A “guinea pig.” That is what Sandy, Utah Mayor Monica Zoltanski said that “ranked-choice voting” (RCV) made of her hometown. The town opted into Utah’s controversial RCV pilot program, but the experiment has not gone well. The cost-saving promised by proponents never materialized, but the real alarm bells should have sounded when the experiment produced voter confusion and voter disengagement.Read More
Review of 2020 Election Continues as Texas, Pennsylvania Counties Find Ballot Total Discrepancies
An audit of the 2020 election found a discrepancy of nearly 600 absentee votes in a Texas county, while a hand recount in a Pennsylvania county found a far smaller disparity, as more states seek to implement election reviews.
In Smith County, Texas, an audit of the 2020 election showed 584 more absentee voters than absentee ballots, according to KLTV, a local ABC News affiliate. Seven county races were within the 584-vote margin of error, including council races and propositional elections. The audit also found five different totals for absentee ballots.Read More
Half of the US No Longer Requires a Permit for Concealed Carry
Half of the states in the U.S. no longer require residents to hold a concealed carry permit to carry firearms in public after Alabama, Indiana, Georgia and Ohio passed laws in 2022 removing permit requirements.
On Monday, Alabama began enforcing its permitless carry law, becoming the 25th state to do so, while Indiana, Georgia and Ohio also passed laws this year allowing residents to concealed carry firearms without a permit. Over the last two years 10 states have moved to permitless carry, including Utah, Montana, Iowa, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas.Read More
Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia Among 18 States Banning Social Media App TikTok from State Devices
Following South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem’s lead, nearly half of U.S. states have put restrictions on or banned the use of Chinese-based social media app TikTok.
At least 19 states have banned TikTok on government-issued devices – Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utha, Virginia and West Virginia.Read More
Senate Fiscal Hawks Johnson, Scott, Lee, and Paul Call for an End to Pandemic Spending
While hagglers appeared to have reached a bipartisan framework agreement on a full-year omnibus spending plan, fiscal hawks like Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson are asking an important question: Why haven’t we gone back to normal spending now that the pandemic is over?
On Thursday, the Senate easily passed a a one-week continuing resolution, keeping the government funded through December 23. A worked-over spending plan is expected to be unveiled Monday, as negotiations continue in the shadow of another government shutdown threat in the days before the Christmas break.Read More
Commentary: Republicans Can Thank the Federal Government’s Bungled 2020 Census for Their Razor-Thin House Majority
Republicans will soon take control of the House of Representatives, but with a margin so narrow it may prove difficult to achieve their legislative and oversight objectives. That margin might have been larger, were it not for egregious errors made by the U.S. Census Bureau in the 2020 census.
Come January, House membership will consist of 213 Democrats and 222 Republicans. A party must hold 218 of those seats to control the House. Thus, Republicans will have only a four-seat majority. That extremely narrow majority means that GOP leadership can lose any vote on any issue if only four Republicans defect and the Democrats stay united in opposition.Read More
Utah to Emphasize LGBTQ and Minority Communities in Middle School Social Studies Classes
The Utah Board of Education passed social studies standards on Thursday for middle schoolers, emphasizing LGBTQ and minority communities, according to Fox 13 News.
The standards for fifth and sixth graders reflect an emphasis on diversity with a focus on minority and LGBTQ communities, John Arthur, a Utah middle school teacher who helped craft the standards said, according to Fox 13 News. The revisions, the first in more than a decade, faced backlash from parental rights in education groups such as Utah Parents United, who said the standards are “indoctrinating” students and promoting “social justice.”Read More
Wisconsin Set to Receive Part of a Nearly $400 Million Settlement from Google over Location-Tracking Probe
Google agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states after an investigation found that the tech giant participated in questionable location-tracking practices, state attorneys general announced Monday.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called it a “historic win for consumers.”Read More
Republican Treasurers Pull $1 Billion from BlackRock over Alleged Anti-Fossil Fuel Policies
Republican state treasurers are withdrawing $1 billion in assets from BlackRock’s control due to the asset manager’s alleged boycott of the fossil fuel industry, according to the Financial Times.
Republican South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftus is pulling $200 million from BlackRock by the end of 2022, and Louisiana treasurer John Schroder said on Oct. 5 that he is divesting $794 million from the company, according to the FT. Utah treasurer Marlo Oaks said he removed $100 million in funds from BlackRock’s control, and Arkansas treasurer Dennis Milligan pulled $125 million from the company in March.Read More
Commentary: ESG Cancel Culture Comes for State Financial Officers
As the leader of a nonprofit group whose mission is to promote economic freedom, sound public policy, and responsible financial management at the state level, I’m honored to help our nation’s financial officers practice good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. Their work often includes managing pension funds that are vital to millions of Americans’ retirement security. Over the past few years, a growing threat called ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) has been negatively impacting state pension systems, ultimately putting retirees at risk. Sadly, our nation’s state financial officers and the retirees they have a fiduciary responsibility to protect are increasingly under siege by ESG ideologues who are motivated by politics rather than economics.Read More
Utah School District Gives Parents Option to Identify Their Children as Transgender or Non-Binary
Parents in a Utah school district are being given the option to choose if their elementary-school-aged children are transgender or non-binary when registering their students for school, according to a screenshot obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.Read More
21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation
Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.Read More
Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate
Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.
Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.Read More
‘Devastating’: Biden Ignores Lawmakers’ Pleas, Orders Massive Expansion of Utah Monuments
President Joe Biden will order the Department of the Interior Friday to vastly expand two Utah monuments which the Trump administration reduced in size.
The president will restore protections for both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments located in Utah, the White House announced. Biden’s order will re-expand the monuments from their reduced size of slightly more than 1 million acres to 3.2 million acres.Read More
Commentary: Reject Federal Takeover of Elections – Again
Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
That is exactly how Americans must feel as they learn that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is trying to ram through another bill orchestrating a federal takeover of elections, despite the previous failed attempt in the Senate.
The bill, H.R. 4, is expected to come up in the House of Representatives this week, and it is stunning in its breadth. In short, Pelosi would give broad, sweeping powers to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to rewrite every state and local election law in the country.Read More
Biden Gears Up for Renewed Fight Against Oil and Gas
A federal judge has ruled the Biden administration must resume allowing oil and gas leasing on federal land and waters, but the administration is saying it will not go down without a fight.
The Biden administration said it will appeal a court ruling allowing the leases, the latest development in a months-long battle between President Joe Biden and the oil and gas industry, even as gas prices continue to rise.Read More