With Virginia’s transportation funding plan finally in place, ‘then COVID-19 hit’ | Govt-and-politics

Success came in 2013, when the assembly approved a $6 billion transportation funding package , sponsored by then-House Speaker Bill Howell, R-Stafford, and supported by then-Gov. Bob McDonnell, but much larger in scope than they originally sought. The final package included long-sought regional funding for transportation priorities in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne, then a member of Commonwealth Transportation Board, said Southard played an important role in getting the bill passed, as well as subsequent legislation that led to the creation of Smart Scale program for ranking state transportation projects and committing money to get them done.

“He was a steadfast proponent of transportation funding,” Layne said.

Later, as transportation secretary under Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Layne said he initially clashed with Southard and his industry over reforms to the Public Private Transportation Act to protect the state’s interests in major highway deals with private developers

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Oklahoma Democrats ask AG for determination on Stitt’s COVID-19 spending for private school students | Govt-and-politics

OKLAHOMA CITY — A group of Democratic House members asked Attorney General Mike Hunter on Monday to determine whether Gov. Kevin Stitt appropriately spent COVID-19 relief funds when he designated $10 million for private school students.

Seven members of the House Democratic Education Policy Team asked Hunter to examine how Stitt’s office distributed funds from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, called GEER. The members want Hunter to determine whether Stitt was within his authority when he chose to send a portion of the funds to private schools.

“We requested this opinion because it’s time to stop this ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach to government funding,” said Rep. Andy Fugate, D-Del City.

The funding is not a slush fund for the governor to spend as he pleases, Fugate said.

Stitt announced in July that $10 million of the nearly $40 million in GEER funds would go

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Fact-check: Biden miscues on jobs, pandemic; Trump errs on voting | Govt-and-politics



AP FACT CHECK: Trump's errant views on voting, Biden miscues

President Donald Trump speaks as he tours an emergency operations center and meets with law enforcement officers at Mary D. Bradford High School, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis.




TRUMP, on Wisconsin officials and the National Guard: “Once they responded and once we took, you know, control of it, things went really well.” — remarks in Kenosha on Tuesday.

TRUMP: “One of the reasons I’m making the trip today and going to Wisconsin is we’ve had such a big success in shutting down what would be, right now, a city — that would’ve been Kenosha — a city that would’ve been burnt to the ground by now. … And it all stopped immediately upon the National Guard’s arrival.” — remarks Tuesday before visiting Wisconsin.

THE FACTS: Not true. He had nothing to do with the deployment of the National Guard in Wisconsin. The federal government never “took

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Indiana alters student count to maintain school funding | Govt-and-politics

Although Holcomb and other state leaders promised in June that schools would remain fully funded during the pandemic regardless of whether students are attending class in-person or online, Bray’s notice put millions of dollars in school funding on the line, given that dozens of school districts around the state decided to start the school year entirely online.

Under the board of education’s new plan, the fall student count day will happen as planned on Sept 18, but school budgets won’t be penalized for offering instruction only online.

Students will not be counted as “virtual” — meaning schools won’t see the 15% reduction in basic per student funding — as long as they were not enrolled in a full-time virtual education program on the previous enrollment count day. Students who attended school virtually in February and remain virtual students now will continue to be funded at the 85% level.

State school

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New York withholds millions in funding as schools struggle with reopening | Govt-and-politics

Robert Lowry, deputy director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents, said Wednesday that payments to schools during the quieter summer months amount to about $1 billion. Over the full school year, it will end up totaling about $27 billion – and the big flow of cash from Albany to the districts is set to come at the end of September.

Still, the recent drip, drip, drip of cuts so far from Albany are, Lowry said, “alarming as an indication of what could be in store for schools.”

Further, schools don’t know if the cuts so far will be temporary or permanent. They also don’t know if the cuts will be made across-the-board, which could have far more devastating impacts on less wealthy and poorer school districts in urban and rural areas, or be done on some kind of wealth-based need formula.

Lowry said school superintendents and other

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