Daily News Digest – April 24, 2020

Daily News Digest – April 24, 2020

Presented by

The Boeing Company

 

Good morning and Happy Friday!
By this time next week, it’s gonna be May. Isn’t that nuts? I think we all need some GIFs to help us remain nsync .
Here’s your Daily News for April 24.

 

 

1. See you on May 4

  • Concerns about the coronavirus will keep lawmakers out of the State House for another week, their planned resumption of the legislative session now being Monday, May 4.
  • The session has been on hold since mid-March and lawmakers had planned to be back next Tuesday, April 28. After meeting with Gov. Kay Ivey this week, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh announced they would postpone the session further.
  • (Of course, subscribers to Inside Alabama Politics were the first to know this early yesterday!)
  • “My ultimate concern is in doing it in such a way that we can do it safely and we can bring members in here to conduct business and bring them back home without getting sick,” McCutcheon said.
  • State law limits the number of days in a regular session and this one has to end on or before May 18.
  • Exactly what a socially distanced session will look like was still becoming clear Thursday. The eight-story State House building is often crowded with lobbyists, the public and state agency representatives.
  • McCutcheon said the public will not be allowed in the building and that lawmakers would be required to wear masks in the chamber. Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed said legislative staff is working on the best ways to safely conduct the remainder of the session while also being “open and transparent” for members and the public. Reed said providing live streaming of committee meetings and floor action was in the works.
  • “Is it a fluid situation?” Reed said about restarting the session. “About the most I’ve ever been associated with.”
  • Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck and Mary Sell HERE.

 

2. Long list of issues falls by the wayside as virus upends session

  • Less than three months ago, medical marijuana, education reform and the possibility of a state lottery were expected to be headlining issues of 2020 legislative session.
  • Projections for increased tax revenue meant larger General Fund and Education Trust Fund budgets for 2021 and raises for state employees and teachers were in the works.
  • But when the new coronavirus interrupted daily life, it also upended the state’s economy and this year’s regular legislative session.
  • In addition to the budgets, local legislation that has already been advertised will be considered when the session resumes, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said Thursday, but nothing else.
  • That leaves a long list of legislative items unresolved, setting up the possibility for special sessions to be called later in the year.
  • Prisons, pay raises, gambling, education reform, retirement benefits, 5G. These are just some of the headlining issues that dissolved in a snap. (Get it? Snap? It’s from the Avengers movie, but you gotta watch like eight of them.)
  • Read more about all of this from ADN’s Mary Sell and Caroline Beck HERE.

 

 

 

 

A message from

The Boeing Company

  • Boeing and its employees in Alabama are taking action to help fight COVID-19 and provide support to local communities and beyond.
  • At Huntsville, Boeing teammates are using additive manufacturing machines to 3D-print frames with adjustable headbands for medical face shields.
  • The reusable face shields have been accepted by the Department of Health and Human Services and are being delivered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for distribution.
  • The company has already donated tens of thousands of units of personal protective equipment – including face masks, goggles, gloves, safety glasses and protective bodysuits – to support health care professionals battling COVID-19 in some of the hardest-hit locations in the United States.
  • You can read more about Boeing’s support to produce supplies in Alabama to help fight COVID-19 here.

 

 

 

 

3. Unemployment update

  • Alabamians filed 331,670 unemployment claims in a four-week period that began in mid-March, the Alabama Department of Labor said Thursday.
  • During the week of April 12-18, 66,432 initial unemployment claims were made, 59,527 were related to loss of work because of the coronavirus, according to ADOL.
  • Manufacturing jobs accounted for 9,770 of those claims, followed by accommodations and food services with 6,685 and retail trade with 5,540. Health care and social assistance accounted for 5,367 of the claims.
  • As unemployment claims continue to roll in, the ADOL is reminding claimants that in order to stay eligible for benefits, those who have been placed on a temporary layoff related to the COVID-19 pandemic must return to work if called back.
  • Anyone who does not return to a job when work is available could be considered a “refusal of work” and could disqualify claimants from receiving unemployment insurance benefits.
  • “It’s important for workers to know that if their employer reopens or otherwise calls them back to work, they must do so, unless they have a good work-related cause for not returning,” said ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “Quitting work without good cause to obtain additional benefits under the regular unemployment program or CARES Act programs qualifies as fraud.”
  • The federal CARES Act provides some unemployed people an additional $600 a week in unemployment through July.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Will Whatley along with the latest county unemployment map HERE.

 

4. Trump set to sign bill with nearly $500B more in virus aid

  • Congress delivered a nearly $500 billion infusion of coronavirus spending Thursday, rushing new relief to employers and hospitals buckling under the strain of a pandemic that has claimed almost 50,000 American lives and one in six U.S. jobs.
  • The measure passed almost unanimously, but the lopsided tally belies a potentially bumpier path ahead as battle lines are being formed for much more ambitious future legislation that may prove far more difficult to maneuver through Congress.
  • President Donald Trump is scheduled to sign the bill during a White House ceremony today.
  • The bipartisan measure passed as lawmakers gathered in Washington as a group for the first time since March 27, adopting stricter social distancing rules while seeking to prove they can do their work despite the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Alabama’s Congressional delegation voted unanimously in support of the measure.
  • Anchoring the bill is the Trump administration’s $250 billion funding request to replenish a fund to help small- and medium-size businesses with payroll, rent and other expenses. The payroll program provides forgivable loans so businesses can continue paying workers while forced to stay closed for social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
  • It also contains $100 billion demanded by Democrats for hospitals and a nationwide testing program, along with a $60 billion set-aside for small banks and an alternative network of community development banks that focus on development in urban neighborhoods and rural areas ignored by many lenders. There’s also $60 billion for small-business loans and grants delivered through the Small Business Administration’s existing disaster aid program.
  • Passage of more coronavirus relief is likely in the weeks ahead. Supporters are already warning that the business-backed Payroll Protection Program will exhaust the new $250 billion almost immediately. Launched just weeks ago, the program quickly reached its lending limit after approving nearly 1.7 million loans. That left thousands of small businesses in limbo as they sought help.
  • Read more HERE.

 

5. Draft Day

  • The first round of the NFL draft opened and closed with players from the Southeastern Conference, a fitting way to mark the league’s record-setting night.
  • Fifteen players were selected from the SEC, including five from LSU, four from Alabama and two from Auburn.
  • LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was the first overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa was the fifth pick by the Miami Dolphins and Auburn’s Derek Brown was the seventh pick by the Carolina Panthers.
  • Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy were also selected in the first round, as was Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene.
  • I had to triple check spelling on all of those names.
  • Plenty of more prospects from SEC teams are expected to be drafted in Day Two of the draft, which begins today.
  • Read more HERE.

 

 

Headlines

INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – April 23, 2020

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Stripped-down legislative session to resume May 4

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Long list of issues falls by the wayside as virus upends session

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama unemployment claims top 330K since coronavirus

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Trump set to sign bill with nearly $500B more in virus aid

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – SEC smashes record for most NFL draft picks in 1st round

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama congressional delegation sends reopening suggestions to Ivey

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19 cases in Alabama nursing homes likely to rise

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama First Class Pre-K earns high mark, increases enrollment

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump: I ‘disagreed strongly’ with Georgia’s reopening plan

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – April 23, 2020

 

AL.COM  – Alabama adds 300 plus coronavirus cases; Lt. Gov. says state on track to reopen; county numbers

 

AL.COM  – Facebook giving $100,000 in grants to Huntsville businesses hurt by coronavirus

 

AL.COM  – Furloughed Alabamians disqualified from unemployment if they refuse to go back to work

 

AL.COM  – Federal appeals court blocks Alabama’s attempt to ban abortion during COVID-19

 

AL.COM  – 64 veterans, 23 staff at state-run home test positive for COVID-19 as testing ramps up

 

AL.COM  – Publix donates 3,960 gallons of milk to Central Alabama Food Bank

 

AL.COM  – Alabama tourism: Big business knocked down by coronavirus

 

AL.COM  – South lags in replying to Census, and Alabama could pay for it

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama Legislature to postpone return to May 4

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Prattville police bust multi-county coronavirus closure theft ring

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery Catholic roundup: Distance learning takes unique shapes for students, teachers

 

YellowHammer News – McCutcheon favors phased-in approach to reopening economy, indicates May 1 best date to begin

 

YellowHammer News – #BhamStrong expands small business relief through partnerships with Goldman Sachs, Hope Credit Union

 

YellowHammer News – Uber donates 800 meals to UAB Hospital workers battling COVID-19

 

Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa City Schools to discontinue bus service for some students

 

Tuscaloosa News – Recycling drop-offs now Monday events

 

Tuscaloosa News – Atlanta picks Birmingham school superintendent to lead its system

 

Decatur Daily – Lower gas prices save motorists money, but reduced driving hurts convenience stores

 

Decatur Daily – Novel coronavirus prompts novel high school graduations

 

Decatur Daily – Stripped-down legislative session to resume May 4

 

 

Times Daily – Tailgating grandparents cheer baby’s arrival

 

Times Daily – State legislative session on hold until May 4

 

Times Daily – Shoals mayors willing to review reopening strategy

 

Anniston Star – Alabama Legislature’s session now on hold until May 4

 

Anniston Star – Anniston to lay off 19 teachers as COVID-19 squeezes budgets

 

Anniston Star – RMC staff: Hospital prepared as COVID-19 cases begin peak

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Doctor: More data needed to know when reopening businesses in Alabama is safe

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Legislative session now on hold until May 4

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – 49% of unemployment claims paid, ADOL working to speed-up processing

 

WAFF Huntsville – Stripped-down legislative session to resume May 4

 

WAFF Huntsville – Alabama COVID-19 cases rise to 5,832; ADPH verifies 197 deaths

 

WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville-based coalition running food bank for undocumented immigrants

 

Gadsden Times – Goodyear to close, subject to union approval

 

Gadsden Times – Honda extends production suspension amid COVID-19

 

Gadsden Times – Gadsden State hosts virtual Honors Day programs

 

Dothan Eagle – Police arrest Dothan man in connection to recent Garden District vehicle break-ins

 

Dothan Eagle – Grandmother faces abuse charge; strikes child in face

 

Dothan Eagle – Houston County bears brunt of storms; sunny forecast ahead

 

Troy Messenger – Iconic Dale’s expands to include a steak sauce

 

Troy Messenger – Troy University creates new one-stop database for parents

 

Troy Messenger – National unemployment claims climb to 26 million

 

Andalusia Star News – AHS TO HOLD GRADUATION ON JUNE 6

 

Opelika-Auburn News – UPDATE: Cusseta father-daughter killed in I-85 crash

 

Opelika-Auburn News – Lee County DA self-reports ethics issue; attorney general to review

 

Opelika-Auburn News – COVID-19 latest: Chambers County resident, EAMC employee first in Alabama to donate plasma to LifeSouth; eight residents of Alexander City veterans home die from virus, ADVA says

 

Daily Mountain Eagle – Milo’s offering free meals for children

 

Daily Mountain Eagle – Raising Arrows still serving free meals across county

 

Daily Mountain Eagle – Baptist disaster teams help after tornadoes

 

Trussville Tribune – Massive coronavirus relief package heads to President Donald Trump

 

Trussville Tribune – ADPH adjusts how state counts COVID-19 deaths; numbers jump as a result

 

Trussville Tribune – 26 million have sought US jobless aid since virus hit; Another 4.427 million Americans filed last week

 

Athens News Courier – Sheriff: Inmate dies after inhaling unknown substance

 

Athens News Courier – Alabama prison system reports 4th COVID-19 case

 

Athens News Courier – Redstone Federal Credit Union to reopen branch lobbies

 

Sand Mountain Reporter – 3 suspected shop lifters arrested at Walmart in Boaz | Suspects identified, Walmart drops charges

 

Sand Mountain Reporter – Police pursuit of stolen vehicle ends in fatality | Suspect identified

 

Sand Mountain Reporter – Multiple cases of COVID-19 reported at assisted living facility in Boaz

 

WSFA Montgomery – Father and daughter killed in Opelika interstate crash

 

WSFA Montgomery – Refusal of work could disqualify you from unemployment benefits

 

WSFA Montgomery – Coronaviruses will never be fully eradicated, Auburn professor says

 

WKRG Mobile – ‘My rights have been violated,’ Prichard Councilman speaks out after being detained for being out past the city’s curfew

 

WKRG Mobile – COVID-19 Testing ramped up for Alabama’s veterans homes, 3rd employee at Bay Minette facility tests positive

 

WKRG Mobile – Mobile mask making group scammed by people pretending to work at local hospitals

 

WTVY Dothan – Trump’s criticism adds to tough choices in Georgia reopening

 

WTVY Dothan – Lieutenant Governor hopes businesses can reopen in a few days

 

WTVY Dothan – Alabama’s House Members give Gov. Ivey recommendations to reopen the economy

 

WASHINGTON POST  – ‘Complete disbelief’: Governors blindside front-line staff with abrupt reopening plans

 

WASHINGTON POST  – House passes $484 billion bill with money for small businesses, hospitals and testing to battle coronavirus

 

WASHINGTON POST  – Trump administration considers leveraging emergency coronavirus loan to force Postal Service changes

 

NEW YORK TIMES  – When Trump Is Watching, Governors’ Decisions Are Never Open-and-Shut

 

NEW YORK TIMES  – Wall Street is poised for a gain even as global stocks fall.

 

NEW YORK TIMES  – Could the Power of the Sun Slow the Coronavirus?

 

 

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