Daily News Digest – June 2, 2021

Daily News Digest – June 2, 2021

Presented by the

Alabama Municipal Electric Authority

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, June 2.

1. Report: More data, tracking needed on prison education efforts

  • While the Legislature and Gov. Kay Ivey this session put more money toward prison education programs and incentivized participation for some with earlier release, the state is not doing enough to track what programs are actually helping offenders find jobs and stay out of prison, a recent report says.
  • Meanwhile, there are still significant barriers to accessing prison education programs, the report from the Alabama Commission on Evaluation of Services said.
  • “The state is not tracking the necessary performance metrics to determine if our educational efforts are working for our population,” Marcus Morgan, ACES director, told Alabama Daily News. “We should know and we can know,”
  • The commission was created in 2019 to assess the effectiveness of various state programs. Lawmakers have increased correctional education gradually in recent years. The 2022 state education budget has about $15.5 million for prison education, including some post-release programs.
  • Senate Bill 323, the Alabama Education Incentive Time Act, will allow offenders within the ADOC to get up to 12 months reduced from their sentences if they complete an ADOC-approved academic, vocational, risk-reducing or apprenticeship program.
  • The bill by Sen. Clyde Chambliss, R-Prattville, requires ADOC to provide quarterly reports on the number of prisoners eligible for the program, participation, the recidivism rate for those released early under the program and post-release employment.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.


2. Britt resigns BCA, readies Senate run

  • Katie Boyd Britt is stepping down as president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, taking a necessary step toward an expected bid for the U.S. Senate.
  • In a letter to BCA’s board of directors, Britt listed off several accomplishments for the state’s premiere business lobby during her two and a half years at the helm and said she would resign effective June 4 “to pursue a new opportunity.”
  • In the latest edition of Inside Alabama Politics, we reported that Britt would enter the Senate race with a likely official announcement next week. We also reported the consultants involved, staff being considered and messaging being crafted. (It pays to subscribe!)
  • Read more about Britt’s move HERE.





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Alabama Municipal Electric Authority

  • One million Alabamians depend on reliable, affordable, innovative public power.
  • Public utilities employ 93,000 people in local jobs across the U.S.
  • 5.6 % of electric operating revenues go back into the community.
  • 2,000 communities large and small across the U.S. trust public power.
  • To learn more about AMEA and public power, visit www.AMEA.com.





3. Biden, Capito to meet as infrastructure deadline looms

  • Deadline looming, President Joe Biden is set to meet with the top Senate Republican negotiator on infrastructure as the administration signals time is running out to strike a bipartisan deal on the White House’s big investment proposal and top legislative priority.
  • The president is looking forward to hosting West Virginia GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, the White House said ahead of this afternoon’s session. The two will continue bipartisan negotiations. The administration’s deadline for a deal is now June. 7.
  • Privately, however, the president has sized up the GOP’s latest $928 billion offer as unworkable, in large part because it taps unused COVID-19 funds to pay for it. Publicly the administration is making it clear it views next week as a make-or-break moment for the president’s push toward a deal with Republicans.
  • Together, the president and the Republicans both have political incentives to negotiate a bipartisan accord over his sweeping investment package, even if no deal is within sight. For Biden, reaching across the aisle and cutting deals in Congress is central to his brand of politics. Republicans can also score political gains by trying to work with a popular president.
  • Read more HERE.
  • Meanwhile, according to Punchbowl News, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough has ruled on questions of whether Democrats can push more legislation through the chamber via the Budget Reconciliation process, which bypasses the filibuster.
  • They can, technically, but it’s complicated and the bills would have to go through the rigorous budgeting process. John, Jake and Anna explain in this morning’s Punchbowl email.


4. US formally ends policy for asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico


  • The Biden administration on Tuesday formally ended a Trump-era immigration policy that forced asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court.
  • A seven-page memo by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas marked the end of the “Migrant Protection Protocols,” which returned about 70,000 asylum-seekers to Mexico from January 2019 until it was halted on President Joe Biden’s first day in office two years later.
  • Mayorkas said keeping the policy intact or modifying it “would not be consistent with this Administration’s vision and values and would be a poor use of the Department’s resources.” He said the costs would far outweigh any benefits.
  • The policy coincided with a sharp decline of asylum-seekers at the border, but critics noted that people were hampered by violent conditions in Mexico, lack of access to lawyers and difficulty making it to court. Mayorkas acknowledged those concerns by noting the high rate of denied claims for failing to appear in court and the lack of housing, income and safety in Mexico.
  • The top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee lambasted the move as “a very serious mistake” that would hinder efforts to curb the numbers of migrants entering the U.S. The remarks by Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., underscored the GOP view that the situation at the border remains a political liability for Democrats.
  • “The common thread across President Biden’s continued actions is unwinding commonsense border security policies while putting our homeland security on the back burner,” Katko said.
  • Read more HERE.



5. OPEC to boost oil output as prices rise

  • The OPEC oil cartel and allied producing countries plan to restore 2.1 million barrels per day of crude production, balancing fears that COVID-19 outbreaks in some countries will sap demand against surging energy needs in recovering economies.
  • Energy ministers made the decision during an online meeting Tuesday.
  • Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said recent market developments proved the agreement to gradually increase production, made in April and reconfirmed Tuesday, was “the right decision.” There are still “clouds on the horizon” regarding the recovery and demand for energy, he said.
  • Read more HERE.


  • Meanwhile, the Biden administration on Tuesday suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, reversing a drilling program approved by the Trump administration and reviving a political fight over a remote region that is home to polar bears and other wildlife — and a rich reserve of oil.
  • Environmental groups and Democrats cheered the Interior Department order, while Alaska’s all-Republican congressional delegation slammed it as misguided and illegal.
  • Read more HERE.







ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Report: More data, tracking needed on prison education efforts


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Britt resigns BCA, readies Senate run


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden, Capito to meet as infrastructure deadline looms


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US formally ends policy for asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – OPEC to boost oil output as economies recover, prices rise


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden suspends oil leases in Alaska’s Arctic refuge


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Medical marijuana: how it happened and what’s next


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers considering federal Covid relief money for prison fix


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama clinics offer free vision screening for rural areas


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawsuit filed over Alabama dock fire that killed 8 in 2020


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – What would it take to solve the student debt crisis?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – June 1, 2021


AL.COM – Katie Boyd Britt, possible U.S. Senate candidate, resigns as president of BCA


AL.COM – Family of man stomped on by Huntsville police hires attorney so ‘this doesn’t happen in the future’


AL.COM – Alabama parole hearings will reopen to public in July


AL.COM – Overdraft fees made up nearly 5% of Regions’ revenue in 2020, more than any other regional bank


AL.COM – Contributor Martin Luther King III: The Black struggle; an Alabama sawmill and the Tulsa Race Massacre


AL.COM – 3 Senators introduce ban on federal vaccine passports


AL.COM – Sierra Club joins fight to block mining on tallest peak near Birmingham


AL.COM – New hurricane season, old worries: Alabama cities, counties wait on millions from last year’s storms


AL.COM – A closer look at Alabama’s $7.7 billion education budget, largest in history


Montgomery Advertiser – After a 3-year renovation, downtown Montgomery project eyes 2021 opening


Montgomery Advertiser – Katie Boyd Britt stepping down as Business Council of Alabama CEO amid Senate speculation


Montgomery Advertiser – Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy holds in-person graduation ceremony


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic happening in public housing communities


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Concerns about possible increase in COVID-19 cases after Memorial Day Weekend


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama Gulf Coast watching as hurricane season starts


Tuscaloosa News – Lanier, McKinstry enter race as qualifying begins for District 7 special election


Tuscaloosa News – Katie Boyd Britt stepping down as Business Council of Alabama CEO amid Senate speculation


Decatur Daily – Second interim president named for Calhoun


Decatur Daily – Summer learning academy aims to ‘close the gap’


Decatur Daily – Albertville man accused of trying to meet 14-year-old for sex


Times Daily – Florence pharmacy owner’s license revoked, fined


Times Daily – Florence Indian Mound Museum/TVA sponsoring virtual speaker series through October


Times Daily – McCutcheon touches on legislative session hits and misses


Anniston Star – Cleburne County commissioners are urged to halt herbicide spraying


Anniston Star – City has new plan for proposed Satcher Institute


Anniston Star – Ladiga tops wish list as Anniston Council debates Rescue Act money


YellowHammer News – Business Council of Alabama announces resignation of Katie Boyd Britt


YellowHammer News – ‘Not Done Yet’: Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s reelection ad touts successes while underlining forward momentum


Gadsden Times – Etowah County engineer to retire, commission announces, in otherwise routine meeting


Gadsden Times – Rendering plant ruling: Judge’s answer expected Monday


Gadsden Times – Katie Boyd Britt stepping down as Business Council of Alabama CEO amid Senate speculation


Dothan Eagle – Charges after US Capitol insurrection roil far-right groups


Dothan Eagle – Leibovitz photo fronts memoir by business leader Indra Nooyi


Dothan Eagle – Charges after US Capitol insurrection roil far-right groups


Opelika-Auburn News – Saudi stock market trading stops over technical error


Opelika-Auburn News – Huawei to roll out its own operating system to smartphones


WSFA Montgomery – Woman hospitalized after house fire in Montgomery


WSFA Montgomery – Business president resigns, could seek US Senate seat


WSFA Montgomery – Woman injured in Montgomery shooting Tuesday


WAFF Huntsville – Fraternal Order of Police reviews HPD and Kemontae Hobbs incident


WAFF Huntsville – Madison County Emergency Rental Assistance application live


WAFF Huntsville – Rainsville City Council approves ordinance to refinance Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center


WKRG Mobile – Alabama AG Steve Marshall to make campaign announcement


WKRG Mobile – JBS Foods will have “vast majority” of plants operational Wednesday


WKRG Mobile – Accident on HWY 59 Tuesday night near Robertsdale


WTVY Dothan – Senior Centers around the Wiregrass reopen to daily


WTVY Dothan – Henry County Commission plans to borrow millions of dollars through bond issue to improve roads


WTVY Dothan – Shots fired in Ozark road rage incident, police say


WASHINGTON POST – At Tulsa event, Biden announces Harris will lead push for voting protections in response to states’ recent ballot restrictions


WASHINGTON POST – Democrat wins New Mexico special election for U.S. House, overcoming a Republican emphasis on rising crime


WASHINGTON POST – Snubbed, fired and vilified, opposition lawmakers unite in disdain for Netanyahu


NEW YORK TIMES – N.Y.C. Mayor’s Race Tightens Ahead of Crucial In-Person Debate


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: As U.S. Optimism Grows, Others Have Worst Outbreaks Yet


NEW YORK TIMES – The Promise and Pressures of Deb Haaland, the First Native American Cabinet Secretary


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Invesco Forges a Different Path in China From Its Bigger U.S. Rivals


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Janet Yellen and China’s Liu He Speak by Video Call


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Chinese Factories Delay New Orders as Costs Rise, Risking Global Supply Shortages



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