Daily News Digest – November 16, 2021

Daily News Digest – November 16, 2021

Presented by

AlabamaWorks!

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, November 16.

 

1. Labor shortage hitting state agencies

  • The labor shortage that is impacting the private sector nationwide has now made its way to the Alabama state employee workforce.
  • Agencies and departments are experiencing a higher than normal employee turnover rate and more job vacancies, State Personnel Director Jackie Graham recently told ADN.
  • “Critical positions with the Department of Human Resources and Department of Corrections are becoming harder to fill,” Graham said. “Also, fewer job applicants are responding to state agencies in their recruitment efforts.”
  • Labor shortages nationwide have persisted following the COVID-19-related economic slowdowns, despite cuts to pandemic-related unemployment assistance.
  • Graham said her department is working with agencies on ideas to help retain and recruit workers.
  • Alabama state employees’ pay and several benefits outpace those of neighboring states, according to a recent presentation to lawmakers.
  • In 2020, state employees in Alabama had an annual wage of $57,841, more than surrounding states.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.
  • And in case you missed it, read Mary’s feature story on the ongoing teacher shortage HERE.

 

 

2. Biden signs $1T infrastructure deal

  • President Joe Biden signed his hard-fought $1 trillion infrastructure deal into law Monday before a bipartisan, celebratory crowd on the White House lawn, declaring that the new infusion of cash for roads, bridges, ports and more is going to make life “change for the better” for the American people.
  • But prospects are tougher for further bipartisanship ahead of the 2022 midterm elections as Biden pivots back to more difficult negotiations over his broader $1.85 trillion social spending package.
  • The president hopes to use the infrastructure law to build back his popularity, which has taken a hit amid rising inflation and the inability to fully shake the public health and economic risks from COVID-19.
  • Read more about the event HERE.
  • Read more about what’s in the bill HERE.

 

 

 

A message from

AlabamaWorks!

  • It’s National Apprenticeship Week and in Alabama we have progress to celebrate.
  • The Department of Early Childhood Education became the first state agency to sponsor an apprenticeship to help address the teacher shortage.
  • The Alabama Board of Nursing created a Nurse Apprentice License to facilitate development of apprenticeships for RNs.
  • The Alabama Trucking Association helped design the state’s first competency based CDL program.
  • Alabama A&M University launched the first master’s degree apprenticeship to combat the shortage of mental health resources.
  • We cannot PAY our way out of a skills gap. We have to TRAIN our way out of a skills gap.
  • Learn more at www.alapprentice.org.

 

 

 

3. Marshall sues to stop Biden health care worker vaccine mandate

  • Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all health care workers.
  • This is the third lawsuit brought by the state of Alabama in recent weeks challenging federal vaccine mandates. Marshall cited concerns over the state’s available workforce since, unlike the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s mandate for large employers, the mandate for health care workers does not allow for weekly testing in lieu of vaccination.
  • “One can only imagine the damage that will be done by this mandate to already short-staffed rural and community hospitals, clinics and nursing homes that receive federal funds for Medicare and Medicaid services,” Marshall said in a press release.
  • Monday’s lawsuit seeks to block the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services vaccine mandate President Joe Biden announced on Nov. 4.
  • Marshall has already filed lawsuits against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contract workers and for employers with 100 or more employees.
  • Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.

 

4. Lawsuits challenge new legislative, congressional lines

  • A pair of lawsuits announced Monday are challenging Alabama’s new congressional and legislative districts as racially gerrymandered to diminish the voting power of Black and minority voters.
  • The lawsuits argue the new districts unlawfully pack Black voters into a small number of districts — limiting their ability to influence elections outside those districts — and break up minority communities elsewhere in the state. The cases were brought on behalf of Greater Birmingham Ministries, Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, and several individuals who are being represented by advocacy groups.
  • The lawsuits are asking federal judges to block the maps from being used in the 2022 elections.
  • Read more HERE.

 

 

5. Ivey names Liz Filmore chief of staff

  • Liz Dowe Filmore will replace Jo Bonner as Gov. Kay Ivey’s chief of staff, becoming the first female to hold the position in Alabama, Ivey’s office said Monday.
  • Filmore, previously the top deputy in the position, has been an advisor to Ivey since 2013, when she worked on Ivey’s re-election campaign for lieutenant governor.
  • “Loyalty and integrity are two of the most important qualifications needed to be an effective chief of staff,” Ivey said in a statement. “Liz possesses both of these qualities and more. I am proud she has agreed to take on the critical responsibilities that accompany this position.”
  • Bonner, who previously represented southwest Alabama in Congress, was selected as the next president of the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He will remain on Ivey’s staff through the end of the year.
  • Read more HERE.

 

 

 

A message from

FastDemocracy

  • Using bill tracking software shouldn’t be rocket science. Your time is valuable.
  • FastDemocracy provides the most accurate and up-to-date information so you’re always well-informed and on top of everything happening in Montgomery.

 

 

 

Headlines

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Labor shortage hitting state agencies

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marshall sues to stop Biden healthcare worker vaccine mandate

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawsuits challenge new legislative, congressional lines

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden signs $1T infrastructure deal

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Roads, transit, internet: What’s in the infrastructure plan

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey taps Liz Filmore as chief of staff

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – NFIB: Support small businesses this holiday season

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In teacher shortage, advocates stress better benefits

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Groundbreaking held for nearly $760M west Alabama highway

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama man arrested in DC for guns, explosives admits guilt

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Congress returns with eye on Biden’s big budget bill

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – With Dems’ prized bill at stake, a numbers game looms ahead

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Auburn QB Bo Nix to have season-ending ankle surgery

 

AL.COM – Workers sue Alabama rocket plant over vaccine policy

 

AL.COM – ‘This is Africatown’s house’: Museum to tell story of slave ship Clotilda set to open in April or May 2022

 

AL.COM – Pregnant woman shouldn’t be prosecuted for refilling pain pills, says Republican Alabama lawmaker

 

AL.COM – With Patrick Leahy and Shelby retiring, Senate Appropriations Committee likely to be led by women

 

AL.COM – Take a first look at Mazda crossover SUV to be built in Huntsville

 

AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson: Don’t merely delay reading holdback law, scrap it and find something smarter

 

AL.COM – Ed Lab Live: Hear from national experts on what can help Alabama students regain reading skills

 

AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: Breaking up with our culture of fear this holiday season

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Advocate Patrick Aitken battles cancer while organizing drive to help the homeless

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Members of the 908th Airlift Wing return from deployment

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Tale of two streets: Renaming movement finds some Southern streets divided

 

Decatur Daily – Female employee killed in forklift accident at Athens lumber company

 

Times Daily – Bentley seeks D-3 state House seat

 

Times Daily – Ag authority board accepts ALDOT’s right of way offer

 

Times Daily – Tuscumbia’s Commercial Row featured on Civitan Christmas ornament

 

Anniston Star – Fellowship group hands out food, warm clothing

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – B’ham PD: ATM stolen from North Birmingham bank; search underway

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Childersburg Fire Dept. discusses the importance of fire safety

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Law enforcement praises technology for helping fight crime

 

Tuscaloosa News – State-of-the-art Saban Center won’t include branch of Tuscaloosa Public Library

 

Tuscaloosa News – Gov. Kay Ivey’s chief of staff named president of the University of South Alabama

 

Tuscaloosa News – Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa County donates 15 vehicles to schools

 

YellowHammer News – Gov. Kay Ivey promotes Liz Filmore to chief of staff, will become first female to hold position in state history

 

Gadsden Times – Alabama redistricting: Take a look at maps for new congressional, legislative districts

 

Gadsden Times – Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to be collected this week

 

Gadsden Times – Friends, family members walk in remembrance of those touched by COVID-19

 

Dothan Eagle – Polish forces use water cannons on migrants who threw stones

 

Dothan Eagle – Blinken to Africa to boost US response to regional crises

 

Dothan Eagle – German agency suspends approval process for Russia pipeline

 

Opelika-Auburn News – Democrat Beto O’Rourke running for Texas governor in 2022

 

Opelika-Auburn News – Top pics from the weekend: Belarus-Poland border and more

 

Opelika-Auburn News – Cuban dissident leaders call for a protest over curbs on civil rights

 

WSFA Montgomery – Mayor Reed seeks appointment power to the Montgomery Airport Authority

 

WSFA Montgomery – Teacher returns home after donating kidney to former student’s mom

 

WSFA Montgomery – Lawsuits challenge new legislative, congressional lines

 

WAFF Huntsville – Authorities search for missing man in Bear Creek

 

WAFF Huntsville – Thank Alabama Teachers Week; teachers feeling unappreciated

 

WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Venue Group releases name, opening date of new amphitheater

 

WKRG Mobile – Alabama AG files lawsuit to block COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

 

WKRG Mobile – More than 8 million tons of masks and Pandemic related waste polluting oceans, beaches, study says

 

WKRG Mobile – Fla. legislature begins special session to discuss protections against vaccine mandates

 

WTVY Dothan – Man indicted on charges he kidnapped Slocomb teen

 

WTVY Dothan – Downtown Enterprise gearing up for Whoville celebration

 

WTVY Dothan – Dothan man spends his Mondays trying to bring joy to everyone

 

WASHINGTON POST – In hours-long virtual meeting, Biden and Xi manage strained U.S.-China ties

 

WASHINGTON POST – Biden signs $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, fulfilling campaign promise and notching achievement that eluded Trump

 

WASHINGTON POST – CDC adds more European destinations to highest-risk travel list

 

NEW YORK TIMES – Biden and Xi Pledge More Cooperation, but Offer No Breakthroughs

 

NEW YORK TIMES – U.S.-China Summit Produces Little More Than Polite Words, but They 

 

NEW YORK TIMES – The Worst of Both Worlds: Zooming From the Office

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – Biden, Xi Cool Down Hostilities in Virtual Meeting

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – Shoppers Likely Boosted Spending Last Month, Taking on Higher Prices

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – Retirement Fund Giant Calpers Votes to Use Leverage, More Alternative Assets

 

 

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