Daily News Digest – April 13, 2021

Daily News Digest – April 13, 2021

Presented by

The Business Council of Alabama



Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, April 13.


1. Ivey signs alcohol delivery bill, law takes effect this fall

  • Alabama will allow people to get beer, wine and liquor delivered to their homes, under a bill signed Monday by Gov. Kay Ivey.
  • A spokeswoman announced Ivey had signed the bill. It will become law in October.
  • The beverages would only be delivered to people age 21 and older by companies licensed to deliver. There would also be limits on how much could be delivered in a 24-hour period. For example, beer deliveries would be limited to five cases, and wine deliveries would be limited to 12 bottles.
  • Lawmakers have debated alcohol delivery bills for years, but the proposal never won final approval until this session.
  • Birmingham-based grocery delivery company Shipt was heavily involved this time around, arguing that the proposal would meet an existing demand.
  • Spokeswoman Evangeline George thanked the Legislature and Ivey for the new law.
  • “This law brings more convenience for customers, expands work opportunities for shoppers, and drives business for retailers across the state – all while putting safety first with rules to help ensure deliveries with alcohol are made only to adults of legal drinking age,” George said. “Over the coming months, Shipt will work with both shoppers and retailers to prepare for the launch of alcohol delivery. Shoppers who wish to deliver orders with alcohol will complete a training and certification program that addresses topics like identifying underage individuals, intoxicated persons, and fake or altered identification.”
  • Story link.


2. Prison lease information stokes concerns about costs, funding priorities

  • It’s no secret that some state lawmakers and advocacy groups have been unhappy with the amount of information offered to them by the governor’s office and the Alabama Department of Corrections about the plan to lease three new large men’s prisons.
  • Now a new report from one of the prison construction and lease companies is providing more information than the state wanted out there.
  • In a recent presentation to potential investors for the bonds that will cover construction costs, CoreCivic aimed to reassure them by saying the ADOC, and ultimately the Legislature, are on the hook for shoring up revenues.
  • “This will include budgeting for all of ADOC’s obligations under the new lease agreements,” it said.
  • “…ADOC has discretion over how to spend the appropriation provided by the Legislature and has covenanted in the lease to prioritize lease payments above all other obligations to the extent permitted by law.”
  • Carla Crowder, executive director of the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, recently listed some of her organization’s concerns from the report.
  • “The ADOC and Corecivic are sharing much more detailed information with investors than with lawmakers or the people of Alabama,” Crowder told Alabama Daily News.
  • Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range, also expressed frustration about getting lease information indirectly.
  • “This information has been requested from the governor by the House and Senate and we have not received it in this detail,” Albritton said.
  • Kristi Simpson, ADOC deputy to the chief of staff and interim spokesperson, said cost-efficiencies will be realized through streamlined staffing, modern facility design and other efficiencies.
  • “As a result, the ADOC does not expect the need to request additional appropriations for the lease payments,” she said.
  • “As costs increase year over year because of inflation, so do the cost-efficiencies created by the Alabama Prison Program,” Simpson said. “These cost-efficiencies generated through this procurement model are also indexed and are expected to outpace the annual cost of the lease. This provides for an anticipated net-zero transaction beginning with the first lease payment, with greater savings expected in later fiscal years.”
  • Read the full story from Mary Sell HERE.







A message from

The Business Council of Alabama

  • The Business Council of Alabama is hosting a free ProTip Webinar on Wednesday, April 14 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Join Natalie Fox of USA Health for “The Importance of COVID-19 Vaccinations for Your Company,” where she will lead a discussion on how the vaccine works, why vaccination is important for small businesses, and how USA Health can help you and your employees get vaccinated.







3. What’s on tap

  • It’s the 22nd legislative day and it could be a busy one in both the House and Senate.
  • In the House, the agenda includes bills to prohibit groups from being paid to turn out voters in elections and expanding what crimes can be expunged from people’s records. Others include:
  • constitutional amendment to allow for an $80 million bond issue to make improvements at state parks.
  • A Senate bill to stop the expansion of municipalities’ police jurisdictions. It appears that after several sessions, there is a substitute bill, a compromise that makes it acceptable to the Alabama League of Municipalities and the Association of County Commissions of Alabama.
  • Also, if Senate Bill 171 is approved, the sweet potato could become the official state vegetable of Alabama.
  • In the Senate, votes could happen on bills to lay out visitation requirements at hospitals and nursing homes during the pandemic, put into law policies for the Alabama Department of Labor to recover unemployment benefit overpayments and delay the third-grade holdback requirement in the Alabama Literacy Act.
  • Meanwhile, Sen. Jim McClendon’s lottery bill is at the call of the chair, meaning it could come up for a vote at any time. McClendon, R-Springville, told Kim Chandler the bill should come up today and be substituted for another that would also allow nine casino sites. The debate comes days after lottery legislation stalled in the Senate and weeks after a casino and lottery bill failed by two votes. But McClendon says he believes he has the 21 required votes to get the measure through the Senate and on to its next test in the House of Representatives.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.





4. Dems: Investigate if Merrill misused resources

  • The head of the Alabama Democratic Party on Monday urged an investigation into whether Republican Secretary of State John Merrill misused state resources.
  • Merrill announced last week that he was abandoning plans to run for U.S. Senate after a woman said they had a three-year affair. Merrill, 57, told The Associated Press that the woman had given different accounts, but “it’s obvious that she knows it ended in October.”
  • The head of the Alabama Democratic Party said there should be a review of whether Merrill used any state resources, such as cars or credit cards, in the disclosed relationship.
  • “We’ve been clear, John Merrill’s personal life is just that – personal. But what is not personal is access to state resources like a state vehicle, state cell phone and any other taxpayer funded benefits of being Alabama’s Secretary of State,” Alabama Democratic Party Executive Director Wade Perry said in a statement.
  • Read more HERE.


5. CDC, FDA recommend ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports

  • The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.
  • In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating clots in six women that occurred in the days after vaccination. The clots were observed along with reduced platelet counts — making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentially “dangerous.”
  • More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.
  • U.S. federal distribution channels, including mass vaccination sites, will pause the use of the J&J shot, and states and other providers are expected to follow. The other two authorized vaccines, from Moderna and Pfizer, are not affected by the pause.
  • CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday to discuss the cases and the FDA has also launched an investigation into the cause of the clots and low platelet counts.
  • Read more HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Prison lease information stokes concerns about cost to state, funding priorities


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey signs delivery bill into law


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Casino, lottery bill up for Senate debate


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – What’s on tap – April 13, 2021


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Dems: Investigate if Merrill misused resources


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bill would change state’s grand jury secrecy laws, free witnesses to talk about testimony


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Unusual treatment shows promise for kids with brain tumors


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden releases $1.5T budget


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump goes after Pence, McConnell in speech to party donors


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – April 12, 2021


AL.COM – Alabama gets $64 million to fight homelessness: ‘A new start for so many’


AL.COM – Ivey, ALDOT say state has infrastructure needs but not embracing Biden’s $2 trillion plan


AL.COM – FAA proposes $1.5 million fine against Anniston over airport safety


AL.COM – New WIC income guidelines announced; more Alabamians may now be eligible


AL.COM – State business leaders bullish on growth, survey shows


AL.COM – Lawyer for 2 arrested in theft of Alabama Confederate chair: ‘Just a big mistake’


AL.COM – Family of bullied gay teen who killed himself to sue Huntsville City Schools


AL.COM – Alabama coal mine strike continues after union rejects offer


AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: The John Merrill problem


AL.COM – Some fear low COVID cases in Alabama schools will reverse without masks


Montgomery Advertiser – Jury awards damages in cop sexual assault trial, but Tuskegee found not liable


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery’s Outdoor Adventure Program a go this summer, job opportunities for teens


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery parks and recreation announce new summer camp program


Decatur Daily – Byron Nelson, longtime Decatur school superintendent, dies


Decatur Daily – Harvest man dies in 2-vehicle wreck


Decatur Daily – Trinity man charged with rapes


Times Daily – Muscle Shoals, Colbert County Commission oppose proposed MSA change


Times Daily – Shoals law enforcement: Training should be a part of permit process


Times Daily – Colbert Commission ready to move forward on river rescue center


Anniston Star – Motorcyclist killed in Snow Street accident


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – More Black Alabamians receiving COVID-19 vaccine


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Legion Field site hopes to expand its hours


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Some teachers feel reluctant about returning to schools without masks


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama alcohol delivery bill signed; law goes into effect Oct. 1


Tuscaloosa News – Runoff election Tuesday for Tuscaloosa City Council districts 1, 6


Tuscaloosa News – Jury awards damages in cop sexual assault trial, but Tuskegee found not liable


YellowHammer News – Gov. Kay Ivey signs bill into law allowing alcohol delivery in Alabama effective later this year


YellowHammer News – The Frontier Industrial Innovation Conference set for April 13-14


YellowHammer News – Seven-ton elephant statue takes its place outside Bryant-Denny Stadium


Gadsden Times – Jury awards damages in cop sexual assault trial, but Tuskegee found not liable


Gadsden Times – To mask or not to mask: Two local school systems, courthouse drop requirements


Gadsden Times – Tuska, the 7-ton elephant statue, has new home at Bryant-Denny Stadium


Dothan Eagle – Time to party? Events industry still uncertain about COVID


Dothan Eagle – Former soldiers charged in stabbing death of another soldier


Dothan Eagle – Pentagon chief orders review of deadly 2020 attack in Kenya


Opelika-Auburn News – Chilly weather doesn’t dampen UK joy at lockdown easing


Opelika-Auburn News – Former UK leader breaks silence on lobbying scandal


Opelika-Auburn News – Biden aims for bipartisanship but applies sly pressure


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery providing youth employment opportunities this summer


WSFA Montgomery – New savings program for Alabama residents with disabilities launching soon


WSFA Montgomery – Lawyer: 2 arrested had no role in Confederate chair theft


WAFF Huntsville – Madison County family gets creative after hail storm damages car


WAFF Huntsville – Family suing Huntsville Board of Education after son’s death


WAFF Huntsville – New online resource for Huntsville Boards and Commissions positions


WKRG Mobile – Pedestrian struck by two cars, seriously injured in Pensacola


WKRG Mobile – ECSO: Man breaks into woman’s home while she’s in shower


WKRG Mobile – Pedestrian struck on Hamilton Blvd and Rangeline Road


WTVY Dothan – Attorney: Threats made in vet cat abuse case


WTVY Dothan – National Guard vaccine sites return for second dose


WTVY Dothan – Cultural Arts Center to host first Chalk Walk Art Competition this month


WASHINGTON POST – Minnesota killing adds to the anger, and the stakes, as Chauvin trial nears its end


WASHINGTON POST – Minn. police officer who shot Daunte Wright apparently meant to use Taser but fired gun, police chief says


WASHINGTON POST – Brother recalls George Floyd’s anguish over mother’s death as prosecution wraps up case in Derek Chauvin murder trial


NEW YORK TIMES – How a Very Weird Quirk Might Let Michigan Republicans Limit Voting Rights


NEW YORK TIMES – Minnesota Officer Who Shot Daunte Wright Meant to Fire Taser, Chief Says


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid-19 Live Updates: Virus Surges in Some Parts of U.S.


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Inflation Likely Accelerated in March as Economic Recovery Gained Steam


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Banks, After Bracing for Disaster, Are Now Ready for a Boom


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Grab to Go Public in Record-Breaking SPAC Merger



Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)