Presented by the
Alabama Trucking Association
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, April 28.
1. Budgets almost done
- More progress was made on both state budgets Tuesday, closing in on a final vote for both during the last days of the Alabama Legislature’s 2021 regular session.
- The House of Representatives passed a record $7.6 billion Education Trust Fund budget with some slight increases from the Senate-passed version. The bill now goes back to the Senate, where senators can either vote to concur with the House changes and send it to the governor or vote to form a joint conference committee to work out the differences. (They’ll vote to concur on Thursday)
- House education budget chairman Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, thanked the resiliency of Alabamians during the COVID-19 pandemic for making it possible for the budget to avoid cuts.
- “There was a time a year ago as we stood in this well being very concerned about the future of education funding in Alabama and we’re very fortunate to be in the position that we are while many states are reducing their budget and struggling to pay the bills,” Poole said.
- Also, the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund committee passed the General Fund budget on Tuesday. That means both budgets could receive final passage on Thursday.
- We had been thinking the Legislature would wait until the last day of session to transmit the budgets so as to avoid line item vetoes from the governor and preserve the Budget Isolation Resolution, but that might no longer be the case.
- Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.
2. Bill would put into law unemployment benefit fraud protections
- Over the last year, unemployment fraud has become a growing problem, not just in Alabama but nationwide.
- The Alabama Department of Labor has received about 25,000 to 30,000 fraud reports since opening a reporting portal last July, spokeswoman Tara Hutchison told Alabama Daily News. But that doesn’t mean all those reports will be determined to be fraud, she said.
- “(The department) is doing all it can and is constantly working to develop new and innovative ways to detect fraud and prevent it from happening,” Hutchison said.
- “We are working with state and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate these cases and will prosecute,” Hutchison said.
- A bill pending in the Alabama House would put into law some existing and new unemployment fraud detection practices at labor.
- Sen. Arthur Orr’s Senate Bill 373 cleared the Senate early this month on a 19-0 vote and is awaiting a House vote.
- “Our state department of labor is certainly doing all they can, but the bill would memorialize in the code some of these requirements as far as checking people for their eligibility or lack thereof,” Orr, R-Decatur said.
- Read more from Mary Sell HERE.
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3. Bill would outlaw chemical abortions
- A bill that would outlaw all chemical abortions or the use of prescription “abortion pills” in Alabama will get a public hearing in a House committee today.
- House Bill 377 from Rep. Andrew Sorrell, R-Muscle Shoals, would make it a Class C felony for anyone in the state to administer medication that is commonly used to end a pregnancy during the first trimester.
- Sorrell said he thought the bill was needed now after seeing a push in some states to increase access to the medications through telemedicine means, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “Because of the pandemic, there has been a big shift to where these states are saying you don’t need to have an in-person appointment to have an abortion, you just need to do telemedicine,” Sorrell told Alabama Daily News.
- A Class C felony is punishable by up to 10 years in state prison but the bill says no woman seeking the abortion would be held criminally liable.
- The bill specifically mentions that the drugs RU-486, Mifepristone, Mifegyne, Mifeprex or any similar drug would be illegal to manufacture, distribute, prescribe, dispense, sell or transfer in the state.
- The bill does not prevent Alabamians from using certain contraceptive agents, like Plan B or the morning-after pill, that are administered before a pregnancy can be confirmed.
- Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.
4. Lawsuit filed in a bid to block Alabama’s prison lease plan
- Groups opposed to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s plan to lease private prisons filed a lawsuit Tuesday, arguing that the plan is illegal because it did not get approval from the state legislature among other things.
- Attorney Kenny Mendelson, of Montgomery, filed the lawsuit in Montgomery County Circuit Court on behalf of four plaintiffs — Republican State Auditor Jim Zeigler; Democratic state Rep. John Rogers, of Birmingham; Leslie Ogburn, a homeowner near the proposed prison site outside Tallassee and prisoner rights activist Rev. Kenny Glasgow of Dothan.
- The governor in February agreed to lease two mammoth prisons as a partial solution to the state’s troubled correction system. The two 30-year lease agreements are with separate entities of CoreCivic, one of the nation’s largest private prison companies. The governor’s office is negotiating with another company to build a third prison in Bibb County.
- Ivey has said new prisons are a crucial first step to overhauling the state’s troubled and aging prison system and that new facilities will be safer and enable more training and rehabilitative efforts. Critics said the $3 billion plan is unnecessarily expensive and does not address critical issues of training, violence and understaffing.
- Read more HERE.
5. Paschal wins in HD 73
- U.S. Army veteran Kenneth Paschal appears to have won Tuesday’s GOP primary runoff in House District 73.
- Paschal received 1,476 votes, about 51%, defeating Leigh Hulsey, according to unofficial results on the Alabama Secretary of State’s website.
- Paschal now faces Democrat Sheridan Black in July.
- House District 73 in Shelby County includes portions of Alabaster, Calera, Chelsea, Helena, Montevallo, Pelham and unincorporated Brantleyville. It was previously represented by Republican Matt Fridy, who is now serving as judge of the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.
- “The Republican Party was incredibly blessed to have two outstanding, Conservative candidates vying for this position,” Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl said in a written statement. “Only one can be our nominee, but we want to thank both candidates for their willingness to serve. We look forward to working with Kenneth Paschal as we move toward the general election. He will be a great addition to our Republican Caucus in the legislature, fighting for the issues that matter most to the people of Alabama.”
- Story link.
INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – April 27, 2021
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State budgets nearing final passage
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bill puts into law unemployment benefit fraud protections
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bill would ban all chemical abortions in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawsuit filed in a bid to block Alabama’s prison lease plan
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Paschal wins GOP runoff in HD 73
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama recalls 2011 tornado outbreak that killed hundreds
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pain, loss linger a decade after tornadoes
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Census shows Alabama will maintain 7 congressional seats
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – April 27, 2021
AL.COM – Alabama lawmakers advance gun measures opposed by law enforcement
AL.COM – Alabama House passes record $7.7 billion education budget
AL.COM – Kenneth Paschal wins GOP runoff for Shelby County House seat by 64 votes
AL.COM – Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler files lawsuit to block Gov. Kay Ivey’s prison lease plan
AL.COM – Evan Miller, youngest person ever sentenced to life without parole in Alabama, must remain in prison
AL.COM – 24,000 health care workers in Alabama contracted COVID-19
AL.COM – Bill would give some Alabama inmates under habitual offender law chance for new sentence
AL.COM – 22% say they won’t take COVID-19 vaccine, poll shows
AL.COM – Here are Alabama’s 2021 top high schools, U.S. News says
AL.COM – Alabama AG Steve Marshall pulls out of National Attorneys General Association
Montgomery Advertiser – What the Alabama House education budget could bring in addition to teacher pay raises
Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama health department OKs resuming Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses after pause
Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama Air National Guard transitioning into the future
Decatur Daily – Bill would ban all ‘chemical’ abortions in Alabama
Decatur Daily – 2011 tornado outbreak still spurs safety measures; one official questions siren use
Decatur Daily – Bill puts into law unemployment benefit fraud protections
Times Daily – Bill would ban all ‘chemical’ abortions in Alabama
Times Daily – ALDOT to reimburse city for gas and water line relocation
Times Daily – Bill puts into law unemployment benefit fraud protections
Anniston Star – Alabama cleared for Johnson & Johnson, but public skeptical
Anniston Star – Stoplights getting a little more ‘go’ near Exchange, Choccolocco Park
Anniston Star – State budgets nearing final passage
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Who would get the COVID-19 booster shots first, state leader details rollout plan
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – State: “Several providers have asked to switch the type of COVID-19 vaccine they offer”
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – City leaders and community remember lives lost in Alberta City during solemn April 27th ceremony
Tuscaloosa News – PHOTOS: Tuscaloosa Remembers the 2011 tornado ten years later
Tuscaloosa News – What the Alabama House education budget could bring in addition to teacher pay raises
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama health department OKs resuming Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses after pause
YellowHammer News – SpaceX’s Elon Musk admits: We will ‘probably smash a bunch’ of rockets trying to land humans on moon
YellowHammer News – Alabama Department of Public Health, CDC, FDA recommend resumption of J&J vaccine
YellowHammer News – Tuberville: We’re ‘in a new space race, and it’s a race we must win’
Gadsden Times – Remembering ‘the day the world shook’ in Webster’s Chapel
Gadsden Times – What the Alabama House education budget could bring in addition to teacher pay raises
Gadsden Times – Southside police make arrest in connection to Saturday’s convenience store robbery
Dothan Eagle – A closer look at Biden’s $1.8T for families and education
Dothan Eagle – Biden to pitch sweeping ‘family plan’ in speech to Congress
Dothan Eagle – N Ireland leader faces party revolt over Brexit fallout
Opelika-Auburn News – China’s Huawei says sales down 16.5% amid US sanctions
Opelika-Auburn News – Global shares mostly higher before Fed meeting, Biden speech
Opelika-Auburn News – Germany’s Merkel presses China for human rights dialogue
WSFA Montgomery – Marche Johnson wins Montgomery City Council District 3 seat
WSFA Montgomery – Alabama Power faced hard job after April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak
WSFA Montgomery – New HBO series on con artists features Opelika convicted felon
WAFF Huntsville – How new CDC outdoor masking guidance affects those vaccinated, unvaccinated
WAFF Huntsville – Thrive Alabama opening new COVID-19 vaccine clinic
WAFF Huntsville – Fort Payne City Council announces new owner of DeSoto Golf Course
WKRG Mobile – Prichard police respond to overnight shooting on Irby St.
WKRG Mobile – Bicyclist injured in hit and run crash in Mobile
WKRG Mobile – Florida man reunites with dog he had to surrender due to homelessness after finding new job, place to live
WTVY Dothan – After going viral last year, Poplar Springs seniors were honored again this year
WTVY Dothan – Former Dothan pharmacist sent to prison
WTVY Dothan – Enterprise Senior Center reopens for first time since March 2020
WASHINGTON POST – White House proposes $1.8 trillion package that would dramatically expand education, safety net programs
WASHINGTON POST – Lower-than-expected state population totals stoke concerns about the 2020 Census
WASHINGTON POST – Biden donors, friends and former aides expected on first slate of high-profile ambassadors
NEW YORK TIMES – How Europe Sealed a Pfizer Vaccine Deal With Texts and Calls
NEW YORK TIMES – California Man Dies After Officers Pin Him to Ground for 5 Minutes
NEW YORK TIMES – Biden Details $1.8 Trillion Plan for Workers, Students and Families
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Samsung’s Lee Family to Offload Picassos, Monets as It Settles More Than $10 Billion Tax Bill
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Biden to Propose $1.8 Trillion Plan Aimed at Families, Tax Hikes for Wealthiest Americans
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Apple to Report Quarterly Results as Investors Look for iPhone Growth