1. With CARES Act deadline approaching, leaders eye extension, reallocation
- With a year-end deadline to spend it, changes in how the state is using more than $1.7 billion in federal CARES Act money could be coming, state officials said recently.
- Money that isn’t spent by Dec. 30 has to be returned to Washington.
- The CARES Act was approved by Congress in March. In late May, state lawmakers and Gov. Ivey eventually agreed on a distribution plan to various state agencies, organizations and in some cases, individuals. Around the Capitol, those have been called “buckets.”
- According to a dashboard updated daily by Finance, as of early this week, $790.3 million of the state’s $1.76 billion had been spent. Leaving $974.2 million “unexpended.” But because many programs and entities are being reimbursed for COVID-related expenses, more money is going out everyday, Finance Director Kelly Butler said.
- That has state leaders looking at different options: asking Congress for an extension of the deadline and/or making some more immediate reallocations that could get the money out the door more quickly.
- One example of that could be small business grants, of which the state successfully expended $100 million in a few short months.
- We spoke to several leaders of the legislative and executive branches about what’s next with CARES money with less than two months to go. Read the full story, now liberated out from behind the paywall, HERE.
2. Last day of campaigning
- Twenty-four hours from now, people will be voting in Alabama.
- Of course, with the surge of absentee votes, both through mail and in person, Election Day really began weeks ago.
- As many as 300,000 votes could be cast absentee, far surpassing previous years.
- Secretary of State John Merrill has said voter turnout could potentially set a record as well, with 68-75% of eligible voters expected to vote.
- At the top of the ticket is the presidential race, hardly contested at all in deeply-Republican Alabama.
- Right below that is the much-anticipated contest between Democratic Sen. Doug Jones and Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville.
- Republicans have been chomping at the bit to put this seat back in their column since the December 2017 special election that saw Jones defeat Roy Moore.
- Most polls show that is likely to happen, but Jones is fighting hard to hold on to his seat by convincing voters he is the voice of moderation that will be needed in the coming years.
- Tuberville has mostly played prevent defense in the final weeks of the campaigns, avoiding interviews and other live moments that could produce a gaffe. He’s sticking to the playbook of running close to President Donald Trump and tying Jones to former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democrats, as well as their policies.
- Read more from the campaign trail from Kim Chandler HERE.
- Also read more about the down ballot races you’ll see HERE.
- And finally, read more about the constitutional amendments on the ballot from Mary Sell HERE.
A message from
3. GOP tries to save Senate majority
- The Alabama seat is just one of several Senate Republicans need to win to maintain even a slim majority in the U.S. Senate.
- They are now defending incumbents from challengers in states once off limits to Democrats but now hotbeds of a potential backlash to President Donald Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill.
- With the chamber now split, 53-47, three or four seats will determine Senate control, depending on which party wins the White House. The vice president breaks a tie in Senate votes.
- Just a few short weeks ago, control of the Senate appeared to come down to the GOP’s ability to win three out of four in North Carolina, Montana, Iowa and Arizona. Now, there are other states in the mix, including Georgia and South Carolina.
- Besides Alabama, Republicans are playing offense in one other state: Michigan, where John James is within striking distance of knocking of incumbent Democratic Sen. Gary Peters.
- Read more from Lisa Mascaro HERE.
4. Legal armies ready if cloudy election outcome heads to court
- Signature matches. Late-arriving absentee votes. Drop boxes. Secrecy envelopes.
- Democratic and Republican lawyers already have gone to court over these issues in the run-up to Tuesday’s election. But the legal fights could take on new urgency, not to mention added vitriol, if a narrow margin in a battleground state is the difference between another four years for President Donald Trump or a Joe Biden administration.
- Both sides say they’re ready, with thousands of lawyers on standby to march into court to make sure ballots get counted, or excluded.
- Since the 2000 presidential election, both parties have enlisted legal teams to prepare for the unlikely event that voting wouldn’t settle the contest. But this year, there is a near presumption that legal fights will ensue and that only a definitive outcome is likely to forestall them.
- The candidates and parties have enlisted prominent lawyers with ties to Democratic and Republican administrations. A Pennsylvania case at the Supreme Court pits Donald Verrilli, who was President Barack Obama’s top Supreme Court lawyer, against John Gore, a onetime high-ranking Trump Justice Department official.
- It’s impossible to know where, or even if, a problem affecting the ultimate result will arise. But existing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Minnesota and Nevada offer some hint of the states most likely to be ground zero in a post-election battle and the kinds of issues that could tie the outcome in knots.
- Read more HERE.
5. AP Top 25: Bama almost catches Clemson, Auburn back in
- Four times in the 84-year history of The Associated Press college football poll, there has been a tie for No. 1, and not since Aug. 26, 2002.
- If a single voter who placed Clemson No. 1 and Alabama No. 2 on Sunday had instead flipped the Tigers and Crimson Tide, the Top 25 would have had its fifth.
- Alas, a chance for an odd piece of poll history was missed. Clemson stayed No. 1 and Alabama stayed No. 2, but they were separated by a mere two points.
- Auburn climbed back into the rankings after its home blowout of LSU, but only managed to reach No. 24.
- That was enough for the SEC to recapture the top spot as having the most teams in the Top 25 with five. The Big Ten and Big 12 have four each, while the ACC slipped to three.
- Read more and see the full rankings HERE.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – With CARES Act deadline approaching, some state leaders eye extension, reallocations
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tuberville, Jones fight for Senate seat in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate race tops 2020 Alabama ballot
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – GOP tries to save its Senate majority, with or without Trump
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Legal armies ready if cloudy election outcome heads to court
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 6 questions going into the presidential election
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Business Council of Alabama Celebrates 35 Years of Success
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: No. 2 Alabama closes gap with Clemson; Auburn back in
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New dashboard tracks school virus cases
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Marsh won’t seek reelection
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ed Castile: Changing Lanes on the Alabama Workforce Superhighway
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Little Kay Ivey’ meets the governor
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Emergency absentee process available for newly diagnosed COVID-19 voters
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – November 1, 2020
AL.COM – New backlog adds 1,700 coronavirus cases in Alabama for second consecutive day
AL.COM – ‘This is it’: Tommy Tuberville talks winning, Trump in final campaign event before election
AL.COM – Columnist Dana McCain: Win or lose, I’m not afraid
AL.COM – Stolen campaign signs will not deter these Alabama voters in 2020: ’Signs don’t vote’
AL.COM – Small earthquake strikes just south of Huntsville on Halloween
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Trump EPA official pleads guilty, agrees to testify
AL.COM – Fast-tracked drug tied to Alabama is ready to battle COVID, but questions remain
AL.COM – Contributor Bill Ivey: How a scandalous voter fraud scheme dooms Alabama
Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama voter’s guide to the candidates on the ballot on Tuesday
Montgomery Advertiser – ‘Vote yes’: Former, current mayors join forces to advocate for more Montgomery school funds
Montgomery Advertiser – President Barack Obama urges Alabama to vote for Doug Jones in robocall
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Four Alabama Supreme Court justices: ‘Time has come’ to overturn Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama’s Mazda Toyota Manufacturing reveals new logo, updates plant progress
Decatur Daily – ‘Little Kay Ivey’ meets the governor
Decatur Daily – Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Marsh won’t seek reelection
Decatur Daily – COVID-19-caused dip in kindergarten enrollment concerns educators
Times Daily – Colbert, Lauderdale counties see record absentee ballot numbers.
Times Daily – Kindergarten enrollment drop worries educators
Times Daily – Cabinet manufacturer to bring 131 jobs to Shoals
Anniston Star – Getting back to nature: Marsh says he won’t run again
Anniston Star – In Anniston campaign stop, Jones hammers Tuberville
WASHINGTON POST – The year of the vote: How Americans surmounted a pandemic and dizzying rule changes so their voices would be heard
WASHINGTON POST – ‘They had to come out of the closet:’ Women and seniors in Georgia rally behind Biden
WASHINGTON POST – Trump’s move to fill civil service with political hacks and cronies reflects his contempt for actual expertise
NEW YORK TIMES – Contributors Gail Collins and Bret Stephens: It Was Election Day Eve and All Through the House …
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Backers Block Highways as Election Tensions Play Out in the Streets
NEW YORK TIMES – The Battleground States Biden and Trump Need to Win 270
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