Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, April 6.
1. Busy day, week ahead in the State House
- The Alabama Legislature returns to Montgomery today to resume the 2021 Regular Session. Don’t look now but we are starting to get deep into the session.
- The House and Senate are expected to meet for the 19th, 20th and 21st legislative days this week. That means that by the time the final gavel sounds Thursday there will be just nine legislative days remaining.
- Today, the House will take up a slate of bills including Rep. K.L. Brown’s distracted driving bill. The Jacksonville Republican has tried for years to ban the use of hand-held devices while driving.
- In the upper chamber, Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, says he thinks it’s possible the Senate could vote on his lottery proposal this week. When the bill passed through committee there was a tacit agreement among senators that leadership would allow proponents of a wide ranging gambling bill to add casinos and sports betting onto his bill. Still, McClendon sounds like he wants to proceed as is. Perhaps the biggest news is that House and Senate leaders are meeting with Gov. Kay Ivey today. Read more on that from Kim Chandler HERE.
- It’s a big week for education as the two policy committees in the House and Senate take up controversial bills.
- Action kicks off today at a 10:45 a.m. Senate Education Policy Committee where the recently filed “Open Schools Act” will have a public hearing. Alabama Daily News reported Monday that Senate Bill 365 by Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, would allow Alabama students to enroll in any school system, provided they pay a fee and don’t have discipline problems, and those from low performing districts would have priority. There are a lot of details and stipulations, which is why you should read Mary’s full story, but suffice to say there will be opposition to the plan.
- On Wednesday, the House Education Policy Committee has a public hearing on Rep. Charlotte Meadows’ bill to expand the tax credits available to those who donate to private school scholarships under the Alabama Accountability Act. Public hearings are also called on bills to repeal the state’s education standards, previously known as Common Core, and to ban Alabama schools and colleges from involvement with Chinese Confucius institutes.
- The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote Wednesday on Sen. Tim Melson’s medical marijuana bill. It quickly passed the Senate in February but has stalled in the House.
- See you at the State House!
2. Poll: workers concerned about transportation, childcare, benefits
- A new poll shows that unemployed and underemployed Alabamians see transportation, childcare and potential loss of government benefits as barriers to entering or moving up in the workforce.
- The survey, commissioned by AlabamaWorks and conducted by Cygnal, is part of an ongoing effort by the state’s workforce and economic development community to better understand the challenges workers face in order to develop solutions.
- The Alabama Workforce Council has been developing strategies to reduce and eliminate these so called-benefit cliffs, according to Tim McCartney, who chairs the council.
- “Benefit cliffs, which occur when earnings gains are offset by the loss of public benefits, have long been recognized to create financial disincentives for low-income individuals to earn more income or train for higher paying occupations,” McCartney said.
- Read more HERE.
3. Biden infrastructure plan could avoid filibuster
- President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan received a boost from an unexpected source Monday.
- The Senate parliamentarian greenlighted a strategy that would allow Democrats in the evenly split 50-50 chamber to rely on a 51-vote threshold to advance some bills, rather than the typical 60 votes typically needed. The so-called budget reconciliation rules can now be used more often than expected — giving Democrats a fresh new path around the GOP blockade.
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s spokesman welcomed the parliamentarian’s opinion as “an important step forward.”
- Where Biden sees an urgency in going big, Republicans want a narrow plan that focuses on roads and bridges, and warn that any corporate tax increase would crush economic growth.
- “They know we need it,” Biden said of the Republicans as he returned to Washington on Monday. “Everybody around the world is investing billions and billions of dollars in infrastructure, and we’re going to do it here.”
- Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell declared plainly on Monday that Biden’s plan is “something we’re not going to do.”
- Speaking to reporters in Kentucky, McConnell said Republicans could support a “much more modest” approach, and one that doesn’t rely on corporate tax hikes to pay for it.
- Read more HERE.
4. McConnell warns corporations of political ‘bullying’
- Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says it’s a “big lie” to call the new voting law in Georgia racist and he warned big business to “stay out of politics” after major corporations and even Major League Baseball distanced themselves from the state amid vocal public pressure.
- McConnell particularly slammed President Joe Biden’s criticism that the Georgia bill was restrictive and a return to Jim Crow-era restrictions in the Southern states aimed at limiting ballot access for Black Americans.
- “It’s simply not true,” McConnell told reporters Monday.
- McConnell’s warning to big business not to get involved shows the scramble Republicans face as progressive groups are shining a spotlight on corporate America to live up to its brands and values as Congress takes on voting rights, gun violence and other issues Republicans have resisted.
- Read more HERE.
5. Baylor dominates Zags to win it all
- There was another team out there that was marching through the season undefeated, that looked unstoppable at times, that had all arrows pointing toward a national title.
- COVID-19 put a halt to the undefeated dream. Nothing could stop Baylor from cutting down the nets.
- Not even Gonzaga.
- The fresh-as-can-be Bears obliterated wobbly-legged Gonzaga’s march to its own undefeated season Monday night. It was an 86-70 runaway that brought this once-downtrodden program’s first national title home to Waco, Texas.
- Read more about Baylor’s incredible win and, in case you went to bed early and missed it, watch “One Shining Moment” HERE.
A message from
- Since 2014, Alabama has spent $4,141,947,771 helping other states expand Medicaid. It’s time we got our slice of the pie.
- Cover Alabama is a non-partisan alliance of 109 organizations advocating for quality, affordable health coverage for Alabamians.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Busy day, week ahead in the State House
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – McClendon: Lottery vote could come this week
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Poll: unemployed, underemployed workers say transportation, childcare, benefits are career barriers
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden’s infrastructure plan boosted by Senate parliamentarian ruling
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – McConnell warns corporations of political ‘bullying’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Baylor beatdown: Bears win title, hang 86-70 loss on Gonzaga
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Open Schools Act’ would allow enrollment in any Alabama system; Public hearing Tuesday
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bill increases tax credits for Accountability Act donors
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Amtrak’s long-range plan would add new routes across South
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Latest: Suspect in Capitol attack followed Farrakhan, suffered delusions
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Georgia governor vows a fight after MLB yanks All-Star Game
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – April 5, 2021
AL.COM – Union announces tentative agreement with Warrior Met Coal
AL.COM – COVID test that’s fast and accurate arrives in Alabama
AL.COM – U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell visits Woodlawn clinic that’s getting $5 million.
AL.COM – Alabama COVID mask order ends Friday
AL.COM – $500,000 Jefferson Davis chair stolen in Selma will be a toilet unless Confederate group hangs banner, email claims
AL.COM – Alabama lawmakers weighing in on pay for college athletes
AL.COM – Arkansas transgender youth treatment ban vetoed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson
AL.COM – Columnist Diana Hall McCain: Alabama’s Fear of Yoga
AL.COM – Bryan Stevenson to perform ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ and ‘We Shall Overcome’ at Lincoln Center
AL.COM – Mountain Brook could get 3 entertainment districts under new legislation
Montgomery Advertiser – Autauga Sheriff’s Office collecting for groups
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery teen charged with capital murder in weekend shooting
Montgomery Advertiser – Autauga County Sheriff’s Office holds fundraiser for multiple nonprofits
Decatur Daily – AG: Blakely gambled with Sheriff’s Office money while paid to be at conference
Decatur Daily – ‘Open Schools Act’ would allow enrollment in any Alabama system
Decatur Daily – Jordan-Neill residents back in hot water
Times Daily – Local entities split after the state mask mandate expires
Times Daily – Free children’s event slated for April 17 at Joe Wheeler State Park
Times Daily – Colbert County to mount anti-litter effort this month
Anniston Star – Bill increases tax credit limit for Accountability Act donors
Anniston Star – ‘Open Schools Act’ would allow enrollment in any Alabama system; Public hearing Tuesday
Anniston Star – Oxford police officer dies in hospital, chief announces
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Is it necessary to vaccinate children against COVID-19?
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Does switching AC between cool and heat harm your system?
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Faith leaders call for witnesses to come forward in Patton Park shooting
Tuscaloosa News – Woodland Forrest Elementary students learn about logging
Tuscaloosa News – Woman killed in Friday’s crash on U.S. Highway 11 identified; second driver located
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama reports fewer COVID-19 cases; 1.8 million vaccine doses administered
YellowHammer News – All adults in Alabama are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines
YellowHammer News – Tuberville to SecDef: ‘We cannot allow our military to be politicized’ — ‘Purge the department of extremism’
YellowHammer News – Carl: South Alabama’s critical contributions to national security
Gadsden Times – When Alabama’s mask mandate expires, how are you planning to handle the mask question? Tell us what you think
Gadsden Times – Alabama reports fewer COVID-19 cases; 1.8 million vaccine doses administered
Gadsden Times – Marshall County investigators seek suspect in connection with homicide Friday night
Dothan Eagle – Israeli PM back in court as parties weigh in on his fate
Dothan Eagle – Amtrak’s long-range plan would add new routes across South
Dothan Eagle – India’s daily virus cases soar past 100,000 for first time
Opelika-Auburn News – The Latest: Britain eyes twice weekly virus tests for all
Opelika-Auburn News – Bangladesh enforcing weeklong lockdown amid virus surge
Opelika-Auburn News – Asia Today: Philippines extends lockdown as infections spike
WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery’s long-abandoned Grove Court Apartments to be redeveloped
WSFA Montgomery – AUM to host COVID-19 vaccine clinic for MPS employees, general public
WSFA Montgomery – Harris: About 70% of Ala. needs COVID-19 vaccine to reach herd immunity
WAFF Huntsville – The next steps for the Decatur city mask order
WAFF Huntsville – Water outage in parts of Huntsville
WAFF Huntsville – Murder suspect accused of fatal stabbing in Marshall County now in custody
WKRG Mobile – ECSO asking for public’s help in finding missing 14-year-old
WKRG Mobile – Roundabout delay to create issues after Pensacola Bay Bridge opens, mayor says
WKRG Mobile – Denver to host 2021 MLB All-Star Game at Coors Field
WTVY Dothan – Ozark police confirm animal abuse investigation
WTVY Dothan – COVID-19 in Alabama: 89 new confirmed cases on Monday
WTVY Dothan – Geneva City Council tables proposed bicycle ordinance
WASHINGTON POST – Chauvin ‘absolutely’ violated policy while restraining Floyd, police chief says
WASHINGTON POST – Republicans ramp up attacks on corporations over Georgia voting law, threaten ‘consequences’
WASHINGTON POST – U.S. and Iran set to begin indirect talks on reviving nuclear deal in Vienna
NEW YORK TIMES – In Rare Testimony, Chief Says Chauvin ‘Should Have Stopped’ Pinning Floyd
NEW YORK TIMES – Biden and Democrats Detail Plans to Raise Taxes on Multinational Firms
NEW YORK TIMES – Covid-19 Live Updates: U.S. Vaccinations Accelerate as Variants Linger
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Credit Suisse Takes $4.7 Billion Hit on Archegos Meltdown
WALL STREET JOURNAL – China Creates its Own Digital Currency, a First for Major Economy
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Edge Down After Indexes Hit Records
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