Weekend Digest- May 10, 2020

Weekend Digest- May 10, 2020
Good afternoon and Happy Mother’s Day!
Shout out to all the hard working and inspiring women out there, and a special shout out to my own mother who I wouldn’t be where I am today without. Love you, Mom!!
Here’s your Daily News for May 10.

1. Lawmakers send Ivey $7.2B education budget, plan to return to deal with possible veto

  • In a rare Saturday meeting, Alabama lawmakers approved a $7.2 billion education budget, finishing the heavy lifting in a legislative session derailed by the coronavirus outbreak. They left the capital city, but expect to be back in the State House for special sessions on multiple matters later this year.
  • State House leaders also plan to call back lawmakers on May 18, should they need to react to possible amendments by Gov. Kay Ivey or a veto of the state General Fund.
  • Ivey and lawmakers have wrangled in recent weeks about who gets to allocate nearly $1.8 billion in coronavirus relief funding from the federal government.
  • Ivey last week told lawmakers she was ceding all responsibility to them and wanted details on how “every penny” would be spent before she’d call them back for a special session to allocate it. The Legislature approved a General Fund budget that gives $200 million of the relief funds to state agencies to spend immediately, something she told them not to do.
  • Leadership also defended and explained what possible list items for which COVID-19 relief funds could be spent.
  • You can read my whole rundown of yesterday’s events HERE.

 

2. Alabama reopening restaurants, bars with limits starting tomorrow

  • Alabama’s dine-in restaurants, bars, salons and gyms will be allowed to reopen with limits as the state eases restrictions during the continuing coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Kay Ivey said Friday.
  • New guidelines taking effect Monday require that social distancing rules remain in place, and businesses will be required to protect both customers and workers, officials said.
  • But the state will lift restrictions on non-work gatherings of 10 or more people, Ivey said. Businesses including restaurants, hair salons, bars, breweries and gymnasiums can reopen with rules including increased cleaning, crowd limits and, in some cases, the use of face masks.
  • The rules will allow more churches to resume regular services, but entertainment venues including movie theaters and bowling alleys must remain closed, and youth sports teams are still barred from playing.
  • Reopening businesses will allow “additional people to go back to work,” said Ivey, who has with met with pressure to relax state rules meant to stem the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. But the disease remains a real problem, she told a Capitol news conference.
  • “I know full well that I sound like a broken record, but friends, I can’t say this more clearly: The threat of COVID-19 continues to exist. It is truly deadly and it must be addressed,” Ivey said.
  • Read more about what is reopening from Jay Reeves HERE.

 

3. New virus clusters show risks of 2nd wave as protests flare

  • A family in China, nightclubs in South Korea and a slaughterhouse in Germany: New clusters of coronavirus infections are igniting concerns about a second wave even as calls grow in some countries to relax restrictions even further.
  • In Germany, where thousands have protested remaining restrictions in recent days, health officials say the number of people each confirmed coronavirus patient infects rose above 1 again, reflecting a renewed increase in cases. The number must be below 1 for outbreaks to decline.
  • Health officials worldwide are watching to see just how much infection rates rise in a second wave as nations and states emerge from varying degrees of lockdown.
  • Later Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to take a different tack, keeping most restrictions in place as he reveals a “road map” for the country that has the most official virus deaths in Europe at over 31,600. His Conservative government was criticized for being slow to react to the pandemic, but after falling ill with the virus himself, Johnson has taken a tougher line.
  • Read more about other countries’ measures HERE.

 

4. As Trump pulls back from virus, Congress races to fill void

  • As President Donald Trump tries to move on from the coronavirus, Congress is rushing to fill the void and prepare the country for the long fight ahead.
  • Compelled by the lack of comprehensive federal planning as states begin to reopen, lawmakers of both parties, from the senior-most senators to the newest House member, are jumping in to develop policies and unleash resources to prevent a second wave.
  • In the House and Senate, lawmakers are pushing sweeping proposals for a national virus testing strategy. One seasoned Republican wants a war-like public health fund. A New Jersey freshman launched neighboring colleagues on a regional bipartisan task force to help guide Northeastern states back to work.
  • “This is going to be on us,” said Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., a former Navy helicopter pilot in her first term in Congress.
  • Read more about Congress’ efforts HERE.

 

5. Georgia man’s death raises echoes of US racial terror legacy

  • Many people saw more than the last moments of Ahmaud Arbery’s life when a video emerged this week of white men armed with guns confronting the black man, a struggle with punches thrown, three shots fired and Arbery collapsing dead.
  • The Feb. 23 shooting in coastal Georgia is drawing comparisons to a much darker period of U.S. history — when extrajudicial killings of black people, almost exclusively at the hands of white vigilantes, inflicted racial terror on African Americans. It frequently happened with law enforcement complicity or feigned ignorance.
  • The footage of Arbery’s death was not the only thing that rattled the nation’s conscience. It took more than two months for his pursuers — who told police they suspected he was a burglar — to be arrested and taken into custody.
  • That is fueling calls for the resignation of local authorities who initially investigated the case and reforms of Georgia’s criminal justice system.
  • “The modern-day lynching of Mr. Arbery is yet another reminder of the vile and wicked racism that persists in parts of our country,” said the Rev. James Woodall, state president of the Georgia NAACP. “The slothfulness and inaction of the judicial system, in this case, is a gross testament to the blatant white racial privileges that permeates throughout our country and our institutions.”
  • Read more about the case HERE.

 

Week in Good News

‘God had other plans’ for once-reluctant mom
  • As her children ran out the backdoor, beneath the “Our Perfect Chaos” sign, Kelly Butler cradled her 6-month-old foster son and explained how she never planned on becoming a mother.
  • “When I was a kid, I decided early on that I was going to be a lawyer. I knew what type of sports car I was going to drive by the time I was 30, but I couldn’t see children. I told my parents, if they wanted grandchildren, they would have to go find them some,” the 49-year-old Butler said with a laugh. “But God had other plans.”
  • Today, on Mother’s Day, Butler, a biological mother, adoptive mother and foster mother, will be celebrated for the role she never dreamed of inhabiting — a role that changed her life.
  • Read more about Butler’s story from the Decatur Daily’s Catherine Godbey.

 

Headlines

INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – May 8, 2020
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers send Ivey $7.2B education budget, plan to return to deal with veto
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama reopening restaurants, bars with limits on Monday
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New virus clusters show risks of 2nd wave as protests flare
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – As Trump pulls back from virus, Congress races to fill void
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Georgia man’s death raises echoes of US racial terror legacy
AL.COM – State plans 161 parole hearings in May after restart
AL.COM – Marsh stands by idea of using CARES Act money for new State House
AL.COM – Alabama restaurants, bars can resume on-premise consumption: Here are the guidelines
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: The immutable weirdness of Troy King
AL.COM – Alabama Legislature passes COVID-reduced education budget
AL.COM – Montgomery prison dorms quarantined after positive test
AL.COM – As Alabama reopens, will people wear masks?
AL.COM – Death toll up to 23 at hard-hit Mobile nursing home
AL.COM – Columnist Frances Coleman: Remember, mothers, your children are taking notes
AL.COM – Contributor Jay Gouge: Auburn University holds true to land-grant mission amid COVID-19
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Marsh: CARES Act list created at Ivey’s request, Governor pointed out new State House ‘to raise eyebrows’
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – State Rep. Ball: Ivey took ‘some cheap shots’ at legislators
TIMES DAILY – Lawmakers send Ivey $7.2B education budget
TIMES DAILY – General Fund budget awaits Ivey’s signature
GADSDEN TMIES – Ledbetter Fair Pay Act started with Gadsden lawsuit
GADSDEN TIMES – A look at Goodyear’s long history in Gadsden
ANNISTON STAR – ‘Ahmaud!’: Local residents hold socially distanced protest over Georgia shooting
ANNISTON STAR – Jacksonville Guard unit gets sendoff to war zone — without an audience
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Black, POC business owners struggle to get Paycheck Protection Program loans
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Contributors Dr. Vicki Karolewics, Tom Downs and Dawn Erlandson: Community Colleges essential to post-pandemic economic recovery in Alabama and nationwide
WASHINGTON POST – As deaths mount, Trump tries to convince Americans it’s safe to inch back to normal
WASHINGTON POST – Coronavirus flares as states and countries ease social distancing guidelines
WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: The next pandemic-response bill is likely to be the hardest-fought politically
WASHINGTON POST – Confronted with horrendous jobs report, White House and congressional Democrats aren’t even talking
NEW YORK TIMES – Keeping Online Testing Honest? Or an Orwellian Overreach?
NEW YORK TIMES – The New York Times: William Barr’s Perversion of Justice
NEW YORK TIMES – The Class Divide: Remote Learning at 2 Schools, Private and Public
NEW YORK TIMES – Obama Warns That Dropped Charges Against Flynn Put ‘Rule of Law’ at Risk
NEW YORK TIMES – Why 1.4 Million Health Jobs Have Been Lost During a Huge Health Crisis
NEW YORK TIMES – Paid Leave Law Tries to Help Millions in Crisis. Many Haven’t Heard of It