Democrats Cut ‘Human Infrastructure’ Spending Plan, But Compromise Still out of Reach So Far

Senator Joe Manchin speaking

Tense negotiations have continued for months on Democrats’ proposed several trillion dollars in federal spending, leading to major changes for the plan. Notably, Democrats now say the $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure”plan will likely end up closer to $2 trillion, though that figure still remains too high for many lawmakers. 

At the same time, President Joe Biden has still been unable to rally Congress around a method to actually pay for the proposal, which Biden claims will add nothing to the national debt.

Democrats’ separate, roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill appeared set to pass in recent weeks, but some progressive Democrats withheld their support fearing that giving up their votes would cost them leverage in making sure the larger reconciliation bill is passed and signed into law.

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Poll: Majority of Americans Think COVID-19 Threat is Getting Less Serious

The majority of Americans believe the threat of the coronavirus is getting less serious, and a plurality believe President Joe Biden and government health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci don’t want lockdowns to end, according to a new poll conducted by the Convention of States Action in partnership with The Trafalgar Group.

“Despite the fact that Big Media and Big Tech are working tirelessly to suppress the truth, this poll reveals that most Americans aren’t fooled in the least,” Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action, said. “They clearly see that the pandemic is on a downward trend, and they also understand that President Biden and Dr. Fauci have no intention of easing restrictions and mandates,””

According to the poll, 63.1% of likely voters believe the threat of the coronavirus is getting less serious, with 25.9% saying it’s much less serious, compared to 26.1% who say it’s getting more serious. Nearly 11% said they weren’t sure.

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Arizona Teacher Shortages Continue for Sixth Year

Public Schools Racist

About a quarter of teacher vacancies across the state remain unfilled in 2021, with 55.4% of the vacancies are filled by teachers who do not meet the state’s standard certification requirements, according to a Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association survey of 145 school districts and charter schools. 

This marks the sixth consecutive year of teacher shortages in Arizona. Approximately a quarter of teacher vacancies have remained unfilled a month into each school year since 2016, ASPAA’s press release said. 

Twenty-six percent of teaching positions were open a few weeks into the school year, a 6% increase from the 21% vacancy rate in 2019, even though there were 400 less positions to fill this year than in 2019. As of Sept. 10, 2021, ASPAA counted 1,698.67 vacancies in its Oct. 12 report. 

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Texas, Missouri Attorney Generals Sue Biden Administration over Border Wall

Eric Schmitt and Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a second joint lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday over the ongoing border crisis.

Meeting on the banks of the Rio Grande River south of El Paso, Texas, the two Republican attorneys general said they are demanding that the federal government continue to build the border wall using funds Congress appropriated for its use. One of Biden’s first acts in office was to halt construction of the border wall, which they argue violates federal law.

Additionally, it currently costs taxpayers $3 million a day to not build the wall due to contractual obligations with the construction firm tasked with building it.

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Majority of Americans Oppose FBI Investigation of Parents at School Board Meetings, Survey Finds

Merrick Garland

The majority of Americans oppose the Biden administration’s plans to monitor and investigate outspoken parents at school boards meetings, new polling from Convention of States Action reveals.

The poll found 57% of those surveyed do not support the announcement while 19.8% are in favor. The rest are not sure.

“…One can plainly see that those who are aware that Merrick Garland made this announcement oppose him by large majorities, while there’s a group who marked ‘not sure’ because they don’t know about his announcement or don’t know enough about it,” said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action.

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Biden Revises IRS Monitoring Plan, Banks Still Opposed

The Biden administration is making changes to its plan to require banks to report to the IRS on all accounts with at least $600, but banks say those changes are not enough.

Biden has pitched increasing federal tax revenue through more auditing and a stricter IRS as a way to help fund his proposed trillions in federal spending. His initial plan to require reporting of all $600 accounts sparked major controversy.

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Arizona Universities to Follow Federal Order for Workers to be Vaccinated

Workers at the University of Arizona must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

That’s the news from university President Robert Robbins in response to President Joe Biden’s order that any public or private organization that benefits from federal tax dollars must install a vaccination mandate.

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Day Cares Experience a Rush of Inquiries as Workforce Rebounds in Arizona

A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic separating employees from their day care outlets and new workers moving in has parents in Arizona facing a shortage of places to keep their young children while they work. 

Day cares around the country saw their clientele vanish when the pandemic laid off millions of parents who paid handsomely for their children to learn while they worked.

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Holiday Blues: Economic Challenges Threaten Season with Delays, Shortages and Price Hikes

A series of economic struggles that have grown increasingly worse this year will likely have a significant impact on the holiday season, many economic experts predict.

After President Joe Biden gave remarks from the White House this week, one reporter called out, “Will Christmas presents arrive on time, sir?” The president did not respond to that question or the flurry of others as he walked away from the podium.

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Texas Democrats: Biden’s Energy Policies Will Cost Jobs, Create Dependence on Foreign Oil

Henry Cuellar

Seven Democratic U.S. representatives have asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, to not target the oil and gas industry in the budget reconciliation bill before Congress.

Despite the concerns they and those in the industry have raised, Democrats in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee pushed through a section of the bill, which includes billions of dollars in taxes, fines and fees on the oil and gas industry in the name of climate change.

Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., said the section of the bill that passed “invested in millions of American jobs” and put the U.S. “on a more stable long-term economic and environmental path.”

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Border Patrol Agents Confiscate Counterfeit Vaccine Cards at Checkpoints Across U.S.

While much attention has been focused on the fallout of increased illegal immigration and crime at the southern border, Customs and Border Patrol agents also say they are routinely finding packages shipped from China containing fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.

CBP says its agents have seized more than 6,000 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards in Chicago, Memphis, Anchorage and Pittsburgh in the past few months.

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Judge Rules Against Arizona in Minimum Wage Lawsuit

A county judge says Arizona cannot extract the additional cost of doing state business in a city that increased its minimum wage, making it more expensive to operate there.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith sided with the city of Flagstaff about whether a provision in the 2019 Arizona budget allowed the state to fine the city for the difference in doing state business at a higher minimum wage compared with the state minimum hourly rate.

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Pelosi: ‘Yes,’ IRS ‘Tracking’ of Bank Accounts over $600 Still on Table as Opposition Grows

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., doubled down on the inclusion in a spending bill of a Democratic provision that would require banks to report to the IRS transactions for accounts holding over $600.

When asked Tuesday if the IRS monitoring would remain in Democrats’ proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation legislation, Pelosi emphatically said “yes.”

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Republican Leaders Push Back Against Global Business Tax

Mike Crapo and Kevin Brady

Republican lawmakers are pushing back against the Biden administration’s plan to join a global compact implementing a tax on U.S. corporations regardless of where they operate.

One hundred and thirty six136 countries agreed Friday to implement a global business tax, and G-7 finance leaders agreed to the plan Saturday. President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen praised the plan.

Proposed by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental economic organization, the global tax is necessary to respond to an “increasingly globalized and digital global economy,” OECD said.

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Pennsylvania Schools Would Be Required to Post Curriculum Online Under Proposed Bill

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a measure this week that would require schools to post curriculum online.

Prime sponsor Rep. Andrew Lewis, R-Harrisburg, said it’s only an extension of what some districts already do – and gives parents access to what their kids are learning without having to visit a school building in person.

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Georgia Gov. Kemp, Others Criticize IRS Monitoring Plan as ‘Invasion of Privacy’

Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia’s business and banking community are pushing back against a federal proposal that would allow the IRS to monitor bank accounts with more than $600.

The plan is part of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill currently being considered in Congress. Kemp and leaders of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Bankers Association said it violates most Georgians’ privacy.

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Civil Forfeiture Lawsuit Against Arizona Moving Forward

Arizona State Trooper SUV

A federal appeals court has ruled a Washington state couple’s lawsuit against the state of Arizona over what they say was an unconstitutional seizure of their property can continue.

Terry and Ria Platt loaned their vehicle in 2016 to their son to use on vacation when Arizona state troopers stopped him on Interstate 40 in Navajo County for having tinted windows. A K-9 search discovered a small amount of marijuana in the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta, and police also found $31,000 in cash.

Police seized the car and money, although neither the Platts nor their son was ever charged with a crime.

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Georgia Gov. Kemp, Others Bash IRS Monitoring Plan as ‘Invasion of Privacy’

Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia’s business and banking community are pushing back against a federal proposal that would allow the IRS to monitor bank accounts with more than $600.

The plan is part of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill currently being considered in Congress. Kemp and leaders of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Bankers Association said it violates most Georgians’ privacy.

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Oil Prices Hit a Seven-Year High as Industry Feud with Biden Administration Continues

Oil prices hit a 7-year high this week as American oil and gas companies continue to fight the Biden administration over policies restricting production.

As the economy began to reopen this year and the demand for fuel increased, President Joe Biden, through executive order, halted and restricted oil and gas leases on federal lands, stopped construction of the Keystone Pipeline, and redirected U.S. policy to import more oil from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia (OPEC+) instead of bolstering American oil and gas exploration and production.

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GOP Governors Gather in Texas to Address Border Crisis

Nine Republican governors are joining Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona in Mission, Texas, Wednesday to discuss the ongoing border crisis and President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

Ducey and Abbott will be joined by Govs. Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Mark Gordon of Wyoming.

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Arizona Faces Its Own Border Crisis, with Yuma Seeing Significant Increases in Illegal Crossings

Arizona-Mexico border

While much of the world watched roughly 15,000 Haitians illegally cross the Rio Grande River from Mexico into Del Rio, Texas, last month, an area near Yuma, Arizona, has become the Grand Canyon State’s Del Rio equivalent.

Known as “The Gap,” a well-known break in the border fence near the Morelos Dam is where migrants illegally cross the border into Arizona – walking across the Colorado River from the Mexican border town of Los Algodones.

In August, 17,000 people illegally crossed into the Yuma Sector. That’s compared to 694 in August 2020, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data, an increase of more than 2,300%.

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Estimates Show Arizona Prevented Billions in Unemployment Fraud

A new report from the Arizona Department of Economic Security says the state has prevented more than $75 billion in unemployment benefits fraud during the COVID pandemic.

DES Director Michael Wisehart said the department began looking at the effectiveness of its fraud prevention efforts shortly after the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program came to an end in early September.

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Commentary: How the COVID IP Waiver Could Sabotage Crucial Cancer Research

Doctor with mask on holding COVID-19 Vaccine

President Joe Biden craves a cure for cancer. In a speech to Congress this spring, he vowed to “end cancer as we know it.” And as vice president, he helped start the Cancer Moonshot initiative.

Yet by giving his backing to a global waiver of intellectual property (IP) rights for COVID-19 vaccines, President Biden may have endangered millions of Americans living with cancer.

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Report: COVID-19 Hit More Vulnerable Schools Hardest

A new report found that only 12% of educators in some schools believed students would complete the 2020-21 school year proficient in math, English Language Arts, science, or social studies.

That’s according to Michigan State University’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) report that found Partnership districts were hit harder by COVID-19 as they remained remote longer than schools in more affluent areas.

This report is part of a multi-year evaluation of Michigan’s Partnership Model district that aims to improve outcomes in the lowest-performing schools by serving districts’ specific needs. If these goals aren’t met by the end of the three years, the schools could close.

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Poll: Majority of Americans Believe Those Refusing Vaccine Should Not Lose Job

New polling on President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate shows the majority of Americans do not think unvaccinated workers should lose their jobs.

Convention of States Action released the poll Wednesday, which reports that 65% of surveyed voters “do not believe Americans should lose their jobs if they object to taking the COVID-19 vaccine.”

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Critics Pan Biden’s Claim $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill Costs ‘Zero’

President Joe Biden is taking fire for comments he made about his $3.5 trillion legislation just as the bill faces a deeply split Congress.

Biden made headlines for claiming the bill would cost “zero dollars,” despite media reports and members of both parties commonly naming the bill’s cost at $3.5 trillion for the last several months.

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Gov. Abbott Says Texas Will Hire Border Patrol Agents If Biden Administration Fires Any

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he would hire any Border Patrol agent fired by the Biden administration after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said agents would no longer be permitted to use horses to guard the border in Del Rio, Texas.

Criticism of mounted agents was widespread after a photograph showing agents using horse reins was misconstrued by members of the media and some politicians suggesting the agent was using the reins as a “whip.”

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FBI Reports Most Murders in Decades, Police Point to George Floyd Fallout

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released crime data Monday showing a sharp spike in homicides in 2020.

While some crimes diminished in the unusual, COVID-shutdown year, homicides rose nearly 30% and aggravated assaults rose more than 12% in one year, the first time in four years that violent crime increased from the previous year.

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Pennsylvania Lawmaker Arrested, Accused of Harassment, Violating Protection Order

Kevin Boyle

State Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Philadelphia, was arrested late Friday by city law enforcement on charges accusing him of harassment and violating a protection from abuse order.

Court documents show the 41-year-old lawmaker was arraigned in the early hours of Saturday morning. A trial date is set for Tuesday.

The news comes just days after Spotlight PA reported that House Democratic leadership stripped Boyle of his committee chairmanship and limited his access to the state capitol building.

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Pennsylvania Leaves Schools in the Lurch on Enforcement of Masking, Quarantine Policies, Educators Say

Teacher up front, giving lecture to students in a school classroom

A number of Pennsylvania educators said Thursday the Department of Health hands down COVID-19 mitigation orders and doesn’t back them up when it comes to enforcement, leaving schools in a difficult spot.

Michael Bromirski, superintendent of Hempfield School District in Lancaster County, told the Senate Education Committee that since pandemic mitigation rules lifted earlier this summer, school districts no longer handle quarantine orders for students exposed to the virus after the department told them it’s the state’s responsibility – and authority – to do so.

Except, parents rarely receive such instructions, generating confusion and frustration.

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Phoenix to Use Federal Funding for Universal Basic Income Pilot

Phoenix City Council Building

One thousand lucky Phoenix families will get $1,000 in taxpayer funding a month in 2022. 

The Phoenix City Council has approved $12 million for a “Financial Assistance for Phoenix Families Program,” a lottery-based form of universal basic income that will begin in January 2022 if not sooner.

The program, which has yet to be finalized, will send approximately 1,000 families a monthly stipend of $1,000 for all of 2022. According to a city document, the funds would be limited toward “basic household necessities” such as housing, childcare, food and other staples. 

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Businesses Push Back Against Biden Plan to Track All Bank Transactions over $600 Through the IRS

Joe Biden outside

A major component of President Joe Biden’s plan to raise revenue to pay for his trillions of dollars in new federal spending is now under fire from trade associations across the country.

The Biden administration has made clear its plan to beef up IRS auditing by expanding the agency’s funding and power. Biden’s latest proposal would require banks to turn over to the Internal Revenue Service bank account information for all accounts holding more than $600.

In a sharp pushback against the proposal, more than 40 trade associations, some of which represent entire industries or economic sectors, signed a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., raising the alarm about the plan.

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Arizonans Favor Relocation of Afghan Refugees, but Not Necessarily to Arizona

Arizona voters predominantly are welcoming of their new neighbors who fled a Taliban takeover of their home country but are split on making them their new neighbors, polling shows.

OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based polling and marketing firm, released polling Thursday that shows 94% of those surveyed agreed with helping Afghan refugees leave their country. However, 34% said that they should not be settled in the U.S.

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Arizonans Favor Relocation of Afghan Refugees, but Not Necessarily to Arizona

Arizona voters predominantly are welcoming of their new neighbors who fled a Taliban takeover of their home country but are split on making them their new neighbors, polling shows.

OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based polling and marketing firm, released polling Thursday that shows 94% of those surveyed agreed with helping Afghan refugees leave their country. However, 34% said that they should not be settled in the U.S.

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Pennsylvania Attorney General Challenges Election Subpoena

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro challenged a Republican-led election subpoena on Thursday, saying that it “goes too far” and violates the constitutionally protected privacy of up to 9 million residents.

“By trying to pry into everyone’s drivers license numbers and social security numbers they have gone too far,” he said. “Today we say enough is enough. What they are doing is against the law and we intend to win.”

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Dems’ $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill ‘Existential Threat’ to Economy

Capitol building looking up, blue sky in background

One of the nation’s leading economic and business groups is warning that the $3.5 trillion spending bill before Congress is an “existential threat” to the nation’s economy.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched a six-figure television ad campaign targeting the proposed tax hikesin the measure that would be “taking more hard-earned money from small businesses and working families.”

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Chip Company Intel Begins Construction in Arizona on New Plants, New Jobs Created

Intel Corp. broke ground on two new semiconductor fabrication factories in Chandler, Arizona on Friday, as part of its plan to become a major chip manufacturer for outside customers. 

 The $20 billion plants, Fab 52 and Fab 62, are expected to bring more than 3,000 new high-tech, high-wage jobs and 3,000 construction jobs to Arizona, while supporting an estimated 15,000 additional indirect jobs in the community, according to a press release from the governor’s office. This marks a 25% increase in Intel employees. 

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CDC Tells Medical Professionals to Be on Alert over Afghan Evacuees Potentially Spreading Infectious Diseases

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that medical professionals and clinicians be on alert for infectious diseases among Afghan nationals recently brought into the country, including measles, mumps and rubella, diseases for which Americans have already been vaccinated.

After the CDC announcement, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said Afghan evacuees were required to get the MMR vaccine and then be quarantined for 21 days.

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Arizona Charter Schools Add Thousands of New Students Amid COVID-19 Closures

Arizona’s charter schools experienced a rush of new applications amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released a compilation of state-by-state data on charter school enrollment compared with enrollment in the 2019-2020 school year. It found nearly 240,000 new students enrolled in charter schools nationally, a 7% increase from the prior year.

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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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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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Arizona Fully Recovers Pandemic Job Losses

Person using a laptop, pointing to the screen

More than 100% of private sector jobs in Arizona have been recovered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the August employment report. 

 The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity report showed that Arizona has recovered 325,500 private-sector jobs since April 2020, representing 101% of private-sector jobs lost. 

 Between July and August, Arizona’s unemployment fell by about 13,000 people. The unemployment rate dropped from 6.6% to 6.2%, marking the largest rate decline of the year. 

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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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Biden Tax Proposal Would Cost Arizona Thousands of Jobs: Report

President Joe Biden’s proposal to increase the United States’ Global Intangible Low-Tax Income (GILTI) tax will lead to job losses at 266 public companies in Arizona, according to research from Arizona State University. 

The proposal doubles the GILTI rate to 21% from 10.5%. Ninety-four percent of U.S manufacturers believe the increase will harm their business, according to a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)survey on Sept. 9. 

The study by the Seidman Institute at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business and Ernst & Young’s Quantitative Economic and Statistics Team (QUEST) said the tax “is specifically targeted at the income earned by foreign affiliates of those companies from intangible assets including intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights.” 

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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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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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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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Maricopa County Audit Supporter Threatens Arizona GOP Lawmaker

A Republican member of the Arizona Legislature says her family’s safety is her first priority after getting a threatening email over her scrutiny of Maricopa County’s 2020 election. 

State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, posted a screenshot of an email from an account named Matt Boster that started out by calling her a racial slur.

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