Category: Montana Economy


Asian Shares Most Fall After Mixed Trading on Wall Street | national news


Asian stocks were mostly down on Wednesday after major indices ended mixed on Wall Street.

Benchmarks fell in Tokyo, Shanghai and Taiwan, but rose in Sydney. The markets in South Korea and Hong Kong were closed for holidays.

The Bank of Japan kept its ultra-support monetary policy unchanged, as expected.

Investors are waiting to see the Federal Reserve’s latest assessment of the economy and are keeping an eye on struggling Chinese developer Evergrande, which is struggling to repay debt.

A late-afternoon buying explosion on Wall Street faded into the closing minutes of trading on Tuesday, leaving major stock indexes mixed. The S&P 500 ended down just under 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1%.

The Tokyo Nikkei 225 Index lost 0.6% to 29,665.42, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.8% to 3,585.24. The Australian S & P / ASX 200 gained 0.5% to 7,310.10. Shares fell 2.4% in Taiwan and also fell in Singapore. But benchmarks have increased in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The 10-year Treasury yield edged up to 1.33% from 1.32% on Tuesday night.

The Federal Reserve is expected to send out its clearest signal yet this week that it will begin to curb its ultra-low interest rate policies later this year, the first step towards unwinding the extraordinary support it has provided. to the economy since the pandemic hit 18 months ago.

Wednesday’s Fed policy meeting could lay the groundwork for a November pullback announcement.

Global investors are also anxiously watching Evergrande, one of China’s largest real estate developers, facing a possible default of tens of billions of dollars in debt, fueling fears of possible wider shockwaves to the financial system. .

Chinese regulators have yet to say what they might do with the Evergrande group. Economists expect them to step in if Evergrande and lenders fail to agree on how to handle its debts. But any formal resolution is expected to result in losses for banks and bondholders.

On Tuesday, nerves appeared to stabilize after a massive sell-off on Monday.

The S&P 500 lost 3.54 points to 4,354.19, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 50.63 points to 33,919.84. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.2% to 14,746.49.

Small business stocks also managed gains. The Russell 2000 Index rose 0.2% to 2,186.18.

Healthcare stocks led the winners on Tuesday. Johnson & Johnson rose 0.4% after reporting that a booster of its unique coronavirus vaccine provides a stronger immune response months after people received a first dose.

Several companies made solid gains after giving investors encouraging financial updates. Rideshare company Uber jumped 11.5% after telling investors it could post adjusted earnings this quarter. Equipment rental provider Herc Holdings rose 6.7% after a strong long-term growth forecast.

Supply chain issues, which have plagued a wide range of industries, have weighed on several companies. Homebuilder Lennar fell 0.5% after third-quarter home deliveries fell below analysts’ expectations due to supply chain issues.

Universal Music jumped 35.7% when it debuted on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

In other exchanges, benchmark US crude oil gained 54 cents to $ 71.03 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. He won 35 cents to $ 70.49 on Tuesday.

Brent crude oil, the standard for international prices, added 42 cents to $ 74.78 a barrel.

The US dollar climbed to 109.42 Japanese yen from 109.23 yen on Tuesday night. The euro was unchanged at $ 1.1726.

———

AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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Wall Street advances a day after the biggest drop since May | national news


Shares edged higher in morning trading on Wall Street on Tuesday, making up for some of the ground lost in a sharp pullback a day earlier.

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% at 10:13 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 135 points, or 0.4%, to 34,099 and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.

Healthcare companies have helped drive the broader market up. Johnson & Johnson rose 1.2% after reporting that a booster of its single-injection coronavirus vaccine provides a stronger immune response months after people received a first dose.

Tech companies also made gains in a reversal from Monday when the industry collapsed.

The 10-year Treasury yield held steady at 1.31%.

European markets were also higher, and Asian markets mostly increased. Chinese markets have remained closed for a holiday.

The market liquidation on Monday was prompted in part by concerns about heavily indebted Chinese real estate developers and the damage they could cause if they default and spill over into the markets. This has added to a wide range of concerns hanging over investors, including the highly contagious delta variant as well as higher prices squeezing businesses and consumers.

Wall Street is also assessing the impact of the slowing recovery on Federal Reserve policies that have helped support the market and the economy. The central bank will issue a policy statement on Wednesday, which will be closely watched for any signals on how the Fed will ultimately cut its bond purchases that have helped keep interest rates low.

Several companies are making solid gains after giving investors encouraging financial updates. Rideshare company Uber jumped 7.7% after telling investors it could post adjusted earnings this quarter. Equipment rental provider Herc Holdings rose 4.9% after a strong long-term growth forecast.

Supply chain issues, which have plagued a wide range of industries, have weighed on several companies. Homebuilder Lennar slipped 1.4% after third-quarter home deliveries fell below analysts’ expectations due to supply chain issues. KAR Auction Services fell 1.2% after withdrawing its financial guidance for the year due to computer chip shortages that hurt the auto industry.

Universal Music jumped 37% when it debuted on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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US Stocks Fall Amid Fears of Contagion in Chinese Real Estate | national news


Stocks slumped in morning trading on Wall Street on Monday in a broad sell-off that extends an already weak streak for major indices.

Concerns about debt-engulfed Chinese real estate developers – and the damage they could do to investors around the world if they default – are spilling over into the markets.

The S&P 500 fell 1.5% at 10:03 a.m. EST. The benchmark index has not fallen more than 1% since mid-August. It also just suffered two weeks of losses and is on track for its first monthly drop since January.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 495 points, or 1.4%, to 34,086 and the Nasdaq fell 1.7%.

Tech companies have led the market as a whole to the downside. Apple fell 1% and chipmaker Nvidia lost 2.7%.

Banks suffered heavy losses as bond yields fell. This impairs their ability to charge more lucrative interest rates on loans. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.32% from 1.37% on Friday night. Bank of America fell 3.1%.

Oil prices fell 1.3% and weighed on energy stocks.

Utilities and other sectors considered less risky have held up better than the rest of the market.

Concerns about Chinese real estate developers and debt have recently focused on Evergrande, one of China’s largest real estate developers, which appears to be unable to repay its debts.

Many analysts say they expect the Chinese government to prevent an explosion severe enough to cause cascading losses in the markets. But any hint of uncertainty may be enough to upend Wall Street, after the S&P 500 has surged higher almost uninterruptedly since October.

“While the Evergrande situation is in the foreground, the reality is that stock valuations are exaggerated and the market has enjoyed too long a pause from volatility and Monday’s stock declines are not surprising “, David Bahnsen, director of wealth investments. management company The Bahnsen Group said in a research note.

The Hang Seng, Hong Kong’s main index, fell 3.3% for its biggest loss since July. Many other markets in Asia have been closed for the holidays. European markets fell around 2%.

Investors are also watching the Federal Reserve’s reaction to shocks from the broader economic recovery. The central bank has indicated that it will eventually cut back on bond purchases, which has helped keep interest rates low. The timing of this move remains unknown.

The Fed is due to release its latest update on economic policy and interest rates on Wednesday.

Other investor concerns include a potentially messy political fight in Washington over the US debt ceiling. House Democrats said on Friday they plan to decide this week to suspend the government’s borrowing power cap, and the White House has stepped up pressure on Republicans by warning state and local governments that severe cuts were to come if the measure failed in the Senate.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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Hong Kong stocks lead Asia down; Tokyo and Shanghai closed | national news


Shares fell more than 3% in Hong Kong on Monday in thinned trading during the Asian holiday, with other major markets in Tokyo and Shanghai closed.

Other regional benchmarks also fell after Wall Street ended last week with another drop.

Investors are watching to see if the Federal Reserve will take action to deal with the impact of rising prices on businesses and consumers.

Hong Kong real estate companies and banks lost ground amid lingering concerns about the potential spillover effects of Chinese developer Evergrande’s financial woes.

The company was expected to pay no interest as rating companies predict it could default on its debt.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 3.5% to 24,035.30 and the Australian S & P / ASX 200 was down 1.6% to 7,287.90. Markets were closed in mainland China, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia.

The Fed is due to release its latest update on economic policy and interest rates on Wednesday. The central bank said higher costs for raw materials and consumer goods will always be temporary as the economy recovers, but analysts fear higher prices will persist and hurt corporate results while slashing prices. expenses.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill slipped to 1.37% from 1.38% on Friday.

Shares closed lower on Wall Street on Friday, marking a weak end to a checkered week of trading. The S&P 500 Index lost 0.9% to 4,432.99, for its second consecutive weekly loss.

About 80% of the benchmark S&P 500 stocks fell and all sectors except healthcare were in the red.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% to 34,584.88 and the Nasdaq fell 0.9% to 15,043.97.

The biggest bottlenecks in the market have been technology and communications companies.

The Russell 2000 Small Business Index recovered from an initial decline, rising 0.2% to 2,236.87.

Quadruple witchcraft, the simultaneous expiration of four types of options and futures, has contributed to market volatility. The phenomenon occurs four times a year and forces traders to sort out the details of the contracts they hold. More than 750 billion individual stock options were due to expire on Friday, McKnight said.

In Monday’s other trading, US benchmark crude oil fell 65 cents to $ 71.32 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, it fell 64 cents to $ 71.97 a barrel.

Brent crude, the standard for international prices, fell 57 cents to $ 74.79 a barrel.

The US dollar slipped to 109.90 Japanese yen from 109.95 yen. The euro fell to $ 1.1716 from 1.1731.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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Climate change, logging collide – and a forest is shrinking | State and regional


In the Black Hills, centuries-old ponderosa pine stands have been thinned over the past two decades and then thinned again. In some areas, most of the remaining older and larger trees are cut down, leaving the hills almost bare.

“Eventually you won’t have big trees all over the forest,” said Dave Mertz, who worked as a government natural resources officer overseeing Black Hills logging until his retirement in 2017. “L he lumber industry is pulling the strings now. The Forest Service has lost its way.

Disastrous predictions

In the western United States, more and more trees are dying as climate change dramatically alters the landscape and makes forests more vulnerable. Forest fires, insects and disease are the main killers, researchers say.

A broad government review of forest health surveys since 1993 found that tree mortality rates have increased during this century and exceeded new growth in all eight states examined – Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada , New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Timber harvested from Forest Service lands over the past two decades has also increased.

In the Black Hills, these two trends collided. With more trees cut down and even more killed by beetles and fires in recent years, government scientists say the forest cannot grow fast enough to keep up.


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TM companies and hospitals face dilemma with fed vaccine mandates


HELENA – Montana hospitals and large businesses across the state prepare to wrestle on the horns of a Covid-19 dilemma, as they face two upcoming federal rules designed to force vaccines from employees – and state law prohibiting such warrants.

“It just raises a lot of questions, a lot of concerns, and it’s something that the business world is really trying to figure out how they’re going to comply,” said Montana Chamber of Commerce president Todd O’Hair. , to MTN News this week. .

MTN News

Todd O’Hair, president of the Montana Chamber of Commerce.

The Biden administration is preparing a rule requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to require their employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19, or to undergo weekly testing.

And, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will soon require vaccination of all staff in hospitals and some other health care facilities that receive federal funding – or they will not be paid under these coverage plans. .

“There isn’t a hospital in this state that could survive financially, not receiving Medicare and Medicaid payments,” said Rich Rasmussen, president of MHA, the lobby group representing hospitals in Montana.

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MTN News

Rich Rasmussen, President of the MHA.

At the same time, Montana may be the only state in the country to have a law essentially prohibiting employers from requiring employees to be vaccinated or discriminating against those who do not.

The state’s Republican majority in the legislature passed the law in April and Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed it. All Democrats in the legislature voted against.

Anthony Johnstone, a law professor at the University of Montana, said on Friday that the 100-plus employee business rule, enforced by the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration, should trump state law – if it withstands legal challenges.

The authority of the CMS rule over state law is less clear, as it ties compliance to Medicare and Medicaid payments, he said.

Still, Montana hospitals and businesses say they’ll figure out how to comply – in the hopes that lawsuits from all sides could complicate the situation.

“Businesses are caught in the middle of this kind of tussle that’s going on right now, and a lot of it will have to be resolved in court,” O’Hair said.

He said some companies are also considering challenging Montana law in court. The Montana business community and hospitals would prefer that the decision on vaccinations be left to each private company and their unique concerns.

“There are companies that have these unique situations where they would like to be able to force their employees to get vaccinated,” O’Hair said. “If you are a physiotherapist, for example, or if you are a restaurant very concerned with being able to vaccinate your employees. “

And while many hospitals wish they could require vaccinations for employees, in some circumstances others cannot, Rasmussen said.

“In some communities, it may be wise for a facility to require the flu shot, or, certainly, to require the vaccinations recommended by the CDC,” he said. “And in some communities, they may think that a requirement was not necessary. “

Most Montana hospitals also have more than 100 employees, Rasmussen said, putting them under both rules.

O’Hair questioned whether the business rule would meet the goal of an increase in vaccination in Montana, because the state has so few companies with 100 or more employees.

O’Hair did not have exact numbers, but census data indicates that around 100,000 Montanais work for large companies, less than a fifth of the state’s total workforce.

Businesses are also concerned about the impact of the rule on the workforce and the ability of large companies to hire, in the face of labor shortages, he said. If an employee doesn’t like the vaccination mandate, he or she can leave for a smaller, unregulated company, he said.

Rasmussen said hospitals also have many questions about how the rules will be enforced, such as when the compliance deadline will be, whether the rules apply immediately to new hires or how they would apply to itinerant nurses who are brought into the state to reinforce the overworked staff.

“It just creates a lot of questions that we don’t have answers to at the moment,” he said.

Attorney General Austin Knudsen has said he will challenge any federal vaccine mandate in court, likely joining other Republican state GAs.

The two Republican members of the Montana congressional delegation – Senator Steve Daines and Representative Matt Rosendale – have also said they oppose federal mandates on vaccines.

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Mike Dennison-MTN News

US Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont.

Still, Democratic Sen. Jon Tester told MTN News on Thursday that while he was not a fan of terms of office, he felt President Biden needed to take action, to fend off the virus and prevent the economy from falling. collapse.

“We have filled our hospitals to the brim with people dying from Covid,” he said. “I would just beg people, if you haven’t been vaccinated, please come out and get vaccinated. It is the right thing to do for you and your neighbors.

“If we don’t, we’re going to end up where we were a year ago, and that’s not what we want our economy to be. … I wish the president didn’t have to, but I think the president had to.


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Guest Opinion: Congress must invest in natural infrastructure | Chroniclers


The bills include funds to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells and abandoned mines. Every fisherman knows the transformation that can happen in our rivers when you clear abandoned mines: think Clark Fork and the Blackfoot.

Less obvious but equally important, unplugged oil and gas wells in Montana – and across the country – release thousands of metric tons of greenhouse gases each year as toxins seep into groundwater and aquifers.

Key to eastern Montana, the infrastructure bill also has funding that can help repair the coal seams, which were the source of our state’s biggest fires this summer. All of these clean-up and restoration projects will create millions of jobs across the country to help fuel our country’s economic recovery.

Congress also plans to invest in new technology in places where fossil fuel workers have been hit hardest as the country shifts to a clean energy economy. At the same time, the law brings long-awaited reforms to the national oil and gas leasing system by requiring oil and gas companies to pay their fair share for the use of our public lands. The revenues generated by these reforms will be used to finance many of these investments in natural infrastructure.

We are pleased to see Congress taking such a responsible approach to investing in the lands and waters that support the wildlife we ​​care about.


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In Helena, Tester Highlights Biparty Infrastructure Gains For Lewis & Clark County Alongside Local Officials | Jon Tester


After the Senate passed his bipartisan infrastructure package last month, US Senator Jon Tester today visited Hill Park in Helena to chat with business and community leaders about the way whose landmark legislation will invest in Lewis & Clark County’s aging infrastructure, create well-paying jobs and grow the economy.

Tester was joined by Heather O’Loughlin, Commissioner of Helena City, Tim Burton of the Montana League of Cities & Towns and Geoff Feiss of the Montana Telecommunications Association.

“All roads lead to the capital, and it is essential that Helena has up-to-date infrastructure. “ said Tester. “I am proud to have worked across the aisle to negotiate this two-party infrastructure package that will improve aging roads and bridges, increase high-speed Internet access, and ensure people have reliable access to the Internet. Of drinking water. I will continue to work hard to get this legislation to cross the finish line so that we can create well-paying jobs, grow the economy of Lewis & Clark County, and help our country maintain its economic advantage over China.

The tester had a number of victories for Montana in legislation, including:

Transport

  • About $ 2.82 billion for highways in Montana.
  • Montana will also receive about $ 225 million in additional funding for a new bridge initiative to replace and repair poor bridges.
  • About $ 164 million for Montana over five years to strengthen transit infrastructure, an increase of about 30%.
  • The share of funds earmarked for buses for rural areas has been increased.
  • Funding for road safety and motor carrier safety has been significantly increased, allowing Montana to save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.
  • About $ 144 million for Montana airports.
  • A part of the Agricultural Transporters and Livestock Safety Act, 2021 (HAULS), which reduces tedious hours of service that can prevent agricultural and livestock hauliers from doing their jobs safely, and gives them the flexibility to ensure that more of Montana’s world-class products can be put on the market.
  • Tester DRIVE Safe Act, which creates a pilot program that lifts federal regulations that prevent Montana truck drivers under the age of 21 from transporting goods across states and establishes a new training initiative for truck drivers ages 18 to 20.
  • Tester Right Track Act and Blocked Level Crossings Bill, which improve safety at rural train crossings and address cases of blocked freeway-track crossings across the United States
  • $ 15 million to study Amtrak long-haul passenger rail. This includes funding and authorizing the formation of working groups, such as the Greater Northwest Passenger Rail Working Group, to study and advocate for increased access to long-distance passenger rail transport.

The water

  • $ 1 billion to complete all rural water supply projects authorized through the Bureau of Reclamation, including the rural water systems of Fort Peck / Dry Prairie, Rocky Boys / North Central and Musselshell-Judith.
  • About $ 198 million for Rocky Boys / North Central.
  • Around $ 56 million for Musselshell-Judith.
  • About $ 17 million for Fort Peck / Dry Prairie.
  • Up to $ 100 million for the reclamation of the Milk River project.
  • $ 2.5 billion to complete all authorized Indian water rights settlements, including settlements for Montana tribes.
  • Clarifies that state and local tax recovery funds from the US Rescue Plan can be used for the state or federal government’s share of costs to rehabilitate the Bureau of Reclamation’s water infrastructure.
  • $ 3.5 billion for the Indian Health Services Sanitation Construction Program, meeting all outstanding program needs nationwide.
  • This includes roughly $ 40 million in water, sewer and sanitation projects for the Blackfeet Tribe.
  • $ 11.2 billion in grants to states and tribes to reclaim abandoned mining lands. Montana is expected to receive at least $ 20 million, more than six times the annual federal distribution of the state’s abandoned mining land.

Broadband

  • Grant program of $ 42.45 billion for the deployment of broadband in regions of the country without access to Internet service. The program will be distributed as follows:
  • Of which $ 4.2 billion is earmarked for high cost and geographically difficult areas in which it is particularly difficult and expensive to deploy broadband infrastructure.
  • Allocation of $ 100 million to each state distributed during planning and proposal phase. Up to $ 5 million in funding to support state broadband office activities, including grant planning, coordination and administration.
  • Additional funding allocated to each state using a formula based on that state’s total unserved population.
  • $ 2 billion for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Tribal Broadband Connectivity program, which will help tribal entities deploy broadband, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth and distance learning.
  • $ 2 billion to programs of the United States Department of Agriculture, which provide loans and grants to finance the deployment and maintenance of broadband services in rural areas.
  • $ 14.2 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which builds on the existing Broadband Emergency Benefit (EBB) program by expanding eligibility and including consumer protection safeguards to prevent upselling. As of August 2, 2021, 6,181 households in Montana have signed up for this program to get help with their Internet bills.
  • Includes additional consumer protection provisions that protect against digital redlining and price increases.
  • Senator Tester fought to ensure that participating households could apply the benefit to any Internet service plan they chose.
  • The Telecommunications Skilled Workforce Development Act, which will help meet the workforce needs of the telecommunications industry to increase the human resources required to deploy broadband infrastructure effectively and efficiently.

Border security

  • $ 3.85 billion for land ports of entry to modernize and secure the northern and southern border.

Fire

  • Test-Moran bill to extend IRS tax reporting deadlines in fire management assistance grants for areas after major fires.
  • $ 3.37 billion to reduce the risk of forest fires, including:
  • $ 500 million for Forest Service Community Defense Grants to support community efforts to improve community forest fire preparedness, action planning and vegetation removal.
  • $ 500 million for prescribed burns to reduce fuel loads and major fire hazards.
  • $ 500 million for mechanical thinning and timber harvesting to promote fire-resistant stands.
  • $ 500 million to develop fire control posts, in particular through the creation of firewalls.
  • $ 200 million to remove flammable vegetation for the creation of biochar or innovative wood products, with a note for agencies to consider working with youth and conservation bodies, and engage with tribes and elders fighters.
  • $ 200 million for post-fire restoration activities.
  • $ 100 million for Interior and Forestry Department for staff training and planning work to support forest fire and vegetation treatment operations.
  • $ 100 million for Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program projects.
  • $ 20 million for the Joint Fire Science program (which supports research at UM and MSU).
  • Includes the bipartite REPLANT law release additional Forest Service funds for reforestation activities and provide $ 450 million to rehabilitate and restore burnt areas.

Resilience (floods, drought)

  • $ 7 billion for Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure priorities to improve flood mitigation.
  • $ 350 million of this amount for Army Corps CAP funding, which includes Section 205 seawall projects. Senator Tester secured a $ 100 million increase for the CAP program and was awarded a provision allowing the Army Corps to waive cost-sharing requirements for economically disadvantaged communities.
  • $ 3.5 billion for FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance Program.
  • $ 1 billion for the FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. This is a pre-disaster mitigation program, which supports states, local communities, tribes and territories that undertake risk mitigation projects to reduce the risks they face in the event of disasters. and natural disasters.
  • $ 2.2 billion on behalf of aging infrastructure, including the Bureau of Reclamation for water infrastructure projects in the West that need to be upgraded or replaced.
  • $ 500 million for the Western Area Power Administration’s power purchasing and transmission activities.

The bill is expected to go to a final vote in the House of Representatives by September 27, 2021.

Recently, Senator Tester spoke in the Senate to urge his colleagues to quickly adopt the bipartite package. And in June, after months of negotiations, Tester and the bipartisan group of nine other senators went to the White House to announce that they had reached an agreement on the framework of a historic, bipartisan infrastructure package for create well-paying jobs by creating urgently. investments needed in Montana’s roads, bridges, broadband, water and more.


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Utah House Republicans terrorized by technology


Good Thursday morning Utah! Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.

Hit me ! I enjoy reading your story ideas, your news tips, your comments on this newsletter, and your general thoughts on the news. Email me or find me on Twitter @SchottHappens.

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House Republicans terrorized by technology

An informant tells “The Rundown” that House Republicans navigated a technological nightmare Wednesday morning as Representative Nelson Abbott’s Outlook malfunctioned, sending them hundreds of email invitations to the Majority Caucus lunch. the Wednesday House. Electronic calendar items flooded inboxes, arriving at a rate of several per minute, causing productivity to plummet as inboxes overflowed.

Home staff finally stopped the digital deluge of Republican Orem’s email before lunchtime.

Here’s what you need to know for Thursday morning

Democrats and Republicans are heading for a showdown over raising the debt ceiling. If they do not approve of an increase in the debt ceiling, it could cause considerable damage to the economy. [NYT]

💉 Utah lawmakers aren’t sure if they can block a federal vaccine requirement for businesses, but they seem eager to try. [Tribune]

💉 President Joe Biden is asking big companies like Disney and Microsoft to help get Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. [Reuters]

  • The FDA has not taken a position on booster shots for the Pfizer vaccine, citing a lack of data. [CNBC]

🏥 Representative Paul Ray said that Intermountain Health Care exaggerates the capacity issues of its intensive care units. The Republican lawmaker said some of the difficulties could be blamed on poor business decisions. [Tribune]

🏛 Several American gymnasts have testified before Congress about how the FBI botched an investigation into allegations of abuse against Larry Nassar. [CNN]

Regulators say it could take years to resolve the pollution problem along the Wasatch Front. [Tribune]

Utah lawmakers are grappling with a Utah Supreme Court ruling allowing transgender Utahns to register their gender identities on state records. A legislative committee has considered how the state should handle gender on birth certificates. [Tribune]

🚰 Ogden warns residents who use potable water to water lawns could face criminal penalties. [Tribune]

✈️ Utah will host 765 Afghan refugees from the first wave of evacuees from the country after the withdrawal of US forces. [Tribune]

🦠 The rapid increase in the number of children infected with COVID-19 is sounding alarm bells among authorities across the country. The number of coronavirus cases in children rose 240% in July. [CNN]

The Department of Justice has banned the use of strangles by federal law enforcement officials. [CNN]

👀 Former President Donald Trump fears this weekend’s rally in Washington, DC in support of jailed rioters on January 6 may be a “cut” designed to embarrass him. [NYT]

🚀 SpaceX launched 4 civilians into orbit. The four amateur astronauts will spend three days orbiting the Earth. [AP]

🦬 A record number of visitors came to Yellowstone National Park in August. [NYT]

🎤 No, someone in the White House did not press a “button” to prevent President Biden from speaking. [FactCheck]

Shut up and take my money! Taco Bell is testing a monthly taco subscription. The “Taco Lover’s Pass” offers subscribers one taco per day for 30 days. [CNN]

Your turn: what about the employment situation in Utah?

Earlier this week, I asked readers to share their thoughts on why Utah’s unemployment rate hasn’t budged much despite Governor Spencer Cox’s decision to end unemployment benefits earlier. improved.

I have had tremendous responses. I share some of them below. A few have been changed for length.

I have no sympathy for the employers and I don’t believe their crocodile tears about not finding employees. I was fired 18 months ago because of COVID-19. I have 2 master’s degrees and have sent hundreds of resumes for jobs that match my experience like a glove. All I get (if I get a response at all) is that I haven’t made the cut. And I am not an isolated case. I personally know several others who are going through the same experience. The “labor shortage” is a myth! – Reed combes

Utah had more jobs than people before the pandemic according to the SLC Chamber. This is true for several states.

In the past 18 months, 660,000 people have died, straining an already tight labor market. In addition, there are more jobs available than before the pandemic. Restaurants, health care, etc. need MORE workers. It is not a question of people who rub shoulders with unemployment benefits and it never has been. By ending the benefits earlier (before the federal government), Utah and other states continued to hurt the most vulnerable in our communities. – Megan Daigneau

I believe that many employees who were unemployed during the COVID pandemic took the time to improve their education and skills to get better jobs that were not affected by the work disruptions.

I also think some workers, seeing the Utah GOP push through laws protecting businesses from COVID-related lawsuits, have chosen to stay safe until the situation improves. Why risk your health for a low paid job where you are underestimated? If I walk into a business and find that they don’t take care of their employees, I take my money elsewhere. – Carl Stark

Baby boomers are retiring at a faster rate than they can be replaced. More home care services are needed, increased demand for food delivery and other unskilled workers.

Retirees remain retired. Since Covid is not under control, many Utahns of retirement age are retiring early or not taking post-retirement jobs like we did in the past. Two of my friends in the early seventies who regularly barked samples at Costco don’t work. Likewise, I will not play Santa Claus, score, or other high school sports sales because COVID is still out of control. The Covid stimulus checks helped us make these decisions.

Health industry exhaustion: No longer wanting to work in hospitals, many trained nurses seek other opportunities as there is a high demand for home nurses in both rural and urban areas. – Fred bonyea

I never expected extended unemployment benefits to be the reason people did not work. Shortly after returning to Utah in 2014, I was listening to a presentation by a state economist (I wish I had remembered his name). She shared something that I thought was fascinating and I think we are seeing it unfold now.

Even then, Utah had a low unemployment rate, but our wages were not increasing, which is not normal. She believed, from the data models, that Utah had a “hidden” workforce (not your typical hidden workforce by definition). The shared idea was that we have a large group of people who are not looking for work on a regular basis, but who will take a job if they are interested and maybe add a little extra money to the household income (that is – (i.e. stay-at-home parent with children in school most of the day, recent parent with empty nest or retired). With this group entering and exiting the workforce, jobs were always filled, so wages did not need to rise with such a low unemployment rate. Many in this group did not use the income to support an entire household, just extra income, so they did not have to worry about the “living wage” and could take lower wage jobs. vital.

Think about who became most “stuck” at home because of the pandemic – children were at home or could be sent home anytime during school hours; people over 65 are at higher risk of dangerous COVID results. etc ;. These “hidden workers” don’t need to work OR can’t return to work until the pandemic is really in the rearview mirror. I believe it will be some time before this group feels that life has settled enough to be tempted to return to the workforce. – Jen nibley

Thanks for the thoughtful responses. If you have a suggestion for a discussion topic that we could use in a future newsletter, please email me at [email protected]

Thursday’s Utah News Roundup

Utah

  • Moab files detail the “domestic problem” reported prior to Gabby Petito’s disappearance. [Tribune]

  • Utah’s parole board has not increased compassionate care releases during the pandemic. [Tribune]

  • Take a tour of the historic homes of Salt Lake City’s first suburb. [Tribune]

  • The lamb lost at the University of Utah becomes famous as “U’s sheep”. because it escapes animal control. [Tribune]

  • Hip-hop stars Drake, Killer Mike and more join a man from Utah in asking for pardons for cannabis. [Fox 13]

COVID-19[feminine

  • 11 autres Utahns meurent de COVID-19 et près de 1 900 autres contractent le virus. [Tribune]

  • Here’s how many more children have tested positive for COVID-19 after testing to stay at two Utah schools. [Tribune]

  • Utah man awaiting kidney transplant faces delay as COVID-19 cases fill hospitals. [Tribune]

Politics

Education

  • The TikTok “Devious Lick” challenge that causes thefts and vandalism in schools across the country has hit Utah. [Deseret News]

Religion

In the review pages

– Jordan Miller of the Tribune contributed to this report.



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Biden Presents Spending Plan As Key To Tackling Climate Change | national news


ARVADA, Colorado (AP) – President Joe Biden tried to push forward his domestic spending plans in Colorado on Tuesday by warning of the dangers of climate change while stressing how his clean energy proposals would also create jobs though paid.

The trip to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Flatirons Campus outside Denver capped the President’s two-day shift to the West and offered Biden the opportunity to continue to tie the need to pass his spending program to the urgent threat posed by climate change.

“Here’s the good news: Something that’s caused by humans can be fixed by humans,” Biden said. He said the need for a clean energy future was “an economic imperative and a national security imperative” and said there was no time to waste as the impact of climate change appeared to worsen from year to year.

Biden said extreme weather events will cost more than $ 100 billion in damage this year and stressed his goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 while using only carbon-free energy 15 years earlier.

“We can do it, we can do all of this in a way that creates good jobs, cuts costs for consumers and businesses and makes us world leaders,” said the president.

Biden spoke of “more jobs for the economy” on a previous tour as he checked out a giant wind turbine blade on the ground outside the lab and got a demonstration of the wind turbine technology.

And, keenly aware of the delicate work underway in Washington to work out the details of its infrastructure and spending program, he waved to Democratic lawmakers for the tour and said, “They’re the ones who are making it all happen. Congress.”

Biden had spent Monday in Boise, Idaho, and Sacramento, Calif., Receiving information about the devastating wildfire season and seeing the damage the Caldor fire caused to communities around Lake Tahoe.

“We cannot ignore the reality that these wildfires are supercharged by climate change,” Biden said, noting that catastrophic weather does not strike on the basis of partisan ideology. “These are not red or blue states. These are fires. Just fires.

Throughout his journey, Biden has presented the wildfires in the region as an argument for his $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and an additional spending package of $ 3.5 trillion. The president said every dollar spent on “resilience” would save $ 6 in future costs. And he argued that reconstruction must go beyond simply restoring damaged systems and instead ensuring that communities can withstand such crises.

“At the end of the day, these are not red states or blue states. A drought or a fire doesn’t see a property line, ”Biden said. “It doesn’t matter what party you belong to… yes, we are facing a crisis, but we are facing a crisis with unprecedented opportunities. “

The climate provisions of Biden’s plans include tax incentives for clean energy and electric vehicles, investments to shift the economy from fossil fuels to renewable sources such as wind and solar power, and the creation of a civilian climatic body.

Biden has set a goal of eliminating fossil fuel pollution in the electricity sector by 2035 and the U.S. economy as a whole by 2050.

The president’s two-day Western swing comes at a critical time for a central part of his legislative agenda. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are scrambling to piece together the details of the more infrastructure plan – and how to pay for it, a concern that isn’t just for Republicans.

With a unified Republican opposition in Congress, Biden must overcome the skepticism of two key centrist Democrats in the heavily divided Senate. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have expressed concerns about the size of the $ 3.5 trillion spending envelope.

In California, Biden appeared to respond to people concerned about the size of the plan, saying the cost “could” reach $ 3.5 trillion and would be spread over 10 years, a period during which the economy is expected to grow. He also insisted that when it comes to tackling climate change “we have to think big”.

“Thinking small is a prescription for disaster,” he said.

The 100-member Senate is split equally between Democrats and Republicans. Given the strong opposition from the GOP, Biden’s plan cannot pass through the Senate without the support of either Manchin or Sinema. The legislative push comes at a crucial time for Biden, who had seen his poll numbers drop after the United States’ tumultuous exit from Afghanistan and an increase in COVID-19 cases due to the highly contagious Delta variant.

———

Lemire reported from Washington. Associated Press editor Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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