Truck Driver Shortage Causing Fuel Issues, Not Gas Shortage
Several service stations are closing their pumps due to delays in gas deliveries. AAA has reported there is actually a nationwide gas surplus, but hauling it has become the primary issue. This is also contributing to higher gas prices since drivers are having to drive longer distances to deliver the gas where it needs to be.
High gas prices do not appear to be slowing down drivers wanting to travel. Gas prices have averaged over $3 for the first time since 2014, and according to AAA, they are expected to remain high throughout the summer.
This is not only affecting the fuel industry, but also the lumber and goods industries. The projection from the American Trucking Association is that the shortage of drivers is going to last for several years.
Ohio House Expels Representative Householder
Larry Householder has become the first sitting member of the Ohio House to be expelled from the chamber for the first time in nearly 150 years - since before the Civil War. HR 69 - the expulsion resolution was adopted with the chamber voting 75-21 to eject Householder, despite his constitutional objections and blasting the move as totally political. This action follows his arrest and indictment on a racketeering charge more than a year ago over HB 6, an energy law, which Householder oversaw as Speaker of the House.
This has been a difficult and emotional vote for both Republican and Democrats in the House, which caused rifts
throughout both caucuses. A two-thirds majority support of the chamber was needed to expel. The House immediately appointed a screening committee to interview candidates and seat a new representative for the 72nd district. The House selected Kevin Miller (R-Newark). Miller has extensive experience serving the Ohio State Highway Patrol as their legislative liaison, a trooper, labor relations advocate and post commander.
When asked, Householder would not rule out campaigning for his old House seat or other elected offices. Voters
from his district overwhelmingly returned the lawmaker to his seat last November.
Guidelines for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Being Finalized
Governor Mike DeWine has joined 15 Republican Governors in a plea to the U.S. Department of Commerce, urging the U.S. Census Bureau to release redistricting data. Such delays are hurting efforts to redraw Congressional and legislative districts. The coronavirus pandemic caused difficulties in completing the census, postponing the release until mid-August. This delay puts states in a nearly impossible position to redraw lines prior to the 2022 election cycle in U.S. House and state legislative districts. According to Ohio's Constitution, Congressional districts are supposed to be set by Sept. 1.
The census is completed every 10 years and is used for redistricting Congressional and legislative districts, determines how many Congressional seats each state gets and decides how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is distributed each year.
Ohio is expected to lose one Congressional seat in the 2022 midterm elections, bringing the state's total for the U.S. House of Representatives to 15.
The Affordable Care Act Has Survived Supreme Court Challenges
The Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare, has survived three legal challenges in the Supreme Court since it was passed in 2012. After Congress cut the penalty for not having insurance to $0, the
Court ruled that states didn't have standings because they could not show injury.
While the law has suffered some defeats in lower courts, the Supreme Court has upheld the core of the Affordable Care Act which remains the law today.
Vaccines Not a Requirement To Fly
Even though the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) highly recommends that people delay travel until they are fully vaccinated, vaccines are not a requirement for flying domestically. After a year of lockdowns with the COVID pandemic, people are starting to fly again and adhere to new rules set forth by the airlines. Regardless of vaccination status, wearing a mask is still a mandate to fly on a plane in the U.S.
There are additional recommendations for people who are not fully vaccinated, including getting tested for
COVID-19 one to three days before flying, physically distance when possible, and getting tested three to five days after returning home. For international travel, there are testing and quarantine requirements that vary by country.
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