Whitmer, Legislature Reach Deal on COVID-19 Restrictions, Collaborate Spending Billions

After 14 months of fighting over COVID-19 policy, GOP leaders and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reached an agreement Thursday to negotiate the state budget and stimulus money in return for setting a date to end COVID-19 restrictions.

In return, Whitmer has agreed to withdraw the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (MIOSHA) proposed permanent rules and discuss legislative input on epidemic orders.

“Throughout the pandemic, we saw Michiganders all over the state step up and come together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” Whitmer said in s statement. “Now, Michigan’s task is to unleash the potential of our people, to drive innovation and investment, and create tens of thousands of jobs and economic prosperity for all. Together, we can stay laser-focused on growing the economy and getting Michiganders back to work. Let’s hit the gas.”

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Virginia Business Community Praises COVID-19 Stimulus, but Seeks State Action for Full Benefits

Virginia business advocates praised the COVID-19 stimulus package passed by Congress but said additional state action is necessary for businesses to receive the full benefits of the legislation.

The $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus provides about $325 billion in aid to small businesses nationally, including $284 billion for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, $20 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants, $15 billion for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions and another $12 billion for businesses in low-income and minority communities.

Congress’ bill also addressed a couple of concerns businesses raised regarding the first wave of PPP loans. The bill simplifies the forgiveness applications and makes the loans tax deductible at the federal level. The deductibility applies to loans that already have been received and any loans received in the second wave, which would prevent a hidden tax increase on businesses.

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Constitutional Experts to Joint Ad Hoc Committee on Emergency Powers: The Legislature is the Check on Executive Powers

In Thursday’s meeting of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers, two experts on constitutional law said, that with the deference the courts afford the executive branch, it is up to the Tennessee General Assembly to put checks on the broad powers of the governor during an emergency.

In the second of three meetings, committee members heard testimony from seven individuals:  Glenn Reynolds, Professor of Law, University of Tennessee; Larry L. Crain, Crain Law Group; Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General of the State of Tennessee; Patrick Sheehan, Director TEMA; Dr. Lisa Piercey, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Health; Clark Milner, Deputy Counsel to Governor Bill Lee; Brent Easley, Legislative Director to Governor Bill Lee.

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This Week’s Special Legislative Session Could Cost Tennessee Taxpayers More Than $100,000

The special session of Tennessee lawmakers scheduled for the week of August 10 will likely cost Tennessee taxpayers more than $100,000.

Legislators were called to the special session by Governor Bill Lee through an August 3 proclamation to address three issues, the first two which could have been addressed during the previous legislative session.

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Gas Prices Spike as Ohio Legislature Approves Gas Tax Hike

The American Automobile Association (AAA) announced Monday that only three months into 2019, the nation’s average gas price has spiked by almost 45 cents. Ohio prices increased as well, but by slightly less than the national average. While Ohioans may be relieved, experts are predicting that these price increases are expected…

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Supreme Court Hears Gerrymandering Case That Could Extensively Redraw the Ohio Electoral Map

The United States Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments Tuesday on a pair of cases that could lead to the Ohio electoral map being completely redrawn. The two cases, Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisekm, could both set precedents that could supersede a similar Ohio case making its way to…

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Ohio Senate Breaks Even Further from Governor DeWine, Lowering Gas Tax to Six Cents

The Republican-held Ohio Senate joined Republicans in the House of Representatives in opposing Gov. Mike DeWine on his proposed gas-tax hike. House Bill 62 (HB 62), the 2020-21 Ohio transportation budget, first proposed by DeWine on Feb. 12, originally called for an 18 cent increase to the current gas tax. This was the…

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Bill Typo, If Unchanged, Would Make Felons Out of Half A Million Ohioan Gun Owners

Ohio Gun Owners, a citizens’ Second Amendment advocacy organization, discovered Thursday that House Bill 228 (HB 228) would make many widely-used firearms illegal throughout Ohio. The bill’s current language defines illegal “dangerous ordnance” as: (7) Any firearm with an overall length of at least twenty- six inches that is approved for…

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Ten Laws That Spell Major Changes for Ohio in 2019

In terms of legislation, 2018 may be considered one of Ohio’s most impactful years in recent history. From the approval of the first medicinal marijuana dispensary to new abortion limitations, 2019 will see a dramatic change for many Ohioans. Compiled below are ten of the most significant changes coming to the…

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Legislature May Oversee Nashville Police Oversight Board, Citing Constitutional Concerns

Nashville’s police oversight board may receive its own oversight – before it even launches. Ever since Nashville-Davidson County voters approved the $10 million-plus oversight board in a Nov. 6 referendum titled Amendment 1, prompting concerns from police officers, leading Tennessee Republican legislators have set their sights on the initiative. The…

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Registration Is Open for the 2020 Tennessee Star Constitution Bee, Which Will Be Held on April 25

Constitution Bee April, 2018

  The 2020 Tennessee Star Constitution Bee is open for registration!   If you have a secondary school-level student enrolled in a public or private school, or an accredited home school program, they are eligible to participate in the 2020 Tennessee Star Constitution Bee, a one-day event to be held Saturday,…

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Professional Educators of Tennessee to Conduct Legislative Survey

teacher

Professional Educators of Tennessee is conducting a legislative survey of educators across the state. Frequent areas that we hear from educators:  School Safety & Security, Teacher Compensation and Recruitment, School Funding, and Assessment.  We believe policymakers need to address these issues in 2019,

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West Virginia Senate President Credits GOP And Trump Policies For State’s Recovery

Mitch Carmichael

by Nick Givas   West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael claims the Republican party is responsible for the state’s economic turnaround and believes the election of President Donald Trump has only added to their prosperity. “For the first time in over 83 years the people of over West Virginia selected the Republicans to…

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