Report: Transit Agencies May Turn to Taxpayers for More Money When COVID-19 Funds Dry Up

Transit agencies could turn to taxpayers for more money when federal COVID-19 money runs out.

With federal money dwindling, some mass transit agencies are preparing to seek more tax dollars at a time when fewer people are riding, according to a report from a credit rating agency.

Some workers never plan to return to the office, creating uncertainties for mass transit agencies and the taxpayers who fund them, especially those more dependent on riders for fare revenue. A new report from S&P Global Ratings said transit systems could seek additional tax dollars when federal COVID-19 money runs dry in 2025.

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Pending Federal Grant Approval May Determine Whether Michigan Nuclear Plant Reopens

Taxpayers are being asked to fund the reopening of the Palisades nuclear plant in Southwest Michigan through a federal grant.

When it was still in operation, Palisades provided more than 800 megawatts of of carbon-free power and employed 600 people. The plant’s former owner closed the plant on May 20 after the plant’s fuel supply ran out and the power purchase agreement with Consumers Energy expired.

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Flint Water Crisis Trial Could Cost Taxpayers $90 Million

The taxpayer cost of the 2014 Flint water crisis litigation might grow to as much as $90 million after the Michigan Supreme Court rejected Attorney General Dana Nessel’s appeal of a decision that she must use a “taint team” to separate legal documents.

The court said justices were “not persuaded that the question presented should be reviewed by this Court.”

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IRS Accidentally Posts Personal Information of 120,000 Taxpayers

The IRS briefly made public the personal financial information of roughly 120,000 taxpayers, the agency announced on Friday.

Taxpayers’ Form 990-Ts were temporarily available to public viewing on the IRS website, but the agency has since removed them, according to the Wall Street Journal. Individuals file the form to disclose certain types of income within their retirement accounts.

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Crom’s Crommentary: Legislative Branch’s Usurpations Could Set a Precedent for Republicans Should They Regain Power

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.

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Georgia Policy Groups Say Biden Plan to Forgive Student Loan Debt ‘Simply Transfers the Burden to Taxpayers’

President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive some federal student loan debt received a lukewarm reaction from some Georgia groups who say the policy is unfair and won’t help ease inflation.

“We’re disappointed to see yet another policy out of Washington that creates more problems than it solves,” Eric Cochling, the chief program officer and general counsel for the Georgia Center for Opportunity, said. “In addition to contributing to already runaway inflation, this plan from the White House doesn’t actually forgive debt, it simply transfers the burden to taxpayers.”

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Taxpayers to Pay Billions After Biden ‘Forgives’ $10K to $20K in Student Loan Debt per Borrower

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday his administration would “forgive” $10,000 in federal student loan debt for those making less than $125,000 per year. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said the plan could cost taxpayers more than $200 billion.

The total income cap is expected to be higher for married couples, likely around double the $125,000 mark, though that has not been confirmed.

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Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots on IRS: ‘Another Example of How This Administration and the Radical Leftists Want a Centralized Power to Control People Around the Country’

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed to the newsmaker line Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots and columnist for The Washington Times, to voice deep concerns with the IRS’s intent on auditing middle-class Americans and violating the rights and privacy of citizens.

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Commentary: Non-College-Educated Taxpayers May Soon Be Responsible for Billions in College Debt

Most Americans have been conditioned to accept some level of incompetence and inefficiency from government – but not to the extent that federal employees paid by our tax dollars simply admit that they are fundamentally incapable of doing their jobs. Yet shockingly, this is what we are now witnessing with the Department of Education’s failed and convoluted attempt to process claims for student loan cancellation. 

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Analysis: 10 Actions to Reduce Energy Prices That Won’t Cost Taxpayers $740 Billion

Rather than impose higher taxes and more restrictions on domestic production of oil and natural gas, as Senate Democrats voted to do by passing the Inflation Reduction Act, those in the industry proposed 10 actions policy makers can take right now to reduce costs. The industry says its solutions won’t cost taxpayers $740 billion, as the Inflation Reduction Act does, or increase the national debt or inflation, as 230 economists have warned the act will do.

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Analysis: Americans Will Pay for Biden’s Draining of Emergency Oil Reserves

President Joe Biden’s continuous sales of crude oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) could have severe consequences for taxpayers, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Biden administration announced plans last Tuesday for another wave of oil sales from the SPR, as well as a proposal to help restock the reserve, according to a White House press release. The Biden administration aims to strategically sell oil from the reserve to boost supplies and fight soaring gas prices, but the rapid draining of U.S. stockpiles could cause taxpayers to foot the bill when the department inevitably refills its reserves.

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IRS Destroyed 30 Million Tax Filing Documents, Lawmakers Demand Answers

Outside of IRS building

The Internal Revenue Service has been under fire for delays and millions of backlogged returns, but now lawmakers are raising the alarm after the federal agency “destroyed” millions of Americans’ tax documents.

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig this week asking for answers about why these records were destroyed.

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Finance Guru Liz Peek: ‘The Idea That the Fed Can Manipulate This $20 Trillion Economy’ with Full Accuracy and Fluidity Is ‘Extremely Wishful Thinking’

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Fox contributor and Finance Guru Liz Peek to the newsmaker line to explain the state of the economy, inflation, and what is in store for the year’s end.

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Speaker Cam Sexton Tells WTN Radio’s Dan Mandis Titans Will Contribute $700 Million Towards $2 Billion Cost of Proposed New Stadium

On Nashville’s Morning News, host Mandis spoke with Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton regarding the proposed $500 million bond for a retractable roof on Titans Stadium and its benefits for Nashville and the state.

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Michigan to Send $140 Million of Marijuana Tax Revenue to Taxpayers

More than $1.1 billion of legal marijuana has been sold in Michigan in fiscal year 2021, and now, more than $140 million of tax revenue will kick back to taxpayers.

Of that amount, $42.2 million will fund 163 municipalities and counties, $49.3 million will flow to School Aid Fund, and $49.3 million will go to the Michigan Transportation Fund.

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Kemp Signs Bill to Give Georgia Taxpayers a More than $1 Billion Refund

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a measure Wednesday to give a one-time tax refund to eligible Georgia taxpayers.

Taxpayers who are single or married and filing separately will receive a $250 refund under House Bill 1302. Heads of households will receive a $375 refund, while married taxpayers who file jointly will receive a $500 refund.

The Georgia Department of Revenue will credit taxpayers with the refund once they file their 2021 taxes, which are due April 18. Taxpayers who already have filed their 2021 taxes will receive a refund based on what they indicated on their tax returns.

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Commentary: Stimulus Checks Are the Latest Immigration Scam

A great plague of our contemporary political landscape is that one bad policy begets even more bad policies. Such is the case with many of America’s existing immigration laws.

Federal law, for example, calls for specific enforcement protocols. But our elected representatives have decided that some of those protocols simply should be ignored. This mindset led to ideas like catching and then releasing illegal aliens into our communities, preventing local law enforcement from working with federal law enforcement, and “sanctuary” cities where those who have broken our laws can hide from accountability.

From this witches’ brew of bad ideas has come the latest product rollout, one suited for our time: stimulus checks for illegal aliens. Using the economic damage caused by COVID-19 as a pretext, anti-borders activists and their allied politicians have found a way to sustain those here illegally while creating further incentives for even more foreign nationals to move here.

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General Motors, MEDC Aim to Fool Michigan Taxpayers with Bait and Switch: Analyst

General Motors (GM) garnered national headlines when it promised to invest $6.5 billion in Michigan, but the people negotiating the deal’s claw back provisions might only require GM meet half of that investment and 80% of the original job creation promise, despite taxpayers still footing an $824 million subsidy.

When in front of the press, GM and Michigan promised the factory would support 4,000 jobs and retain another 1,000 – a cost of about $206,000 per job created, and if it failed, Michigan could claw back a sizeable portion of that money.

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Pennsylvania Leaves Local Taxpayers Footing Bill for Stormwater Management

A Pennsylvania state senator is raising the alarm over millions of dollars the commonwealth owes to local municipalities for unpaid stormwater management fees.

The state Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a hearing to discuss the commonwealth’s refusal to pay required fees to more than 2,500 municipalities to manage stormwater run-off.

Local officials told lawmakers last week state and federal laws require municipalities to manage the runoff, but only the U.S. government covers its portion of the cost.

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Minnesota Taxpayers Spending $3 Million on Malls

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced recipients of the $3 million Minnesota Cultural Mall Operator Grants program.

The Legislature passed the $64 million bipartisan Main Street COVID-19 Relief package in 2021 and Gov. Tim Walz signed it into law, which will award grants ranging from $20,000 to $300,000 to 12 cultural mall operators across Minnesota whose facilities lease space to a total of over 1,178 Black, Indigenous, and People of Color business owners.

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Commentary: Parent and School Board Tensions Could Be Eased by School Choice

Young girl in pink long sleeve writing

Public education has been under the microscope lately, especially since many states shut down in-person learning last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. With children learning from home via technology, many parents had the chance to hear what their children’s teachers were saying—and they didn’t always like it. In fact, many were downright disturbed by what public schools were teaching their children.

Parents should not be forced to sit by and watch as their children get indoctrinated with progressive ideas they don’t agree with. Assuming it is legitimate for the government—that is, the taxpayers—to fund education, the government should distribute those funds directly to parents in the form of vouchers and allow them to choose where to educate their children. Not only would this allow for more choice in schools, but it would also reduce much of the conflict we are seeing today between parents and school boards across the country.

A common response to voucher proposals is that they would allow parents to use taxpayer dollars to send their children to private religious schools, thus violating separation of church and state. In other words, atheists and progressives argue that they should not have to financially support schools that teach students religious worldviews.

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Taxpayers May Have to Pay for Apple’s Digital ID Program

Rose Gold iPhone

U.S. states may have to provide funding for Apple’s plan to store government-issued identification credentials in its devices.

The company first announced partnerships with several states in September to develop a digital driver’s license and state identification card that could be stored on a person’s iPhone. However, the technical maintenance of the program, the customer support and marketing, may be paid for by taxpayer dollars and reviewed by Apple, according to documents seen by CNBC.

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Report: Tennessee One of 11 States with Financial Surplus

Sheila Weinberg

Tennessee continued its trend of growing a financial surplus as the state ranked sixth nationally for its fiscal health, according to Truth in Accounting’s annual Financial State of the States report.

Using numbers that included data from the fiscal year that ended in June 2020, Tennessee had $8.7 billion more than it owed in obligations, amounting to a $4,400 surplus per taxpayer and earning a grade of B in the report, which was released Tuesday.

The state had a $3,400 surplus per taxpayer the year before.

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Commentary: Don’t Be Fooled by the Bipartisan, ‘Paid For’ Infrastructure Bill

Capitol building looking up, blue sky in background

Over the course of the pandemic, federal overspending has exploded even by Congress’s lofty standards. While trillion-dollar deficits were a cause for concern before 2020, spending over just the last two years is set to increase the national debt by over $6 trillion. It’s bizarre, then, that the only thing that members of opposing parties in Congress can seem to work together on is fooling the budgetary scorekeepers with phantom offsets for even more spending.

In total, the bipartisan infrastructure deal includes around $550 billion in new federal spending on infrastructure to take place over five years. Advocates of the legislation claim that it is paid for, but they are relying on gimmicks and quirks of the budget scoring process to make that claim.

Take the single biggest offset claimed — repurposing unused COVID relief funds, which the bill’s authors say would “raise” $210 billion (particularly considering that at least $160 billion have already been accounted for in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline). Only in the minds of Washington legislators does this represent funds ready to be used when the national debt stands at over $28 trillion.

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Commentary: Taxpayers End up Paying off the Insane Tuition Costs of Grad Programs at Elite Colleges

A see of college graduates at the commencement ceremony.

“Columbia and other wealthy universities steer master’s students to federal loans that can exceed $250,000. After graduation, many learn the debt is well beyond their means,” notes the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reports on Columbia University’s Master of Fine Arts Film program, one of the worst examples, in an article titled “Financially Hobbled for Life: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay Off”:

Recent film program graduates of Columbia University who took out federal student loans had a median debt of $181,000.

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Historic Income Tax Overhaul Reduces Burden by 13 Percent for Most Arizonans

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is expected to sign a budget bill the Arizona Legislature sent to him on Friday that includes a historic tax reform package. HB 2900 implements the lowest flat tax in the country, 2.5%. The average Arizona family will see a 13% income tax reduction, about $350 per year. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, Arizona previously had one of the highest marginal income tax rates in the country. 

The budget bill also eliminates taxes on veterans’ retirement pay and prevents a 77% increase on small business taxes. It reduces property taxes by 10% on small businesses and job creators by 10%, capping the maximum tax rate on businesses at 4.5% and reducing commercial property taxes. According to a report by Ducey, 43% of Arizonans in the private sector work for small businesses. HB 2900 increases the homeowner’s rebate so the state covers half of homeowners’ primary property taxes.

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Arizona Gains 66,000 New Taxpayers, Mostly from California

Phoenix, Arizona cityscape

Taxpayers are coming to Arizona from other states by the tens of thousands and bringing billions of dollars in annual earnings with them. 

The Internal Revenue Service released its annual migration statistics, a record of address changes by filers and their dependents between tax years. The data released in late May reflects changes from the 2018-2019 tax years, which symbolize moves that occurred between 2017 and 2018. Nationwide, 8 million people relocated to either another state or county. 

Arizona gained 218,736 new taxpayers in that time. Having lost 152,769, that’s a net gain of 65,967 exemptions from one tax year to the next. That’s nearly 1,000 more than the previous tax year.

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IRS: California Shrank by 165K Taxpayers, $8.8 Billion in Gross Income

Aerial shot of a California suburb

California residents of all ages and incomes are leaving for more tax friendly climates, and they’re taking billions of dollars in annual income with them.

The Internal Revenue Service recently released its latest taxpayer migration figures from tax years 2018 and 2019. They reflect migratory taxpayers who had filed in a different state or county between 2017 and 2018, of which 8 million did in that timespan.

California, the nation’s most-populous state, lost more tax filers and dependents on net than any other state.

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Biden Administration Aid to the Palestinians Could Go to Hamas

Hundreds march in New York City to support Palestinians and resistance in Gaza

A spokesperson for the Biden Administration’s State Department confirmed the possibility that some of the aid being sent to the Palestinians could go to the terrorist organization Hamas, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The administration is allocating up to $100 million of American taxpayers’ money to go to the Palestinians, but has repeatedly declined to confirm if there are any safeguards in the aid package that could prevent some of the funds from going to Hamas, the terror group that is responsible for thousands of unprovoked rocket attacks on Israel in recent weeks.

An unnamed senior official with the State Department said that “as we’ve seen in life, as we all know in life, there are no guarantees,” with regards to the possibility of terrorists getting their hands on some of the funds.

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Crom Carmichael Questions Why Democratic Politicians Employ Disincentive Policy and Think It’s a Good Idea

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the disincentive policies made by blue states by giving an example of New York’s rising tax rates.

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100,000 Strong: Davidson County Metro Councilmember At-Large Steve Glover on Waking up to the Conservative Voice

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Metro Councilmember Steve Glover to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the new capital spending plan and working with left-wing council members.

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Analysis: Senator Elizabeth Warren Appears to be Distorting Reality in Order to ‘Sell’ Her Wealth Tax Proposal

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently revived her campaign proposal for a wealth tax on taxpayers with a net worth exceeding $50 million. Unfortunately, the plan retains the same defects as her previous proposals to tax wealth, along with the same distortions she used to defend it last time.

Warren’s proposal, introduced along with companion legislation in the House sponsored by Rep. Jayapal (D-WA) and Rep. Boyle (D-PA), would tax wealth above $50 million at a rate of 2 percent, and wealth above $1 billion at a rate of 3 percent.

Senator Warren has routinely presented her wealth tax proposal as a minor, moderate tax on the ultra-wealthy. Just as she did on the presidential campaign trail, Warren is describing her plan as a “two cent” tax. This dishonest framing allows Warren to pretend that the tax is small.

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Commentary: Taxpayers and the Homeless Are Just Pawns in Scheme to Buoy Leftist Donors

Arguably, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is the most incompetent, destructive, negligent, no good, irresponsible mayor in American history. And he’s got plenty of competition right now. San Francisco’s London Breed, Ted Wheeler in Portland, and Bill de Blasio in New York City are all top contenders. Blue City mayors bent on destroying civilization are plentiful, but Garcetti is the worst member of this odious gang.

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Taxpayers Have No Idea How Much Possible Nissan Stadium Renovation Could Cost

While the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Mayor John Cooper are talking about renovating Nissan Stadium and extending the team’s lease, a price tag for taxpayers has not been disclosed.

The franchise and the city announced their discussions last week, The Tennessee Star reported. The negotiations have been going on for some time, but the team said it was making the process public, citing a story by The Tennessean. Something should be known in about six months.

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Music City Baseball Consultant and Advisor Dave Dombrowski Explains Nashville Stadium Intentions and That it is Privately Funded

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Major League Baseball executive Dave Dombrowski to the show to discuss their plans for building a stadium in Nashville.

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Obamacare Loophole Allows Medicaid Fraud, Costs Taxpayers, Report Says

The Affordable Care Act mandated that states accept a hospitals’ decision on the eligibility of all able-bodied adults who verbally report their income to be below the Medicaid level, which has led to many fraudulent eligibility claims, according to a report published Monday.

The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) report examined recently released data from state Medicaid agencies. It specifically looked at the government Medicaid funds that were wasted through false hospitals’ presumptive eligibility (HPE) determinations.

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Metro Council Member at-Large Steve Glover Weighs in on Mayor Cooper’s Plan to Raise Davidson County Property Taxes By 32 Percent

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed guest Metro Councilman-at-Large Steve Glover to the newsmakers line.

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Report: Taxpayers Billed up to $133,000 per Refugee Resettled in U.S.

Tennessee Star

Breitbart reports, “American taxpayers are billed up to $133,000 per refugee resettled in the United States over the course of a lifetime, a new study reveals.”

In a recent report on the costs to U.S. citizens for its welcoming immigration and refugee policies, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) finds that each refugee resettled in the U.S. especially those in the United States illegally, and use social welfare programs cost American taxpayers anywhere on average between $60,000 and $133,000 over the course of a lifetime.

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Gov. Bill Lee Offers Incoherent Defense of His Refugee Decision in Interview with Brian Wilson

  Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee hemmed, hawed, and waffled Friday as he tried to defend his controversial decision to allow more refugees to resettle in Tennessee. This happened when he appeared on Nashville’s Morning News with Brian Wilson, broadcast weekday mornings on 99.7 FM WWTN. Lee was incoherent while…

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Bless Their Heart Line: Tennessee Star Report Listeners Respond to Bill Lee’s Refugee Decision Negatively

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined in studio by all-star panelist Carol Swain to listen to calls from the Bless Their Heart line.

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Melissa Smithson Talks Mayor Cooper’s Left-Wing Task Force and Ill Spent Taxpayer Money

Live from music row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Leahy welcomed in-studio guest Melissa Smithson, Chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party to the show to speak about her new show on Fox News 17 and Mayor Cooper’s recension of ex-Mayor Briley’s illegal executive order that demanded Metro employees NOT cooperate with ICE officials.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Selecting New School Superintendents – Dance of the Lemons or Parade of Favorites?

No matter who your district hires—whether from within or bringing in an experienced educator from outside—give that new leader a chance. Don’t be afraid to hold them accountable.

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State Revenues in Trump Economy so Strong They’re Giving Money Back to Taxpayers

by Grace Carr   Several states are cutting taxes and putting money aside to protect themselves during future recessions as state economies continue to boom since President Donald Trump took office. Almost every U.S. state is experiencing a thriving economy; 48 states will meet or exceed revenue expectations, according to…

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National Energy Company, FirstEnergy, is Attempting to Stick Ohioans with Billion Dollar Cleanup Bill

Ohio Taxpayers could be stuck with a $1 billion nuclear cleanup bill if one national energy company has its way. The U.S Department of Justice, along with the “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, acting on behalf of the…

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Coal Fund Raid Could Cost Ohioans Millions

In a rare display of unity, members of the coal lobby joined with environmental advocacy leaders to raise concerns following Gov. John Kasich’s (R-OH) decision to raid the state’s coal mining reclamation fund. In 2017, the state of Ohio was facing a heavy tax shortfall as a result of decreased tax…

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College Apologizes for Taxpayer-Funded Protests at Family Farm

by Troy Worden   The president of Evergreen State College has apologized, more than a year after the fact, for the Washington state school’s use of taxpayer funds to bus students and educators to a workers’ rights protest at a family farm. KGMI, a news-talk radio station in Bellingham, Washington,…

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