Michigan’s $70B 2022 Budget Stuffed with $146 Million in ‘Pork’

Michigan’s $70 billion budget for fiscal year 2022 increases government spending by 11.5% from last year’s $62.8 billion budget. The increased spending includes one-time funds from federal stimulus packages, raising concerns Michigan can’t sustain current spending without hiking taxes or slashing services.

Once government federal stimulus money runs dry, the government must either raise taxes or reduce services to continue paying for programs that were once considered not essential.

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States Prepare for Limits on Key COVID Treatment, Criticize Federal Rationing

Gov Ron SeSantis

Demand for a key COVID-19 treatment has led to a nationwide shortage, and as President Joe Biden’s administration rations how much each state receives, some governors are pushing back over having to decide how to use their limited supplies.

Many states are warning their residents that the treatment may not be available, and some are discussing offering it only to unvaccinated individuals. On Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, warned his states’ residents that there is “not going to be enough” of the treatment.

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Michigan GOP Sues over Gov. Whitmer Campaign Funding Maneuver

The Michigan GOP and Chair Ron Weiser are suing Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, challenging $3.4 million of campaign donations to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that they say is illegal.

A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan aims to force Benson to apply Michigan election law, compliant with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, to equally enforce contribution limits on all candidates. Whitmer raised funds over Michigan’s $7,150 contribution limit under the loophole of the recall exception, despite no apparent active recall efforts.

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U.S. Supreme Court to Reconsider Roe v. Wade

United States Supreme Court building

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it would hear a case in December that directly challenges the landmark 1973 abortion case Roe v. Wade.

The high court set Dec. 1 as the date it would hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which means a decision could be reached by June 2022. 

This case features a challenge to a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks. The case especially addresses the constitutionality of abortion bans that take effect before a fetus would be viable outside the womb. 

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Republican Lawmakers Seek Public Input on Proposed Michigan Election Rules Changes

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson

Republican state legislators are encouraging Michigan voters to register their opinions on three election procedural rules changes promulgated by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

The Department of State will conduct a public hearing on the proposed rules on Friday, Oct. 1.

The three rule changes include:

Significantly altering the process to allow the disqualification of candidates by city and township clerks for election finance violations;
Creating a state database of voter signatures whereby voters could upload signatures rather than submitting an original ink signature with local election officials;
Relaxing standards of signature verification for absentee ballots, relying on an automatic presumption a voter’s signature is valid.

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Pennsylvania Senate Democrats File Suit, Allege GOP ‘Overreaching’ in Election Subpoena

Anthony Williams and Jay Costa

Pennsylvania Senate Democrats filed a legal challenge in Commonwealth Court against what they call an “overreaching” subpoena of election records containing personal information for nearly 7 million voters.

The lawsuit filed late Friday alleges Republican members of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee – including Chairman Cris Dush, R-Wellsboro and President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Bellefonte – broke the law when they issued a subpoena against the Department of State seeking the name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number and partial social security number of each and every resident that voted by mail or in person during the last two elections.

In a joint statement, the Democratic members of the committee – including Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Pittsburgh; Minority Chairman Tony Williams, D-Philadelphia; Sen. Vince Hughes, D-Philadelphia; and Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D-Lower Makefield – said the consequences of the subpoena “are dire” and leave the personal information of residents in the hands of an “undisclosed third party vendor with no prescribed limits or protection.”

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Voting Reform Bill Reintroduced after Pennsylvania Governor’s Veto

Seth Grove and Tom Wolf

The prime sponsor of a vetoed voting reform bill said Friday he reintroduced the measure after Gov. Tom Wolf shifted his public opinion on some components of the legislation over the summer.

Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, said House Bill 1800 would bolster voting rights “through three broad concepts of increased access, increased security and modernization.” 

“We know access and security are not mutually exclusive,” he said.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Look at Opt-out Option for Parents on Gender and Sex Classes

Girl student standing and holding books in hand in a classroom

Wisconsin lawmakers are wrestling with the question of who should talk to their kids about sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Assembly Committee on Education on Thursday held a marathon hearing on a plan that would allow parents to opt their kids out of classes on both.

“This is merely just a way to give parents a choice,” Rep Bob Whitke, R-Racine, said. “Because there are a lot of concepts now that are coming out in school … it’s being done in a way that parents don’t understand, and parents aren’t notified.

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Michigan Prepares for Future Electric Cars Usage

A rise in the number of electric vehicles rumbling off manufacturers’ assembly lines and hitting the state’s roads and highways has Michigan planning to build out a network of charging stations.

A state report predicts by 2030, hybrid or electric vehicles (EV) will represent 51% of all vehicle sales; 50% of vehicle production will have Level 2 autonomy or higher; and software will account for more than 50% of the value of a new vehicle.

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Thousands of Public Workers Seek Vaccine Exemptions in Washington

Doctor with mask on holding COVID-19 Vaccine

Some 4,800 state employees in Washington have already requested medical or religious exemptions from Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

According to information released this week by the state, those requests amount to nearly 8% of the 60,000 state workers who fall under Inslee’s 24 cabinet departments. As of Sept. 6, less than 50% of all employees in those agencies were verified as being fully vaccinated.

Inslee last month issued an executive order that all state employees, as well as K-12 and state university staff, must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or face dismissal.

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Michigan Leaders Announce Budget Deal with Few Details

Gov. Grethcen Whitmer announces that Michigan received a $10 million grant to support the state’s registered apprenticeship expansion efforts and increase employment opportunities for Michiganders.

The GOP-led Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer struck a budget deal to avoid a government shutdown before the next fiscal year.

Budget officials welcomed the deal.

“The last year and a half has been hard on all of our families and communities. Addressing their needs – from jobs to education to government accountability – is at the center of today’s budget deal,” Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas, R-Midland, said in a statement. “By working together our divided Michigan government has shown what can be accomplished when Michigan families are put first. Michigan families are counting on us to invest in them. This budget does that by laying the groundwork for a healthy economy for Michigan’s future. I thank House Appropriations Chair Thomas Albert, Budget Director David Massaron, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their collaboration.”

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Oil Supply Losses from Hurricane Ida Reach 30 Million Barrels, Impacting Gas Prices

Hurricane Ida has already caused oil supply losses of 30 million barrels, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports, resulting in the first decline in global oil supply in five months.

Hurricane Ida shut in 1.7 million barrels per day of oil production in the Gulf at the end of August, “with potential supply losses from the storm approaching 30 mb. An uptrend in supply should resume in October as OPEC+ continues to unwind cuts, outages are resolved and as other producers increase,” the agency stated in its September Oil Market report.

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Report: 74 Percent of Professors Targeted for Unpopular Speech or Research End Up Punished by Administrators

Attempts to sanction scholars for their speech, research or teaching practices has skyrocketed since 2015, with about three in four campaigns leading to some form of professional sanction – including termination – according to a new report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Such attacks are “on the rise and are increasingly coming from within academia itself—from other scholars and especially from undergraduate students,” FIRE research fellows Komi German and Sean Stevens state in their report.

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Grand Rapids Weighs Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis

Grand Rapids is considering naming racism a public health crisis to “center and prioritize anti-racism.”

City staff spent more than 200 hours prepping three draft resolutions presented Tuesday: one to declare a climate crisis, the second to support the decriminalization of entheogenic substances, such as magic mushrooms, and the third to name racism a public health emergency.Grand Rapids is considering naming racism a public health crisis to “center and prioritize anti-racism.”

City staff spent more than 200 hours prepping three draft resolutions presented Tuesday: one to declare a climate crisis, the second to support the decriminalization of entheogenic substances, such as magic mushrooms, and the third to name racism a public health emergency.

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Americans Support Governors’ Revolt Against Federal Vaccine Mandate, Poll Shows

New polling shows that the majority of Americans do not approve of President Joe Biden’s new vaccine mandate.

Biden announced the mandate last week, which includes requirements that any business with more than 100 employees ensure they are vaccinated or be tested weekly. Biden’s announcement included a range of other federal rules that are estimated to affect 100 million Americans.

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Campaign Finance Complaint Alleges 10 Illegal Donors for Michigan Gov. Whitmer, Including Lawyer Mark Bernstein, Illinois Gov. Pritzker

Designating 10 major donors to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer the “$100,000 Club,” the Michigan Freedom Fund on Tuesday filed a formal campaign finance complaint.

The Center Square is the first news outlet to report the MFF complaint, which asserts 10 donors violated state law by donating more than $100,000 to Whitmer.

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Legal Challenges Await Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

President Joe Biden’s controversial vaccine mandate has sparked major pushback and talks of legal challenges, likely setting up a tense court battle that could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Biden announced the new mandates in a speech Thursday, saying his executive changes will affect 100 million Americans. Notably, his new rules would require all federal employees to get the vaccine and require that any employers with 100 or more employees ensure their employees are vaccinated.

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Judge Okays Preliminary Injunction for Western Michigan University Athletes

Western Michigan University football practice

Federal District Court Judge Paul L. Maloney granted 16 Western Michigan University (WMU) athletes’ request to continue participating in intercollegiate athletic competition without being injected with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Initially, four soccer stars sued in August over WMU’s vaccine mandate for athletes, which required athletic participants take the COVID-19 vaccine by Aug. 31 or forfeit their spot on the team. WMU has denied all the athletes a religious liberty accommodation.

No similar vaccine requirement exists for any other students at WMU and other universities. The lawsuit says Michigan State University and the University of Michigan are granting religious accommodations to their athletes.

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Michigan Politicians, Business Leaders React to Vaccine Mandate

Michigan businesses are rushing to figure out the potential impacts of new rules President Joe Biden announced Thursday, which could affect 100 million U.S. workers.

The mandate requires all federal workers and contractors get vaccinated, with limited exceptions. Biden said the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees to vaccinate employees or test them weekly.

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Biden Withdraws Controversial Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Nominee After Bipartisan Concern

David Chapman

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the withdrawal of his controversial nominee, David Chipman, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Several leading Republicans were outspoken opponents of Chipman for his past anti-gun comments and more aggressive gun control policies as well as connections to gun control groups. No new nominee has been announced.

“David Chipman is an erratic, anti-gun radical who planned to outlaw nearly every single sporting rifle in America,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. “He is wholly unfit to run the ATF, and I’m glad to see President Biden has withdrawn his nomination.”President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the withdrawal of his controversial nominee, David Chipman, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Several leading Republicans were outspoken opponents of Chipman for his past anti-gun comments and more aggressive gun control policies as well as connections to gun control groups. No new nominee has been announced.

“David Chipman is an erratic, anti-gun radical who planned to outlaw nearly every single sporting rifle in America,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. “He is wholly unfit to run the ATF, and I’m glad to see President Biden has withdrawn his nomination.”

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Michigan’s Acting Unemployment Director Once Again on Oversight Committee Hot Seat

For the second time since last March, acting Unemployment Insurance Agency chair Liza Estlund Olson testified Thursday morning before the Michigan House Oversight Committee.

Much like her March appearance, Thursday’s testimony prompted scathing commentary from Republican committee members.

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End of Federal Unemployment Benefits Raises Questions About Fraud, Joblessness

Jobless Claims Surge

Federal unemployment benefits ended over the holiday weekend, raising questions about how the payments’ expiration will affect the job market and whether Congress will renew the benefits.

Congress passed the $300 weekly unemployment payments as a remedy to joblessness during the COVID pandemic when government restrictions forced the layoffs of millions of Americans, but critics have since said the federal benefits are contributing to an economic quandary: elevated unemployment alongside widespread job availability.

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Boosted Unemployments Benefits End, Unclear Whether Michigan Labor Shortage Will Ease

About 442,196 unemployment claimants saw their pandemic unemployment assistance benefits end on Sept. 4, but it’s unclear if that will ease Michigan’s labor shortage.

The federal Pandemic Unemployment plus regular unemployment benefits let recipients receive up to $662 weekly.

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Feds Say California Too Expensive to Welcome Afghan Refugees

Hashoo Foundation (HF) is implementing a project for the Afghan Refugees residing in I-12 Islamabad who were deprived from the basic needs of life. Hashoo Foundation with the support of United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Gesellshaft Technische Zusamenarbeit (GTZ) has been able to establish two basic health units for males and females, initiate primary education system for the children and equip young people with some marketable skills such as tailoring, embroidery, motor winding and electrician.

by Cole Lauterbach   Afghan refugees looking to resettle in the U.S. are being discouraged from picking California as a destination, despite the state having significant Afghan population centers. In the days after the U.S. announced it would resettle refugees fleeing a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, governors across the country…

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Wisconsin Charter Schools Growing, Overcoming Law and Misperceptions

Wisconsin charter schools are on the rise despite legal hurdles and widespread myths.

First established in 1993, Wisconsin charter schools now number 235 with 14 schools listed as new since last year. That’s a 6% upward trend.

One of the schools listed as new is the Carmen Middle School of Science and Technology South Campus. The school was categorized as new because of a location move.

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Detroit Schools Reach New Contract with Union

Terrence Martin and

The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), Michigan’s largest public education system responsible for educating 51,000 children, has reached a new agreement with the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) Local 231 on a two-year successor contract before starting the ’21-22 school year.

DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti and DFT President Terrance Martin agreed to terms on August 26, and DFT members ratified the agreement on September 1.

In August, the unit reached a safe reopening plan outlining the safety guidelines, additional hazards, and blended learning bonuses.

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Virginia Universities Start Kicking Out Unvaccinated Students

Some Virginia universities have started kicking out students who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and other institutions may start following suit.

Virginia Tech disenrolled 134 students this week who did not receive the vaccine. Before that, the University of Virginia disenrolled 288 students, and William & Mary withdrew 42 students for the same reason. All three universities require students be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.

“Of the approximately 37,000 students enrolled at Virginia Tech, 134 students were not in compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, meaning that they did not submit vaccination documentation or receive a medical or religious exemption,” a statement on Virginia Tech’s website read. “These students have been disenrolled. The university does not know whether any of these students were not planning to return for reasons unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.”

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Federal Judge Denies Halt to Michigan State University’s Vaccine Mandate

A federal judge denied a temporary restraining order sought by a Michigan State University employee who sued over the school’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, claiming she has natural immunity.

Jeanna Norris is a supervisory administrative associate and fiscal officer at MSU. The university has threatened disciplinary action, including termination, if employees do not comply with the school’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for the Fall 2021 semester, according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

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Michigan State University Sued over Vaccine Mandate

A Michigan State University (MSU) employee sued over the school’s recently announced vaccine mandate, saying she has naturally acquired immunity to COVID-19 after recovering from the virus last year and doesn’t need the vaccine.

Jeanna Norris is a supervisory administrative associate and fiscal officer at MSU, which has threatened disciplinary action, including termination, if employees do not comply with the school’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for the Fall 2021 semester, according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

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Biden Defends Withdrawal, Declares End of War in Afghanistan

President Joe Biden addressed the nation Tuesday afternoon, presenting a detailed defense of his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and once again honoring the lives of the 13 U.S. service members killed in a terrorist attack last week.

Biden’s speech came the day of the deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces from the country. All U.S. troops were reportedly evacuated, though at least 100 Americans, possibly several hundred, remain.

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Home-Schooled Children Increased from 13 Thousand in 1973 to 5 Million in 2020

The number of children being home-schooled has grown from an estimated 13,000 in 1973 to 5 million, according to a report by the National Home Education Research Institute.

The home-school population has grown an estimated 2% to 8% annually, but in 2019 home-schooling began to increase dramatically, the report said.

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Commentary: The Puppet Master of the Republic

“Ya know, reality has a way of intruding. Reality eventually intrudes on everything.”

– Joe Biden

During last year’s Democratic primaries when everyone fumbled the ball, the leftist voters turned to socialist Bernie Sanders. Although the DNC figured Sanders would fizzle with baseline Democrats, they misread their comrades. When Sanders won California and Nevada, they hurriedly regrouped. Their strategy was to pair Joe Biden with a babysitter VP, and use them as their progressive shills.

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Questions over Federal Renters’ Assistance Linger After Eviction Moratorium Tossed

Billions of available federal dollars for rental assistance remain in limbo after the U.S. Supreme Court for a second time rejected President Joe Biden’s plans to perpetuate a federal eviction moratorium without Congressional approval.

“If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it,” the court ruled in a 6-3 decision late Thursday, with the court’s three liberal justices dissenting.

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Man Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Whitmer Kidnapping Plot

A man upset over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 policies plead guilty to one count of a kidnapping conspiracy and accepted a plea deal to serve six years and three months in prison.

Ty Garbin, 25, is the only known member of the Michigan militia group “Wolverine Watchmen” to plead guilty to the alleged plot.

Federal prosecutors suggested he serve a nine-year sentence, citing his cooperation with authorities and plans to testify against other alleged kidnappers.

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Wisconsin State Superintendent Calls Mask Protests ‘Noise,’ Pushes Masks and Vaccines

Wisconsin’s state superintendent is taking a swipe at parents who don’t want their kids to be forced to mask-up this school year.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly on Wednesday wrote an op-ed that dismisses parents who are protesting mask mandates at their local schools.

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Wayne County Mandates Masks for Schools, Daycares

inside of a nursery/daycare facility

The Wayne County Public Health Department issued a new order mandating school districts and daycare providers require students, faculty, staff, and visitors to wear a face mask while in school and during school-sponsored indoor events.

The order takes effect immediately directing public, private, and parochial schools and daycare providers to:

Require indoor wearing of face masks for all pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students, regardless of their vaccine status; and,
Require face masks to be worn indoors by all teachers, administrative staff, other employees, parent and guardians, attendees, and volunteers.

The order remains in effect until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorize COVID-19 community transmission for Wayne County as “moderate” for at least 14 consecutive days or further notice by Wayne County officials.

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San Diego Border Patrol Encounters 7,300 Brazilian Nationals, a 2,200 Percent Increase in One Year

Since Oct. 1, 2020, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 7,300 Brazilian nationals, an increase of more than 2,200% from the prior fiscal year. In all of fiscal 2020, 330 Brazilian nationals were apprehended, the sector reports.

Every month since April 2021, San Diego Border Patrol has encountered more than 1,000 Brazilian nationals who enter the U.S. illegally. In fiscal 2020, the sector apprehended six, the agency states.

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Gov. Whitmer Obtains $13 Million for Michigan Rural Hospitals

Gretchen Whitmer

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) secured a $13 million grant from the federal government to support COVID-19 testing and mitigation in 51 small, rural hospitals.

“Our top priority is supporting the brave professionals on the frontlines of our health care industry in every corner of our state to ensure that they have what they need to protect themselves, their family, and their neighbors,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This funding will help rural hospitals continue serving their communities by expanding their COVID-19 testing capacity and mitigation efforts. I want to thank the nurses, doctors, and all medical professionals who continue to go above and beyond to keep people safe each and every day.”

Rural hospitals with fewer than 50 staff will be able to use the funds from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration for testing equipment, personnel, temporary structures, or education. Mitigation strategies must follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) community mitigation framework, including education, contact tracing, communication, and outreach. Each hospital will receive about $257,000 that must be spent within 18 months of receipt.

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Nearly 8,700 Criminals Arrested at Southern Border in Past 10 Months, Including Repeat Sex Offenders

Crowd of immigrants

Over the past 10 months, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents have arrested 8,691 known criminals who have entered the U.S. illegally through the southern border. Combined, they have committed 12,685 crimes in the U.S., according to federal data.

Because Border Patrol agents do not have access to criminal records from other countries, they rely on information reported in the National Crime Information Center database. Many individuals arrested by Border Patrol are registered sex offenders who were previously convicted and served time in U.S. prisons. They were released and deported only to reenter the U.S. again illegally this year.

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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Trump-Era ‘Stay in Mexico’ Policy

The U.S. Supreme Court late Tuesday denied the Biden administration’s request to stay a lower court’s ruling reinstating a former President Donald Trump’s “Stay in Mexico” policy.

The Trump-era policy requires immigrants seeking asylum to remain in Mexico while they navigate the court system to legally gain admittance into the U.S.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer, Lawmakers, School Groups Clash over Mask Policy

Two young, brunette girls wearing black masks

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, lawmakers, and some school administrators are clashing over back-to-school COVID-19 policies.

Ken Gutman, who serves on the K-12 Alliance of Michigan’s Board of Directors and is superintendent of Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, called on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to develop a COVID-19 delta variant plan for schools and for the department or local health departments to enact a mitigation strategy that includes a possible mask mandate inside school buildings.

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Michigan Governor Whitmer Signs First-Time DUI Expungement Bill into Law

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed two bills into law allowing for the expungement of some first-time drunk driving convictions, which could give 200,000 Michiganders a second chance at an otherwise black mark on their records.

Lawmakers gave bipartisan support with a 92-16 vote for House Bills 4219 and 4220, which aim to allow the expungement of first-time operating while intoxicated (OWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) convictions in which no one was injured.

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Fifth Circuit Upholds Texas Abortion Ban

Woman holding an infant in her arms

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2017 Texas law outlawing a second trimester abortion procedure called D&E (dilation and evacuation), or dismemberment.

In 2017, the Texas legislature passed the Texas Dismemberment Abortion Ban with bipartisan support, making D&Es a felony and banning them from being performed except in the case of an emergency. After the law passed and before it went into effect, Whole Women’s Health, several Planned Parenthood groups, several doctors, and others, sued in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

The district court ruled in their favor, blocking the law from going into effect. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office appealed, and a three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit upheld the lower court’s ruling last October.

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Missouri US Representatives, Hawley Push Probes, Bills Targeting Meatpacking Industry

There are more than 95,000 farms in Missouri with the Show Me State placing among the nation’s top 10 in terms of beef, chicken and pork production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But consolidation within the meatpacking industry – four firms (JBS, Tyson, Cargill, National Beef) control more than 80% of all the beef slaughtered in the United States – has long frustrated Missouri producers.

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FDA Fully Approves Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval Monday to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, a major step that will likely have significant implications for vaccination mandates nationwide. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have not yet received full FDA authorization.

The Pfizer vaccine previously received FDA authorization, which allowed its emergency use but did not give the full approval. Pfizer is the first company to receive full approval in the U.S.

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State Senator from Wisconsin: Governor Evers Has Failed to Raise Refugee Concerns

The Wisconsin state senator who represents the towns around Fort McCoy has issued the strongest objection yet to the still murky plan to bring thousands of Afghan refugees to central Wisconsin.

Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, on Friday sent a strongly worded letter to Gov. Evers asking for answers about who the refugees are and where they will go once they arrive.

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Michigan Could Get $800 Million from Opioid Settlement

Michigan could receive up to nearly $800 million from a proposed multibillion-dollar national opioid settlement with Johnson & Johnson and the three largest pharmaceutical distributors in the country: Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel officially signed the agreement announced last month for the companies role in the opioid epidemic.

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Republicans Demand Update on Long-Awaited Durham Report

After two years of waiting for a federal report on allegations of Democratic spying on the Trump campaign, Republicans are demanding answers.

More than 40 Republican U.S. senators sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday requesting the release of the Durham report, the long-awaited results of an investigation into the controversial origins of the FBI investigation into Russian collusion.

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After Recall, Newsom to Require COVID Vaccine Proof or Negative Test at Smaller Indoor Events

Californians wanting to attend events with more than 1,000 people will have to prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

The California Department of Public Health announced attending indoor events with 1,000 or more guests will require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours. The requirement previously was triggered at events with 5,000 or more attendees.

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Coalition Files Lawsuit Against Two Arizona Voting Laws, Claiming Voter Suppression

A coalition of groups filed a lawsuit against two voting laws passed in the last session, arguing that the statutes could disenfranchise thousands of voters. 

Mi Familia Vota, Arizona Coalition for Change, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), and Chispa Arizona alleged in the lawsuit filed on Aug. 17 that the bills “violate the right of all Arizonans to vote.”

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