As the leader of a nonprofit group whose mission is to promote economic freedom, sound public policy, and responsible financial management at the state level, I’m honored to help our nation’s financial officers practice good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. Their work often includes managing pension funds that are vital to millions of Americans’ retirement security. Over the past few years, a growing threat called ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) has been negatively impacting state pension systems, ultimately putting retirees at risk. Sadly, our nation’s state financial officers and the retirees they have a fiduciary responsibility to protect are increasingly under siege by ESG ideologues who are motivated by politics rather than economics.Read More
A dozen Republican state attorneys general are fed up with what they view as the leftward drift and self-dealing of their nonpartisan national association and are asking the organization to change its ways and return roughly $280 million in assets to the states.
The National Association of Attorneys General was created in 1907 as a bipartisan forum for all state and territory attorneys general. Over the last year, several of the group’s Republican members have asserted that NAAG has become a partisan litigation machine that improperly benefits from the many tort settlements it helps to engineer.Read More
The West Virginia legislature approved a sweeping measure Tuesday that would allow abortion only in cases of medical emergencies, rape, and incest.
The bill (HB 302) passed in the state Senate, 22-7 and the state House, 77-17, and has been sent to the desk of Governor Jim Justice (R-WV).Read More
In October 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court stripped Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of the unilateral powers she was using when she declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whitmer had been using a 1945 law – which was prompted by a three-day race riot in Detroit three years earlier – that had no sunset provision in it and didn’t require approval by the state legislature.
In May 2021, Whitmer told a news agency that if she still had that 1945 state-of-emergency law, she would use those powers, but not for anything related to a pandemic.Read More
Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia may be saving her state’s coal industry after the Senate Democrats’ climate bill, backed by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, threatened to place new regulations on coal.
Manchin’s agreement included a provision that explicitly authorized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to further regulate coal production under a variety of legal provisions that could have rendered the recent Supreme Court rulings, which stated that Congress must clearly authorize the agency’s actions, irrelevant. However, Capito asserted that the authorization did not comply with budget reconciliation rules on the Senate floor on Sunday, leading the Senate parliamentarian to eliminate the provision, according to a press release.Read More
West Virginia has experienced a dramatic expansion of educational freedom over the past year, from the state legislature passing a near-universal Education Savings Account (ESA) program, called the Hope Scholarship, to loosening state compulsory school attendance laws for participants of learning pods and microschools.Read More
A federal judge in Tennessee ruled in favor of Tennessee, Ohio, and 18 other states in their effort to block federal guidelines on transgender athletes and school locker rooms.
The lawsuit, brought by Tennessee, challenged guidance from the United States Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that would allow athletes who were marked as males on their birth certificates to compete in girls and women’s sports. The federal guidance also would have prohibited student shower and locker room access from being determined by birth gender and provided guidance on required pronoun use.Read More
An Ohio group that has been fighting against school choice vouchers in its own state is expressing support for a lawsuit that is seeking to halt a West Virginia school voucher program.
As Ohio lawmakers have considered legislation to expand school choice, the group called Vouchers Hurt Ohio stated that lawmakers are looking at other states, such as West Virginia, for how to craft their school choice programs.Read More
Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.Read More
When we last checked in with U.S. Representative Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), evidence of his misuse of campaign funds had been referred to the House Ethics Committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics.
As American Greatness has reported, Mooney’s congressional campaign used campaign money to pay for the congressman’s personal expenses, including $3,475 in meals from Chick-fil-A and other fast-food restaurants, two vacation trips to resorts in West Virginia, and $17,250 in gift card purchases from a Catholic Church gift shop. He has repaid more than $12,000 of a disputed $40,115 as a result of the OCE investigation.Read More
Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.
Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.Read More
As millions of families across the country grapple with the fact that the expanded child tax credit could lapse for months, if not permanently, those in few states stand to hurt more than those in West Virginia.
The monthly credit, amounting to as much as $300 per child, has been a lifeline to many across the state, which ranks 49th out of 50 in average income. The expansion, adopted in March as part of the coronavirus relief package, has especially helped those earning the lowest, many of whom were once partially or completely excluded from receiving it because their incomes were too low to qualify.
West Virginia had already struggled as coal mining declined and drug overdose deaths rose, but after being decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, economic recession that resulted and subsequent inflation as the state recovered, residents said that the expanded payments provided a sense of financial security when so much seemed uncertain.Read More
Scientists believe a meteor exploded early New Year’s Day over Pittsburgh, causing mysterious loud noises and vibrations that shook the city.
“The loud explosion heard over SW PA earlier may have been a meteor explosion,” the U.S. National Weather Service tweeted Saturday, posting an image showing a flash of light it claimed was “not associated with lightning.”
“No confirmation, but this is the most likely explanation at this time,” the agency said.Read More
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin told the White House last week that he was willing to endorse some type of billionaire tax in President Joe Biden’s domestic spending package before coming out against it days later, The Washington Post reported.
Manchin said that a tax on billionaires’ wealth could be a means to pay for the package, according to the Post, citing three people familiar with his offer to the White House. The outlet reported that it was unclear whether Manchin provided an estimate of how much money the provision would raise.
Programs in Manchin’s $1.8 trillion counteroffer included universal pre-K for ten years, expansions to the Affordable Care Act and billions of dollars for climate change mitigation measures, according to the Post, but it did not include the child tax credit, which many Democrats have touted as one of the single biggest policy achievements of the year.Read More
Republicans are upping their calls for West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to switch parties after he said he would not vote for President Joe Biden’s domestic spending bill.
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn told Nexstar that he texted Manchin to encourage him to switch after he came out as a “no,” telling him, “Joe, if [Democrats] don’t want you we do.”
While Cornyn said he did not get a response, he said that Manchin switching would be “the greatest Christmas present I can think of.”Read More
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., declared Sunday he won’t vote for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, saying he feared the bill’s mass spending and climate provisions may worsen inflation.
“This is a no,” Manchin told Fox News Sunday, “I have tried everything I know to do.”
The West Virginia Democrat’s decision all but dooms Biden’s signature legislation in an evenly divided Senate.
Manchin said he was concerned about the continuing effects of the pandemic, inflation, and geopolitical unrest. His decision came after an intense lobbying campaign by the president and fellow Democrats failed to change his mind.Read More
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin came out against his party’s plan to tax billionaires in order to finance their social-spending package just hours after it was first released.
“I don’t like it. I don’t like the connotation that we’re targeting different people,” Manchin told reporters Tuesday morning, describing billionaires as people who “contributed to society and create a lot of jobs and a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits.”Read More
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia reportedly opposed two pieces of his party’s spending package as negotiations over its price tag and reach continue to stall.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia’s opposition reportedly relates to the Democrats’ climate change and child tax credit provisions of the budget proposal. While the majority of his party lauded both programs, the 50-50 Senate means that any one Democratic senator could tank the bill, giving Manchin veto-like power while representing a rural, coal-producing state that voted for former President Donald Trump by almost 40 points in 2020.
Multiple reports surfaced Friday suggesting that the Clean Electricity Payment Program would likely be scrapped from the bill due to Manchin’s objections, part of Democrats’ attempt to fight climate change. Those backing the program, which would provide incentives for clean energy use while implementing fines and penalties for organizations continuing to rely on fossil fuels, see it as a fundamental piece of the Democrats’ agenda and key to reaching President Joe Biden’s goal of reducing U.S. emissions by 50% of what they were in 2005 by 2030.Read More
About 25% of critical infrastructure in the U.S., or 36,000 facilities, is at serious risk of being rendered inoperable as a result of flooding over the next three decades, according to an industry report released Monday.
American infrastructure such as police stations, airports, hospitals, wastewater treatment facilities, churches and schools were all considered in the analysis, according to First Street Foundation, the group that published the first-of-its-kind report. The U.S. is “ill-prepared” for a scenario where major flooding events become more commonplace, the report concluded.Read More
The U.S. Justice Department unsealed a criminal complaint Sunday alleging that a Navy engineer and his wife repeatedly tried to pass secrets about U.S. nuclear submarines to a foreign power in a plot thwarted by an undercover FBI agent.
Jonathan Toebbe, 42, and his wife Diana, 45, both of Annapolis, Md,. were arrested Saturday in West Virginia by the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service on espionage-related charges of violating the Atomic Energy Act, officials said.Read More
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin was once again at odd with his party Thursday evening, as fellow Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer laid into his GOP colleagues during a floor speech following a vote to approve legislation that would temporarily raise the debt ceiling.
“Republicans played a dangerous and risky partisan game, and I am glad that their brinksmanship did not work,” said Schumer, beginning a series of remarks that would target his colleagues across the aisle, including 11 of whom voted to end debate on the debt ceiling measure, allowing for the full vote to happen.
Manchin, who could be seen seated direct behind Schumer, as the New York lawmaker made his remarks, appeared at first to be shaking his head disapprovingly before placing his head in his hands.Read More
The White House is once again at odds with the senior senator from West Virginia.
Joe Manchin has made clear for months that the administration’s sprawling $3.5 trillion social spending package is too large, and just as progressives seemed to agree that the top-line number could be whittled down somewhat, the moderate Democrat drew another line in the sand, this one underscoring the Hyde Amendment.
The amendment represents a decades-long agreement by both parties that prohibits federal dollars from funding abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger. Manchin wants it included in the spending bill. The White House does not. Thus has emerged another obstacle to passing the president’s legislative agenda.Read More
Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
That is exactly how Americans must feel as they learn that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is trying to ram through another bill orchestrating a federal takeover of elections, despite the previous failed attempt in the Senate.
The bill, H.R. 4, is expected to come up in the House of Representatives this week, and it is stunning in its breadth. In short, Pelosi would give broad, sweeping powers to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to rewrite every state and local election law in the country.Read More
A biologically male middle school student may run on a girl’s cross country team this fall in spite of West Virginia’s new law banning biological males from women’s sports, U.S. Circuit Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ruled Wednesday.
Lawyers from the ACLU-West Virginia had argued that HB 3293 would unfairly prevent the 11-year-old student, Becky Pepper-Jackson, from participating on a girls cross country team.
Goodwin issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday allowing Pepper-Jackson to “sign up for and participate in school athletics in the same way as her girl classmates.”Read More
The Department of Justice argued in court filings Thursday that transgender legislation passed in West Virginia and Arkansas is unconstitutional.
The DOJ filed statements of interest supporting lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against West Virginia’s House Bill 3293 and Arkansas’ “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act,” otherwise known as the SAFE Act.
The West Virginia bill bans biological males at public schools from participating in women’s sports in middle school, high school, and college. The SAFE Act prohibits physicians from performing gender transition procedures, such as puberty blockers or “top” and “bottom” surgeries, on minors.Read More
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that Republicans could back an infrastructure package costing up to $800 billion, a higher total than a plan Senate Republicans put forward in April.
Speaking with Kentucky Educational Television Sunday, McConnell reaffirmed Republicans’ opposition to President Joe Biden’s sweeping $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, which covers both traditional infrastructure and Democratic priorities like child care, affordable housing and climate change. McConnell said that any package must be limited to “traditional” infrastructure items like roads, bridges and ports to gain GOP support.
“The proper price tag for what most of us think of as infrastructure is about $600-800 billion,” McConnell said.Read More
Texas and Florida are slated to gain congressional seats during the decennial redistricting process, while California and New York are set to each lose one, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday.
The U.S. Census Bureau released the decennial state population and congressional apportionment totals Monday, outlining how many districts each state will have for the next decade. The data also determines how many Electoral College votes each state will have through 2032, and allocates how federal money is distributed to each state for schools, roads and other public projects.
The release was originally scheduled for December, but faced delays due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Trump administration’s unsuccessful effort to exclude non-citizens from the count.Read More
The governor of West Virginia signaled that he will not veto a bill banning biological males from women’s sports.
Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice discussed HB 3293 during a coronavirus briefing Wednesday saying that he would either “let it become law or sign it,” according to The Hill. The governor also said that he would “absolutely not” veto the bill, the publication reported.
“From the standpoint of how I feel about it personally… I just can’t possibly get through my head that it is the right thing for us at a middle school level or a high school level in our state for me not to support the bill,” Justice said, according to the Hill. “So, I do support the bill.”Read More
Thirteen states sued President Joe Biden’s administration over an American Rescue Plan provision prohibiting states from cutting taxes after accepting coronavirus relief funds.
The 13-state coalition argued that the provision included in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package preventing states from cutting taxes if they accept relief from the federal government is unconstitutional. The coalition, led by Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
“Never before has the federal government attempted such a complete takeover of state finances,” Morrisey said in a Wednesday statement. “We cannot stand for such overreach.”Read More
A group of red states sued President Biden and members of his administration on Wednesday over his decision to revoke a key permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, The Hill reported.
The lawsuit is led by Montana and Texas, and backed by 19 other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.Read More
Two veteran school bus drivers from a West Virginia school district have filed a civil lawsuit for suspensions related to their attendance at the January 6 Washington, DC protest.
Tina Renner and Pamela McDonald were suspended by Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson after receiving word the drivers had “posted threatening and inflammatory posts on their Facebook pages, had been present at the Electoral protest march on Wednesday that erupted in violence, and had violated […] leave policy.”Read More
Virgin Hyperloop One will build a certification center in West Virginia for the high-speed transportation concept that uses enclosed pods to zip passengers underground at over 600 mph (960 km/h).
The company had received bids from more than a dozen states in the past year to build a 6-mile (9.7-kilometer) testing track and other safety facilities over hundreds of acres for the electromagnetic levitation transportation technology.Read More
The Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a critical permit for a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cross under the Appalachian Trail, siding with energy companies and the Trump administration.
The justices ruled 7-2 to reverse a lower court ruling that had thrown out the permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It would bring natural gas from West Virginia to growing markets in Virginia and North Carolina. Its supporters say the pipeline would bring economic development, thousands of jobs and reduced energy costs for consumers.Read More
The governor of West Virginia signed a bill into law that protects babies born alive through botched abortions and penalizes doctors for allowing these babies to die.Read More
by Steve Bittenbender A multistate organization in charge of improving the quality of one of the country’s most important rivers voted on Thursday to adopt a new plan on how to ensure states meet water pollution standards. By a 19-2 vote, with one abstention, the Ohio River Valley Water…Read More
by Salena Zito WEBSTER SPRINGS, W.Va.—No sitting president has ever visited here before. So it was a pretty big deal when 14 local high school students in a civics class had President Trump talking to them in their classroom Wednesday, all thanks to a Skype video call that Sen.…Read More
by Evie Fordham West Virginia House of Delegates member Caleb Hanna wants to fund a southern border wall with $10 million of his state’s surplus to combat West Virginia’s drug problem, he said on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday. “West Virginia has a terrible drug problem,” Hanna said Tuesday. “I…Read More
by Evie Fordham The West Virginia House of Delegates convened Wednesday with a record-setter in its midst – freshman Del. Caleb L. Hanna, who became the nation’s youngest black legislator following his election at age 19 in November 2018. “I always knew that I was not satisfied with the…Read More
by Kevin Daley The West Virginia state legislature has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision that halted the impeachment trials of several members of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. State lawmakers said they are not aiming to restart removal proceedings against the state Supreme…Read More
by George Rasley On Tuesday, the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of allegedly “fiscally responsible” House Democrats announced its new leadership team as their party is poised to retake the gavel in the 116th Congress. The Blue Dogs claim they embrace a “bipartisan approach” to legislating and are looking…Read More
by Kevin Daley West Virginia is in the grips of a constitutional crisis, as the state’s highest court effectively ended an impeachment proceeding against one of its own members. The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that the state legislature exceeded its authority in impeaching its own chief…Read More
A Democratic Supreme Court justice in the state of West Virginia said hours after she was impeached Tuesday that she was retiring, triggering a special election for her replacement and denying the Republican governor a chance to name her successor. The citizens of West Virginia now “will be afforded their…Read More
by Kevin Daley Who presides over the impeachment trial of a state Supreme Court justice if the entire state Supreme Court is being impeached? It’s an absurd constitutional hypothetical West Virginians are left to grapple with, after the West Virginia House of Delegates Judiciary Committee drafted articles of impeachment…Read More
by Nick Givas West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael claims the Republican party is responsible for the state’s economic turnaround and believes the election of President Donald Trump has only added to their prosperity. “For the first time in over 83 years the people of over West Virginia selected the Republicans to…Read More