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GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz to retire from Congress in 2024, will not seek ‘any office’

GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz to retire from Congress in 2024, will not seek ‘any office’

Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., announced Friday that she will retire from Congress at the end of her current term in 2025.Spartz, whose career in politics began in the Indiana state Senate in 2017, said she will not seek an additional two terms in the House or seek “any office” in the next election cycle.”It’s been my honor representing Hoosiers in the Indiana State Senate and U.S. Congress and I appreciate the strong support on the ground,” Spartz said in a statement. “2024 will mark seven years of holding elected office and over a decade in Republican politics.”Spartz, who was first elected to represent Indiana’s 5th Congressional District in 2020 and was rumored to be interested in a run for Indiana’s open Senate seat, said her decision will allow her to spend more time with her family.REPUBLICAN WHO BACKED MCCARTHY VOTES ‘PRESENT’ IN FOURTH ROUND OF VOTING FOR HOUSE SPEAKER”I won a lot of tough battles for the people and will work hard to win a few more in the next two years,” she said. “However, being a working mom is tough and I need to spend more time with my two high school girls back home, so I will not run for any office in 2024.”Spartz’s announcement may give Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind. — who launched his candidacy last month for the Senate in a 2024 run to fill a seat that is currently held by GOP Sen. Mike Braun — a little breathing room. Braun announced in December that he’s running for governor of the Hoosier State rather than seek re-election.
Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., attends a business meeting prior to a hearing on U.S. southern border security on Capitol Hill, February 01, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)The announcement from Spartz, a Ukrainian-American who has served as a mostly independent voice in the Republican Party, came nearly three months after she was re-elected to the House.INDIANA GOV. HOLCOMB’S PUBLIC HEALTH EXPANSION PASSES LEGISLATIVE PANELLate last month, Spartz made headlines after she criticized House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s plan to kick some Democrats off their committees.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., conducts a news conference in the U.S. Capitols Statuary Hall on Thursday, January 12, 2023.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)”Speaker Pelosi took unprecedented actions last Congress to remove Reps. Greene and Gosar from their committees without proper due process. Speaker McCarthy is taking unprecedented actions this Congress to deny some committee assignments to the minority without proper due process again,” Spartz said in a statement.”As I spoke against it on the House floor two years ago, I will not support this charade again. Speaker McCarthy needs to stop ‘bread and circuses’ in Congress and start governing for a change,” she added. However, Spartz ultimately voted with McCarthy and most of the GOP caucus to oust Omar from her committee assignments on Thursday.That wasn’t the first time Spartz had displayed opposition to McCarthy’s leadership. During his challenging bid to become speaker last month, Spartz initially supported McCarthy but was the only member to vote “present” in the fourth round of voting, stating that she was trying to help the negotiation process.
Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., is seen on the House floor during a House speaker vote on January 4, 2023.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPSpartz ultimately voted for McCarthy in the final round of voting, which ended with the California Republican obtaining the speaker’s gavel.Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this article.

Chinese spy balloon over central US, will be in US airspace for ‘a few days,’ Pentagon says

Chinese spy balloon over central US, will be in US airspace for ‘a few days,’ Pentagon says

Defense Department spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Friday that the Chinese surveillance balloon hovering over the U.S. has moved to the central part of the country, but declined to get into specifics about its location. Ryder said the North American Aerospace Defense Command is closely monitoring the balloon’s location and that it is moving eastward across the U.S. “The balloon continues to move eastward and is currently over the center of the continental United States. Again, we currently assess that the balloon does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground at this time,” Ryder said. “It’ll probably be over the United States for a few days,” he added. AFTER CHINESE BALLOON ENTERS US AIRSPACE, BIDEN SECRETARY OF STATE POSTPONES TRIP TO CHINA
Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder holds a press briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on Oct. 18, 2022.
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)The balloon is currently flying about 60,000 feet above sea level, higher than civilian aircraft fly. The National Weather Service in Kansas City, Missouri, posted photos of a large balloon visible from their office in Pleasant Hill and the KC Metro that appeared to be headed southeast. “We have confirmed that it is not an NWS weather balloon,” NWS Kansas City said.
The National Weather Service on Friday posted photos of a large balloon flying over Kansas City, Missouri, amid concern over a Chinese spy balloon in U.S. airspace.
(National Weather Service)Ryder was asked repeatedly for more details, but he refused to get into specifics about the balloon’s location. “The public certainly has the ability to look up in the sky and see where the balloon is,” he said. The Biden administration has condemned the presence of a Chinese surveillance aircraft in U.S. airspace as a violation of U.S. sovereignty. CHINA CONFIRMS BALLOON IS THEIRS, AS SPOKESPERSON CLAIMS IT IS CIVILLIAN RESEARCH AIRSHIP
A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, on Wednesday in this picture obtained from social media.
(Chase Doak/via Reuters)Senior State Department officials have called the incident “unacceptable,” and Secretary of State Antony Blinken has indefinitely postponed a planned trip to China to meet President Xi Jinping in light of the circumstances.Officials in the State and Defense Departments have said the government is maintaining contact with the People’s Republic of China and has “clearly communicated that this balloon is violating U.S. airspace and international law, and that this is unacceptable.” CHINESE SPY BALLOON ENTERS US AIRSPACE: WHAT WE KNOW
President Biden, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands before their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit meeting in Nusa Dua in Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 14, 2022.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry claimed the balloon was a civilian weather aircraft that was knocked off course, but U.S. officials dispute this claim. Senior State Department officials said Friday it was a “statement of fact” that China has violated U.S. sovereignty with this surveillance balloon. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPRyder would not say if the military would shoot the balloon down once it travels over a body of water where it would not cause collateral damage. 

Maine Democratic lawmaker stripped from only committee assignment after being indicted on forgery charge

Maine Democratic lawmaker stripped from only committee assignment after being indicted on forgery charge

A Democratic lawmaker indicted on a forgery charge has been stripped of his only committee assignment.House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, a Democrat, removed Rep. Clinton E. Collamore Sr. of Waldoboro, from the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee on Thursday.The move puts more pressure on Collamore to resign from his House District 45 seat, which represents Bremen, Friendship, Waldoboro and Washington. Talbot Ross already called him to resign last month.OVERDOSE RECORD IN MAINE IS SET FOR THE 3RD STRAIGHT YEAR WITH OVER 700 DEATHSCollamore has not attended a legislative session since being indicted in December in Lincoln County for charges including aggravated forgery and violations of the Clean Election Act.
A Democratic lawmaker from Maine has been stripped of his only committee assignment after he was indicted on a forgery charge.

NV legislature to propose unprecedented spending on education amid state’s historic budget surplus

NV legislature to propose unprecedented spending on education amid state’s historic budget surplus

With a historic budget surplus and schools strapped for resources, Nevada’s biennial legislative session will feature proposals for unprecedented spending on public education and school choice measures.The stakes are high as Nevada looks to craft a two-year plan to improve educational outcomes that historically have placed the state toward the bottom of national rankings.The debate mirrors those playing out across the country as Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo and the Democratic-controlled Legislature jockey for center stage and barter over funding levels and policy changes during the next four months.PARENTS SAY ‘DREAM’ SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS BECOME A ‘WOKE’ NIGHTMARE: ‘THE JOKE’S ON US’While cautiously optimistic, Democratic Assembly Education Committee Chair Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod said many of Lombardo’s plans are still vague at the moment.”I look forward to a robust conversation,” she said. “But the devil is always in the details.”Lombardo has acknowledged some criticism of “throwing money” at the public school system. Still, the governor said during a recent forum that funding is needed to address what he called an “aging infrastructure.” That includes improving student-teacher ratios, providing more resources for students and a proposed $30 million in scholarships for aspiring teachers, amid a shortage.Under a new funding formula approved during former Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s final term, much of the funding will be tailored to local school districts.Lombardo has insisted that the funding comes with strings attached, threatening “systemic change” in K-12 leadership if improvements aren’t made.Lombardo’s $2 billion education budget as it stands would increase per-pupil spending by about $2,000. He’s also advocating to restore parts of a “Read by Grade Three” program that holds back third graders who don’t read at grade level. He wants to repeal a restorative justice law that pushes non-punitive intervention and makes it harder to expel students. Critics say it limits school officials from disciplining students who cause violence.
Republican Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo will discuss education funding levels and policy changes over the next four months. 
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)Lombardo will also attempt a balancing act of pushing for increased school choice with a Democratic-controlled Legislature. Traditionally opposed by teachers unions and Democrats, school choice generally refers to taxpayer-funded programs to help parents pay for other educational options including private or charter schools, home-schooling or hybrid models, although it can take many forms.School-choice proponents say it’s better for funding to follow students in order to give them wider options. Opponents warn that using public funds for private schools will gut already resource-strapped public schools.Lombardo’s two main proposals include creating the Office of School Choice and putting $50 million toward Opportunity Scholarships, a program passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2015 that allows businesses to receive tax credits on donations that go toward private school tuition of mostly low-income students.Lombardo says he’ll support a bill expanding scholarship eligibility to households earning 500% above the federal poverty level, up from 300%.WV MARSHALL UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES 54TH ANNUAL WINTER JAZZ FESTIVALThe scholarship funding was met with opposition from Democratic Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, who argued against using public funds to promote private schools.”If we cannot put a qualified teacher in every classroom, I do not know why we would ever entertain an idea to take public dollars away from those kids who deserve an education, and put it towards a private corporation,” she said.Notably absent from Lombardo’s school choice plans are education savings accounts, also known as ESAs. He spoke during the campaign about the voucher-style programs, which generally allow parents to access public funds that would otherwise go toward their child’s public school. Parents can apply it to private school tuition or qualified alternatives.ESA proposals have been introduced in at least nine states this year.In 2015, Nevada’s then-GOP-controlled Legislature passed the nation’s most comprehensive ESA program, which allowed parents to access over $5,000 annually for their child’s public schooling and apply it toward private school tuition or other qualified measures. Opponents filed legal challenges and Democrats retook control of the Legislature, leaving the program unfunded and unimplemented.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPAt the recent forum, Lombardo cited the Democratic-controlled Legislature and the need for compromise as reasons he did not promote ESA funding in his proposed budget.”We have a design in place to get us there in the short order,” Lombardo said of increasing school choice. “And then we’ll look at bigger bites as we move forward.”Others may push the idea sooner. Republican State Sen. Scott Hammond, a former teacher, said in an interview he plans to introduce a bill to fund ESAs.While vouchers are likely a “non-starter” for Bilbray-Axelrod’s Education Committee, she pointed to other initiatives that could potentially garner support, including the ability for families to send their kids to schools outside their zoning district as well as support for certain charter schools that have accountability measures.”School choice looks like a lot of different things,” she said.Following the unveiling of Lombardo’s education budget last week, Nevada’s two largest teachers unions released statements taking diverging paths.The Clark County Education Association, which includes Las Vegas, praised the proposed investment, saying it has been a long time coming.The statewide union took aim at the Opportunity Scholarships, however, saying Lombardo “dusted off a failed voucher scheme that does nothing to improve the quality of education in Nevada.”

China spy balloon is a ‘threat’ to American sovereignty and ‘not just an isolated incident,’ Gallagher says

China spy balloon is a ‘threat’ to American sovereignty and ‘not just an isolated incident,’ Gallagher says

EXCLUSIVE: House China Select Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher told Fox News Digital that the Chinese spy balloon flying over the continental United States is “not just an isolated incident,” but an intentional violation and threat to American sovereignty.”The important thing that the American people need to understand, and what we are going to try to expose in a bipartisan fashion on this committee, is that the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is not just a distant threat in East Asia, or a threat to Taiwan,” Gallagher told Fox News Digital on Friday.CHINA CONFIRMS BALLOON IS THEIRS, AS SPOKESPERSON CLAIMS IT IS CIVILLIAN RESEARCH AIRSHIP”It is a threat right here at home. It is a threat to American sovereignty, and it is a threat to the Midwest — in places like those that I live in,” Gallagher explained.
Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., center, joins House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, and other GOP members to criticize President Biden and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the close of the war in Afghanistan, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)Gallagher said it is “not just the recent Chinese spy balloon” that poses the threat, but the fact that the U.S. has had researchers from the People’s Liberation Army at “American universities and multiple cases of espionage here domestically tied to the CCP.”Gallagher explained that the CCP “doesn’t need to physically send intelligence assets to the United States.””Instead, it can use its army of online spies and cyber warriors to steal intellectual property and steal sensitive intelligence,” Gallagher said.AFTER CHINESE BALLOON ENTERS US AIRSPACE, BIDEN SECRETARY OF STATE POSTPONES TRIP TO CHINA”We now have a pattern of aggression,” he continued. “This is not just an isolated incident. It is a concerted effort by the CCP to infiltrate various domestic institutions, steal information, steal intellectual property and ultimately weaken America.”The People’s Republic of China confirmed Friday that the balloon detected over Montana is Chinese.China claimed that the airship is a civilian research craft that was blown far off course by prevailing winds.
Map shows approximate path of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over Montana, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023.
(Fox News)”The airship is from China. It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday. “Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course.”However, Gallagher warned that “no one should ever trust anything that Chinese Communist Party officials say,” while stressing that the U.S. should “shoot down” the balloon if it is still traveling across America.”We need to understand who we’re dealing with with the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.CHINA SURVEILLANCE BALLON: REP. WALTZ SAYS AMERICA IS ‘UNDER ASSAULT FROM CHINESE SPYING’Secretary of State Antony Blinken was set to travel to Beijing this week to meet with Chinese President Xi, but the State Department announced Friday that the trip would be indefinitely postponed.”It would have been an extremely bad look for him to be doing a grip and grin with Xi Jinping and the foreign minister at the same time as a Chinese spy balloon continues to transit over the United States,” Gallagher said. “I think this will send a strong signal to the Chinese Communist Party that things like this won’t be tolerated.”
A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, Feb. 1, 2023 in this picture obtained from social media.
(Chase Doak/via Reuters)The Biden administration has touted “open” lines of communication between the U.S. and Beijing since Biden met with Xi, but Gallagher warned not to fall for it.”They are trying to seduce us into believing that there’s a more cooperative approach on the horizon,” he said, adding that the spy balloon “illustrates that is a complete fantasy.”TRUMP JOINS CALLS FOR BIDEN ADMIN TO ‘SHOOT DOWN’ SUSPECTED CHINESE SPY BALLOON”We don’t want any American leaders to fall for the CCP charm offensive,” he said. “We are dealing with an increasingly aggressive, genocidal, communist regime that continues to threaten Taiwan, continues to undermine American sovereignty and continues to threaten our allies.”
President Biden, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands before their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit meeting, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Nusa Dua, in Bali, Indonesia. 
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)He added, “It is important that we see this threat for what it is.”REPUBLICANS PUSH BIDEN TO STOP ‘APPEASING’ CHINA AND SHOOT DOWN THE SPY BALLOONAs for President Biden, Gallagher told Fox News Digital that he hopes he spends a “significant portion” of his State of the Union address next week discussing the threat posed by the CCP. Gallagher also said he hoped that Biden would present the threat and discuss the “need to tackle it in a bipartisan manner.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”He should be focusing on the threats we face from external adversaries,” Gallagher said. “I can’t think of a bigger challenge than that posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”He added: “I do think it is the existential issue of our time.”

Stefanik calls for intelligence brief on China spy balloon: ‘Wakeup call for Joe Biden’

Stefanik calls for intelligence brief on China spy balloon: ‘Wakeup call for Joe Biden’

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., on Friday demanded an intelligence briefing on China’s “violation of the United States’s airspace” in response to the communist country’s spy balloon hovering over Montana.”The Chinese Communist Party’s violation of the United States’ airspace and growing military aggression is a threat to our national security,” Stefanik said in a Friday statement. “This should be a wakeup call for Joe Biden’s weakness on the world stage. He can no longer allow China, our greatest geopolitical challenge, to undermine us.”CHINA CONFIRMS BALLOON IS THEIRS, AS SPOKESPERSON CLAIMS IT IS CIVILIAN RESEARCH AIRSHIP
Rep. Elise Stefanik demanded an intelligence briefing on China’s “violation of the United States’s airspace” Friday in response to the communist country’s spy balloon hovering over Montana.
(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)President Biden declined to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon after he was briefed that it was not a security threat. China claimed Friday that the balloon is a weather research tool that wandered off its intended track.Stefanik, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and House Armed Services Committee, said a briefing is necessary to ensure that China does not violate U.S. airspace again as the nation becomes an increasing security threat.”As a senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I am demanding an immediate intelligence briefing, so that we can know exactly how this happened and what malign intentions are behind this spying to ensure we hold China accountable, so the CCP does not violate American sovereignty again,” Stefanik said.REPUBLICANS PUSH BIDEN TO STOP ‘APPEASING’ CHINA AND SHOOT DOWN THE SPY BALLOON
President Biden declined to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon after he was briefed that it was not a security threat.
(Fox News)The White House on Friday suspended Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s scheduled visit to China for next week. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that shooting down the balloon could threaten civilians as debris falls and destroys property.House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy called for a meeting on the spy balloon from the Gang of Eight, which includes the top two leaders and intelligence committee members from both parties in each chamber.GOP RIPS BIDEN AFTER SUSPECTED CHINESE SPY BALLOON FOUND FLOATING OVER THE US
A Chinese balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, U.S. February 1, 2023, in this picture obtained from social media.
(Chase Doak/via Reuters)Several prominent Republicans called for Biden to shoot down the Chinese balloon.”President Biden should stop coddling and appeasing the Chinese communists,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., tweeted Friday. “Bring the balloon down now, and exploit its tech package, which could be an intelligence bonanza.””Shoot down the balloon,” Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley tweeted Friday. “Cancel Blinken’s trip. Hold China accountable. Biden is letting China walk all over us. It’s time to make America strong again.”

Hochul faces backlash from fellow Democrats over ‘unjust’ proposal to ban sale of flavored tobacco products

Hochul faces backlash from fellow Democrats over ‘unjust’ proposal to ban sale of flavored tobacco products

New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul has found herself in hot water — even from her own party — over her proposal to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products in the Empire State.Earlier this week, Hochul, who was elected to serve a full term as governor of New York last November, released her budget proposal which includes a prohibition on the sale of all flavored tobacco products, as opposed to just flavored vaping products, and an increase in the state cigarette tax from $4.35 to $5.35 per pack.Hochul’s proposal, which aims to reduce the number of young smokers in the state and would eliminate the sale of menthol cigarettes, is now facing pushback from Democratic lawmakers and advocates in the state who are expressing concern over its economic impact.”It’s harsh legislation, it’s unjust,” New York Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, D-Yonkers, said, according to the New York Post. “It’s not equitable to say: ‘Stop smoking hookah but you can go smoke pot.'”NY GOV. KATHY HOCHUL RAISES CIGARETTE TAX, INCREASES STATE SCHOOL AID AS PART OF BUDGET PROPOSAL
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul gives a speech on Jan. 31, 2023 in New York City.
(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)Sayegh, a Jordanian-American who has represented the 90th district of the New York State Assembly since 2019, said the proposal, which could result in the closures of hookah bars in the state, is “unfair” to Middle Eastern and South Asian New Yorkers.”I enjoy smoking hookah — I don’t abuse it — once in a while. It’s very enjoyable. It’s a cultural experience,” Sayegh noted.Sayegh is not the only one moving to criticize Hochul’s proposal, which has faced opposition on a number of fronts. Others are pointing out the fact that flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, could be sold on the black market.In an op-ed penned for Daily News, Guy Bentley, the director of Consumer Freedom, warned of economic consequences of the proposal and said, “Banning menthol cigarettes would put rocket boosters under the illicit tobacco market and reduce state revenues.””Hochul should abandon the proposed ban. Youth smoking is at its lowest rate in decades and has almost disappeared in the state,” Bentley wrote. “With safer nicotine alternatives making traditional smoking increasingly obsolete, public health can continue to improve without a menthol ban that would surely bring negative racial justice implications and usher in criminal punishments that would disproportionately impact New York’s minority communities.”Youssef Mubarez, of the Yemeni American Merchants Association, according to the Post, warned against the proposal due to its impact on small businesses and the likelihood that New Yorkers would find alternate ways to buy flavored tobacco products.
At Sahara East in the East Village area of New York City, clients puff on hookah pipes.
(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)HOCHUL FLAMED FOR ASKING PEOPLE TO STOP ‘LEAVING’ NEW YORK AFTER TELLING REPUBLICANS TO ‘GET OUT’ MONTHS PRIOR”Small businesses in New York are at risk of being squeezed out by the proposed illegal tobacco regulations, which would only stimulate a larger underground market and encourage people to buy unregulated products,” Mubarez said.”Let us not forget the case of Eric Garner,” Mubarez added, referencing a Staten Island man who died in police custody in 2014 after being confronted for selling individual cigarettes from packs without tax stamps.New York Assemblyman Kenny Burgos, D-Bronx, said he also believes “it wouldn’t be wise to outright ban” hookah businesses that were provided a license to operate by the New York government.”I think tobacco has always been a driver of negative health in New York and especially my neighborhood, but I think with New York City allowing licensing of hookah establishments it wouldn’t be wise to outright ban a business sanctioned by New York City,” Burgos said.In contrast to those criticizing the proposal, New York NAACP State president Hazel Dukes has offered support for Hochul’s ban of tobacco products in the state.”I’m glad Gov. Hochul is taking up the cause. This tobacco ban is on the NAACP’s legislative agenda,” Dukes told the Post following Hochul’s introduction of the proposal in her State of the State address last month.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul presents her executive state budget in the Red Room at the state Capitol Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, in Albany, New York.
(AP Photo/Hans Pennink)CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe governor’s office is also taking the position that Hochul’s proposal is part of her efforts to lead the “way to a tobacco-free generation.””With commercial tobacco use the leading cause of preventable deaths, Gov. Hochul is leading the way to a tobacco-free generation to reduce youth smoking and prevent senseless deaths. As with any budget proposal, we will work with the legislature on the final details for the best way to protect public health,” Hochul spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays said, according to the Post.Other portions of Hochul’s $227 billion spending plan include a proposal to yet again revise state bail law, which is expected to be resisted by liberal state lawmakers, and a record 10% increase in school aid, to $34.5 billion.The Associated Press contributed to this article.