Gubernatorial Candidate Rebecca Kleefisch’s New Tax Plan Will Set Wisconsin on the Path to ‘Eliminating the Income Tax’

Rebecca Kleefisch can, and will, explain her tax plan in minute detail if you let her.

Wisconsin’s former Lt. Governor isn’t hiding her passion as she runs for governor on the Republican ticket this fall.

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Tennessee Unemployment Rate Increases Slightly from Previous Month’s Historic Low

Preliminary data from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) indicated Tennessee’s unemployment rate for May 2022 increased slightly from March and April’s record-breaking rate of 3.2%.

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Rockford Spring Company Announces New Manufacturing Operations in Lewisburg

Rockford Spring Company officials announced Thursday that the company will establish new manufacturing operations in Lewisburg. Founded in 1952, Rockford Spring Company manufactures custom precision springs and wire forms for the automotive, agriculture, firearms, hydraulics and outdoor power equipment, as well as many other industries.

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State of Tennessee Wins First-Ever ‘Platinum Shovel Award’ for Outstanding Economic Development Efforts

Blue Collar Worker

The State of Tennessee was recently honored at Area Development’s annual Shovel Awards by being the recipient of the first-ever ‘Platinum Shovel’ which “recognizes states that went beyond the Gold standard for job creation and investment.”

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Advanced Call Center Technologies Expected to Create 650 New Jobs with Expansion in Sullivan County

Advanced Call Center Technologies (ACT) announced Monday it will establish new operations in Bristol and Kingsport, creating 650 new jobs in Sullivan County. ACT’s expansion in the region will create 350 new jobs at its Kingsport facility and 300 jobs in Bristol, according to a press release by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD).

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Think Tank: Detroit’s ARPA Spending Unsustainable

Detroit skyline at night

Nine years after declaring bankruptcy, the city of Detroit received more than $826.7 million in one-time federal stimulus money but still projects a deficit in fiscal year 2027.

A Citizen’s Research Council of Michigan (CRCM) report says the city’s plan to spend one-time dollars on recurring programs is unsustainable.

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Ford to Invest $2 Billion, Create 3,200 Jobs in Michigan

Ford Motor Company says it will spend $3.7 billion across three Midwestern states to create more than 6,200 new union jobs. 

The United Auto Workers and Ford say they will convert nearly 3,000 temporary UAW-Ford workers to permanent full-time status and provide all hourly employees healthcare benefits on the first day at work.

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‘A Source of Concern’: Jobs Growth Stalls, Unemployment Rises in May

The U.S. economy added 390,000 jobs in May while the unemployment rate was largely unchanged at 3.6%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

The number of unemployed people ticked up slightly to about 6 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Economists projected 328,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Lamont Signs Sikorsky Agreement, Keeping the Company, Jobs in Connecticut

An agreement with a government contractor to make helicopters and create jobs in Connecticut is now law, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor signed Public Act 22-4 early Monday to seal a deal with Lockheed Martin, the parent company of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. Under the agreement, the helicopter manufacturer will operate in Connecticut through 2042 and will support an estimated 30,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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Tennessee Unemployment Rate Holds Steady at Historic Low, New Data Shows

New data released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) revealed unemployment across the state remained at a historic low in April. The record-low rate of 3.2%, set in March, held steady into April, according to the department.

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Majority of Americans Say They Are ‘Falling Behind’ Rising Cost of Living

The majority of Americans feel they cannot keep up with the cost of living as inflation and the price of goods continue to rise, according to new polling data.

A poll from NBC News asked Americans, “Do you think that your family’s income is … going up faster than the cost of living, staying about even with the cost of living, or falling behind the cost of living?”

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Whitmer Touts Job Numbers While Analyst Criticizes Corporate Welfare

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and one economic analyst agree that Michigan needs more workers but disagree on the proper strategies necessary to acquire them.

John Mozena, president of the Center for Economic Accountability, a nonprofit organization for transparent economic development policy, questioned Whitmer’s “doubling down” on big business subsidies while many businesses need workers. There are about 10 million Michiganders but, as of January 2021, only 4.7 million are in the workforce.

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Arizona Unemployment Rate Hits 45-Year Low

The unemployment rate in Arizona continues to decline.

In March 2022, Arizona had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.3%. This was slightly lower than the national unemployment rate at the same time, according to data released by the Arizona Commerce Authority this week.

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February Unemployment Rate Drops in Every Tennessee County Following National Trend

Unemployment rates dropped in every Tennessee county in February, according to new data released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD). The department made the announcement in a press release Thursday.

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Kevin Nicholson: Lawmakers Should View Service Like National Guard

Kevin Nicholson

One Republican candidate for governor in Wisconsin wants to pay lawmakers less in order to get them to think more about service.

Republican Kevin Nicholson wants to classify the State Assembly and State Senate as part-time jobs, and cut their $55,141 yearly salaries. 

“My feeling is that pay and benefits should be paid out in accordance with work performance,” Nicholson told The Center Square. “Moving to a part-time legislature, a citizen legislature, will allow more people to serve their state and their communities.”

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Commentary: A Biden Recession Is Virtually Guaranteed After 10-Year, 2-Year Treasuries Spread Inverts as Economy Overheats from Rampant Inflation

Joe Biden

The spread between 10-year treasuries and 2-year treasuries, a leading recession indicator whose inversions have predicted almost all of the U.S. economic recessions in modern history, on March 31 inverted for the first time since Sept. 2019.

When the 10-year, 2-year spread inverts, a recession tends to result on average 14 months afterward, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. The one time there was a head fake on the 10-year, 2-year was in the mid-1990s at a time when inflation was much lower Visit Site than it is now.

As an aside, potentially the Sept. 2019 inversion might have ended up being a premature indicator, too, but then Covid and global economic lockdowns in early 2020 went ahead and ensured a recession even if one was not due. On the other hand, at that point it had been 11 years since the prior recession and so the business cycle was going to end sooner or later.

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Connecticut’s Job Growth Streak Ends with Loss of 1,700 Jobs

Connecticut’s nine-month job growth streak came to an end with a reported loss of 1,700 private-sector jobs in January.

One industry expert said the loss is reflective of the state’s dealings with the economy in recent years.

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Ultimate Linings, LLC Establishing Manufacturing Operations in Wilson County

Ultimate Linings, LLC officials announced Tuesday the company will relocate its chemical manufacturing facility from Bedford, Texas, to Lebanon, Tennessee, according to a press release by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD).

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Job Openings Hardly Budge as Americans Continue to Quit Their Jobs in Droves

Job openings remained nearly unchanged in February while Americans continue to leave their jobs in high numbers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Tuesday.

The U.S. saw 11.3 million job openings in February, a slight dip from December’s high of 11.4 million, BLS reported Tuesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimated job openings would slightly decrease from January’s 11.3 million figure.

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Permobil, Inc. Expands Manufacturing Operations in Wilson County

Permobil, Inc. officials announced the company expects to invest $15.5 million to expand its manufacturing operations at the company’s North American headquarters in Middle Tennessee, according to a press release by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD).

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Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level in over 50 Years

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims decreased to 187,000 in the week ending March 19, the lowest level in over 50 years, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The Labor Department’s figure showed a decrease of 28,000 compared to the week ending March 12, when new claims numbered 215,000, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This week’s claims were well below the predictions of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, who estimated that new claims would total 210,000.

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ATC Drivetrain Announces New Manufacturing Operations in Knoxville

On Wednesday, Governor Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Bob Rolfe, and ATC Drivetrain officials announced the company has selected Knoxville as the location for its newest manufacturing facility.

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10 Republican-Controlled States Reach Record-Low Unemployment Rates

As the peak of the coronavirus pandemic appears to have passed, ten Republican-led states have all recorded the lowest unemployment rate on record.

According to The Hill, the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows ten different states with unemployment rates as low as just over 2 percent. Nebraska and Utah are tied for the lowest percentages in the country, at 2.2 percent each. They are followed by Indiana with 2.4 percent, and Kansas with 2.6 percent. The remaining six states are: Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

All ten states’ unemployment rates are currently the lowest on record since BLS first began tracking state-by-state percentages in 1976. Of these ten states, only one has a Democratic governor, with Laura Kelly in Kansas. All ten states have Republican majorities in their respective state legislatures.

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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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U.S. Added 678K Jobs in February, While Unemployment Decreased Slightly

The U.S. economy added 678,000 jobs in February, according to a Friday report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), beating economists’ expectations.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 678,000 in February, according to the BLS report, while the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, a pandemic low. Job gains were most pronounced in the leisure and hospitality sectors, which added a total 179,000 jobs.

“The labor market continues to be quite hot,” Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed, told The Wall Street Journal. “It looks like the labor market is still primed for lots of strong employment growth.”

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GOP Candidate for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, Morgan Ortagus and Her Top Legislative Priorities

Tennessee Senate Chamber

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed GOP primary candidate Morgan Ortagus in studio to talk about her top three legislative objectives if elected to Congress.

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COVID Restrictions’ Impact on Pennsylvania Still Felt, Forecasted to Persist

Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) on Monday issued a report on the state’s economy indicating COVID-era restrictions continue to make a negative impact.

The IFO composed the report to inform lawmakers as they begin a series of state budget hearings this week. The agency observes that the Keystone State’s labor-force-participation rate is at its lowest in 37 years and forecasts that jobs numbers won’t return to their December-2019 apex for at least another three years.

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Department of Labor Expands Michigan’s Federal Jobless Waivers

The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to expand the eligibility for waivers for Michiganders who wrongly received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) because of the state jobless agency’s mistake.

“Michiganders should not be penalized for doing what was right at the time they applied for federal pandemic benefits,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Coupled with the waivers we applied earlier, we are looking to help Michiganders who needed unemployment benefits to pay their bills, keep food on the table, and continue supporting small businesses. I look forward to working with our legislative partners to continue putting Michiganders first and keeping more money in their pockets.”

The USDOL updated its waiver guidance to approve five new scenarios for consideration of a waiver may apply blanket waivers for recovery of overpayments:

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Port of Philadelphia Gets Second Infusion of Money for Modernization

Gov. Tom Wolf gathered with state and local officials Friday to announce $265 million in funding for the Port of Philadelphia to “continue modernization efforts and improve regional stability.”

“The port is an economic driver, not only in Philadelphia, but across the commonwealth,” Wolf said. “The port supports jobs, encourages trade, and builds connections that help businesses and communities across Pennsylvania thrive. This new $246 million investment will help the port build on its success over the past few years and will help Pennsylvania build on our commonwealth’s economic success and job growth, too.”

The money will fund the next phase of the Port Development Plan after a $300 million investment in 2016 that expanded the facility’s infrastructure and warehousing space and added three new super post-Panamax cranes at the Packer Avenue Marine terminal. The improvements, along with a new Southport Auto Terminal, ramped up cargo volumes, resulting in a 60% increase in containers arriving in the city.

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Governor Lee, Commissioner Rolfe Announce New Fiberon Manufacturing and Distribution Operations in Columbia

On Wednesday in a press release, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Fiberon officials announced the company, Fiberon, will establish new manufacturing and distribution operations in Columbia, Tennessee.

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Majority of Democrats Say the Unvaccinated Should Be Confined to Home: Poll

One-third of Americans say they haven’t gotten the COVID-19 shots, majority of Democrats say they should be confined at all times, and or fined.

A majority of Democrats say they’d support the unvaxxed being confined to their homes at all times, with 45% saying they should be confined to designated facilities and 55% support for fines.

Roughly one-third of Americans surveyed in a recent poll say they haven’t received the COVID-19 shots and the majority of them said they don’t plan on getting them. The unvaccinated would be targeted by a majority of Democrats in another poll who say they favor a government policy that would require them to “remain confined to their homes at all times, except for emergencies.”

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Arizona and Three Other Red States Have Gained All Jobs Back That Were Lost Due to COVID-19

As the economy turns around with the COVID-19 pandemic receding and lockdowns and restrictions fading, some states are recovering better than others. Only Arizona, Texas, Utah, and Idaho, some of the reddest states in the country, have all returned to pre-pandemic job levels. 

According to Adam Kamins, director of regional economics at Moody’s Analytics, this is largely due to people wanting to move to those states. “Those four states have experienced persistently strong population growth, which really wasn’t dented by the pandemic,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “More and more people keep coming from expensive coastal cities to places like Dallas and Phoenix, which have a relatively lower cost of living and higher quality of life.”

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Georgia State Employees Could See $5K Pay Raise

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaking

As lawmakers convene in Atlanta on Monday for the start of a new legislative session, Gov. Brian Kemp wants to give state employees $5,000 raises and increase their benefits.

Two budgets are passed through the General Assembly every legislative session. Lawmakers must review and approve spending for the remainder of the current fiscal year, also known as the Amended Fiscal Year (AFY) budget, and approve the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Kemp told state agencies in August not to propose spending increases for the next two years as a safeguard against uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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U.S. Economy Adds Just 199,000 Jobs in December, Far Below Expectations

Man in a hard hat pointing his finger

The U.S. economy recorded an increase of 199,000 jobs in December and the unemployment dipped to 3.9%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 199,000 in December, according to the BLS, and the number of unemployed Americans dipped to 6.3 million. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected the economy to add 422,000 jobs in December and for unemployment to fall to 4.1%.

December’s jobs report leaves the U.S. economy with roughly 6.5 million more jobs than at the end of 2020 but still 3.5 million short of pre-pandemic levels.

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Senator Blackburn Introduces Bill to Support Manufacturers

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Wednesday joined Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and introduced new legislation to help manufacturing across the United States.

The bill, the Strengthening Support for American Manufacturing Act, would propose enhancements to improve the U.S. Department of Commerce’s manufacturing programs in order to better serve manufacturers.

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Georgia Power Nuclear Plant Facing More Delays

An expansion of the Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear plant in Waynesboro may be delayed once more.

Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear are building two additional nuclear energy facilities, Plant Vogtle Unit 3 and Unit 4. The project, which started in 2013, is supposed to accommodate the state’s growing population

It has been riddled with delays. Now, construction quality issues and productivity problems may lead to another three-month delay, an independent monitor said Thursday.

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Former President Trump Endorses Anthony Kern for Arizona State Senate

Former President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed former State Representative Anthony Kern (R-Glendale) in his campaign for State Senate.

Citing his stances on a host of issues and priorities of the former president, Trump awarded his “Complete and Total Endorsement” to Kern.

“Former Arizona State Representative Anthony Kern has already forced RINO Senator Paul Boyer out of the race for Arizona State Senate. Anthony is an incredible fighter for Election Integrity, and will bring back honesty to our voting system. He will advocate for America First policies, protect our Second Amendment, fight for strong Borders, Jobs, Great Education, and he supports decertifying the fraudulent 2020 Presidential Election results. Anthony Kern has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” Trump said in a statement.

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The Godfather of Conservative Rap, Bryson Gray Responds to Crom’s Commentary Friday Morning

Bryson Gray

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed conservative rapper Bryson Gray in studio to respond to Crom’s Commentary Friday morning.

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Commentary: Financial Stability Is Key to Being Able to Leave Job for Refusing Vaccine Mandate

Joshua Mawhorter

Until recently, I was a California teacher working in two charter schools, one as a full-time classroom teacher of Government/Economics and sometimes U.S. History, and the other as a part-time independent study teacher who assists families with a program primarily based around homeschooling. I have taught for about five years and love teaching.

Last week, I was fired from one school and put on unpaid administrative leave at the other because of my refusal either to take and demonstrate proof of the COVID-19 vaccine or test weekly. I even filed a religious exemption stating the following that was rejected:

“As a committed follower of Christ, I religiously and philosophically cannot submit to either a government vaccine mandate or weekly testing.

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U.S. Adds 531,000 Jobs in October, Exceeding Expectations

The U..S. economy recorded an increase of 531,000 jobs in October, and unemployment fell by 0.2% as the labor market recovers from the summer lows, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The number of unemployed people fell to 7.4 million, down from 7.7 million in September, according to the BLS report released Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones projected 450,000 jobs would be added in October.

While unemployment claims continue to fall, the country still struggles with labor shortages, supply chain issues and growing inflation.  Job growth was widespread throughout the economy in October, with leisure and hospitality adding 164,000 jobs, professional and business adding 100,000 and manufacturing adding 60,000 jobs, according to the BLS report.

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Private Payrolls Added 571,000 Jobs in October as Hiring Heats Up

Private firms’ payrolls increased by 571,000 in October, far exceeding experts’ expectations as hiring throughout the country heats up, according to a major employment report.

The 571,000 jobs added is a slight increase from the 523,000 jobs added in September, the ADP National Employment Report showed. The Dow Jones estimate predicted companies would add 395,000 jobs in October, CNBC reported.

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Manchin Objects to Dems’ Billionaire Tax, Saying They ‘Create a Lot of Jobs’

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin came out against his party’s plan to tax billionaires in order to finance their social-spending package just hours after it was first released.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like the connotation that we’re targeting different people,” Manchin told reporters Tuesday morning, describing billionaires as people who “contributed to society and create a lot of jobs and a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits.”

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Commentary: The Unemployment Rate Does Not Offer Guidance Now

The Labor Department’s official unemployment rate—the most well-known gauge of the labor market’s health—counts as unemployed only those who aren’t working but are actively seeking a job.

Yet there is very little that we can infer from the jobless rate about the health of the economy.  The unavoidable conclusion is that the only reason investors follow the calculation is because both Washington’s politicians and the Federal Reserve are expected to react to it.

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Amazon to Open ‘Last-Mile’ Delivery Station East of Downtown Nashville

Amazon has chosen a location in Nashville to open a “last-mile” delivery station, Nashville Business Journal reports. According to Metro and state permits, Amazon is leasing about half of the building at 1641-1701 Lebanon Pike Circle for the new delivery station.

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