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Prices in the South rise again in August | Alabama

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23 Republican AGs call on Senate to pass SAVE Act | National

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www.thecentersquare.com – By Bethany Blankley | contributor – 2024-07-16 16:18:00

(The Center Square) – A coalition of Republican attorneys general have called on the U.S. Senate to pass the SAVE Act, a bill that would ensure additional safeguards are in place to prevent noncitizens from in federal elections.

The coalition, led by Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, sent a letter to the of the U.S. Senate and to House Speaker Mike Johnson in of the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act.

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The Republican-controlled House passed the bill filed by U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, last largely along party lines by a vote of 221-198.

The Biden administration opposes it, and Democratic leaders in encouraged colleagues to vote against it, arguing it is a political ploy, The Center Square reported.

The bill was filed after several local Democratic-run jurisdictions nationwide have announced efforts to register noncitizens to vote, and some like the District of Columbia passed measures to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections. U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, filed a bill more than once to block the district's measure, which Democrats overwhelmingly opposed, The Center Square reported.

President Joe Biden's “open border” polices threaten the security of U.S. elections, the AG coalition argues. As millions of illegal foreign nationals were released into the U.S. through Biden administration policies, cities and states nationwide “started allowing noncitizens to vote in their [local] elections,” the coalition said. While these policies are “bad enough,” they argue, some states “have taken an even odder approach,” citing an Arizona policy.

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“Arizona's Secretary of State explains that voters who register to vote without proof of citizenship will be designated ‘federal-only' voters, meaning they are allowed to vote in federal, but not state or local, elections.”

Two of the AGs signing the letter previously served as their state's secretary of state and state's chief election and “recognize the necessity of such a measure to secure our elections,” they said.

“The SAVE Act protects our elections from illegal immigrants and upholds the rule of law,” they argue. “Under the SAVE Act, individuals must provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote. The SAVE Act also will help States identify and remove illegal immigrants from their voter registration rolls by providing States with access to federal databases. Those simple, common-sense reforms will protect our elections. Americans deserve to have confidence in the security of our elections.”

Attorneys general joining Bird represent the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, , Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent his own letter, saying, “Although federal law prohibits those who are not U.S. citizens from voting in federal elections, it also paradoxically prohibits States from requiring voters to have proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections. Under any circumstances, this federal prohibition against citizenship verification makes little sense, but it is especially troubling given the current scale of the illegal immigration crisis. Congress needs to correct this statutory defect by allowing states to ensure that votes are being cast legally by eligible voters.”

Paxton also explains the dilemma created by Arizona, which implemented a bifurcated voting system. “In the 2020 election, over 11,600 Arizona voters participated only in the federal election because they had not provided proof of citizenship, despite the fact that federal law prohibits non-citizens from voting in federal elections,” he said. “That means that 11,600 voters voted in the previous presidential election without ever providing proof that they were citizens – in a state that won by 10,457 votes out of over 3.3 million votes cast. The SAVE Act would fix this problem, assure integrity in our democratic process, and make elections more secure.”

The bill is unlikely to even be considered for a vote in the Democratic controlled Senate.

Roy argues the bill “would thwart Democrat efforts to cement one-party rule by upholding and strengthening current law that permits only U.S. citizens to vote in Federal elections.”

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Democrats oppose it “because they WANT non-citizens, illegals, to vote,” he said.

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Louisiana Pearl River residents disapprove of new flood control lake plan | Louisiana

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www.thecentersquare.com – By Jacob Mathews | The Center Square – 2024-07-15 11:31:00

(The Center Square) — Despite the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supporting a scaled-down flood control lake near Jackson, Mississippi, environmental groups and in remain opposed to the project, saying it could result in environmental to coastal fisheries and wetlands.

The federal agency said at a public meeting last in Slidell that the original plan isn't cost-effective. The Corps said a new plan called Alternative D is similar but proposes a smaller One Lake near Jackson. 

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Andrew Whitehurst, a representative from Healthy Gulf, an environmental nonprofit group dedicated to preserving the Gulf's natural resources, said the dredging near toxic waste sites might loosen some slurry and leachate down the system.

Whitehurst also said the lives of multiple turtle and fish species whose habitats are in the Pearl River watershed would be endangered. 

The Corps said that the new plan will have no effect on the rivers water levels below Monticello, Mississippi.

However, nearly two dozen Louisiana business owners and residents opposed the project during the hearing. The St. Tammany Parish Council also renewed its opposition to the plan with a resolution Thursday night. 

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“They were talking about how great it would be [to have] a state park in Jackson, Mississippi,” Parish Council member David Cougle said. “But we are in Slidell.”

The Rankin-Hinds Drainage District, an entity of the state of Mississippi created to prevent flooding in the two counties, supports the project, saying the lake would not only prevent flooding in Jackson, but an urban waterfront that would increase revenues and provide recreational opportunities.

“It's not being considered how this is going to negatively affect us,” Cougle added.

The Corps estimates that the project would reduce flood damages in Jackson by about $28 million annually.

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Whitehurst believes part of the plan, the weir that will impound the Pearl River, is just there to make a recreational lake. The Corps also says this plan would require extra pumps and levee improvements, and would increase flood risk for 52 homes in Mississippi downstream of the lake.

The Corps uses a cost-benefit test to determine whether to move forward with a project. They discovered there would be economic boost to the area from “boat ramps, camping areas, fishing piers, trails, or wildlife viewing areas,” which would add about $5 million in calculated annual to the project.

Though the Corps has framed “Alternative D” as the most likely plan, it is still considering two others. One involves home elevations, buyouts and new levees with no new lake, which would have the least effects on the lower Pearl River.  The other proposes dredging the Pearl and adding levees near Jackson, but would also not involve creating a new lake.

Louisiana officials say they understand the need for both and flood control. They're urging the Corps to pursue a plan that won't harm the lower Pearl.

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“No one that lives in South Louisiana is going to begrudge them for wanting flood protection. We understand that as well as anybody else does,” Rep. Stephanie Berault, R-Slidell, said according to NOLA. “But you just don't do it at the expense of its downstream effects.”

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Mississippi congressman’s field director says ‘don’t miss next time’ | National

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www.thecentersquare.com – By Steve Wilson | – 2024-07-13 20:50:00

(The Center Square) – A now-deleted Facebook post by a staffer of Mississippi's lone Democrat congressman appeared to the attempted assassination of former on Saturday.

The deleted post by Jacqueline Marsaw, a field director for U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, said “I don't condone violence but please get you some shooting lessons so you don't miss next time ooops [sic] that wasn't me talking.”

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The Mississippi Republican Party's X account said Thompson should “FIRE his field director for condoning the attempted assassination of President @realDonaldTrump !!!” The post also said state Democrats “must repudiate these despicable statements.”

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Trump was wounded in the ear and off the stage Saturday at a rally in Butler, Pa. by U.S. Secret Service agents and other enforcement

In a post to X after the shooting, Thompson said “There is no room in American democracy for political violence. I am grateful for law enforcement's fast response to this incident. I am glad the former President is safe, and my and prayers go out to everyone involved.”

Thompson is the author of the Denying Infinite Security and Government Resources Allocated toward Convicted and Extremely Dishonorable Former Protectees Act. House Resolution 8081 would strip Secret Service protection for anyone convicted of a state or federal and sentenced to a year or more in prison. 

With Trump already been convicted in May of 34 counts in New York of falsifying business related to hush money paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels, the bill by the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Homeland Security is clearly aimed at the former president.

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The bill introduced on April 19 has yet to receive a committee hearing or a floor vote. 

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