Minnesota School District Removes Pork from Menu to Accommodate Muslim Students

A public school district in southeastern Minnesota has banned pork offerings on all of its menus to accommodate Muslim students.

Faribault Public Schools is no longer offering pork in its school cafeterias after a prior board meeting where concerns about the pork offerings were raised by the local chapter of the Minnesota Parent Union.

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Arizona 2022 Legislative Session Ends with $18 Billion Budget, Failure to Ban All Abortions, and 79 Bills Waiting for Ducey

The 2022 Arizona Legislative session ended Friday, after passing the annual budget and 385 bills – 79 of which are waiting for Governor Doug Ducey to sign or veto. Among the spending priorities is a massive expansion of the state’s school voucher system, which Ducey is expected to sign.

However, some political watchers note that the nearly $18 billion budget, composed of 12 bills, is full of pork – one example of which is a large tax credit for Hollywood the Republican leadership insisted on passing.

A proposed bill banning all abortions, meanwhile, was blocked.

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Ohio Group Joins Fight Against California’s Livestock Regulations

An Ohio group joined the fight against a California proposition that it believes imposes illegal regulations on the pork industry across the country.

The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based policy group, filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court recently in a case filed by the National Pork Producers Council that challenges California’s Proposition 12, saying it violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which restricts states from regulating commerce outside their borders.

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Largest Pork Packer Leaving California

Another company is leaving California, this time the largest pork packer in the U.S.

Smithfield Foods, Inc., announced it is closing its Vernon, California, facility and reducing its hog production in the western U.S. region, citing as its reason the “escalating cost of doing business in California.”

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Iowa Farmers Prepare for California’s Prop 12

Man in gray tee and blue jeans walking in a field with two hogs behind him

Hogs born Jan. 1, 2022, or later are subject to California’s Prop 12.

Some Iowa agricultural leaders have criticized the law, which prohibits the sale of pork from hogs that are the offspring of sows that were raised in pens with less than 24 square feet of usable floorspace per pig.

California accounts for about 15% of the U.S. pork market, the National Pork Producers Council said in a September news release. The NPPC is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to determine Prop 12’s constitutionality.

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All Seven of Arizona’s Democratic Members of Congress Push for Earmarks, Republicans Don’t

Now that a 10-year ban on Congressional earmarks has ended, all seven Democrats in Arizona’s congressional delegation are requesting them. None of the four Republican members are. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-07) wants to beautify light poles and several of the members want to expand public transit. Many of them are getting their requests approved as part of the $2.1 trillion infrastructure bill, which is expected to pass into law soon.

Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ-06) told The Arizona Sun Times Friday that the earmarks aren’t necessary, since they are for the types of projects local and state governments generally cover.

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Minnesota Company Gets Most Aid in Iowa Hog Disposal Program

One influential pork company has received most of the money from an Iowa program designed to support farmers who euthanized their hogs after the coronavirus devastated their industry, newly released data shows.

Christensen Farms, one of the nation’s largest family-owned pork producers, has received $1.86 million from the Iowa Disposal Assistance Program, or 72% of the $2.6 million the program has paid to date.

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