Good morning! Today is February 6, 2018 – 240 years to the day since France recognized the United States as an independent nation and became our first ally. Here is your Daily News.
1. Don’t freak out
- Rough couple of days on Wall Street.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by more than 1,175 points yesterday – the largest drop point wise in Dow history. That’s after a 666-point drop on Friday.
- Economists are saying this is a global “sell off,” meaning investors who have been making a killing over the last year or so are finally deciding to sell some of that stock and either cash out or put it in safer places, like bonds.
- But, don’t freak out!
- Sell offs happen and the U.S economy is fundamentally strong, reports the Associated Press.
- The New York Times’ Upshot says “common cognitive errors are making this sell-off seem more dramatic than it is,” and the way you can tell is that the bond market is still really strong.
- Bloomberg has a really good explanation of how it all happened if you really want to get into it. Otherwise, we can just move on to politics…
2. AG’s Data Breach bill coming
- Attorney General Steve Marshall will soon propose new data breach notification legislation.
- Alabama is one of only two states without a data breach notification law, and it looks like we could become the last hold out with South Dakota now moving a bill.
- When companies like Equifax and Target experience a data breach, it helps if they notify customers right away so that we can take swift measures to protect our credit.
- Prosecutors want laws in place to keep companies from dragging their feet in notifying consumers. Equifax did that, but Alabama couldn’t join the lawsuit to recover damages because we don’t have a law.
- In the wake of the Target and Equifax data breach scandals, former Attorney General Luther Strange also proposed data breach notification legislation. Those bills ultimately died in the Legislature, the most recent of which curiously meeting its demise in the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee of all places.
- In an op-ed to AL.com, Marshall says his Alabama Data Breach Notification Act of 2018 will “ensure that Alabama’s consumers aren’t late out of the gate when their sensitive personal information is obtained through a data security breach.”
- Expect the bill to be filed this week.
3. Legislature returns
The Alabama Legislature reconvenes today for the 9th day of the 2018 Regular Session. Here is what to expect…
- Rep. April Weaver’s palliative care bills are first up on the Special Order Calendar. This legislation would provide guidelines for end-of-life decisions for minors in school. You may remember the story of Alex Hoover, a North Alabama student with a rare heart condition whose parents wanted his school to agree to a do-not-resuscitate plan. Alabama law does not allow such arrangements for minors, and there could be serious liabilities for education employees. Rep. Weaver’s bills address this delicate situation.
- Rep. Kyle South has a bill up to allow first-time home buyers to establish a tax-free savings account to help fund down payments and closing costs. That’s great and all, but helping prop up the savings account would be a state tax deduction of up to $12,000 for joint filers that would go into the account. As someone who would like become a first time homebuyer in the next year or two, that sounds awesome. The bill is a top agenda item for the Alabama Association of Realtors.
- Rep. Danny Garrett’s Tax Exemption Reform Act is also up. This bill would simplify and streamline the way charities and non-profits obtain and renew exemption status through the Department of Revenue.
- Read the rest of the proposed Special Order Calendar HERE.
- Sen. Arthur Orr’s DUI bill is expected to be up today. This would require a court to consider a defendant’s misdemeanor DUI convictions from the past 10 years, not just the past five under current law.
- Sen. Clyde Chambliss has a bill up allowing counties to increase fees they charge for reinstating a tag that was suspended because of a driver’s failure to have liability insurance under Alabama law.
- Don’t miss Mike Cason’s story about possible Ethics Code revision recommendations that might be coming form the AG’s office as well. Some retiring lawmakers are starting to propose changes themselves, having grown frustrated with how the law makes it difficult to make a living in some sectors.
- Also, Rep. Patricia Todd had more to say about those Visa subpoenas in a Facebook rant, as Kim Chandler reports.
4. DC update
Needs more Shutdown
- Remember that cute little government shutdown a few weeks ago?? Good times.
- Well cue the CNN countdown clock because Congress is again scrambling to keep the government open. Funding is set to expire Thursday night.
- It’s looking like another Continuing Resolution, or a short term extension of current funding levels.
- This time, the House GOP is proposing an extension to March 23 but with full, year-long funding for the Department of Defense and two years worth of funding for community health centers.
- A vote on this plan could come TONIGHT, though the bill’s fate in the Senate is uncertain.
Latest with Immigration
- Remember that the primary reason we are ONCE AGAIN talking about a shutdown is because Democrats are going to the proverbial WALL to get to a DACA deal, or legal status for illegal immigrants brought here as children.
- Those talks once looked promising: President Trump and Republicans would get the wall, Democrats would get a path to citizenship. But things have fallen apart.
- Also remember that, with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy set to expire in March, Democrats have every reason to delay progress on an agreement. The closer we get to a deadline where actual people might be deported, the more likely they are to get concessions from moderate Republicans.
5. Roby scores big fundraising haul
- U.S. Representative Martha Roby capped an impressive fundraising year with a $236,000 haul in Q4, Federal Election Commission record show. Roby now enters the 2018 primary season with a healthy $568,000 on hand.
- Those are impressive numbers by themselves, especially for some traditionally slow fundraising months. But they stand out more relative to Roby’s announced competition in the race for Alabama’s 2nd District.
- State Rep. Barry Moore raised $4,396 in the 4th Quarter and enters the primary season with $25,370 cash on hand. The Enterprise native and Chairman of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee also holds $35,000 in debt from a personal loan.
- Army Reservist and Prattville accountant Tommy Amason raised $7,441 in 2017 (quarterly data was not available) and now has $3,859 cash on hand.
- Former Roy Moore campaign manager Rich Hobson has not filed a financial report with the FEC. Because he entered the race in January, he won’t be required to file a financial disclosure until the end of the quarter.
- The numbers are somewhat reminiscent of Roby’s last race, in which Wetumpka Tea Party leader Becky Gerritson and Montgomery electrician Bob Rogers found campaign resources difficult to come by. Roby won that race by 66 percent to 28 percent to 10 percent, respectively.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: U.S. economy fundamentally strong despite stock market plunge
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Lawmakers get subpoenas for campaign finance records
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: House Republicans working plan to avoid another government shutdown
THE MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER: Brew Tech top 50 world robotics ranking is a first for Alabama
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Clergy, activists plan ‘direct action’ to address issues of racism, poverty.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama Legislature offers support, recognition to state’s iron and steel manufacturing sector.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Orr seeks new term in Senate District 3 seat.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – BioAlabama looking to give new life to economic development with state network.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama Rep Aderholt Republican front-runner in four-way race for House Appropriations chair.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Unionization drops in Alabama but remains higher than other Southern states.
AL.COM – Roy Moore asks judge to dismiss accuser’s lawsuit over venue.
AL.COM – Contributors State Reps. Adline Clarke & Napoleon Bracy: Cutting unemployment benefits won’t cut costs.
AL.COM – The 8 Alabama communities hit hardest by flu-related deaths.
AL.COM – Tuskegee greets Italian ambassador as city seeks to lure jet trainer project.
AL.COM – Contributors Frank Knaack and Jordan Richardson: Alabama should build on its criminal justice reforms.
AL.COM – Suspect in viral Alabama child porn video ID’d, charged and sought.
AL.COM – Alabama Legislature could consider ethics law changes.
AL.COM – Some Alabama lawmakers receiving subpoenas for campaign finance records.
AL.COM – Flu deaths: 53 children died from flu this season; some anti-viral drugs, flu test in short supply.
AL.COM – Slave ship Clotilda: State agency planning wreck investigation.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – The Times Daily: Frustrated educators should remained focused on goals.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Name change brings added scope, services for AIDS group.
ANNISTON STAR – The Anniston Star: A Super lesson for Alabama.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Contributor Seema Varma: Making Medicaid a pathway out of poverty.
US NEWS & WORLD REPORT – Toyota-Mazda Coming to Tight Alabama Job Market
WASHINGTON POST – Trump and Republicans discover the perils of touting the stock market.
WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: The immigration bills in Congress aren’t perfect. That’s okay.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump calls Democratic lawmakers who didn’t applaud him ‘treasonous,’ ‘un-American’.
WASHINGTON POST – House Republicans eye defense spending boost, complicating plan to avoid second shutdown.
WASHINGTON POST – A new bipartisan immigration plan surfaces in the Senate — and Trump labels it a ‘total waste of time’.
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump’s Lawyers Want Him to Refuse an Interview in Russia Inquiry