Daily News Digest – November 12, 2020

Daily News Digest – November 12, 2020

Presented by

the Boeing Company

 

 

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, November 12.

 

 

1. Budget talk: State level

  • Tax revenues in the state’s General Fund and Education Trust Fund grew significantly, 16.2% and 8.7% respectively, in October compared to a year ago, but at least some of those increases are anomalies that shouldn’t be expected to continue as COVID-19 impacts tax collections.
  • “October, one month into 2021 looks good, but there’s a backstory there that we ought to be concerned about,” Kirk Fulford, deputy director of the Legislative Services Agency, said. “I don’t want people to think that 16% is what the real growth was (in the General Fund) and in the ETF, in reality, it probably isn’t growing at 8%.”
  • The $31 million increase in the General Fund, which funds most non-education state functions, is attributable to a $32 million, 100% increase in the Financial Institutions Excise Tax. That’s because of a change in when the tax is collected and reported, Fulford said. There was no excise tax revenue in October 2019.
  • “What the General Fund receipts actually show is a continuation of the slow growth over the last several months,” Fulford said.
  • That slow year-over-year growth is expected to continue, in part because in the first half of fiscal 2020, “we were growing like gangbusters,” Fulford said.
  • Now, there is COVID-19-related decrease in business operations and travel, and lower interest rates, that are expected to continue at least for several months, Fulford said.
  • The ETF did show solid growth in October in its two largest tax sources: income (9.8%) and sales (9.9%).
  • In a few months, state budget makers will begin talking about fiscal 2022, which begins next October. COVID-19 is a big factor and there are still a lot of unknowns, including what Congress may do with another stimulus package.
  • Last month, ADN reported there may be some shuffling of CARES money as the deadline to spend it approaches.
  • Earlier this week, $957.5 million of the state’s $1.8 billion allocation had not been spent, though some may be committed soon.
  • Full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.

 

 

2. Budget talk: Federal level

  • With the election now over and two months before a new government is seated, some in Alabama’s congressional delegation say more federal help to states for the coronavirus pandemic could be on the way during the intervening period, depending on various factors.
  • Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Mobile, this week told Alabama Daily News he thinks states’ Dec. 30 spending deadline on the current CARES money will be extended by Congress in its lame duck session. He’d also like to see more flexibility in how that money can be spent.
  • And Byrne is not ruling out another relief package, though much relies on Democratic leadership in the House being able to work with Republicans in the Senate.
  • Last month, ADN reported there may be some state shuffling of its CARES money as the deadline to spend it approaches.
  • Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Selma, said she’s alarmed at the recent rise in the COVID-19 cases in Alabama and thinks the Republican Senate is to blame for not taking up House-passed coronavirus packages.
  • Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt, the dean of the House delegation, said it’s possible another COVID-19 relief package is wrapped in the fiscal 2021 spending bill, but it’s too early to say. Asked what should be in a possible package, Aderholt said the bigger question is what should not be in it.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

A message from

the Boeing Company

  • As the largest aerospace company in Alabama, Boeing has played a vital role in building the nation’s space and defense programs in the state for nearly 60 years.
  • The company first established a presence in Alabama in 1962 to support the nation’s new space programs. Today, Boeing in Huntsville supports commercial airplanes, services, space and defense work, providing innovative and affordable capabilities. Boeing Huntsville is a low cost, high tech, fabrication center of excellence.
  • Boeing employees are active and committed members of their communities in which they live and work, contributing both dollars and time in many ways. Boeing and employee giving in Alabama in 2019 totaled $2.5 million.

 

 

 

 

 

3. In the Weeds w/ Tommy Tuberville

 

  • Yesterday, I caught up with Tommy Tuberville, the erstwhile college football coach and soon-to-be United States Senator from Alabama.
  • The coach had been coy with most media leading up to the election, careful to avoid any pitfalls in a race he would eventually win by 20 points.
  • But now, victory in hand, he’s happy to talk, and we had a good discussion.
  • I asked about his effort to staff up the office, his Senate orientation meetings in Washington, D.C., what committees he wants to be on, the prospect of working with a Biden administration and how the two parties can work together given the razor-thin majorities in both chambers. We also kind of randomly talked about Senate and House rules, and I’m sure I was wrong about something.
  • It was a good talk, which you can listen to and/or read in full via our In the Weeds podcast HERE.

 

 

 

4. Senate campaigns restart in Georgia for all the marbles

  • Just to the east of us, a massive campaign is getting underway for two Senate seats that will largely decide the direction of the country.
  • Republican U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, having failed to cross the 50% threshold on election night, are facing runoffs with Democrats.
  • Those would be spirited contests under normal circumstances in the demographically shifting state. But now, it just so happens that the outcome of those elections will determine which party holds sway in the U.S. Senate and, to a large degree, how free a Joe Biden administration would be to work with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to advance a Democratic legislative agenda.
  • Both sides are playing to core supporters, the most reliable voters among the 5 million who split their ballots roughly evenly between the two parties in the first round. But for Democrats, it’s seemingly a more piecemeal, voter-by-voter approach, while Republicans are pushing a broad branding message through mass media.
  • Republicans need one of the Georgia seats for a majority. Democrats must win both to yield a 50-50 Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris then holding the tie-breaking vote.
  • “This is literally the showdown of all showdowns,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the first of many outside guests to come court votes for the GOP in Georgia. “This is Georgia’s decision to make. But it’s America that will live with the consequences.”
  • Full story HERE.

 

 

5. News Briefs

 

ALEA: Beware of fake license renewal sites

  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama law enforcement officials on Tuesday cautioned people to beware of third-party websites when they renew their driver license online.
  • The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said in a news release that some third-party websites are charging people extra fees to renew their license online. The sites are not affiliated with the state and there is no need to use them to renew a license online.
  • ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said one website charged a $50 administrative fee in addition to the agency’s $39 renewal fee.
  • “That is a significant up-charge from ALEA’s online transaction fee, which is only $2.75,” Taylor said. “As with any type of website service, we encourage Alabama citizens to use caution when utilizing third-party websites.”
  • The agency urged people to go directly to ALEA’s Driver License Division at www.alea.gov to renew their license online instead of using a search engine to find the site. They also urged people to look for the words, “The official site of those who protect and serve Alabama” and the official ALEA seal at the top of the page.

Inmate killed in assault at Bullock prison

  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama prison inmate has died after what authorities believe was an assault by another inmate, prison officials said Wednesday.
  • The Alabama Department of Corrections said Dwight Campbell, a 48-year-old inmate at Bullock Correctional Facility in Union Springs, died Monday from injuries sustained during an apparent inmate-on-inmate assault.
  • “The ADOC condemns all violence in its facilities, and the fatal actions taken against Campbell by another inmate are being thoroughly investigated,” the prison system said in a statement.
  • The prison system said Campbell’s exact cause of death is pending a full autopsy, and more information will be available upon the conclusion of the investigation into his death.
  • Campbell was serving a 20-year sentence for receiving stolen property.
  • Prison system statistics show at least 16 inmates were killed by other prisoners in Alabama prisons from Oct. 1, 2019 through the end of August. The number does not include deaths still under investigation.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice last year issued a scathing report accusing Alabama of housing male inmates in unconstitutional conditions because of the high rates of violence. DOJ threatened legal action against the state unless officials improved conditions. The Department of Justice wrote that overcrowding, understaffing, excessive violence, a failure to stop sexual assaults, poor facilities and the indifference of officials were among the factors creating what it called inhumane conditions in Alabama’s prisons.
  • A follow-up report by DOJ said there was a pattern of excessive force by prison staff.

Man gets murder charge while out on bond in separate slaying

  • MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A 22-year-old Alabama man who was charged with murder Tuesday was out on bond in a separate slaying when he was arrested.
  • Authorities arrested LeQuinton King in the fatal shooting of Vincent Wilson, 22, in Mobile, police said in a statement.
  • Police found Wilson the afternoon of Nov. 6 with gunshot wounds in an apartment, and medical personnel pronounced him dead shortly after, investigators said.
  • At the time of the shooting, King was out on bond in a 2017 slaying. He was arrested by U.S. Marshals in that case and charged with murder in the fatal shooting of James W. Byrd Jr., 36, in an Anniston shopping center, news outlets reported.
  • King was released from the Calhoun County Jail in November 2017, records showed.
  • Prosecutors filed a motion Tuesday to revoke King’s $500,000 bond in that case because of the new murder charge, according to state court records.
  • It was not immediately clear whether King had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Prosecutors seek trial date for indicted Alabama sheriff

  • ATHENS, Ala. (AP) — Prosecutors are asking a judge to set a trial date for a longtime Alabama sheriff who has continued to serve despite being indicted on theft and ethics charges.
  • The state is pushing to a date to begin the trial of Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely, who was indicted in August 2019 on multiple charges, news outlets reported.
  • Blakely, 70, pleaded not guilty a year ago, and the state attorney general’s office maintained in court documents that it’s time for him the go on trial. A judge has set a hearing for Nov. 19, when he could consider the timing of the trial.
  • Court cases were delayed statewide because of the coronavirus pandemic, and as many as 500 potential jurors could be called for Blakely’s case because he’s so well known in north Alabama, where the case would be held.
  • Prosecutors argued that officials have learned how to conduct jury trials safely, and Blakely should go to court rather than remain in office without a resolution to his case.
  • A grand jury indicted Blakely on 12 felony counts and one misdemeanor alleging he stole campaign donations, used his job to obtain interest-free loans and solicited money from employees. He has been sheriff of the north Alabama county for about 37 years.
  • Alabama law doesn’t require the suspension of sheriffs who are under indictment.

 

Headlines

INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – November 6, 2020

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – General Fund, Education Trust Fund revenue up in October with COVID ‘backstory’

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – More federal help for state COVID-19 needs?

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds w/ Tommy Tuberville, Alabama’s next senator

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Dems, GOP take different approaches on Georgia Senate blitz

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Opinion: High-speed broadband internet emerges as critical quality of life issue in Alabama

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Hospitalizations, deaths from COVID-19 rise in Alabama

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Dems clinch House control, but majority could be razor thin

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama, Auburn games postponed by COVID-19 issues

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New presidents, policies for community colleges

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – November 11, 2020

 

AL.COM – Coronavirus cases surge in north Alabama as Thanksgiving approaches

 

AL.COM – Veterans Day 2020: Inspirational quotes, remembrances to honor those who served in the military

 

AL.COM – What is Joe Biden’s plan for the US economy?

 

AL.COM – $17 million pledged to support ice hockey at UAH, program aims for ‘long-term’ future

 

AL.COM – COVID vaccine won’t stop current wave of Alabama cases; hospitalizations soar

 

AL.COM – ‘The 5th Little Girl’: Book on church bombing survivor Sarah Collins Rudolph complete

 

AL.COM – ‘Just thankful’: 34-year-old Alabama cancer patient’s emotional journey from prison to early parole

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Why are car break-ins on the rise in Millbrook? You’re not locking up, that’s why

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Autauga County Commission organizational meeting

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Autauga Commission begins new administration, elects officers

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Ivey, lawmakers talk special session

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – A reminder to wash your masks after every use

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Dr. Saag predicts more football games will be canceled or postponed due to COVID

 

Tuscaloosa News – Fifth Piggly Wiggly grocery store to open in Tuscaloosa area

 

Tuscaloosa News – Volunteers needed for Saturday beautification effort in west Tuscaloosa

 

Tuscaloosa News – Man pleads guilty to shooting woman in the head, sentenced

 

Decatur Daily – COVID surge continues in Morgan County, state

 

Decatur Daily – Virus increases need for special session, but complicates holding one

 

Decatur Daily – Report: Capital murder suspect showed no remorse, didn’t speak of his family

 

Times Daily – Suspicious package scene cleared

 

Times Daily – Need for special session is there, but safety is the issue

 

Times Daily – T-shirt sales will help fund new Cypress Creek info kiosks

 

Anniston Star – Anniston women charged with attacking each other

 

Anniston Star – Despite COVID vaccine news, UAB doctor urges vigilance, warns against Thanksgiving gatherings

 

Anniston Star – Ivey, lawmakers talk special session

 

YellowHammer News – Sotomayor laments the ‘partisanship that has racked our country’ in University of Alabama address

 

YellowHammer News – UAH hockey program raises $17M, plans for long-term sustainability include new facility

 

YellowHammer News – U.S. Rep.-elect Carl meets with Gov. Kay Ivey in Montgomery

 

Gadsden Times – HBO documentary will detail snake-handling Scottsboro preacher’s attempted murder case

 

Gadsden Times – Tigers for Tomorrow qualifies for matching grant

 

Gadsden Times – Downtown Dance Conservatory to present ‘The Nutcracker Princess’ at amphitheater

 

Dothan Eagle – ALEA: Beware of fake license renewal sites

 

Dothan Eagle – Health officials encouraging residents to get flu shots sooner than later

 

Dothan Eagle – Republicans reprise warnings of leftism in Georgia races

 

Opelika-Auburn News – EAMC COVID-19 hospitalizations, positivity rate rise

 

Opelika-Auburn News – When a district attorney is charged with a crime, what happens next?

 

Opelika-Auburn News – Mother, daughter reflect on shared Air Force experience

 

WSFA Montgomery – Alexander City schools temporarily switching to remote learning

 

WSFA Montgomery – Those who recover from COVID-19 are at risk of reinfection

 

WSFA Montgomery – Dean reelected as Montgomery County Commission chairman

 

WAFF Huntsville – UPDATE: Man in custody after seven hour-long standoff in Leighton

 

WAFF Huntsville – Dr. Saag predicts more football games will be canceled or postponed due to COVID

 

WAFF Huntsville – Veteran owned Redline Steel named fastest growing company in Alabama

 

WKRG Mobile – University of Mobile honors graduates, veteran Chaplain Lee for 38 years of honorable service

 

WKRG Mobile – Alabama 8th most overweight and obese state

 

WKRG Mobile – United flight diverted to MOB for passenger stripping off clothes

 

WTVY Dothan – Legislator believes coin shortage isn’t real; wants law passed

 

WTVY Dothan – Two Henry County commissioners take oath once again at commission meeting

 

WTVY Dothan – Honoring Veterans at the Dothan VFW

 

WASHINGTON POST -Trump insists he’ll win, but aides say he has no real plan to overturn results and talks of 2024 run

 

WASHINGTON POST – How Biden’s transition team will work around Trump’s blockade of the government

 

WASHINGTON POST – Pressure mounts on state Republicans as lawsuits challenging election results founder

 

NEW YORK TIMES – Biden’s Policy Agenda Rests Heavily on Senate Outcome

 

NEW YORK TIMES – Trump’s Post-Election Tactics Put Him in Unsavory Company

 

NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Stacks the Pentagon and Intel Agencies With Loyalists. To What End?

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – Few Courts Have Intervened in Elections in Ways Sought by Trump Campaign

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – President-Elect Joe Biden Selects Ron Klain as His White House Chief of Staff

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – Georgia to Recount All Votes in Presidential Race by Hand

 

 

 

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