.

The additional spending comes from multiple sources. A large portion is from excess taxes and fees collected over the past three years and an influx of federal funds.

The Sycamore Institute pointed to $5.2 million more in funds available this fiscal year than what was budgeted in July, including a $2.3 billion surplus from fiscal year 2021 and $2.3 billion more in surplus from fiscal 2022.

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Governor DeWine Awards Grants to Law Enforcement Agencies in Ohio

Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced a round of grants to law enforcement agencies across the state to help with recruitment efforts.

The funds will be awarded to organizations in Clark, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Logan, Lucas, Mahoning, Medina, Montgomery, Shelby, and Summit counties.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Thoughts on Bill Lee’s State of the State on Education

States are where policymaking magic happens because they can experiment with innovative policy ideas. Tennessee citizens are unsurpassed in courage, passion, determination, and kindness reflected in our diversity; that is actually why Tennessee is America at Its Best. As a state, we must set our agenda with relentless optimism and resolve toward our future. In education, we understand that there must be needed changes in school funding, including additional monies. Governor Lee’s proposal in the State of the State tonight needs much deeper review, study, and time. In Tennessee, we do not “pass the bill so people can find out what’s in it.”

The Tennessee Constitution requires the General Assembly to provide for the maintenance, support, and eligibility standards of a system of free public schools. There are many key policy levers needed to improve public education and many are interlinked. Teachers are the critical element in improving education. It’s not about more programs, more standards, or more tests. It’s about that relationship between an adult and a child. Students need an adult who believes in them and their ability to succeed in life. Moving education policy is a lot like the game Jenga. If you remove the wrong piece the structure collapses. This is especially true in education funding. Without skilled personnel, education cannot succeed.

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Iowa Awards Two-Thirds of Strengthening Communities Grants to YMCA or YWCA Projects

Kids at a table, wearing masks, with teacher who is wearing a mask

Projects in the rural communities of Clinton, Hampton, Keokuk, Lake City, Maquoketa, Red Oak and Stanton will all together receive $250,000 in Strengthening Communities grants, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced Thursday.

The Iowa legislature appropriated funding for the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund for the Strengthening Communities grants. The grants support communities of fewer than 28,000 residents (based on the 2010 Census) that are renovating facilities or undertaking construction projects that promote “youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.” Organizations must present a minimum of 50% of the grant amount they request. The funding must be secured, dedicated to eligible expenses, raised through public and private funding (not including state funding), and be spent between 2022 and 2024.

The funding will support the following projects:

$65,000 for the YWCA in Clinton’s reconfiguration of childcare spaces and youth classrooms to expand capacity and improve efficiency to help increase child care accessibility and provide a safe environment.

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Operation Lone Star Border Security Efforts Get Additional $38.4 Million In Funding

An additional $38.4 million of Texas taxpayer money has been allocated to fund border security efforts at the Texas-Mexico border. It’s money Texas shouldn’t have to spend, Gov. Greg Abbott said, but is because of President Joe Biden’s open border policies that have ushered into the state rampant trafficking of drugs, people and crime.

The money will provide additional funding for Operation Lone Star, which Abbott launched in March and go towards law enforcement, jail operations, and court administration costs. It brings the total PSO funding for Operation Lone Star to $74 million to date designed to assist border cities and counties.

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Report: Biden Considering $450,000 Payments to Illegal Immigrant Families Separated at Border

The Biden administration is considering paying illegal immigrant families who were separated at the border under former President Donald Trump’s policies up to $450,000 per person, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The illegal immigrants filed a lawsuit claiming the federal government detention resulted in major psychological trauma, according to the WSJ. Most of the families were made up of one parent and child who could receive around $1 million in payouts, though the amount could vary by family depending on the circumstances.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represents some of the families involved in the lawsuit against the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services, the WSJ reported. Around 940 families filed claims and the number of those who might qualify for the settlement is expected to be lower.

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Commentary: The Movement of Black Lives Matter

If Black Lives Matter were a civil rights organization, one would reasonably expect its patron figure to be Martin Luther King, Jr., and its aspiration to be King’s vision of a race-free America where individuals are judged on their merits and not by their skin color. Instead, the revered figure and inspirational icon for Black Lives Matter activists is a designated terrorist and convicted cop killer: Assata Shakur. 

In the 1970s Shakur was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a group that robbed banks and murdered police officers to achieve a Marxist revolution. Shakur is still wanted for the 1973 murder of Werner Foerster, a New Jersey state trooper who stopped her for a broken taillight on her car, whereupon she pulled out a gun and shot him. The 34-year-old officer and Vietnam vet was lying wounded on the pavement pleading for his life when Shakur walked over and finished him off, execution-style. Foerster left behind a wife and two young children. Shakur was convicted of the murder but escaped from prison in 1979 with the help of left-wing terrorists, including Susan Rosenberg. With the help of Rosenberg and others, Shakur fled to Communist Cuba, where she has lived as a fugitive for nearly 40 years. After being pardoned by Bill Clinton, Rosenberg went on to become board vice chair of Thousand Currents, the left-wing nonprofit organization that served as Black Lives Matter’s fiscal sponsor from 2016 to 2020. 

The dedication page of Patrisse Cullors’s memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist, contains these lines written by Shakur, which allude to the most famous incitement from Marx’s Communist Manifesto:

It is our duty to fight for our freedom. 

It is our duty to win. 

We must love each other and support each other. 

We have nothing to lose but our chains.

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Georgia Department of Public Safety: Salary Increase for Employees Is ‘Mandatory’

officer using radar gun in SUV to check Georgia residents' speed

One of Georgia’s top law enforcement officials is calling on Georgia lawmakers to increase taxpayer-funded pay and benefits for state law enforcement employees.

Georgia Department of Public Safety Chief of Staff Maj. Joshua Lamb told members of the Senate Retirement Security for Georgians Study Committee on Thursday it is “mandatory” to increase pay to recruit and keep current law enforcement employees.

Lamb said the department has a 22% turnover rate and annual job applications have decreased by 60% over the past three years.

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Metro Nashville City Council Forms COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee to Help Decide $260 Million in Relief Funds

The Metro Nashville government has formed a COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee in order to help decide where COVID relief funds are spent. Nashville has received $260 million in American Rescue Plan funding that is supposed to be used to help with COVID response, mitigation, and prevention.

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Tennessee Senators Blackburn and Hagerty Introduce Bill to Secure Funding Opportunities for More Counties in The Volunteer State

According to a news release from Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) office, she along with Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced legislation to expand funding opportunities for Hickman, Humphreys, and Perry counties by adding them to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

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Fauci-Funded Wuhan Lab Viruses Exhibited over 10,000 Times Higher Viral Load Than Natural Strain, Documents Show

Anthony Fauci

U.S. and Chinese researchers funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) created viruses in a Wuhan lab that exhibited over 10,000 times higher viral load in humanized mice than the natural virus they were based on, according to an infectious disease professor citing documents recently released by the agency.

The U.S. nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance notified the NIAID in two reports that between June 2017 and May 2018 it had created three lab-generated chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses in China that exhibited “significantly higher” viral loads, documents first reported by The Intercept show, but the agency continued to fund the project with taxpayer dollars without flagging it for review by an independent federal committee created in late 2017 to oversee gain-of-function research.

Rutgers University professor Richard Ebright, a vocal opponent of gain-of-function research, said the data was a “bona fide bombshell” that proves the NIAID, under Fauci’s leadership, violated federal policies, endangered the public and lied to the public.

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Gov. Whitmer Obtains $13 Million for Michigan Rural Hospitals

Gretchen Whitmer

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) secured a $13 million grant from the federal government to support COVID-19 testing and mitigation in 51 small, rural hospitals.

“Our top priority is supporting the brave professionals on the frontlines of our health care industry in every corner of our state to ensure that they have what they need to protect themselves, their family, and their neighbors,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This funding will help rural hospitals continue serving their communities by expanding their COVID-19 testing capacity and mitigation efforts. I want to thank the nurses, doctors, and all medical professionals who continue to go above and beyond to keep people safe each and every day.”

Rural hospitals with fewer than 50 staff will be able to use the funds from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration for testing equipment, personnel, temporary structures, or education. Mitigation strategies must follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) community mitigation framework, including education, contact tracing, communication, and outreach. Each hospital will receive about $257,000 that must be spent within 18 months of receipt.

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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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Michigan’s $348.7 Million Pandemic Relief Bill, with Funds for Child Care, Hospitals, Signed into Law

Jim Stamas

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed Senate Bill 27 to appropriate $384.7 million in supplemental pandemic relief funding.

Signed by the governor on Monday afternoon, the bill also provides $10 million of financial support for Southeast Michigan families and businesses that endured massive flooding in June.

SB 27 was introduced by Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, in January. The bill combines $367.7 million of federal COVID relief funding authorized through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and $17 million from the state’s general fund.

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Tensions over Capitol Police Funding Bill Hit Boiling Point in the Senate

Senate tensions over a Capitol Police funding bill are nearing a boiling point, with Democrats and Republicans unable to agree on an amount with just weeks before its funding runs dry.

The department said last week that its funding could run out as soon as next month, risking furloughs and sparking bipartisan concern. But while the House passed a $1.9 billion funding bill in May, partisan divisions in the Senate have stalled it, with Democrats insisting for even more funding and Republicans calling the House bill a nonstarter.

Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s chair and ranking member, have both put forward plans only to see them shot down by one another.

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House Appropriations Committee Votes to Prohibit Funding to Wuhan Institute of Virology

The House Appropriations Committee in meeting

The House Appropriations Committee voted to include an amendment to prohibit funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for the upcoming fiscal year on Thursday.

The amendment was introduced by Republican Rep. Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania for the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill. “It is deeply disturbing that American taxpayers footed the bill for over $1 million to support dangerous and potentially deadly research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a laboratory run by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and tied to military biological research,” Reschenthaler said in a press release Thursday.

“I thank my colleagues for including my amendment to end the flow of federal dollars to the WIV. We must ensure Americans’ hard-earned money never again funds risky experiments in labs operated by our adversaries,” he added.

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Emergency SNAP Benefits Extended into June for Virginians

Virginians who receive food stamps will continue to be eligible for higher pandemic-era benefits through June, the Virginia Department of Social Services announced.

Families receiving food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will see additional benefits automatically loaded onto their EBT cards. The funds will be added n June 16.

A household of one will be eligible for up to $234 monthly while the emergency funding continues. A family of two could receive up to $430, a family of three up to $616 and a family of four up to $782. The funding gradually increases for every additional member of a family.

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Advocacy Groups Ask Biden Admin to Stop Surveilling Approximately 100,000 Immigrants

Close the camps protest, dated 2019

Immigration advocacy groups asked the Biden administration to end an Immigration and Customs Enforcement digital program surveilling approximately 100,000 immigrants, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Latino social justice movement Mijente and immigrant rights group Just Futures Law released “Ice Digital Prisons,” a report explaining how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) monitors immigrants using ankle monitors, facial recognition and digital applications, according to The Guardian.

The report asserts that the strategies currently in use “do more harm and inhibit any true progress in providing the social and economic tools for immigrants to thrive in their communities,” The Guardian reported.

The technology used by ICE criminalizes immigrants and can negatively impact their quality of life, the report claims.

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More Than $37 Million in Grant Funding Available to Close Technology Gap, Provide Mental Health Support in Schools

School districts seeking additional funding to help offset the coronavirus pandemic can now apply for a grant from the Education Equity Fund.

The fund, created by the Michigan Department of Education, is aimed at helping to close the technology gap and provide mental health services for students and staff.

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As Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown Plans 2020 Run, High Dollar Backers Complicate His Future

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has made it very clear that the Oval Office is in his sights. Coming off a six-point reelection victory, the only nonjudicial Democrat to win in Ohio in 2018, Brown has been working behind the scenes to build the infrastructure, support, and endorsements necessary to mount a challenge…

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Opioid Abuse Estimated to Leave Over 20,000 Children in Foster Care by 2020

While the rampant opioid epidemic that has overtaken much of the country is finally getting the attention it deserves, some of the most vulnerable to its effects have been tragically overlooked. A startling report from the Public Children’s Services Association of Ohio estimates that, should current trends continue, over 20,000…

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Commentary: How Nike Transformed the University Of Oregon

by George Leef   While money is not the root of all evil, it is undeniably responsible for the transformation of the University of Oregon (UO). It changed from a typical state flagship where athletics were a nice diversion for some students and alums into a sports powerhouse where the…

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Elite Universities Hide Information on Funding From Ultraconservative Nation of Qatar

by Luke Rosiak   The nation of Qatar, a Sharia-law monarchy that has been accused of trying to influence other countries’ governments, gave $1 billion to elite American universities since 2011, according to Department of Education data. Some universities have refused to discuss where strings are attached to that money.…

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After Endorsing O’Rourke, Texas Newspaper Joins Ted Cruz in Calling for Beto to Answer Questions

by Molly Prince   The Dallas Morning News’s editorial board called on Democratic Rep. Robert Beto O’Rourke on Friday to provide clarification regarding where he stands on the migrant caravan that is heading towards the U.S border. O’Rourke, who is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, has been dodging the…

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Does State Of The Union Address Indicate Bad News For Nashville Transit Funding?

President Donald Trump is expected to announce in tonight’s State of the Union address $200 billion in federal funding for infrastructure and other projects. But one PAC that opposes Nashville’s transit plan says that is not necessarily good news for Mayor Megan Barry. Politico reports the president had promised a $1…

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Paul Ryan: Congress Will Miss September Deadline to Pass FY 2018 Budget, Will Rely on Stop-Gap Funding

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday that Congress will blow past the Sept. 30 deadline for approving new funding for 2018, saying the government will need to operate off stop-gap spending for several months. Mr. Ryan also insisted Congress will meet its deadline to raise the federal government’s borrowing…

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