Happy Super Bowl Sunday and Groundhog Day!
Punxsutawney Phil says that spring will come early this year.
Here is your Weekend Digest for Sunday, February 2.
1. Session preview
- It’s that time of year again! State lawmakers return to Montgomery on Tuesday for the start of the 2020 Regular Session.
- A state prison crisis and gambling legislation are expected to be to be big topics. Mental health, funding Medicaid and a proposal to legalize medical marijuana will also be noteworthy items.
- Read more about what more to expect this session from Kim Chandler HERE.
- And look for Mary Sell’s session preview story in tomorrow’s Daily News.
2. Final impeachment vote set for Wednesday
- The Senate narrowly rejected Democratic demands to summon witnesses for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial late Friday, all but ensuring Trump’s acquittal in just the third trial to threaten a president’s removal in U.S. history. But senators pushed off final voting on his fate to next Wednesday.
- The delay in timing showed the weight of a historic vote bearing down on senators, despite prodding by the president eager to have it all behind him in an election year and ahead of his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
- The president wanted to arrive for his speech at the Capitol with acquittal secured, but that will not happen. Instead, the trial will resume Monday for final arguments, with time Monday and Tuesday for senators to speak. The final voting is planned for 4 p.m. Wednesday, the day after Trump’s speech.
- You can read more about it HERE.
A message from
The Stop The HIT Coalition
The Stop The HIT Coalition applauds Senator Doug Jones for:
- Working across the aisle to repeal the Health Insurance Tax
- Supporting small businesses
- Fighting to provide cost savings to 765,000 hardworking Alabamians and millions of Americans across the country
Repeal of the Health Insurance Tax will provide annual cost savings of approximately $500 per family to small business owners and their employees, middle-income families and seniors.
Thank Senator Doug Jones for supporting Alabama Small Businesses and Families.
3. Alabama Community Colleges kick off census effort
- The Alabama Community College System wants its students, faculty, staff and community members to participate in the 2020 census.
- The ACCS was awarded an $80,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to establish help centers on its 24 college campuses and adult education sites where community members can come to fill out the census. In addition, Alabama’s community colleges will conduct awareness events across the state.
- System Chancellor Jimmy Baker said in a press release that it’s important to educate Alabamians on the importance of the census and provide avenues that assist with completion. The ACCS serves more than 174,000 students each year and employs more than 9,000 individuals in the state.
- “It is evident that the ACCS can have a significant impact on Alabama’s 2020 census count,” Baker said.
- Read more from Abby Driggers HERE.
4. Frenzied final weekend in Iowa
- Democratic presidential candidates kicked off a final, frenetic weekend of campaigning ahead of the Iowa caucuses, which will begin the battle to take on President Donald Trump in November.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, returned to the campaign trail a day after knocking each other and progressive rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
- Sanders, along with Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet, who were stuck in Washington for Trump’s impeachment trial, can finally get back to wooing voters after the Senate pushed final voting on the president’s fate until Wednesday.
- Read more about the candidates’ final efforts HERE.
5. Emails show fallout from Trump’s Dorian claims
- A flurry of newly released emails from scientists and top officials at the federal agency responsible for weather forecasting illustrates the consternation and outright alarm caused by President Donald Trump’s false claim that Hurricane Dorian could hit Alabama.
- A top National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official even called the president’s behavior “crazy.”
- What the scientists and officials found even more troubling was a statement later issued by an unnamed NOAA spokesman that supported Trump’s claim and repudiated the agency’s own forecasters.
- The emails, released late Friday in response to Freedom of Information Act requests from The Associated Press and others, give an inside picture of the scramble to respond to the president and the turmoil it caused inside the federal agency.
- You can read more about it HERE.
Week in Good News
Decatur woman runs all-volunteer outreach team to serve growing homeless population
- Quality of Live Care Team is an all-volunteer outreach coalition that serves and addresses the growing homeless population in North Alabama.
- Courtney Carmack founded the coalition and has been working for five years to help Decatur’s homeless population which has been gradually increasing in recent years.
- The Coalition works to provide needed hygiene products and basic necessities to those who have fallen on hard times.
- “It has opened my eyes and made me more aware,” Carmack said. “I think a lot of people are afraid of the homeless because of unfounded beliefs that they are all drug addicts and alcoholics. That is so far from the truth. Yes, some of them do drink alcohol or use drugs, but most of them just had bad circumstances.”
- You can read more about their efforts and how to help donate from the Decatur Daily’s Catherine Godbey.
A message from
Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy
Include private questions for media, legislative advocacy, or internal use.
Cost is $750 for the first question and $500 for each additional.
Deadline is Monday, February 3rd. We provide guidance and support.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Corrections, gambling to be focus of legislative session
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump acquittal now likely Wednesday; Senate nixes witnesses
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Make it count: Alabama Community Colleges kick off census effort
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 2020 candidates brace for frenzied, final weekend in Iowa
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Emails show the fallout from Trump’s claims about Dorian
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – January 31, 2020
AL.COM – Alabama lawmakers face prison crisis, lottery decision
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: An impeachment jury? Any other 12 Americans could have done better
AL.COM – Columnist Frances Coleman: The ‘Don’t look, Ethel!’ approach to impeachment
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: Florence to the hungry: You can’t eat here
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama’s Environmental Studies Center teaches more than nature
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Jones spokesperson pushes back on ethics complaint against the senator
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Shelby stands with Trump: ‘His actions are not worthy of removal from office’
TIMES DAILY – 2020 Legislative session convenes Tuesday
TIMES DAILY – UNA, NACOLG Ink deal for reduced tuition
TIMES DAILY – The Times Daily: Partial closure of Holman exacerbates prison crisis
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – School resource officers in one Alabama county getting raise
GADSDEN TIMES – The Gadsden Times: Reinforcing the urgency of Alabama’s prison crisis
ANNISTON STAR – JSU staff worry for friends at center of disease outbreak
ANNISTON STAR – Columnist Phillip Tutor: Marsh’s decision about this divided city
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – The new Harriet Tubman statue at the EJI Pavilion
DOTHAN EAGLE – 10 years after recession, unemployment in Dothan area is at all-time low
WASHINGTON POST – Justice Department acknowledges 24 emails reveal Trump’s thinking on Ukraine
WASHINGTON POST – Senate to emerge from impeachment trial guilty of extreme partisanship
NEW YORK TIMES – A Cancer Patient Stole Groceries Worth $109.63. She Was Sentenced to 10 Months.
NEW YORK TIMES – Columnist Maureen Dowd: Trump, Unrepentant and Unleashed