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Walz proposes $350 rebate checks from budget surplus; Republicans call it ‘election year gimmick’



Walz proposes $350 rebate checks from budget surplus; Republicans call it ‘election year gimmick’
Gov. Tim Walz announces his plan for spending part of the state’s projected $7.75 billion budget surplus during a news conference at Minneapolis Community College on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service)

Minnesota households could be eligible for up to $350 direct payments, and front-line workers that stayed on the job during the pandemic could receive an extra $1,500 this year, under a plan that Gov. Tim Walz proposed Thursday.

The Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor said Minnesotans should benefit from the state’s $7.75 billion budget surplus. And as part of his plan for the funds, more than $4 billion would go toward direct payments, worker recruitment and retention programs, grants for farmers and broadband expansion.

Walz rolled out his ideas for the surplus during a Thursday news conference at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. And he said Minnesotans, the state’s greatest asset, should reap the benefits of the state’s strong financial position.

“This is about expanding an already vibrant economy, it’s about making sure we’re lifting up those were hurt hardest during the pandemic and it’s making sure there’s a long-range vision about where Minnesota’s going,” Walz said, “and we’re well positioned to do that.”

Lawmakers in the divided Capitol have split over the best way to spend the projected budget surplus and will likely spend months debating how the state ought to use it.

Walz said he would propose three uses for the funds:

  • Economic opportunities
  • Helping kids and families
  • Advancing health and safety

Ultimately, it will be up to legislators to decide which ideas move forward. Republicans, who control the Senate, and Democrats, who lead the House of Representatives, are set to unveil their priorities for the budget surplus over the next week.

Republican lawmakers on Thursday said they appreciated Walz’s proposal to spend $2.7 billion to repay the federal government and replenish the state’s unemployment trust fund. If lawmakers don’t act, businesses would see a payroll tax increase to cover it.

But they said the proposal to send out checks of up to $350 to people who make $164,400 or less was a political move.

“Walz checks are nothing more than an election year gimmick, and it will barely cover the inflationary costs of everyday necessities,” Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, said. “We’ll propose permanent, ongoing, targeted tax relief for working Minnesotans so they see savings every single year.”

While they agreed to spend $250 million to pay out to front-line workers over the summer, efforts to decide who should get the checks fell short this fall. And unrelated issues prevented a $10 million drought relief package for farmers from passing through the Capitol.

Walz urged lawmakers to put those financial supports first when they return to the Capitol on Jan. 31.

“Minnesotans want results,” he said.

House Democrats earlier in the day said they would prioritize hero pay for front-line workers, state programs for paid family leave, as well as earned sick and safe time, broadband expansion and affordable housing as the best uses for the surplus money.

And they said they were hopeful that having a $7.75 billion excess would allow more of their goals to get across the finish line this year.

“I think the existence of the surplus makes a huge difference in the practical reality of getting something like this proposal done,” said House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park.

While the DFL-led House has put forward and passed paid family leave and earned sick and safe time before, the GOP-controlled Senate hasn’t supported the proposals.

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce said the paid family leave program could stunt future economic growth and undermine the benefits of having the state cover the cost for the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund.


Who Is Sophie In The Staircase



Who Is Sophie In The Staircase

The latest episode of The Staircase left the audience dangling with many questions, one of the “what is justice?”. Episode put forward a character that has been in the limelight since the start, and she was a definitive figure to put forward the jury’s questions like justice, fate, and liberty of the audience. You already know whom we are talking about, silver-haired mystery Sophie Brunet.

HBO Max’s The Staircase is based on real-life occurrences circling the death of Kathleen Peterson in 2001. Colin Firth (Michael Peterson) finds his life in turmoil when he finds his wife, Toni Collette (Kathleen), unconscious at the base of the stairs. Turns out she’s dead, and Michael is the sole suspect. The show revolves around Michael’s relationship with his wife and how media engulfs his life, despite his pleas for purity and innocence.

Who is Sophie?

Juliette Binoche is playing the character of Sophie Brunet. It was in the 4th episode when their true identity of Sophie came to light. We see Sophie Brunet is connected to the true-crime documentary on which this show is based. She operated as an editor on the 2004 original documentary on the case. You can find her name on the IMDb site under people who worked on the film.

She was introduced in the first episode, and she is the only one in the present timeline with Michael Peterson as there is no clue if other Petersons are in contact with their father or not, or so it looks like. We got to know more about her enigmatic aura when she was put in front of Jean’s camera for an interview.

According to her IMDb, she has worked on other projects such as Blue is the Warmest Colour, Call My Agent and Jeuxd’ influence.

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Are Michael And Sophie Related?

We saw Sophie writing the letter to Michael, behind bars, at the end of episode 4. And it came to light that they exchanged many letters while her working on the documentary, and Michael was making rounds to courts and prisons.

They were in a relationship for 12 long years, but in 2019, the couple split because Michael was too old to move to French with Sophie and start a new life. It was also not easy for Sophie to move as they wanted to stay close to each other and their families.

 Where To Watch The Staircase?

It is streaming exclusively on HBO Max. The first 3 episodes debuted on 5th May, and the following episodes will be released weekly on Thursdays till 9th June.

 Total Episodes & Runtime

The miniseries have 8 episodes, and each of them is 60 mins long.

 Docuseries 2004 Version

Netflix has the Documentary version of The Staircase, 2004. It has 13 episodes and features the case very closely, including original courtroom interviews, video footage, and more. This 2004 documentary inspired the 2022 new miniseries.

The post Who Is Sophie In The Staircase appeared first on Gizmo Story.

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DT Travis Jones is second in Ravens’ 2022 draft class to sign rookie contract



DT Travis Jones is second in Ravens’ 2022 draft class to sign rookie contract

Ravens defensive tackle Travis Jones has signed his rookie contract, the team announced Friday.

Jones, a third-round pick, and running back Tyler Badie, a sixth-round pick, are the only players in the Ravens’ 11-man draft class who have signed. The projected value of Jones’ deal, according to salary cap website Spotrac, is $5.3 million, including a $1 million signing bonus.

The 6-foot-4, 327-pound Jones had 47 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks in 11 games for Connecticut last season before impressing at the Senior Bowl and NFL scouting combine.

“He’s a bigger guy,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said after taking Jones No. 76 overall last month. “When you guys see him, he’s going to kind of harken back to some of the guys we’ve had come through here, some of the big guys we’ve had. He’s a legit 335-pound guy — carries his weight very well. And saying that, he’s got unusual quickness for his size. There’s a lot of development that can take place and will take place with our coaches.”

Still unsigned are safety Kyle Hamilton (first round), center Tyler Linderbaum (first), outside linebacker David Ojabo (second), offensive tackle Daniel Faalele (fourth), cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis (fourth), tight end Charlie Kolar (fourth), punter Jordan Stout (fourth), tight end Isaiah Likely (fourth) and cornerback Damarion Williams (fourth).


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Bob’s Burgers Season 12 Finale: May 22 Release, Time, Where To Watch And Plot Speculations



Bob’s Burgers Season 12 Finale: May 22 Release, Time, Where To Watch And Plot Speculations

For now, the Journey of Mr. and Mrs. Belcher is coming to an end. Season 12 is ending on May 22, 2022. But there is little to be disappointed in knowing this since a Bob’s Burgers movie is scheduled to release on May 27, 2022. Not only that, there is news of another season of Bob’s Burgers, so we have Season 13 to look forward to.

Ever since Loren Bouchard created this animated series in 2011, it has been garnering fans worldwide fans. The plot remains simple, and we get a glimpse into the everyday life of Mr. and Mrs. Belcher, who run a burger restaurant. However, we see more in this sitcom since every episode brings something unique.

What To Expect From The Last Episode Of The Season?

Well, the quick answer is that we can’t guess. Long-time fans would know that each episode brings something new to the table for us to gobble. Anyone who is either new to this series or has been watching a song doesn’t have to know what happened in the last episode to relate to the news.

A long-standing trait of this show has been the portrayal of real life, in the sense that it mimics the holidays and other things, which makes it relatable. So, whether it is Halloween or Christmas, you know that they will be celebrated in the show when the time comes.

1653076388 359 Bobs Burgers Season 12 Finale May 22 Release Time Where

The Humor And the Weird

Since the first episode, which was titled “Human Flesh,” the show has been weird and full of humor at the same time. Who would go and deliver a huge ventriloquist dummy head in their right mind? Bob and Teddy would do the job and might as well convert it into a road trip.

And every once in a while, we get a horror-themed episode. The basic plot remains the same: friends, family, and much everyday stuff. Bob and Linda are still fighting, and its always heartwarming to see them in their peppy selves.

Increasing Popularity Since 2011

The show didn’t receive good ratings initially, but the positive ratings slowly started overtaking the negative ones. So much so that the hype around the upcoming movie is crazy, and it is always good for the fans that the series do well economically too.

The last episodes of season 12 should be enough to keep us waiting till then. The Belcher family has witnessed a productive season for themselves. The finale should accentuate the hearty emotions that we have witnessed along the way.

Let’s hope that we won’t have to wait much for season thirteen, and even if something like the pandemic occurs, the creators will know how to deal with it. We didn’t see any issues with season 11 or 12, so there is no reason to worry. Right?

The post Bob’s Burgers Season 12 Finale: May 22 Release, Time, Where To Watch And Plot Speculations appeared first on Gizmo Story.

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