Report: Three-Fourths of All 2019 Property Insurance Suits in U.S. Were Filed in Florida

In 2019, Florida homeowners accounted for 8.16 percent of the nation’s property insurance claims, but more than 76 percent of property insurance lawsuits lodged against insurers.

Pointing to this “disparity,” Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier in a five-page April 2 letter to House Commerce Committee Chair Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, outlined four proposals to reduce property insurance litigation.

Insurers cite rampant litigation, ballooning reinsurance costs, “loss creep” from 2017-18 hurricanes and coastal flooding as a “perform storm” of coalescing factors leading to double-digit property insurance rate hikes that Florida businesses and 6.2 million homeowners are seeing or will see when renewing policies.

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House Republicans Offer Tax Cuts, School Funding Change in New Ohio Budget Proposal

Group of young students

Ohio House Republicans announced Tuesday they want to put the focus on funding the state’s schools and tax breaks.

The House Finance Committee accepted a substitute bill containing the House GOP’s version of a new two-year state budget, which also includes COVID-19 relief help for small businesses and more oversight of state spending.

“This is a thoughtful, structurally balanced and comprehensive budget plan that funds Ohio’s priorities and invests in Ohio’s future,” said Finance Committee Chair Rep. Scott Oelslager, R-North Canton.

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DeWine Signs Partial Repeal of Ohio’s Controversial Nuclear Power Bailout

Nuclear power plant

A little more than eight months after the billion-dollar government bailout of the state’s nuclear energy industry led the arrest of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, Gov. Mike DeWine officially put it to rest.

DeWine signed House Bill 128 into law late Wednesday. It repeals the nuclear provisions of the infamous House Bill 6.

Gone is the bailout for the Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear power plants in northern Ohio. Also eliminated was the ability for FirstEnergy to have its revenue levels relatively the same even during years when energy consumption decreases. HB 128 directed refunds of money already collected under the guarantee.

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DeWine Signs $8.3B, Two-Year Ohio Transportation Budget

Highway with cars

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine praised the $8.3 billion state transportation budget he signed into law despite it missing the increased vehicle fees and massive cuts for public transportation he proposed.

The two-year budget, House Bill 74, provides money for road and bridge construction and maintenance, as well as other transportation priorities established by the committees in the House and Senate, along with DeWine.

“The budget ensures that we can continue to maintain and invest in Ohio’s roadways,” DeWine said Wednesday. “Ohio’s transportation system continues to be a critical part of our economy, moving materials and people safely across our state. This budget advances our commitment to invest in state and locally-maintained roadways.”

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Surveys: 46 Million People Can’t Afford Health Care, Majority of Hospitals Not Providing Pricing Transparency

Assorted color syringes.

An estimated 46 million people — or 18% of the country — would be unable to pay for health care if they needed it today, a recent poll conducted by Gallup and West Health found.

In another survey by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the majority of hospitals in the U.S. have yet to comply with a transparency ruling implemented this year that would help patients shop around for the most affordable prices.

Gallup’s findings are based on a poll conducted between February 15 and 21 among 3,753 adults with a margin of error of 2%.

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Jobless Claims Increase to 719,000 as Recovery Continues

Unemployment sign

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 719,000 last week, even as the economy continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending March 20, when 658,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised down from the 684,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Roughly 18.2 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the report.

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Commerce Department Report: Red States Leading U.S. Economic Growth

Inside a business with several customers.

Red states are leading economic growth in the U.S., a new report by the U. S. Commerce Department shows, with South Dakota, Texas and Utah reporting the highest growth.

The report is based on 2020 fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data and February 2021 unemployment rates.

Real GDP increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the fourth quarter of 2020. Real GDP for the U.S. as a whole increased at an annual rate of 4.3%. The percent change in real GDP in the fourth quarter ranged from 9.9% in South Dakota to 1.2% in the District of Columbia.

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Ohio Legislature Passes Transportation Budget with Additional Allocations

The Ohio Senate approved more than $8 billion it hopes will spur both economic development and job growth while tackling the state’s transportation needs over the next two years.

The state’s proposed transportation budget passed the Senate unanimously Thursday with some adjustments made by the Senate, including additional money for public transportation, local road projects and emergency road repair. It also requires the Ohio Department of Transportation to reopen currently decommissioned weigh stations to serve as overnight parking areas for commercial truckers.

“This transportation budget makes critical investments in Ohio’s communities and local infrastructure,” said Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima. “I am confident House Bill 74 will improve roads and infrastructure that Ohioans use every day and will enhance Ohio’s economy and promote job growth.”

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Ohio’s Professional Sports Teams Want Piece of Gaming Action

Ohio’s professional sports teams want a piece of sports gambling in the state when and if it ever comes.

Testifying this week before The Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming, Cincinnati Reds Chief Financial Officer Doug Healy told lawmakers professional sports organizations recognize the potential benefits of sports gaming.

“It is imperative that Ohio’s sports betting market include access to both mobile and retail sportsbooks for Ohio’s professional teams so that, as the content creators, we share in both the risks and the benefits, just like the casinos,” said Healy, who also said he was speaking on behalf of the Cleveland Indians.

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Ohio Shows Worst Unemployment Recovery in Nation

Ohio had the slowest weekly unemployment claims recovery in the nation last week, based on a new report from the personal finance website WalletHub.

The report compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia over three metrics: changes in claims during the latest week compared with 2019 and 2020 and changes in claims filed from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic versus the previous year.

Based on the data, Ohio ranked 51st out of 51 in recovery over the latest week and 37th since the pandemic began. Ohio ranked behind Colorado, West Virginia, Mississippi and Virginia in weekly recovery.

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Biden to Direct States to Make All U.S. Adults Eligible for COVID Vaccine by May 1

President Joe Biden said Thursday night that he is directing U.S. states to open COVID-19 vaccinations to all American adults by May 1 in an effort to more quickly reopen the country and prop up the staggering U.S. economy.

“To do this we’re going to go from a million shots a day … to 2 million shots a day,” he said.

In most U.S. states currently, only older Americans, front-line workers and those with pre-existing conditions are eligible, though getting scheduled for a first dose has been problematic in many states even for the most at-risk.

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Ohio AG Files Lawsuit Against Health Care Giant for Overcharging Medicaid

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost claims in lawsuit filed Thursday a health care giant raised prices for taxpayer-funded care to maximize company profits.

Yost said Ohio sued Centene Corp. in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, alleging its subsidiary, Buckeye Health Plan, used a web of subcontractors for the provision of pharmacy benefits to be able to misrepresent pharmacy costs. That, Yost said, resulted in millions of dollars of overpayments by the Ohio Department of Medicaid.

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Lawmakers Say Legislation Would Curb Ohio Unemployment Fraud

Unemployment line

As legitimate and fraudulent unemployment claims rose over the past year, and with additional federal jobless assistance most likely on the way, Ohio lawmakers have introduced legislation they hope cracks down on system abuse.

If the bill passes and is signed into law, Ohioans would be required to provide proof of identification at a local employment office before state or pandemic unemployment assistances would be paid.

Senate Bill 116 outlines proof as either a driver’s license or any of the two documents required to obtain an Ohio driver’s license that contain the applicants name and address, including a birth certificate, Social Security card and proof of Ohio residency, legal presence or name change.

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Commentary: PolitiFact Says 90 Percent of Biden Stimulus Spending Not Directly Related to COVID-19

President Biden’s $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” could soon become law.

The budget-busting legislation, sold as emergency COVID response and “stimulus,” passed the Senate over the weekend. But even the liberal-leaning fact-checking website PolitiFact is pointing out that almost all of the bill’s spending is unrelated to the health effects of COVID-19.

“Total spending directly on COVID-19’s health impacts ranges from $100 billion to $160 billion,” fact-checker Jon Greenberg writes. “At the high end, direct COVID-19 spending represents about 8.5% of the bill’s $1.9 trillion cost.”

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Ohio Prosecutors Support Bill to Force Convicted Rioters to Pay for Damages

Last summer, millions of dollars in taxpayer money were spent in response to protests that turned violent throughout Ohio. A bill proposed in the Ohio Senate looks to make sure those responsible will pay for it.

Senate Bill 41, currently being discussed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, calls for restitution from those who are convicted of property damage during riots, including vandalism. The restitution would pay the expenses of police and emergency crews who have to respond to riots. The bill also allows the government to take possession of any property left behind by those who end up convicted.

State Senator Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, is sponsoring the bill. Lou Tobin, the Executive Director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, offered his support before the committee recently.

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2021 Index Finds Rise in Global Economic Freedom, but U.S. Score Falls

America’s economic freedom ranking has fallen to an all-time low, according to The Heritage Foundation’s 2021 Index of Economic Freedom.

The United States fell three places since last year and now ranks 20th in the world among countries evaluated, with an economic freedom score of 74.8 out of 100.

The 27th annual Index of Economic Freedom was released Thursday during a Heritage virtual event featuring Charles Payne, host of Fox Business’ “Making Money With Charles Payne.”

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Ohio Ranks First in Nation for Attracting New Business, Report Says

One of the nation’s leading economic development publications ranked Ohio as No. 1 in its state economic and business attraction rankings for bringing more corporate facility projects per capita than any other state.

Ohio also ranked second for total projects.

Site Selection, a corporate real estate economic development magazine, recently announced its rankings as part of its 2020 Governor’s Cup.

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‘My Income Has Dropped to Zero’: About 45 Percent of Small Businesses Risk Closure Within Months

At least 13.9 million of the nation’s small businesses are at serious risk of shuttering their doors by April 1, a recent industry report found.

Forty-four percent of the country’s 31.7 million small businesses are at risk of closing by the end of the first quarter, according to small business group Alignable. Small businesses on the brink of closure expect to earn less revenue than their owners estimate is needed to stay afloat.

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Commentary: A Memorial from a Student on Walter E. Williams

In another devastating blow from 2020, we sadly suffered the loss of Professor Walter E. Williams, a distinguished scholar of economics at George Mason University. While his nationally syndicated Townhall columns and stints on the Rush Limbaugh Show made him a household name, I knew him personally as my graduate microeconomics professor.  

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Forgotten Founder Pelatiah Webster: America’s First Economist

by Lawrence Reed   Everybody knows who America’s first president was, but can you identify the country’s first economist? If any man or woman deserves that description, it is surely the one who wrote this and so much more: I propose . . . to take off every restraint and…

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Trump to Honor Ohio Native Economist Laffer, ‘Father of Supply-Side Economics,’ with Presidential Medal of Freedom

  President Donald Trump will present Arthur B. Laffer with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The presentation will take place on June 19. Dr. Laffer is called the “Father of Supply-Side Economics” and is one of the most influential economists in American history, the White House said in a press…

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The Battleground State Report Talks 2020 Strategy and Says, ‘It’s the Economy Stupid!’

On last Friday’s one hour radio show from Star News Digital Media which is in the early stages of a national weekend syndication roll-out – The Battleground State Report with Steve Gill, Michael Patrick Leahy, and Doug Kellett talked about how big an impact the economy will be a factor in…

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Commentary: Life Among the Academic Radicals

by Evan Osborne   For almost a quarter century I have been a professor of economics at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. After years of working there, I have learned something about how my department’s academic radicals, who by dint of personality but not numbers have near-decisive control over…

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Amazon’s New Move Will Gentrify Neighborhoods

by Alexandra Staub     When large companies move into an area, politicians often proclaim how the new business will create jobs, increase tax revenues, and thus lead to economic growth. This is one reason local governments offer tax incentives to businesses willing to move in. Amazon’s decision to locate…

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Globalist Sen. Lamar Alexander Bemoans President’s ‘Shot to the Foot’ From Tariffs

Lamar Alexander

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) bemoaned President Trump’s “shot to the foot’” over tariffs on Fox News’ Journal Editorial Report. Tennessee’s senior senator, praising globalism, introduced the Automotive Jobs Act of 2018 Wednesday to delay the tariffs. He said, “Zero tariffs is exactly the right policy.” He also called for an…

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Three Ways Milton Friedman Improved the Field of Economics

Milton Friedman

by Luis Pablo De La Horra   Milton Friedman is probably the most important free-market thinker of the twentieth century. His ideas in defense of capitalism and economic freedom had an enormous influence on the shift towards free-market policies that took place from the 1970s onwards. Countries like the UK, China,…

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The Left’s Delusions on Economics and the Slow Decline of Human Employment

Steve Gill

During Monday’s broadcast of The Gill Report – live on WETR 92.3 FM in Knoxville – conservative political commentator and Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill questioned whether the left truly understands the dynamics of equality and economics and how mandating the rise of minimum wage may inadvertently deplete a human…

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Memphis, Knoxville Among Worst Cities, USA TODAY Says of Towns It Calls Home

Memphis

Media giant Gannett has compiled a list of what it says are the 50 worst cities to live in, and some of the top locations are towns where it operates newspapers, including two in Tennessee. USA TODAY compiled the list using data from 24/7 Wall Street, a website that publishes…

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