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    MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On Saturday morning, the US House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, but the bill did not pass with bipartisan support. President Joe Biden said, “We have no time to waste. If we act now, decisively, quickly, and boldly, we can finally get ahead of this virus.” READ MORE: Trump A Dominant Force At Conservative Conference In Orlando President Biden praised the House for passing the bill and calling on the Senate to take quick action. “We can finally get our economy moving again. And the people of this country have suffered far too much for too long. We need to relieve that suffering. The American rescue plan does just that it relieves the suffering and it’s time to act,” said Biden. His COVID relief package would give each unemployed American $400 a week in federal unemployment money, through August 29th....
    Kera Birkeland’s personal and professional life gives her a unique perspective on the battle to protect female athletes from competing against biological males who identify as transgender women. Birkeland (pictured, fourth from right) is a mother of six, a basketball coach for a girls’ junior varsity high school team, and a Utah state representative. This year, she introduced House Bill 302 to prohibit biological men from competing in sports against high school and college girls and women.  “It’s very important to me that we have an even playing field for our women,” Birkeland said in a video about the bill on her Facebook page. “The bill does define that women’s sports are for those who are born women,” Birkeland told Breitbart News. It isn’t about being equal but about being fair, she said. “Kids these days just want to know that things are fair,” Birkeland said. “I mean, equality is...
    By DENISE LAVOIE and SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers were expected to vote Saturday on a bill that will legalize marijuana for adult recreational use in 2024, but negotiations were running down to the wire. The bill is a top priority for Democrats, who framed legalization as a necessary step to end the disparate treatment of people of color under current marijuana laws. Talks between Democrats in the House and Senate have been tense in recent days as the two chambers tried to work out significant differences between their versions of the legislation. Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, said Saturday that a compromise has been agreed to in principle by both chambers. Under the agreement, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana will become legal in 2024, at the same time retail sales would begin and regulations would go into effect to control the marijuana...
    Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images A Covid relief bill backed by Democrats could trigger billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare and other federal programs, like ones that support unemployed workers and student-loan borrowers, if it's ultimately passed. The funding cuts would take effect in 2022 and last for several years. Republicans are using the specter of pullbacks to argue against issuing more pandemic aid, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks and more jobless benefits. More from Personal Finance:Stimulus bill would make health insurance more affordable for millionsThe $15 minimum wage is in trouble. Here's what to knowTexas judge finds national eviction ban unconstitutional It's unclear lawmakers would allow them to occur. Even if they survive, the exact impact of cuts on consumers is uncertain. The cuts may automatically increase fees on federal student loans, for example, according to the Office of Management and Budget. Some doctors...
    House Democrats on Friday night narrowly approved President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill, overcoming Republican opposition and accusations of waste in the “emergency” package. The American Rescue Plan Act passed 219 to 212, garnering not one Republican vote. Two Democrats, Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, voted against the measure, which gives $1,400 stimulus checks to adults earning $75,000 or less a year. Republicans have complained that the act was packed with pork unrelated to the pandemic, adding to the national debt and potentially spurring inflation. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had proclaimed at an evening press conference that “this is a spectacular piece of legislation.” Republicans unsuccessfully proposed removing $140 million for an underground rail line connecting the San Francisco area, which Pelosi represents, to Silicon Valley. A motion failed to reallocate those funds to mental health grants for children that suffered...
    More On: Coronavirus New York Assembly releases package of nursing home reform bills Nevada gov wants to build crypto-run private cities in the desert New York doles out record number of COVID-19 vaccines Hotel workers added to New York’s vaccine eligibility list House Democrats on Friday night narrowly approved President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill, overcoming Republican opposition and accusations of waste in the “emergency” package. The American Rescue Plan Act passed 219 to 212, garnering not one Republican vote. Two Democrats, Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, voted against the measure, which gives $1,400 stimulus checks to adults earning $75,000 or less a year. Republicans have complained that the act was packed with pork unrelated to the pandemic, adding to the national debt and potentially spurring inflation. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had proclaimed at an evening press conference that “this is...
    The OCU consumer organization has denounced in a press release that the new electricity tariff, whose application has been delayed at least until June 1, it will mean an “insignificant saving” of 5 euros a year. In his opinion, the final proposal implies a sharp rise in the price of electricity at rush hour, which will be compensated with the rates in flat and valley hours, but above all with a significant drop in the fixed term. The impact of the change will be only 5 euros less per year, according to their calculations, and households that had time discrimination will lose their advantage by increasing your bill by 9.3%. OCU also considers unjustified the distribution proposed by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition for the positions, which “harms excessively” to small consumers compared to companies supplied with high voltage, and regrets that the entire global review of access...
    Democratic lawmakers in the US House of Representatives are preparing to pass a $ 1.9 trillion rescue package in the next few hours, despite the fact that a minimum wage increase will hardly appear in the final version of the bill that arrives. to President Joe Biden. It seems certain that the parties will vote en bloc on the bill, Biden’s first attempt to act decisively against the pandemic. In the year since the coronavirus hit, the pandemic has crippled much of the economy, killed half a million Americans, and disrupted the daily lives of nearly everyone. The package would allow direct payments of $ 1,400 per person to millions of Americans. It also allocates billions to the vaccination and testing campaign, to schools, state and local governments, afflicted sectors such as restaurants and airlines, and benefits to the unemployed, in addition to tax breaks for lower-income workers...
    By JEFF AMY, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia lawmakers are again seeking to increase penalties for hazing, seeking to honor a Georgia teen who died from alcohol poisoning after a 2017 incident at a Louisiana State University fraternity. The Georgia Senate voted 47-0 on Friday for Senate Bill 85, which would make forcing people to participate in hazing a felony when someone is seriously injured, including by alcohol poisoning. “This bill, the Max Gruver Act, will ultimately save lives and protect our youth," said state Sen. John Albers, a Roswell Republican. Gruver was a student from Roswell, an Atlanta suburb, who had only been at LSU a month when he died in September 2017. Witnesses said Matthew Naquin singled Gruver out during a hazing ritual at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house. Naquin, from Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, ordered Gruver to chug a bottle of 190-proof liquor. Gruver died...
    Bill Clinton's brother Roger has been spotted for the first time in years as it's emerged that he refuses to ever meet his young grandson. The former President's younger half-brother, 64, looked a little worse for wear in exclusive DailyMail.com photos as he was spotted near his home in Torrance, California, where he has been holed up during the pandemic with his 32-year-old partner Malory Parker. Roger – who has been at the center of scandals for decades – has never met the child who is believed to be his only grandchild, who turned three earlier this month, a family source tells DailyMail.com. The former wannabe rock star walked out on love child Macy Smit's mother Martha Spivey when she was pregnant and has refused to be a part of their lives ever since. When 29-year-old hairstylist Macy's own son was born in February 2018, Roger is said to have...
    (CNN)Days after a winter storm put Texas at a standstill and her home's water pipes burst, Opal Lee headed to the nation's capital. Her years-long push to get Juneteenth recognized nationwide had to go on. "I refuse to let the efforts we've made down the vine," said Lee, a 94-year-old activist from Fort Worth on Thursday. Lee has walked thousands of miles from Fort Worth to Washington, DC, to ensure June 19 -- the oldest regular US celebration of the end of slavery -- becomes a national holiday. More recently, she started a petition on Change.org that has since then gathered 1.5 million signatures. On Thursday, both Senate and House lawmakers re-introduced the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.Opal Lee Lee flew to DC this week to push for Juneteenth legislation. She wasn't expecting lawmakers to re-introduce the legislation this week but said she was so happy she could do a...
    The author of a radical bill that would force California universities to make royalty payments directly to football and basketball players, and transform the Pac-12 in the process, wants the legislation turned into law this year. “I want to have it on the Governor’s desk by September,’’ assembly member Sydney Kamlager told the Hotline on Thursday. If AB-609 becomes law, major college sports in California would cease to exist in their current form, with athletes in the marquee sports potentially receiving six-figure annual payments and becoming de-facto employees. The change would have immense consequences for the Pac-12 and other conferences with members in California. “The goal is to compensate the athletes for their work,’’ Kamlager said. “They aren’t playing college football because it’s a hobby.” As written, Kamlager’s legislation calls for an overhaul of the financial model for college athletics and gives unprecedented authority to the California legislature to set...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are ready to shove a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through the House on Friday, despite a setback that means a minimum wage boost is unlikely to be in the final version that reaches President Joe Biden. A near party-line vote seemed certain on the measure, Biden’s first crack at his initial legislative goal of acting decisively against the pandemic. In the year since the coronavirus has taken hold, it has stalled much of the economy, killed half a million Americans and reshaped the daily lives of virtually everyone. The relief bill would provide millions of people with $1,400 direct payments. It contains billions of dollars for vaccines and COVID-19 testing, schools, state and local governments, the ailing restaurant and airline industries and emergency jobless benefits while providing tax breaks to lower earners and families with children. Republicans oppose the sweeping measure, saying it’s too...
    RICH pensioners are being targeted with a "stealth tax" in the budget to try and repair Britain’s post-pandemic finances. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly drawing up plans to freeze the lifetime allowance people can have in their pension pot at just over £1million. ???? Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates... 3Pensioners are being targeted with a "stealth tax" in the budget (stock image)Credit: Getty - Contributor 3The Chancellor is also expected to freeze the £50k threshold for higher rate of income taxCredit: Getty Images - Getty Those who go over face a 25 per cent tax on any extra savings which rises to 55 per cent if they draw a lump sum. Instead of the threshold rising with inflation by almost £90,000 over the course of the parliament the figure would be frozen at just over £1million. It would mean around 10,000 people would end up paying...
    Enlarge Image Manhattan Endoscopy Center, LLC is suing Macaulay Culkin for an unpaid bill and interest going back to May 17, 2018, according to the lawsuit. Getty Images A Manhattan medical clinic is suing actor Macaulay Culkin — claiming he owes them $1,500. Manhattan Endoscopy Center, LLC “rendered professional medical and/or hospital services and/or supplies,” at the request of the “Home Alone” star, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit from Wednesday. The Fifth Avenue facility — which diagnoses and treats gastrointestinal issues, according to its website — is seeking a judgment against the “Party Monster” actor for the unpaid bill and interest going back to May 17, 2018, the one-page lawsuit says. Culkin’s rep, Michelle Bega, declined to comment on the suit. The 40-year-old Manhattanite is set to appear in season 10 of “American Horror Story” which is slated to come out some time this year.
    More On: macaulay culkin Macaulay Culkin turns 40: His evolution through the years Macaulay Culkin reacts to trending after ‘American Horror Story’ announcement Macaulay Culkin joins Season 10 of ‘American Horror Story’ Why Pamela Anderson’s ‘marriage’ only lasted 12 days A Manhattan medical clinic is suing actor Macaulay Culkin — claiming he owes them $1,500. Manhattan Endoscopy Center, LLC “rendered professional medical and/or hospital services and/or supplies,” at the request of the “Home Alone” star, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit from Wednesday. The Fifth Avenue facility — which diagnoses and treats gastrointestinal issues, according to its website — is seeking a judgment against the “Party Monster” actor for the unpaid bill and interest going back to May 17, 2018, the one-page lawsuit says. Culkin’s rep, Michelle Bega, declined to comment on the suit. The 40-year-old Manhattanite is set to appear in season 10 of “American Horror Story”...
    First Lady Jill Biden says she felt like a 'failure' after her divorce from her first husband, admitting she thought there was something 'wrong with her' because she was unable to make the relationship work.  The 69-year-old sat down with popstar and daytime host Kelly Clarkson for her first solo TV interview as First Lady, during which she addressed the breakdown of her marriage to Bill Stevenson, which ended in 1975 after just five years.  But while the professor admitted that she placed the blame for the split on herself, she said that she didn't meet second husband Joe, 78, until after she the break-up - despite her ex-husband telling DailyMail.com that the couple had an affair, which ultimately destroyed his marriage.  Opening up: Jill Biden had admitted that she blamed herself for her divorce from her first husband while chatting to Kelly Clarkson in her first solo...
    JOE Biden's $1.9billion stimulus check bill might cut American's taxes by $3,100 this year. The huge savings could come alongside the president's third round of $1,400 checks. 3Biden's proposed $1.9billion bill could help Americans paying taxesCredit: Splash News Additional proposal's in Biden's bill mean that the average household could see $3,100 in savings, according to Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. According to the proposed legislation, Americans would see tax savings from four areas - the $1,400 stimulus check, an expanded earned income tax credit, an expanded child tax credit and a bigger credit for those paying for child care. These credits will give tax-filers a dollar-for-dollar reduction on their tax return this year. Some of these credits will also be refundable for 2021. This means that if your tax liability drops to zero thanks to the credits, the IRS will send you a cash refund. 3Americans are hoping for a third...
    When he was running for governor three years ago, Gavin Newsom promised, rather absurdly, that he would spearhead a drive to build 3.5 million new housing units by 2025. It was absurd because it would require California to escalate new construction from about 100,000 units a year to 500,000, which would be financially and physically impossible. Once elected, Newsom backed away from that pledge, calling it “aspirational,” but he did attempt, a year ago, to once again focus attention on the state’s housing crisis by devoting nearly all of his State of the State address to it and the closely related homelessness issue. Within weeks, however, his attention shifted to the COVID-19 pandemic and housing went on the Capitol’s back burner. Meanwhile, California’s housing shortage has gotten significantly worse. This month, Newsom’s Department of Finance revealed that just 102,800 residential building permits were issued in 2020, down 8.8% from 2019’s...
    25 underrated band members who deserve more love Asia Starts Vaccination Programs; J&J Gets Big Win: Virus Update Now, as always, the Dallas Cowboys say they want Dak Prescott to be their quarterback. Now, as always, Dak Prescott says he wants to be quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Seems simple. It isn’t. Not now. Not always. The 15-day window for NFL teams to place the franchise tag on possible free agents began this week. The tag essentially anchors a player to the club for another year at a predetermined amount — in the case of Dak/Dallas that’s about $37 million. The two sides have until March 9 to work out a long-term deal, but since this is the third consecutive offseason when they have negotiated a contract — failing twice already — there isn’t a lot of optimism even though neither wants to split up. A year ago, things...
    Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., has reintroduced legislation to remove a statue commemorating emancipation, arguing that 19th-century memorial doesn’t do enough to honor slaves’ contribution to their own freedom. Dedicated in 1876, the statue shows former President Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, with his hand outstretched over a shackled slave who is kneeling beside him. It was erected after a freed slave, Charlotte Scott, started a fundraising campaign that collected funds from freed slaves. “Although formerly enslaved Americans paid for this statue, the design and sculpting process was done without their input or participation in any way, and it shows,” Holmes Norton said in a press release last week. “The statue fails to note how enslaved African Americans pressed for their own emancipation. Understandably, they were only recently liberated from slavery and were grateful for any recognition of their freedom. However, in his keynote address at the unveiling of...
    PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Senate has voted to allow dog owners to demonstrate their pet has immunity to rabies instead of giving a booster vaccine for the deadly disease. The measure was given preliminary approval on Wednesday but still needs a final Senate vote. Republican Sen. Nancy Barto of Phoenix says she introduced the bill at the request of constituents who say some animals have adverse reactions to vaccines. The measure would allow them to meet rabies vaccine mandates by performing a titer test showing the pet has antibodies. Critics say the measure is dangerous and could lead to increased cases of rabies. “There’s been a backlash and a fearmongering about allowing pet owners that are concerned about this to take this step so they can avoid these adverse events for their pet," Barto said. “I don’t think this is going to be a widespread practice that could endanger...
    Sixty percent of Americans in a new poll back an eight-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a sign of support as Democrats try to push President BidenJoe BidenHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears MORE’s immigration plan through Congress. According to the Politico/Morning Consult survey released Wednesday, 32 percent of registered voters “strongly support” an eight-year path to citizenship, while another 28 percent “somewhat support” one. Twenty-four percent oppose such a pathway, of which 14 percent oppose one “strongly.” Sixteen percent had no opinion. The poll comes as Democrats face an uphill battle in moving Biden’s plan across the finish line. Immigration has long been a third rail of politics, with lawmakers in Congress declaring for years they want to pass comprehensive immigration reform only to fail due to partisan bickering. The Democratic bill...
    Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., has reintroduced legislation to remove a statue commemorating emancipation, arguing that 19th-century memorial doesn't do enough to honor slaves' contribution to their own freedom. Dedicated in 1876, the statue shows former President Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, with his hand outstretched over a shackled slave who is kneeling beside him. It was erected after a freed slave, Charlotte Scott, started a fundraising campaign that collected funds from freed slaves. "Although formerly enslaved Americans paid for this statue, the design and sculpting process was done without their input or participation in any way, and it shows," Holmes Norton said in a press release last week. "The statue fails to note how enslaved African Americans pressed for their own emancipation. Understandably, they were only recently liberated from slavery and were grateful for any recognition of their freedom. However, in his keynote address at the unveiling of the statue, Frederick...
    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota House budget writers have increased funding for state addiction treatment vouchers as part of the $4.48 billion state Department of Human Services budget passed by the full House on Wednesday. Lawmakers created the voucher in the 2015 session to covers gaps in the ability for people to access services close to them. One example could be people in small towns who live far from a publicly funded state human service center. They can use vouchers to obtain services from a local private provider. The 2019 Legislature budgeted $8 million for the program, and it ran out after a year. Officials were able to cover the the rest of the program with federal money, The Bismarck Tribune reported. This year’s bill has $12 million for the voucher. In addition, the bill would allow up to three $1 million grants to establish outpatient treatment facilities in...
    By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is making a major push to legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana after COVID-19 upended the 2020 legislative session, arguing now is the time to finally enact a regulated system that generates new state and local revenue while addressing racial equity issues. The Democrat said Wednesday that his 163-page bill, which builds on legislation he offered last year and currently awaits a public hearing, also takes into account lessons learned by other states that have already legalized the drug. “Colorado has been doing this for a decade. Even South Dakota just approved it. New Jersey has just signed it yesterday. New York and Massachusetts. So we’re not an island unto ourself,” Lamont said during a Zoom roundtable discussion about the bill. “We’re going to learn from their lessons and do this in a thoughtful way." Legalizing the adult use of...
    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two more portions of a 2020 concealed weapons bill that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed successfully last year have resurfaced this year in separate measures, both of which were approved on Wednesday by a House judiciary committee. One bill would add emergency medical technicians to the list of people who could carry concealed permits during times in which they're providing medical assistance to officers, like when on a SWAT team. The EMTs would need proper training. Another measure approved by the panel would make it easier for a concealed permit holder whose license has lapsed recently to avoid taking another comprehensive firearms safety and training course before a sheriff can renew the permit. The bill says they would only have to complete a “refresher” course. Cooper's veto message in 2020 focused on another portion of last year's bill that would let concealed permit holders be...
    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A small group of South Carolina lawmakers decided Wednesday to postpone voting on a proposal to create a new law specifically to handle people stealing packages from porches, even after the chief supporter admitted a five-year minimum prison sentence was a bit harsh. Instead, state Rep. Cezar McKnight suggested a range from probation to 15 years for anyone convicted of violating his proposed “ Defense Against Porch Pirates Act.” “I think that is a bit draconian,” McKnight said of his first thought of a five-year minimum prison sentence. Theft is already a crime, but passing the new law and making it a felony offense would emphasize how stealing from a porch violates the sanctity people should feel in their home, said McKnight, a Democrat from Kingstree, “I don’t want someone who has spent their hard-earned money buying something and then having some unscrupulous person come...
    By JEFFREY COLLINS, Associated Press COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A small group of South Carolina lawmakers decided Wednesday to postpone voting on a proposal to create a new law specifically to handle people stealing packages from porches, even after the chief supporter admitted a five-year minimum prison sentence was a bit harsh. Instead, state Rep. Cezar McKnight suggested a range from probation to 15 years for anyone convicted of violating his proposed “ Defense Against Porch Pirates Act.” “I think that is a bit draconian," McKnight said of his first thought of a five-year minimum prison sentence. Theft is already a crime, but passing the new law and making it a felony offense would emphasize how stealing from a porch violates the sanctity people should feel in their home, said McKnight, a Democrat from Kingstree, “I don’t want someone who has spent their hard-earned money buying something and then having...
    ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia senators want to stop changing their clock twice a year, saying shifting from standard time to daylight saving time and back is disruptive. The Senate voted 46-7 Wednesday to pass Senate Bill 100, which calls for Georgia to observe standard time year round. It goes to the House for more debate. States have the power to forgo daylight saving time. Currently Hawaii and most of Arizona stay on standard time all year. A number of other states are considering changes. Republican Sen. Ben Watson of Savannah said studies have shown more heart attacks and grumpy judges imposing harsher criminal sentences just after residents spring forward or fall back. “You don’t need me here to tell you your sleep patterns are disrupted for two weeks in spring and fall,” Watson said. Watson's bill calls for Georgia to permanently observe daylight saving time if the U.S. Congress allows....
    By JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota House on Wednesday overwhelmingly endorsed bipartisan legislation aimed at creating a broader investment policy for the state’s voter-approved oil tax savings account. Representatives voted 85-8 to approve the bill that would tap 20% of future oil tax collections coming into the Legacy Fund to help establish loans for expensive infrastructure projects and provide capital for in-state companies. No one in the Republican-led House spoke in opposition to the bill. It now goes to the GOP-controlled Senate, where it also has strong support, including from Sen. Rich Wardner, the chamber’s majority leader and a bill co-sponsor. The bill's primary sponsor, Republican Rep. Mike Nathe of Bismarck, said only about 1% of the Legacy Fund’s principal is invested in North Dakota at present. He said the bill will “provide great opportunities, growth and help diversify” the state’s economy. “This bill...
    Call it full coverage. Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh picked up the tab for people dining at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood on Tuesday night. That’s our coach. ???????? https://t.co/cSDqEMgSgV — Jimmy’s Famous Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) February 24, 2021 According to WJZ CBS Baltimore anchor Rick Ritter, Harbaugh took photos with photos with folks who asked then quietly paid the bill for everyone in the room and headed out. Harbaugh, who’s been Ravens coach since 2008, told ESPN that it was his wife Ingrid’s idea. In 2019, Harbaugh was named the AP’s NFL Coach of the Year. That same year, he signed a four-year contract extension to keep him with the Ravens through the 2022 season.
    Reuters February 24, 2021 0 Comments A bipartisan group of U.S. senators will revive legislation as soon as Wednesday to counter Chinese censorship in the United States, a new effort by Congress to hold Beijing accountable for its growing efforts to stifle criticism beyond its borders, Senator Jeff Merkley told Reuters. U.S. officials have complained that the Chinese government has increasingly sought to suppress opposition to its ruling Communist Party by coercing U.S. companies – from hotel chains and airlines to Hollywood film producers – to take pro-Beijing stances. “We must monitor and address the impacts of China’s censorship and intimidation of Americans and our companies, so we can create a strategy to safeguard this bedrock freedom and hold those accountable who suppress and destroy it,” Merkley, a Democrat leading the effort who will soon be chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said in emailed comments. The bill...
    This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today. A proposed emergency bill that would require Senate confirmation for the state superintendent of schools has raised the eyebrows of the State Board of Education members, as well as Republican lawmakers. The state superintendent serves a four-year term and is currently appointed by the State Board of Education with no input from the legislature. There’s an ongoing search for the next state superintendent. Some lawmakers think there should be more oversight. Nearly one-quarter of Maryland’s budget is allocated for education, which is the largest portion of the state budget, the bill’s sponsor, Del. Alonzo T. Washington (D-Prince George’s), said in a committee hearing earlier this month. “It’s crucial that we have checks and balances to make sure that no one branch of government has too much say in how the...
    On Tuesday’s broadcast of Fox News Radio’s “Guy Benson Show,” Senate Republican Conference Chair Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) slammed the coronavirus relief proposal for how it handles school re-openings by stating that the money isn’t tied to re-opening, and 95% of the education money “won’t even start to be getting spent until 2022, when the pandemic is over. It runs with spending until 2028.” Barrasso said, “The Democrats are not tying the money for education to getting kids back in school. That is the critical issue, Guy, getting kids back to school. But the Democrats have gotten completely — they’ve fallen in line behind the teachers’ union and our kids are falling behind because they’re not in the classroom. … 95% won’t even start to be getting spent until 2022, when the pandemic is over. It runs with spending until 2028. We need to get the kids in the classroom now.” Follow...
    A Democrat lawmaker in Illinois has announced he wants to ban the sale of Grand Theft Auto (GTA), along with other video games that feature violence, after his state witnessed an increase in the amount of carjackings. Democrat state Rep. Marcus Evans introduced the bill, HB 3531, which aims to amend an Illinois law preventing violent video games from being sold to children to an all-out ban on the sale “of all violent video games” to anyone. During a press conference on Monday, Evans mentioned Grand Theft Auto by name and put into his own words what he believes to be an example of a violent video game. According to Evans, “a video game that allows a user or player to control a character within the video game that is encouraged to perpetuate human-on-human violence in which the player kills or otherwise causes serious physical or psychological harm to another human or...
    Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, are proposing legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour, coupled with an E-Verify system to ensure employers hire only legally authorized workers. Cotton joined Sandra Smith and John Roberts on "America Reports" Tuesday to discuss the proposal. He also weighed in on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill, which he argues is "just fulfilling a lot of Democratic wishes." SEN. TOM COTTON: [On COVID-19 stimulus] "There are a lot of earmarks in here. Democrats are bringing back wasteful earmark spending and they’re doing it with a vengeance in this bill. REP. JAY OBERNOLTE: IF BIDEN'S $15 MINIMUM WAGE HAPPENS, FOR 1.4 MILLION AMERICANS THE REAL WAGE WILL BE $0 The bill spends hundreds of millions of dollars on states that haven’t lost any money. States that have had surpluses in the last year. [It] spends tens...
    By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation to compensate people wrongly convicted of crimes in Idaho cleared the House on Tuesday and is headed to Republican Gov. Brad Little. Lawmakers voted 70-0 to approve the measure that would pay $62,000 a year for wrongful incarceration and $75,000 per year on death row. “It is incumbent upon us to try to make this right,” Republican Rep. Barbara Ehardt told fellow lawmakers during debate on the House floor. “It still doesn't make it right. But it's something that we can do.” Backers say Idaho is one of 15 states that doesn’t compensate people sent to prison for crimes they didn’t commit. A similar measure cleared both the House and Senate last year, but was vetoed by Little amid concerns it contained unfunded mandates in the form of education and medical expenses. Ehardt said Little supports the new version that...
    By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Senate effectively killed a measure Tuesday that would have prevented politicians from putting campaign funds toward personal uses, with an exception for child care-related expenses. Virginia has one of the least restrictive and policed campaign finance systems in the country and is an outlier in the nation for not already having such a ban. But state lawmakers, who insist they want to work on the issue, have repeatedly balked in recent years at making a change. The measure had advanced from a Senate committee last week, but lawmakers Tuesday voted to send it back to committee. That ended its chances for the year because the deadline for committee action on bills has passed. “I am disappointed that this commonsense bill that is law in 47 other states hit a roadblock in the Virginia State Senate once again, despite having...
    Sacramento, California — California lawmakers on Monday cleared the way for 5.7 million people to get at least $600 in one-time payments, part of a state-sized coronavirus relief package aimed at helping those with low-to-moderate incomes weather the pandemic. Governor Gavin Newsom said he will sign the bill into law on Tuesday, one day after it passed the state Legislature by a wide margin.How to watch Newsom sign $600 stimulus check bill today What: California Governor Gavin Newsom signs $600 stimulus check bill Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 Time: 10 a.m. local time, 1 p.m. ET Online stream: Live on CBSN Los Angeles in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device  Fewer people will get these payments as compared to the federal relief checks Congress approved last year. But state lawmakers are aiming the money to reach the pockets of people who were...
    Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates predicted Tuesday that things will be “pretty normal” in the fall. “Well, certainly in the fall if we get the vaccination rates up, and we’ll have the supply by then and the logistics will be all worked out, the fall should be pretty normal,” Gates said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” (RELATED: US Surpasses 500,000 Coronavirus Deaths) “There may be big public events that we still don’t do and maybe some mask wearing because we need to get rid of the disease outside the U.S. so it’s not coming in and getting large number of cases,” Gates said. “But in terms of schools, you know, most jobs, the fall will feel more like your normal life which, you know, that’s fantastic. This has been a long, tough period for many people.” WATCH: President Joe Biden would not say when he thought life would...
    By JEFF AMY, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia voters could get a chance to limit state lawmakers to 12 years per chamber and extend state senators' terms to four years from two under a constitutional amendment advancing in the Senate. The Senate Government Oversight Committee voted to approve Senate Resolution 37, sending it to the full Senate for more debate. Before it could be added to the state constitution, two-thirds of both the House and Senate would have to approve and voters statewide would have to ratify it. The measure would also impose a two-term limit on the lieutenant governor’s office. Republican Lt. Gov Geoff Duncan has said he favors such a move, saying the post should carry the same eight-year maximum as Georgia’s governor gets. “We should come down here and do our work and accomplish our work and have it be a season of life as opposed...
    EFE videos The school year begins in Guatemala with uncertainty for online classes Chimaltenango (Guatemala), Feb 22 (EFE) .- The 2021 public school year in Guatemala began this Monday through a hybrid system of face-to-face and distance classes, but with uncertainty due to the lack of internet access in the Central American country, where only the 29.3% of inhabitants can connect to the network. More than 2.5 million kindergarten and elementary school students will seek to “recover” classes from this Monday, with the return to classrooms with small groups and still under online classes, governed by the covid alert traffic light system -19 from the Guatemalan Ministry of Public Health. The cycle began 45 days later than usual due to the delays last year caused by the pandemic, which accumulates 171,170 infections in Guatemala and has left 6,282 deaths in total. With a reduced capacity and with the measures of...
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended on Monday the administration's coronavirus relief package, which wouldn't unleash most of its education funding until after the current fiscal year. Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that just $6 billion of the $128 billion set aside for K-12 public schools would flow to schools in 2021. When asked about this, Psaki suggested the administration needed to help schools pace their use of the funds. "Well, a big part of the challenge here for a number of schools is that they need -- in order to operate responsibly -- and given the threat of budget cuts, they need to obligate funds according to spending plans rather than exhausting all balances as soon as they're received," she said.  FRACTION OF BIDEN'S $128B EDUCATION BUDGET WOULD GO TOWARD SCHOOLS IN 2021, CBO ESTIMATES "So the challenge here is how do they plan ahead? Right. They can...
    By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston BOSTON (CBS) — Over the course of his near-50-year tenure as an NFL coach and his 21 years as Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick has been described by many people in many different ways. Some have referred to him as a genius. Others may have referred to him as surly. Still others have used some words that aren’t fit for print. READ MORE: Suspicious Dumpster Fire At Sharon Chabad Center Under Investigation Despite being described every which way under the sun, Belichick’s never quite been described like this: “He dope as [bleep].” That’s how Cam Newton summed up his head coach from 2020, when speaking on a podcast with Brandon Marshall, Chad Johnson and Fred Taylor. “This is why I love and respect — I think Bill Belichick is the most misunderstood person in all of sports,” Newton said. “He dope as [bleep]. He dope. Like, he...
    By SARAH RANKIN and DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia Senate committee on Monday killed a measure that would have made Virginia's minimum wage requirements apply to farmworkers. The Committee on Commerce and Labor voted against eliminating current exemptions in the law for farmworkers, ending the bill's chances of passing this year. The bill previously cleared the House of Delegates on a party line 55-45 vote, but met resistance along the way from agribusiness, with lobbyists arguing the bill was unnecessary because they said farmworkers are already well-compensated. Others said the current law allows farm workers to be paid for the amount of work they complete, a system they argued was appropriate, given the unique nature of agricultural work and the fact that food is perishable. The farm worker bill’s chief sponsor, Del. Jeion Ward, urged committee members to vote in favor of the bill, arguing...
    By JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Senate decided on Monday for a second time to allow the North Dakota Legislature to meet annually instead of every other year after lawmakers for decades have rebuffed attempts to hold regular sessions each year. Senators voted 28-19 to approve the bipartisan measure, after agreeing to reconsider it. The bill was amended to allow the Legislature to meet annually — if they choose — only over the next two years. The measure now goes to the House, where its prospects are uncertain. Lawmakers have argued that annual regular sessions would grow government and turn lawmaking into a full-time job. But Republican Sen. Brad Bekkedahl, a Williston dentist and the bill’s primary sponsor, and other backers say lawmakers need to meet more often due to bigger budgets and pressing issues such as the coronavirus pandemic that hit during an...
    HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Senate is reconsidering allowing county emergency departments to charge out-of-bounds hikers for rescue costs as government spending remains under pressure because of the coronavirus pandemic. A Senate bill would allow counties to issue criminal fines in addition to seeking reimbursement from hikers requiring rescue after leaving marked trails or ignoring “closed” or “no trespassing” signs, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday. The bill also would add new petty misdemeanor penalties for hiking illegally. A revised version of a different Senate bill would only give counties the option of seeking reimbursement. Hikers across the islands every year are rescued by county police and fire departments using helicopters and other equipment in costly operations that can risk the lives of their personnel. A Honolulu Fire Department helicopter searching for a missing hiker crashed in 1995, killing the pilot and two Honolulu police officers. Suzanne Case, chairwoman of the...
    More than one million migrants will try to push through the southern border this year, warns a former senior official in former President Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The 78,000 arrivals in January were “nearly double the figure for the same month last year and the highest for January in a decade,” Juliette Kayyem wrote in a January 18 article for the Atlantic. “If the current pattern holds, the U.S. is on track for more than 1 million encounters in 2021.” One million migrants adds up to roughly one migrant for every four Americans who turn 18 this year. Kayyem’s warning, however, is not about the impact on many millions of Americans whose wages and neighborhoods face damage from the government-delivered flow of workers, buyers, and renters to the U.S. consumer economy. “People who are fleeing persecution and violence deserve refuge,” she insists as head of the homeland security...
    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire lawmakers are setting aside a spirited debate over school choice for the next year. The House Education Committee last week decided to retain a bill that would create “education freedom accounts” that could be used toward private school or home school expenses. Lawmakers will continue to work on it, but it won't come up for a vote until next year. During lengthy public hearings, the bill's supporters argued it would provide options for families dissatisfied with their local schools, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. Opponents argue the bill will drain money from public school districts and allow wealthy parents to use taxpayer money to send their children to private schools that are free to discriminate against applicants on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race and more. Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed....
    The leading Republican on the House Budget Committee is lashing out against a $2 trillion proposal from House Democrats that's aimed at bailing out state governments following months of coronavirus-related lockdowns. Democrats on the House panel posted their reconciliation proposal on Friday ahead of a bill markup session expected for Monday, Fox News has learned. U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., blasted the plan as a job killer that would also increase the cost of living for working families. "Democrats are rushing to pass a nearly $2 trillion spending bill that will enact bailouts for state governments that lock down their citizens and radical policies that will destroy jobs and raise the cost of living for working-class Americans," Smith said in a statement to Fox News. SEN. TIM SCOTT URGES CONGRESS TO FINISH DISTRIBUTING DECEMBER COVID RELIEF BEFORE PASSING NEW STIMULUS BILL "But this is clearly where any sort of urgency...
    DEAR ABBY: On Sept. 14, 2017, you printed my letter about my ex-husband “borrowing” money from my 13-year-old son’s piggy bank. Soon after, you reached out to tell me a gentleman (the founder of an organization that helps people who have been wronged) wanted to send my son twice the amount of money that had been taken from him. Jeanne Phillips  My son was humbled, to say the least. Not only did that gesture restore my son’s faith in people, but he gained from it a friend who made a lasting impression. Bill, the man who helped my son, told my son his own father took money from him when he was younger, which forced him to drop out of college. However, Bill didn’t let that stop him from becoming a success in life. Decades later, he retired a wealthy man. In retirement, he started a philanthropic foundation and turned...
    Leading Off ● Arizona, Florida, Missouri: Republicans in three states have introduced legislation that would make it harder to pass ballot initiatives, following successful efforts to pass a spate of progressive policies and pro-democracy reforms at the ballot box that GOP lawmakers have long opposed. These restrictive proposals fit into a wide pattern of Republican attempts to limit the use of ballot measures in a number of states over the last several years. In Arizona, Republicans have passed a constitutional amendment in a state House committee that would raise the threshold needed for initiatives to be approved from a simple majority to 60%. GOP state senators passed another amendment along party lines that adds a two-thirds supermajority requirement for tax increases. These proposals come in the wake of successful recent efforts by voters to use initiatives to increase the minimum wage and raise income taxes on the rich to fund...
    Bloomberg Yellen defends need for $ 1.9B plan after strong data (Bloomberg) – US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen defended the need for spending $ 1.9 trillion on pandemic aid, the second-largest emergency aid bill on record, even in the face of recent strength in the US Retail Sales and Equity Value “It’s so important to have a great package that addresses the pain this has caused,” Yellen said on CNBC Thursday. “The price of doing too little is much higher than the price of doing something great.” When asked if the economy needs the entire package proposed by President Joe Biden, after much stronger-than-expected retail sales in January and all-time highs in equities, the Treasury leader said: “I think so.” Yellen noted that more than 9 million Americans were still unemployed compared to before the covid-19 pandemic, and 4 million had left the force. working completely. He also cited the...
    TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – An effort to require out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians advanced Thursday in the Senate as economists project the move could bring in more than $1 billion a year in revenue. But as the Senate Finance and Tax Committee voted to support the proposal (SB 50), sponsor Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, said efforts are underway to balance the increased tax collections against other funding sources to make the change “revenue neutral.” READ MORE: Florida Education Officials Want All Students To Return To Classroom For Standardized Tests “We’re going to add some tax relief into this bill,” Gruters, who also serves as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said. “We may not get all the way to being completely revenue neutral, which we’ll make sure that’s clear. But, however, with a $1.3 billion potential advantage, there’ll be a lot to go around.”...
    DENVER (CBS4)– A bill unveiled by White House officials and Democrats would provide a way for some 11 million migrants living in the U.S. to achieve citizenship. It offers an eight-year plan for most, a shorter process for agriculture workers and those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA. (credit: CBS) Renato Fierro was born in Mexico but has been in the United States since he was 1 year old. He is is what is termed a “dreamer.” READ MORE: ‘Serious Problem’: Colorado Congressman Ken Buck Reacts To Biden Immigration Plan That’s the name given those who crossed the border as children without documents but lived most of their lives in the United States. Fierro told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger, “All of my life since I was one year of age, because of that piece of paper, it says I am not.” He has lived...
    (CNN)Just days after Maryland became the first state in the country to impose a tax on digital advertising targeting Big Tech, lobbying groups representing companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google are trying to stop it.In a lawsuit filed Thursday, the groups allege that the state law is "deeply flawed" as well as "unlawful" and "unconstitutional." They also allege that it serves to discriminate against interstate commerce and interferes with foreign affairs, citing the federal government's prior opposition to countries imposing taxes on US digital platforms.The lawsuit, filed in a Maryland federal district court, is being brought by several lobbying groups including the US Chamber of Commerce and the Internet Association, the latter of which was founded by Google, Amazon, eBay, and Facebook. The Washington Post was first to report the lawsuit."The digital ad tax is illegal and should be struck down," said an attorney for the plaintiffs, Stephen Kranz of McDermott...
    One of the richest men in the world wants you to drink used toilet water. Recycled used toilet water, at least. The " OmniProcessor" is just one of the kooky ideas to come from the brain of Bill Gates since he all but retired from Microsoft, the company he co-founded. With an estimated net worth of more than $136 billion, Gates is one of the richest men in the world and also, at least judging by his habitual efforts to solve every problem facing humanity, one of the most knowledgeable. That self-appointed expertise in dozens of matters has earned him plenty of scorn. Gates drew the ire of GOP Rep. Laura Boebert on Wednesday over his recent comments that "rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better...
    By STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Senate approved a renewed Republican attempt Thursday to rescind Gov. Tim Walz's emergency authority to close schools, a sign of the continuing deep partisan divisions over how state government should respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The GOP-controlled Senate passed the bill 40-27, with four Democrats and two independents siding with Republicans, one day after the Democratic governor announced a plan to speed up the return of students to school for in-person classes. The vote was largely symbolic. The Democratic-controlled House rejected a similar proposal last week, and has rebuffed all previous Republican attempts to revoke the executive powers that Walz has exercised under the peacetime state of emergency that he declared last March. Those efforts include a similar bill the Senate passed in July. Walz on Wednesday said middle and high school students can return for hybrid or in-person learning...
    President Joe Biden at a town hall event in Milwaukee. Evan Vucci/AP Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.On Thursday, Democrats formally introduced the US Citizenship Act of 2021, a comprehensive immigration reform bill that reflects a number of priorities President Joe Biden announced on his first day in office. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Rep. Linda Sánchez of California unveiled the legislation, which would provide an eight-year pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants while also deploying more technology for border security.  “We have an economic and moral imperative to pass big, bold, and inclusive immigration reform that leaves no one behind,” Sen. Menendez said during a virtual press conference to unveil the immigration bill. “We will never win an argument we don’t have the courage to make.”...
    Congressional Democrats on Thursday will unveil a sweeping immigration bill, backed by President Biden, that includes a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants -- although the plan faces tough odds in the Senate. The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 is close to a proposal announced by the White House on Biden’s first day in office. The biggest ticket item is an eight-year path to citizenship for illegal immigrants -- which the White House has estimated to be 11 million.  WHITE HOUSE SAYS BIDEN BACKS CITIZENSHIP FOR 11 MILLION ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, AHEAD OF BILL UNVEILING But it’s just one of a number of items in a broad bill that would also see illegal immigrants farmworkers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients immediately eligible for green cards. There would also be funding for counsel for children and vulnerable adults. It would also open up...
    The GameStop Corp. logo on a laptop computer and Robinhood application on a smartphone.Tiffany Hagler-Geard | Bloomberg | Getty Images Rep. Ro Khanna, Silicon Valley's lawmaker in Congress, on Thursday proposed a bill aimed at bulking up the Internal Revenue Service's enforcement tools and ability to crack down on tax evasion. The legislation, if passed, would infuse the IRS with $70 billion between fiscal 2022 and 2031 to help the agency hire additional staff to audit individuals making more than $1 million in total income. Corporations with more than $20 billion in assets would also be prioritized for audits under the plan. An additional $20 billion is tied to expanded taxpayer services and $10 billion is earmarked for upgrading the tax collector's out-of-date technology in an effort to make it more efficient at catching fraud. In announcing the legislation, Khanna's office referenced the dramatic price volatility in a handful of...
    Winter storm, GameStop hearing, NASAs Perseverance to land on Mars: 5 things to know Thursday Editorial: The race to vaccinate: America needs a fuller picture of who’s getting vaccinated © Marketwatch PERSONAL FINANCE DAILY Load Error Hi, MarketWatchers. Don’t miss these top stories: Personal Finance ‘Long overdue’: Debate over reparations for Black Americans reignites on Capitol Hill 'Now more than ever, the facts and circumstances facing our nation demonstrate the importance of H.R. 40,’ said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, lead sponsor of a bill that could create a commission to study reparations for Black Americans. I racked up debt to help my mother buy a home, car and pay household bills. I don’t even have my own car. How do I extricate myself from this financial commitment? ‘She is in her late 50s and it has been difficult for her to find a job. Currently, she is...
    As California Gov. Gavin Newsom prepares for a potential recall election this year, the state Legislature passed a bill on Tuesday that would require all active registered voters get a ballot in the mail ahead of the election even if they didn’t ask for one. Lawmakers’ aim is to slow the spread of the coronavirus by encouraging people to vote by mail rather than show up in person. The Legislature did the same thing last year, back when counties had millions of dollars in federal money to help put on a presidential election during a pandemic. So far, California has two scheduled elections for 2021, both to fill vacancies in the state Legislature. But an effort to force a recall election of Newsom has gained momentum, fueled by anger over his handling of the coronavirus and an embarrassing incident last year when the governor attended a birthday party at a...
    By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation to compensate people wrongly convicted of crimes in Idaho headed to the full House on Wednesday. The House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee unanimously approved the measure that would pay $62,000 a year for wrongful incarceration and $75,000 per year on death row. Lawmakers gave several examples of people wrongfully convicted in the state. “Unfortunately, in this particular case, and a few others, Idaho has failed,” said Republican Rep. Barbara Ehardt, one of the bill's sponsors. “It is time that Idaho make right that which we have done wrong.” Republican Sen. Doug Ricks, another sponsor, said Idaho is one of 15 states that doesn’t compensate people sent to prison for crimes they didn’t commit. A similar measure cleared both the House and Senate last year but was vetoed by Republican Gov. Brad Little. Ricks said he worked with Little on...
    Washington (CNN)The Internal Revenue Service has sent out $600 payments from the December stimulus package to all of the eligible taxpayers it has on file as Congress continues to negotiate over a third round of checks. More on Covid-19 relief Here's what's in the House Democrats' stimulus relief plan Congress already approved $4 trillion in Covid relief. Here's what's happened to it Here's what budget reconciliation is (and why it matters for Biden's stimulus) Here are the executive actions Biden has signed so far While it's possible that some paper checks or debit cards are still in the mail, there could be some eligible recipients who haven't received their money and will have to claim it on their 2020 tax return. The IRS was required to issue the payments by mid-January so that it could move on to processing this year's tax returns. Eligible people who have moved or...
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP/CBS13) — As California Gov. Gavin Newsom prepares for a potential recall election this year, the state Legislature passed a bill on Tuesday that would require that all active registered voters get a ballot in the mail ahead of the election even if they didn’t ask for one. Lawmakers’ aim is to slow the spread of the coronavirus by encouraging people to vote by mail rather than show up in person. The same thing was done last year when counties had millions of dollars in federal money to help put on a presidential election during a pandemic. So far, California has two scheduled elections for 2021, both to fill vacancies in the state Legislature. But an effort to force a recall election of Newsom has gained momentum, fueled by anger over his handling of the coronavirus and an embarrassing incident last year when the governor attended a birthday party...
    After past years of stalled impetus, the New Mexico legislature has four bills seeking to legalize cannabis circulating within its halls. Two bills, which are mirror bills in the House and Senate, are streamlined, while the third is comprehensive and the fourth is a bill backed by Republicans. Last year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham led a charge to legalize cannabis, gathering data and opinions from inside and outside the state, in an attempt to create a recreational cannabis program that would be the envy of every other state, according to Ben Lewinger, Executive Director of the New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (NMCCC). While this attempt stalled last year, the effort that went into it may not have gone to waste. This year’s House Bill 12 is basically a resurrection of that bill that Lewinger said “had everything in it but the kitchen sink.” Lewinger described...
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Democratic lawmakers want to create an independent board to regulate excessive prescription drug prices following a bipartisan effort last year to make insulin more affordable. The legislation, authored by Democratic Rep. Kelly Morrison, of Deephaven, would establish an independent Prescription Drug Affordability Board and an advisory council that would review the costs of new brand name prescription drugs. The board — seven members appointed by the governor and lawmakers — would set upper payment limits for the prices of drugs it determines are unaffordable to ensure purchasers and government programs can afford to provide the drug to those who need it. RELATED: We Were Elated: COVID Vaccines Give Hope To Minnesota Seniors “One in five Minnesotans had to forego prescription medicine in the past year due to cost, and that was in the midst of a global pandemic when people were already suffering economically,” Morrison said...
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP/CBS13) — Facing a staggering $54.3 billion budget deficit last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, California’s governor and state Legislature agreed to raise taxes by nearly $4 billion on some businesses to avoid even harsher cuts to state services. But the tax increases were structured in such a way that they punished companies for spending money on researching and developing new products or technologies — including for things like vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Now that the state has a projected one-time surplus of $15 billion this year, influential Democratic lawmakers want to rescind those tax hikes — but only for life sciences companies that research and develop treatments for COVID-19 and other diseases. The plan, revealed last week, would cost the state about $730 million. “It didn’t make sense to do it last year. It really doesn’t make sense to do it now that we’re actually...
    New York : Your keeper does not know what you will spend so much money on for the dog. Photo: Aloïs Moubax / Pexels Bill Dorris was a successful Tennessee businessman, who died at the end of last year. The man was not married, nor did he have children, He only lived with Lulu, an 8-year-old Border Collie dog, to whom Bill decided to inherit his entire fortune. Martha Burton, who is Lulu’s caretaker, indicated that Dorris indicated in her will that her money be put into a trust for the care of the dog, and authorized that Burton be reimbursed an amount for monthly expenses. The sum inherited to the dog amounts to $ 5 million. “He really loved the dog,” said Burton, who was a friend of Dorris and used to take care of the pet when he went on trips.
    By ADAM BEAM, Associated Press SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Facing a staggering $54.3 billion budget deficit last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, California's governor and state Legislature agreed to raise taxes by nearly $4 billion on some businesses to avoid even harsher cuts to state services. But the tax increases were structured in such a way that they punished companies for spending money on researching and developing new products or technologies — including for things like vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Now that the state has a projected one-time surplus of $15 billion this year, influential Democratic lawmakers want to rescind those tax hikes — but only for life sciences companies that research and develop treatments for COVID-19 and other diseases. The plan, revealed last week, would cost the state about $730 million. “It didn't make sense to do it last year. It really doesn't make sense to do...
    The White House on Tuesday reaffirmed that President Biden backs a controversial plan to create a pathway to citizenship to at least 11 million illegal immigrants -- as the White House and congressional Democrats are expected to formally unveil a sweeping immigration bill as soon as this week. "There certainly is part of the proposal that the president outlined and proposed on Day One that is an earned pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. TOP DEM ADMITS PASSING BIDEN IMMIGRATION BILL A 'HERCULEAN' TASK AMID GOP OPPOSITION A pathway to citizenship for all illegal immigrants in the country has long been a top item on liberal wishlists, and Biden promised such a plan if elected. Estimates generally put the illegal immigrant population at about 11 million, although others suggest that could be higher. The proposal, sketched out by the...
    PRINCE Andrew’s former lover Koo Stark faces a £300,000-plus lawyers’ bill after losing a court fight with another ex. The one-time actress, 64, was attempting to force financier Warren “Robbie” Walker to pay her £50,000 a year for life. 4Koo Stark has been ordered to pay her ex-lover Warren 'Robbie' Walker's court costs after a judge dismissed her caseCredit: The Picture Library Ltd But she was told by judges that her case was without merit and had no chance of success. Her arguments for fighting on were also dismissed as “repetitive and difficult to follow”. She was told to pay his legal costs of £285,000 as well as her own lawyers’ bills, which are likely to run into six-figures. Ms Stark’s two-year relationship with Andrew in the early 1980s shocked the Royal Family. By 1994, she was living with financier Mr Walker in Knightsbridge, West London, and they had...
    Western Journal February 16, 2021 0 Comments The argument for Puerto Rican statehood, at least as far as its proponents in the 117th Congress are concerned, is twofold: First, it gives the Democrats a senator. Second, it gives the Democrats another senator. For Puerto Ricans, the argument is a bit more nuanced. For Democrats who want to take it up, it’s little more than that. Felicitously, now that the Democrats control both houses of Congress and the presidency, both Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., are suddenly ready to be admitted to the union as states. What luck! The District of Columbia has its own issues, but the workplace counter that ticks off the years in which Puerto Rico hasn’t been plagued by massive political turmoil caused by structural ineptitude at the governmental level has been reliably stuck at zero. Last year was no exception, as protests broke out on...
    By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Sweeping tax cuts proposed Tuesday by Idaho lawmakers would slash assessments on all income brackets and lower the sales tax from 6% to 5.3% beginning next year. The complex, 17-page proposal was introduced in a House committee after Republican Gov. Brad Little called for $450 million in tax relief, including $295 million in one-time cuts and $160 million in permanent tax cuts. The proposed bill estimates it would result in $284 million in tax relief a year. Despite the pandemic, Idaho has a budget surplus of about $600 million. Officials attribute much of that to federal virus relief funds and an influx of new residents. The bill introduced in the House Revenue and Taxation committee would also eliminate a grocery tax credit that amounts to $100 a year for most people and $120 for those 65 and over. It would leave...
    ON THIS DAY IN 1860, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “One of the features of the big hotel they have lately erected in Philadelphia is an ingenious contrivance called an elevator, which will land the guests on any floor of the building they desire. This will do away with the vulgar exercise of walking almost altogether. The Philadelphia doctors are greatly tickled with the prospect ahead, and the apothecaries have doubled their orders for anti-dyspeptic and anti-bilious medicines. ‘It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good.’” *** ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON (A.P.) — Senator [Pat] McCarran (D., Nev.) laid the groundwork today for quick Senate approval of voluntary retirement of 70-year-old Supreme Court Justices as a possible means of alleviating the judicial controversy. Some legislators have expressed the belief that enactment of the measure, already passed by the House, might result in one or two...
    By JEFF AMY, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — A Republican-backed bill advancing in the Georgia House would block “defund the police” movements in cities and counties, after Atlanta and Athens debated plans to cut or redirect spending following racial injustice protests last year. The measure is a response to arguments by protesters nationwide that minority communities are suffering from overpolicing and that governments should spend less on law enforcement and more on social service workers who could help address problems, but without guns and arrest powers. House Bill 286 says cities and counties can't cut spending on their police departments by more than 5% a year. The House Governmental Affairs General Government Subcommittee on Tuesday approved it on a split voice vote, sending it forward to the full committee for more debate. “We all recognize that supporting law enforcement is of the utmost importance, and in my opinion, the most...
    More On: joe biden Democrats are radicalizing against the US Constitution  Lincoln Project’s disgrace and other commentary Republicans hammer Biden on lack of clear push for school reopening ‘Starting from scratch’: Harris contradicts Fauci on White House COVID vaccine plan The Biden administration will unveil its immigration reform legislation in Congress sometime this week, multiple people familiar with the matter tell The Post. President Biden’s “US Citizenship Act of 2021” will be introduced in either the House or Senate before the end of the week, sources confirm, though exact details on the unveiling are still being finalized. One source familiar with the planning said it will likely happen on Thursday, but stressed that those involved were still “in the planning process.” The effort to push the legislation through both houses of Congress is being led by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.). The legislation itself will...
    Prince Andrew's former girlfriend Koo Stark has been hit with a £285,000 court bill on top of six-figure legal costs after a judge rejected a 'meritless' claim her financier former lover had agreed to pay her £50,000 a year for life.  The actress - who famously dated the royal in the Eighties - was branded a 'gold digger' by ex Warren 'Robbie' Walker over her claims he promised in 1997 to give her the lump sum every year, plus household expenses, for life. The unmarried pair had just had a daughter and Ms Stark, 64, claimed the 61-year-old made the promise in return for her giving up plans to write what he regarded as a 'distasteful' newspaper column called 'Diary of a Single Mother'. Koo Stark (left), 64, and Warren 'Robbie' Walker (right), 61, seen outside the High Court before an earlier hearing  However, he only paid about...
    BILL Gates has claimed it's "very easy" to solve the Covid pandemic when comparing it to the global climate change crisis. The 65-year-old Microsoft co-founder revealed he isn't too worried about combating the coronavirus pandemic prior to the release of his new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. 5According to the billionaire, the world adds 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere each year 5Bill Gates insists 'climate change will cause far more deaths' than the coronavirus pandemicCredit: AFP or licensors 5Bill Gates expressed his confidence that the 'pandemic will come to an end'Credit: Getty Images - Getty During an interview with BBC News, the American tech tycoon said: "Well, the pandemic will come to an end because these amazing vaccines were invented in a year and we're trying to scale them up and adopt to the variance. "But, compared to climate change - that's very, very...
    More On: nfl Bill Belichick can’t let this happen again Former NFL star found dead at 38 Deshaun Watson takes ‘misinformation’ to next level with photo LeBron James: ‘I would have made’ NFL if I tried out There is “The Patriots Way” and there is The Tom Brady Effect. Chris Hogan played with the Jets in 2020, but he knows what happened in the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers locker room because he experienced the same thing during his three years as Brady’s teammate with the Patriots. “The people around him — coaches, players, staff — want to do better for Tom,” Hogan told The Post. “I’m so happy for him. What better way to solidify how great of a quarterback you are than to go to a different team and win a Super Bowl in your first year.” Hogan, 32, is an NFL free agent who is entering the...
    By TOM DAVIES, Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A bill giving Indiana businesses and others broad protections from lawsuits by people blaming them for contracting COVID-19 was given final approval Monday by state lawmakers. The Republican-dominated state Senate voted 39-7 to send the bill to GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb, who has endorsed the proposal. House members voted last week to approve the bill, which is a top priority of Republican legislative leaders even though supporters don’t point to any such lawsuits in the state. The proposal would be retroactive to March 1, 2020— just before the first coronavirus infection was confirmed in Indiana— and only allow lawsuits against businesses when “gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct” can be proved with “clear and convincing evidence.” Republicans call the protections a key step toward economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, which shut down some businesses for months and the state health...
    Oklahomans may soon be going after mountain lions. A new bill is proposing that Oklahoma hold its first-ever mountain lion hunt. While the bill has support, some are questioning whether the Sooner State has a population large enough to support it. State Sen. Casey Murdock recently introduced the bill, which has already been passed out of the state’s Senate Agricultural and Wildlife Committee. (iStock) State Sen. Casey Murdock recently introduced the bill, which has already been passed out of the state’s Senate Agricultural and Wildlife Committee, The Oklahoman reports. The bill, if passed, would create a lottery or draw for mountain lion hunting permits, limiting hunters to five cougars. OHIO HAS BEST DEER HUNTING SEASON IN 8 YEARS The bill comes as sightings of mountain lions in the state are apparently on the rise. According to KFOR News 4, more mountain lions were spotted in Oklahoma in 2020 than in any previous...
    Leading Off ● Redistricting: On Friday, the Census Bureau announced that the granular data needed for states to conduct redistricting following the 2020 census won't be available until Sept. 30 if not later, which is six months after its original March 31 deadline and two months later than the already-delayed July 30 target that it had signaled was possible just last month. These delays have major implications for redistricting timelines that will make it impossible for a number of states to meet their own legally mandated deadlines for drawing new maps this year, throwing the redistricting process into chaos and uncertainty in many states. (The Brennan Center for Justice previously released a report that looks at which states in particular have deadlines that now conflict with the expected data release timeline.) Consequently, many states will have to push back their candidate filing deadlines and primary elections for the 2022 elections....
    By CHRISTINE STEPHENSON, The Herald DALE, Ind. (AP) — The guests start to wander off as they finish snapping photos of Henrietta (Meyer) Neukam, the star of the show. She’s left sitting in her wheelchair, posed in front of three pink mylar balloons — a one and two zeroes — tied to a massive John Deere tractor. Someone, realizing she’s alone, walks up to Henrietta and leans down. “Are you getting tired?” she asks. “No,” Henrietta responds and wheels herself back to the table to open more cards. About a dozen family members and church friends gathered, socially distanced, Thursday in a pole barn at Henrietta’s home in Dale to celebrate her 100th birthday. Henrietta was born Feb. 4, 1921, a few years after the world had begun to recover from a pandemic. She grew up during the depression and married during World War II. Now, she’s living through another...
    (CNN Business)Maryland became the first state in the country on Friday to impose a tax on digital advertising, as the state's senate voted to override a gubernatorial veto of legislation that would impose up to a 10% levy on revenue from online ads shown in Maryland. The enactment of the bill, by a 29-17 vote, marks the beginning of what could become a wave of similar legislation across the country, as policymakers increasingly target the economic dominance of large tech platforms, some of which have built massive financial engines through advertising technology. It's also another example of how proposals being introduced abroad to rein in Big Tech are increasingly gaining traction in the United States. But it could spark a court battle over the legality of the tax and its impact on digital businesses.The digital advertising provisions of Maryland's new tax law could raise an estimated $250 million in its...
    By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press A deadline for turning in data used for redrawing state and local legislative districts would be extended until the end of September under legislation introduced Friday by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators. A senior U.S. Census Bureau official had previously said the redistricting data would be available no earlier than the end of July, causing headaches for state lawmakers and redistricting commissions facing deadlines to redraw state legislative districts this year. The new deadline in the legislation introduced by Democratic U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Republican U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both from Alaska, suggests that deadline will be pushed back by another two months. Before the pandemic, the deadline for finishing the redistricting data had been March 31. The legislation also sets an April 30 deadline for turning in the apportionment figures used for divvying up congressional seats among...
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico House of Representatives has backed a bill that would require the Legislature to publish a list of capital projects approved each year, including details about project costs and sponsorship. Currently, final projects are published, but not how much each legislator has allocated. The state House voted 65-1 on Thursday, at least the third time similar legislation on the state's capital outlay process has passed the chamber with majority support, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The measure, sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Matthew McQueen and Republican state Rep. Kelly Fajardo, has repeatedly failed to make it through the Senate. But there are now 11 new members this year following the election. “This is truly a bipartisan bill,” McQueen said. “We think this is the year it will also pass the Senate.” Fajardo said it is their job to be “transparent and accountable." Democratic state Rep....
    This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today. Many students have experienced academic and social challenges while learning from home, but trying to replicate school for special-needs children has been an especially confounding undertaking that some Maryland lawmakers are trying to alleviate. Hundreds of students who requested an assessment for special education service eligibility were left hanging, Lori Scott, a parent, told the House Ways and Means Committee this week. Some started the school year in the fall not knowing whether they had special needs accommodations or not, she said. A federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act gives every child the right to services necessary to learn, and children with disabilities are given an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a written plan that details how a school would meet student’s unique needs. But before...
    By CEDAR ATTANASIO, Associated Press / Report for America SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — In a bid to reduce wildfire risk, the House has advanced a bill making it easier for residents to burn brush and wood debris on their property. The bill, passed unanimously Thursday, removes severe liability provisions written into territorial law 20 years before New Mexico became a state and about 100 years before residents became aware of global warming. “Unfortunately, an 1882 territorial-era statute still on the books imposes strict liability and double damages for harm caused as a result of burning, thus discouraging the prescribed burning necessary to keep our rangelands and forests healthy,” said Democratic Rep. Matthew McQueen of Galisteo. Decades of fire suppression aimed at protecting increasingly suburban populations across the mountain west have interrupted natural fire cycles that clear undergrowth. That makes fires harder to control when they break out and more...
    Don’t miss these top stories:Personal Finance Which kids get more face time with their teacher? The answer could depend on their parents’ wallet Long-term impacts of the switch to virtual learning are unknown, Georgetown researchers say. Last-minute strategies for lowering your 2020 business tax bill It’s not too late to cut last year’s tax bill. Majority of jobless Americans chose going back to work over receiving the extra $600 unemployment benefit New research by the JPMorgan Chase Institute suggests that supplemental unemployment benefits did not discourage people from returning to work.‘Black history is American history’: How to educate yourself and work toward racial equity this month (and beyond) This February is both a celebration of Black history and 'a rallying kind of moment,' one professor says.Sorry, the IRS isn’t delaying the tax filing deadline this year The IRS is still processing 6.7 million returns from last year. Elsewhere on MarketWatchU.S....
    Republican Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Rick Scott of Flordia have introduced a bill to withhold U.S. taxpayer funds from the World Health Organization until it makes leadership reforms. The legislation introduced Tuesday called the World Health Organization (WHO) Accountability Act aims to hold the WHO accountable for what the senators allege to be playing a role in China's early coverup of the COVID-19 pandemic when it was just starting to spread through China. "Time and again, [WHO] has prioritized advancing the Chinese Communist Party's interests over building a healthier world," Hawley said in a Tuesday statement, naming WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and "other WHO leaders" as those who "must be held accountable for this dereliction of duty." He added that "the WHO must undertake comprehensive reform before it is allowed to benefit from U.S. tax dollars once again." President Biden announced on his first day in office that he would reinstate the United States'...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia lawmaker has renewed an attempt to punish teachers for striking in a state where work stoppages have occurred in two of the past three years. Senate Education Committee chairwoman Patricia Rucker, a Jefferson County Republican, introduced a bill Wednesday on the first day of the regular legislative session that would allow striking teachers to be fired. Under the bill, county boards of education could instead order the prorated salary or hourly pay of a public employee to be forfeited for each day of their participation in a strike. County superintendents also would be barred from closing schools in anticipation of or to facilitate a strike. While the bill’s prospects of passing are uncertain, the November election produced a supermajority for Republicans in both chambers of the legislature. Having a two-thirds majority gives the GOP the ability to advance bills without Democratic support. Rucker’s...
    Buffalo, Minnesota shooting: After the deadly shooting, health care center says our hearts were broken Donald Trump quietly watching impeachment trial on TV Do You Owe Taxes on Unemployment Benefits? You Could Get Hit With a Big Tax Bill Unemployment benefits provided a much-needed lifeline for thousands of Americans dealing with pandemic furloughs and layoffs in 2020. But on April 15 an unpleasant surprise might be waiting for people who got such aid. © Darylann Elmi/Getty Tax form 1099G details the total unemployment benefits you receive in a given year. According to Kathy Pickering, H&R Block's chief tax officer, many first-time unemployment recipients don't know those payments count as taxable income for both federal and state returns. Thanks to extended benefits that stretched up to 39 weeks in some states and additional weekly federal support payments, first of $600 and then $300, unemployment benefit recipients could be facing hefty...
    Incinerators won renewable energy subsidies despite violations Impeachment trial: Democrats prepare a violent crime criminal prosecution Democrats Unveil $3,000 Child Benefit as Part of Biden Stimulus Bill © Provided by The Motley Fool Democrats Unveil $3,000 Child Benefit as Part of Biden Stimulus Bill © Getty Images Two fathers playing with toy cars on the floor with their toddler son. The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on everyone, but families with children have had their own unique struggles. Many parents, for example, have had to dip into their savings accounts to cover added childcare costs. A lot of school districts are not open for full-time in-person learning, causing parents to scramble to find alternative care so they can work. And, in the absence of adequate care, some parents have had to leave the workforce temporarily. All in all, many families are dealing with additional costs and reduced incomes. Thankfully,...
    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers killed a proposal that would allow some special education students another year of instruction because of the struggles of virtual learning caused by COVID-19. House Bill 2277 proposed that high school students with special needs who are set to graduate in the 2021 school year and who are 22 years old after Sept. 30, 2020, be allowed to take an extra year and graduate in 2022. Students who are younger than 22 are automatically eligible for another year, according to the Virginia Department of Education. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    By KATHERINE DeROSA of Capital News Service RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers killed a proposal that would allow some special education students another year of instruction because of the struggles of virtual learning caused by COVID-19. House Bill 2277 proposed that high school students with special needs who are set to graduate in the 2021 school year and who are 22 years old after Sept. 30, 2020, be allowed to take an extra year and graduate in 2022. Students who are younger than 22 are automatically eligible for another year, according to the Virginia Department of Education. “While other students might have more time to make up whatever was lost because of COVID-19, the kids that were going to age out this year will never get that chance,” said Del. Robert Bell, R-Charlottesville. Virginia students with disabilities age out of the school system at 22 years old, according to...