Individuals Call for Assassination of Justice Clarence Thomas after Roe v. Wade Ruling

Individuals have been calling on social media for the assassination of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas after he issued a separate concurring opinion on Friday in a ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade. Abortion activists have also published his home address, and others have called to burn down the Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned two landmark abortion cases, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, returning the legality of abortion to the states. Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority and Justice Thomas wrote a solo concurring opinion in which he argued that the Supreme Court should also reconsider rulings on contraception, same-sex relationships and marriage.

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26 Attorneys General Urge Supreme Court to Reverse California’s Agricultural Animal Confinement Law

Attorneys general from 26 states are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court decision upholding a California law banning the raising or importing pork, veal or eggs if the animals are confined.

The Supreme Court announced on March 28 that it would hear the pork industry’s challenge to California’s Proposition 12, a law restricting confinement practices in animal agriculture. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on Oct. 11.

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Asian Carp Renamed ‘Copi’, Taxpayers Foot $600,000 Rebrand

Federal taxpayers spent $600,000 to rebrand the Asian carp, hoping that people will eat their way out of the potential – and some experts say inevitable – Asian Carp invasion into the Great Lakes. 

The federal Great Lakes Restoration fund paid for the five-year plan to rename Asian carp “Copi.”

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Biden Signs Bipartisan Gun Control Measure Supported by 29 Republicans

President Joe Biden on Saturday signed bipartisan gun control legislation meant to take guns out of the hands of individuals deemed a threat, though critics say that’s a violation of due process rights. The measure also imposes more thorough background checks on buyers under the age of 21.

It does not include a ban on AR-15-style weapons or limit the number of bullets in magazines.

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Michigan Attorney General Nessel Pledges to Defend Abortion Access

Attorney General Dana Nessel told Michiganders to “rise up” and gather enough signatures to enshrine abortion rights into the state Constitution via a ballot proposal on November 8.

Nessel was reacting to the United States Supreme Court overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on Friday, allowing states to criminalize abortion.

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Federal Reserve Chair Powell Says During Senate Hearing That a Recession Is Possible

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. could enter into a recession when questioned Wednesday during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Confronted about 40-year-high inflation and the Fed raising interest rates in response, Powell said he couldn’t know for sure but said a recession, defined as a significant decline in economic activity over time, is possible.

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Michigan to Get $14.5 Million for Pharmaceutical Settlement

Michigan will receive $14.45 million from a federal pharmaceutical fraud settlement.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 49 other states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the federal government to settle a lawsuit for $233.7 million, plus interest, to be paid over seven years by Mallinckrodt ARD, LLC.

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Poll: Majority of Republicans, Independents Fear Abuse of ‘Red Flag’ Laws

The majority of Republican and Independent voters think “red flag” gun laws that allow judges to confiscate individuals’ firearms can be abused for political reasons, according to a new poll.

Convention of States Action, along with the Trafalgar Group, released polling data Wednesday that shows that 72.2% of Republicans and 52.3% of Independents “believe that ‘red flag’ gun control laws that are designed to temporarily take guns away from individuals have the potential to be abused by local authorities and government officials to disarm their political opponents and/or citizens who disagree with them.”

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U.S. Senate Reaches Agreement on Gun Control Bill

The U.S. Senate voted late Tuesday to advance a gun control bill with 14 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joining Democrats to approve the measure.

The vote was reached after weeks of negotiating a bipartisan bill in response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in which a gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers.

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Detroit City Council Again Delays Vote on $60 Million Tax Break

The Detroit City Council postponed for a second time a vote on whether to give billionaire Dan Gilbert a $60 million tax break over 10 years after heavy resident pushback.

Gilbert, who Forbes says is worth $15.6 billion, says he needs taxpayers to fund a 10-year tax break to renovate real estate firm Bedrock’s Hudson building, which they claim will support 2,000 permanent jobs once finished.

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Experts Say New SCOTUS Ruling May Reverberate in Michigan Education System

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Carson v. Makin ruling, announced Tuesday, may crack the door open more widely for Michigan families seeking tuition assistance for their children who attend private schools.

SCOTUS voted 6-3 in favor of allowing state-provided tuition assistance for Maine parents who send their children to private religious schools. Michigan is another state with a so-called Blaine Amendment, which prohibits the use of public funds for all private schools, whether they’re religious or secular.

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Governor Whitmer’s Lost Case Sends $200,000 in Attorneys Fees to Policy Center’s Litigation Effort

Michigan’s governor, attorney general, and Department of Health and Human Services are on the hook for $200,000 in attorneys fees incurred from a lawsuit resolved by the state’s Supreme Court.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy will collect the $200,000 after the state Supreme Court ruled against the government principals on Oct. 2, 2020, declaring Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s exercise of emergency powers under a 1945 law unconstitutional. The court’s ruling nullified every COVID-19 executive order issued by the governor after April 30, 2020.

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Report: World’s First Trillionaires Could Be from Texas

The world’s first trillionaires could be from Texas, according to a new analysis of the 30 richest people in the world.

A new report published by the software company Tipalti Approve estimates that newly relocated Texas resident, Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk, could become the world’s first trillionaire by 2024. Houston native and Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell could become a trillionaire by 2033.

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Lawmakers Say Documents Show DHS Head Misled Congress About Disinformation Board, Demand Hearing

Several Republican senators are demanding a hearing saying they received documents from a Department of Homeland Security whistleblower about the agency’s new disinformation governance board that allegedly show DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas misled a Senate committee when he testified about the board last month.

The lawmakers sent a letter this week to Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee asking for a hearing on the issue where Mayorkas could come back for questioning.

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More Teachers, Fewer Students Nationwide Despite Claims of Teacher Shortage

The number of teachers in the U.S. has increased from 2013 to 2020 while the number of students has decreased, according to data from the National Education Association, the nation’s largest public-school union.

While total enrollment has dropped 1.4% over those seven years, there has been a 2.3% increase in the number of public-school teachers.

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Whitmer Signs Bill to Require High Schoolers Take Personal Finance Class

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bipartisan bill requiring Michigan high schoolers to take a financial literacy class before graduating.

“As a mom, I want every kid who graduates in Michigan to enter the world with a diverse set of skills and knowledge, and that must include financial literacy,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I am proud to sign this bipartisan bill requiring all public school students to take a personal finance course. Every young Michigander deserves to know how to budget, save, and invest their money wisely so they can get off a great start after high school, whether they go to college, start working, or open a small business.”

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Total Southern Border Encounters, ‘Gotaways’ Greater Than Population of 23 U.S. States

President Joe Biden and his administration insist the southwest U.S. border is closed and federal immigration laws are being enforced.

But since Biden took office, more than 3 million people have been encountered/apprehended entering the U.S. illegally from over 150 countries, according to Customs and Border Patrol data. And that number doesn’t include so-called “gotaways,” the term used for those crossing the border illegally who evade capture.

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DeSantis: Texas Should Be Sending Illegal Immigrants Back to Mexico

Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says Texas shouldn’t be allowing illegal immigrants to enter the state, echoing sentiments conservative Texans have been arguing for over a year.

“What Texas needs to do is just send them [illegal immigrants] back across the border,” Gov. DeSantis said at a recent press conference in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. “Who cares what the Feds are saying. They aren’t doing their job.

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State Board of Education Issues Resolution Against ‘Let MI Kids Learn’ Ballot Initiative

A proposed ballot initiative to allow tax credits for families seeking to send their children to private schools in Michigan sparked a rebuke in the form of a resolution by the State Board of Education.

Proponents are currently attempting to collect 340,047 signatures to place the Let MI Kids Learn program on the November ballot.

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Border Patrol Records Another Record High of Apprehensions, Encounters at Southern Border in May

Crowd of immigrants

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol published official data Thursday for apprehensions and encounters May: the highest monthly total in recorded U.S. history of 239,416.

CBP published the data after The Center Square published preliminary numbers received from a Border Patrol agent.

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Michigan Senate Approves $565 Million for Mental Health

The Michigan Senate approved a $565 million bill, which appropriates mostly federal funding to improve the state’s mental health system.

Senate Bill 714 aims to fund jail diversion, create treatment units to reduce emergency room overcrowding, and bolster substance abuse programs.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer OKs 17-Year-Olds Serving Alcohol, Swim-Up Bars

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed nine bills, including specific pieces of legislation that allow 17-year-olds serve alcohol under certain conditions, increase carnival safety requirements, and legalize swim-up bars.

“While these bills continue our record of bipartisan collaboration, Michiganders are counting on us to continue growing Michigan’s economy, creating good-paying jobs, and lowering cost for working families who are facing rising prices at the grocery store and the gas pump,” Whitmer said in a statement.

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Republican Attorneys General, 26 of 27, Challenge New Sex-Based Discrimination Federal Guidance

Half of the state attorneys general in the country want the Biden administration to walk back new federal guidance on sex-based discrimination for schools and other organizations that receive federal money for food programs.

The AGs, 26 of the 27 Republicans in those offices across the country, claim in a letter to President Biden the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s guidance means states, local agencies and programs that receive federal food dollars through the Food and Nutrition Act and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program could lose funding if they don’t comply, including in hiring practices.

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Retail Sales Fall in May as Prices Continue to Rise

The U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday released advance estimates of U.S. retail sales which showed those sales fell 0.4% in May.

Motor vehicle and parts dealers took the biggest hit, with sales dropping 3.5%. Electronics and appliance stores sales decreased 1.3%. Furniture and home furniture stores, as well as health and personal care stores, also experienced a decrease in sales.

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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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Michigan Paying Two Private Companies $298,000 for Business Expansion

The state of Michigan will spend nearly $300,000 subsidizing two private companies in Cadillac and Fenton, claiming the subsidies will create a $7.3 million investment and create 68 jobs.

“Today’s investments by American Recreational Products and Rexair will create a combined 68 good-paying jobs for Michiganders as we continue growing Michigan’s economy and investing in every region of the state,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. 

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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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Lenawee County’s Proposed $80 Million Project Phoenix Fizzles

Plans for Project Phoenix, a proposed $80 million, 50-acre sports complex in Lenawee County fueled by COVID money, have fizzled.

“Project Phoenix was shelved because the chances of funding assistance from the State of Michigan did not appear to be forthcoming,” Lenawee County Administrator Kimberly Murphy told The Center Square in a Monday email.

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Foreign Investment in U.S. Farmland May Be a National Security Issue, According to Expert

Foreign investment in U.S. farmland has tripled in the past 10 years, reporters at a non-profit investigative journalism group found.

Investigate Midwest used U.S. Department of Agriculture data to call attention to this trend. Farmer Joe Maxwell, co-founder of the group Farm Action, told The Center Square that control of U.S. farmland by foreign investors is worrisome on a number of fronts.

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Taxpayer Funding for NFL, Other Pro Sports Stadiums Grows Exponentially

Over the next nine years, more than half of the stadiums in the National Football League will reach 30 years of age, or the age at which stadiums are generally replaced, according to economist J.C. Bradbury of Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

The model for replacement is trending more toward the taxpayer-supported efforts being pitched for the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills than it is strictly team-owner funded stadiums such as the $5 billion SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, home of the Chargers and Super Bowl-champion Rams.

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Unfunded State Pension Liabilities Grow to $8.28 Trillion

Unfunded state pension liabilities have climbed to $8.28 trillion, or nearly $25,000 for every person in the United States, according to a new report from the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The American Legislative Exchange Council released the latest edition of its report on pensions in all 50 states Thursday. The report, “Unaccountable and Unaffordable 2021,” shows just a handful of states with outsize pension liabilities account for a large share of overall pension debt in the U.S. 

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Whitmer Vetoes Bipartisan Michigan Tax-Cut Bills

Michigan’s personal income tax will remain 4.25% for the foreseeable future after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have lowered it to 4.0%.

House Bill 4568 and Senate Bill 784 were vetoed or, in the case of SB784, vetoed in effect on Friday. The bills were tie-barred, which means neither bill could pass without acceptance of the other bill under consideration.

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16 Michigan Schools Get $205,028 for STEM

Sixteen Michigan schools have been awarded $205,028 to develop Great Lakes-based science, technology, engineering, and math – STEM – programs.

“These grants will support freshwater literacy programs and offer students access to real world STEM experiences,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “Our Great Lakes are our greatest asset, and we must empower young Michiganders to learn more about them and continue advancing conservation efforts. Michigan’s economic competitiveness depends on a workforce proficient in STEM and committed to solving our biggest challenges. Investments like these will help prepare our kids to lead our state into the future.”

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Nearly 10,000-Person Caravan Heading to U.S. from Mexico, Saying Biden Will Give Them Asylum

A caravan of thousands of people heading to the U.S. has reportedly left from Tapachula, Mexico, a city located less than 10 miles from the Mexico-Guatemala border.

The timing of their departure was planned to coincide with the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, which began Monday. President Joe Biden, who’s still not been to the U.S. southern border, spoke at the summit Wednesday.

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17 States File Legal Brief in Support of Florida Law Banning Sanctuary Cities

Seventeen Republican attorneys general have filed an amicus brief with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a Florida law banning sanctuary cities.

The brief was filed by the attorneys general of Alabama and Georgia, Steve Marshall and Christopher Carr. Joining them were the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

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Right-to-Work Legal Group Seeks Federal Probe of Healthcare Michigan

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation on Monday asked several national bureaus to investigate alleged financial improprieties by Healthcare Michigan, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.

NRWLDF President Mark Mix formally requested the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. attorney of Michigan, and the U.S. Office of Labor-Management Practices to investigate Healthcare Michigan with regard to “serious allegations of financial wrongdoing.” The Foundation is providing legal assistance to Sinai-Grace workers seeking a decertification vote to remove HCMI representation from the Detroit hospital.

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1.7 Million Hunters and Fishers Give $66 Million to Michigan Wildlife Conservation

About 1.7 million people contributed $66 million to wildlife and natural resource management last year by buying 2021 fishing and hunting licenses.

Those proceeds funded The Michigan Game and Fish Protection Fund – the Department of Natural Resource’s largest revenue source. Hunting and fishing equipment sales raised $32 million to support wildlife and natural resource management.

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Yellen to Testify on Biden Budget After Admitting She Was Wrong on Inflation

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will testify before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, just days after she admitted she was wrong about inflation earlier in President Joe Biden’s term.

The hearing, which is on “the president’s fiscal year 2023 budget” will only feature testimony from Yellen, according to the committee’s website.

Biden’s budget likely will be under extra scrutiny as gas prices continue to hit record highs and inflation rises at the fastest level in decades.

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Second Amendment Foundation Sues over Washington’s High-Capacity Magazine Ban

The Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation on Friday filed a federal lawsuit against Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and several other officials, challenging the state’s ban on large-capacity magazines for handguns and rifles.

Senate Bill 5078 prohibits the sale of gun magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, along with the manufacturing, distribution or import of such magazines in Washington.

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City of Dearborn Facing $22 Million Deficit

The city of Dearborn plans to restructure health care benefits and cut spending as it faces a $22 million deficit equivalent to firing 349 full-time employees.

The Metro Detroit city cited rising costs for the deficit, including $3.2 million in wage and benefit increases, $2.7 million for deferred fleet maintenance, and $1.2 million for increased fuel and other supplies.

However, budget details note the city has consistently spent more than it collected in revenue.

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud told residents at a public meeting last week: “You are not going to lose benefits,” Fox2 reported. “At no point in time will the rug ever be pulled away from them, we never want to do that.”

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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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Average U.S. Gas Price Surges to $4.85 a Gallon

In what has become a seemingly every day occurrence, gas prices rose to a new record high Sunday as the national average approaches $5 a gallon.

Nine states already have surpassed the $5 threshold, and several others are just pennies away.

According to AAA, the average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline reached $4.85 Sunday, up an additional three cents from Saturday and 24 cents from last week.

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As Food Prices Soar with No End in Sight, Americans Change Habits

Americans are changing their shopping habits because of soaring food prices. And disruptions in the international farming community have some worried about the food supply heading into 2023.

The BMO Real Financial Progress Index, a quarterly survey from BMO and Ipsos, shows that 42% of surveyed adults “are changing how they shop for groceries,” including “opting for cheaper items, avoiding brand names and buying only the essentials.”

The report found “46% are either dining out less or consciously spending less when dining out.”

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Michigan Railroads Get $30 Million Federal Grant

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $368 million in rail infrastructure grants to 46 projects in 32 states, including about $30 million for two Michigan rail projects.

“Americans deserve a world-class rail system that allows people and goods to get where they need to go more quickly and affordably, while reducing traffic and pollution on our roads,” Buttigieg said at the Mackinac Policy Conference. “We’re proud to award these grants to improve passenger rail for riders and strengthen the freight rail that makes our supply chains and our economy work.”

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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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Michigan Candidate Loses Appeal to Appear on August Gubernatorial Primary Ballot

Perry Johnson’s name will not appear on the Michigan gubernatorial primary ballot on Aug. 2.

The state Court of Appeals on Wednesday denied the Republican quality guru’s request for a writ of mandamus, upholding the Board of State Canvassers conclusion, “Mr. Johnson did not meet the threshold for certification to the ballot based on the staff’s initial review,” according to the court’s published decision.

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