Good morning! Here is your Daily News for Thursday, March 8.
1. Poll: GOP voters favor training, arming teachers
- Recent polling shows Republican voters in Alabama favor allowing properly-trained teachers and school administrators to voluntarily carry firearms on school grounds. My full story here.
- 76 percent of likely Republican voters would support allowing properly-trained education workers to carry firearms, while 21 percent would oppose such a policy.
- The new numbers come as several gun and school safety proposals are under consideration in the Alabama Legislature.
- Late Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon held a meeting in his office with the sponsors of various gun and school safety bills. Based on Raycom’s Michael Doudna’s reporting of that meeting and my own conversations with lawmakers, it’s fair to say lawmakers want to pass gun and school safety measures before the session ends.
- One lawmaker who is pressing forward is Rep. Will Ainsworth, who sees the polling numbers as a boost to his bill to allow trained teachers and administrators to voluntarily carry weapons.
- Read my full, exclusive story on the poll and what it means for the gun and school safety debate at ALDailyNews.com.
2. Tragedy at Huffman High
- One student was killed and another student was wounded in an apparent accidental shooting at Huffman High School in Birmingham.
- 17 year-old Courtlin Arrington was a senior set to graduate in May with plans to attend college.
- AL.com’s Carol Robinson has a detailed report that is worth your time this morning. Just be prepared because this is an awful, heartbreaking story.
- Huffman has metal detectors and other security measures, but that did not stop students from handling a gun inside a classroom where the incident occurred.
- Some witnesses say a student was “showing off” his gun when it accidentally went off.
3. Trump Tariffs: winners and losers
- President Trump isn’t kidding around about imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. He could implement at least part of them today, but totally in a “loving, loving way.”
- This is exactly what supply-side, free market conservatives were afraid of. The folks at Heritage are doing all they can to warn of the economic downsides of the Trump tariff plan ( FYI, the tactics employed by Heritage’s political arm to enrage and divide the GOP electorate helped lead to Trump’s nomination and presidency, lol ).
- As with any major economic policy, there are winners and losers.
- Nucor and U.S. Steel – companies with a significant presence in Alabama – say the tariffs would boost their productivity and allow them to hire more workers.
- Hyundai says the tariffs would negatively impact its domestic production. They are not saying so explicitly, but you have to imagine the same is true for other car manufactures. And don’t forget we just inked a deal to build one of the biggest car plants in the world in Huntsville.
- We don’t just build cars in Alabama; we build a lot of airplanes and ships, both of which require plenty of aluminum.
4. Legislative update
- The Jefferson County House delegation approved Sen. Jabo Waggoner’s proposed three percent car rental tax dedicated to funding a stadium for downtown Birmingham. It’s a big deal for UAB and Birmingham in general. Read/watch Lauren Walsh’s report on ABC 33/40.
- Sen. Trip Pittman’s bill to allow the state to use inert nitrogen gas to carry out executions passed a House committee. Pittman’s proposal is especially interesting in light of the state’s recent botched lethal injection execution in which an inmate was punctured 11 times.
- The General Fund Budget passed a House Committee, but not all the goodies made it through. Read Brian Lyman’s story in the Advertiser for details on what made it, what didn’t, and what to expect moving forward.
- Sen. Arthur Orr’s payday loan bill is expected to be first up for consideration in the Senate today. That will attract plenty of discussion on the floor and attention in the gallery.
- The Senate could give final passage to Rep. Pebblin Warren’s day care safety licensing bill.
- Also up in the Senate is Sen. Dick Brewbaker’s bill to require all superintendents to be appointed by the boards and not elected.
- No word yet on whether or not we’ll see the Lt. Governor bill reemerge.
- Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh’s middle/low income tax cut bill is on the floor in the House today.
- Also up: Rep. Craig Ford’s bill to allow non-profit entities to receive the same special ABC retail license to take advantage of beer and wine donations.
5. Byrne to introduce major, bipartisan budget reform
- Congressman Bradley Byrne is introducing bi-partisan legislation to reform the Congressional budget process.
- Byrne says he wants to rein in spending, control the national debt, and make the process work more efficiently.
- The legislation, known as the Protecting Our Children’s Future Act of 2018, incorporates many ideas from the Debt Ceiling Working Group established by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
- “Instead of just continually saying that the Congressional budget process is broken, it is time we take action to fix the problem,” Byrne said.
- Read more here.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – One student killed, another hurt by gun at Birmingham high school
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New poll shows GOP voters support arming trained teachers, administrators
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Legislation to close drunk driving loophole nears final vote
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House Committee approves nitrogen executions
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers share stories during racial profiling bill debate
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – CLEAVED BY CONCRETE: The legacy of Montgomery’s interstates & the neighborhoods they destroyed.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – House committee approves General Fund, state employee pay raise.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Probate judge Al Booth seeks House post.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Contributor Alan Cross: We need a solution that protects Dreamers and secures our borders.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Florida legislature votes to stay on year-round Daylight Saving Time.
AL.COM – Huffman High School shooting: Courtlin Arrington killed; Birmingham police question injured teen
AL.COM – Ten Commandments in schools bill passes Alabama House committee.
AL.COM – Law enforcement officials cite too much paperwork for opposing anti-racial profiling bill.
AL.COM – Alabama ranks third in auto exports in the U.S..
AL.COM – Alabama closer to getting more ignition locks in DUI arrests.
AL.COM – Bill allowing death row inmates to be executed by nitrogen gas sails through Alabama House panel.
AL.COM – Pair of ethics bills pass Alabama House committee.
AL.COM – Tommy Battle urges Delta to give Birmingham a look as new headquarters.
AL.COM – SPLC, Gardendale settle lawsuit over private probation company.
AL.COM – Bill to cut down on special elections passes Alabama House committee.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Could patented golden kiwifruit be Alabama’s next export success?
DECATUR DAILY – Bill gives local police option not to make misdemeanor arrests.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – In Alabama Legislature, grandstanding is the preferred way to govern.
GADSDEN TIMES – Bill would close drunk driving loophole.
GADSDEN TIMES – Ivey wants only the best ideas on school safety.
ANNISTON STAR – Bill would allow landlords to evict tenants faster.
ANNISTON STAR – Cash can beat passion.
WASHINGTON POST – Florida legislature backs new gun restrictions after Parkland school shooting.
WASHINGTON POST – Columnist George Will: Trump delights in executive swagger. His tariffs show it.
WASHINGTON POST – Democrats see wave of enthusiasm but still face an identity crisis.
WASHINGTON POST – John H. Buchanan Jr., Alabama GOP congressman who later joined liberal lobbying group, dies at 89.
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Prepares to Formalize Tariffs but Floats Exemptions
NEW YORK TIMES – With Gun Control Nearing a Dead End, G.O.P. Turns to ‘School Safety’
Front pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)