New Mexico Governor’s Car Gets Less Than 13 Miles Per Gallon, Even as She Mandates 52 Miles Per Gallon for All State Vehicles

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham drives a car with an average fuel economy of less than 13 mpg, according to records obtained by Power the Future and first reported by The Federalist.

At the same time, Lujan Grisham committed the state in 2019 to new energy efficiency standards that included requiring new cars sold in the state beginning this year to reach an average 52 mpg, a goal that hasn’t been achieved.

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‘Require It’: Biden Tells Private Companies to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations

Man getting COVID vaccine

President Joe Biden encouraged private sector companies Monday to “step up” vaccine requirements for employees following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

“If you’re a business leader, a non-profit leader, a state or local leader, who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that. Require it,” Biden said. “Do what I did last month. Require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements.”

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Ohio Lawmakers Want Local School Mask Mandates to End

Mike Loychik

An Ohio lawmaker wants to remove the mask-wearing decision for K-12 students across the state from local school boards by having the state prohibit any district from requiring masks.

Rep. Mike Loychik, R-Bazetta, said he plans to introduce legislation to stop school districts across the state from mandating students wear masks, saying parents in his district are upset school boards have required masks as the school year begins.

Lakeview and Warren school boards, each in Loychik’s district, voted to require masks for students.

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Virginia Won’t Require Masks at Schools, Encourages Local Mask Rules

Little girl wearing pink mask, hair up in a braid, sitting at a table

Toward the end of the month, a state-imposed mask mandate at Virginia schools will no longer be enforced, but the state’s Department of Health is encouraging school divisions to create mask policies.

On July 25, the public health order forcing schools to require face coverings will expire and will not be renewed. However, the VDH issued guidelines that strongly recommend school divisions impose mask mandates for students, staff and teachers.

“Virginia has followed the science throughout this pandemic, and that’s what we continue to do,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement. “This guidance takes into consideration recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and will provide necessary flexibility for school divisions while ensuring a safe, healthy, and world-class learning environment for Virginia’s students. Again, I strongly urge every eligible Virginian to get vaccinated. Getting your shot will protect you, your family, and your community—and it is the only way we can beat this pandemic once and for all.”

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Ohio Wins Injunction over Biden Administration’s ‘Tax Mandate’

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

Three weeks after a federal judge said Ohio could move ahead with a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s plan to tie federal funding to a state’s agreement to not cut taxes, the same court granted Ohio a permanent injunction to stop the practice.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio stopped the regulation that Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said unconstitutionally restricted the state’s power to cut taxes, Yost announced Friday.

“The Biden administration reached too far, seized too much and got its hand slapped,” Yost said. “This is a monumental win for the preservation of the U.S. Constitution – the separation of powers is real, and it exists for a reason.”

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Minnesota’s COVID-19 Hospitalizations Drop Below 400

Doctors talking with masks on

COVID-19 hospitalizations fell below 400 in Minnesota for the first time since March, state health officials reported Friday.

About 396 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) data reports. Of those, 116 are in an intensive care unit.

Hospitalizations peaked at 699 in early 2021, but have fallen following the first vaccine injection of 2.8 million Minnesotans, or 63% of state residents ages 16 and older. COVID-19 disproportionately killed older people. About 90% of Minnesotan’s COVID-19 deaths were seniors ages 65 and older.

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Minnesota to End Statewide Mask Mandate Friday

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday announced the end of Minnesota’s statewide mask requirement starting Friday, aligning Minnesota with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on face coverings.

“So, those peacetime emergencies are done and the business mitigations are coming to an end. I want to be clear it’s not the end of the pandemic, but it is the end of the pandemic for a  lot of vaccinated folks,” he told reporters.

Minnesotans who aren’t fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors.

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Whitmer Ends Statewide Mask Mandate for Fully Vaccinated Starting Saturday

group of people wearing masks

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday announced the state health department will align its policy with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidance on face coverings starting Saturday at 9 a.m.

“For more than a year, we’ve been following the best data and science to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” Whitmer said in a statement. “The vast majority of us have trusted the scientists and experts to keep us safe during the pandemic, and it has worked. With millions of Michiganders fully vaccinated, we can now safely and confidently take the next step to get back to normal. The message is clear: vaccines work to protect you and your loved ones. If you have not yet received your vaccine, now is the time to sign up. This pandemic has been one of the toughest challenges of our lifetimes, but we came together as a state to persevere. We have all been working incredibly hard toward getting back to some sense of normalcy, and today’s news makes all of that work worthwhile.”

On Thursday, the CDC released updated guidance recommending “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

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Walz Drops Mask Mandate Following CDC Guidance

Gov. Tim Walz

Minnesota’s mask mandate will come to an end Friday, a maskless Gov. Tim Walz announced at a Thursday night press conference.

The polarizing mandate has been in place since July 25. Walz said last week that he would lift the mandate on July 1 or when 70% of the eligible population received a vaccine — whichever came first.

But a new guidance released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

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