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Daily News Digest – January 13, 2022

Presented by

Workers Drive Alabama

Good morning!

We could be getting close to a special session call. The State House has that air of hushed meetings and an impending announcement.

Also, in case you missed it, I had Mental Health Commissioner Kim Boswell and State Sen. Clyde Chambliss on Capitol Journal last night.

Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, January 13.

1. Lawmakers move to repeal state’s 2021 NIL law

  • The lawmaker who last year pushed a state law to allow college athletes to be compensated whenever their name, image or likeness is used in promotional material is now trying to undo it.
  • House Bill 76 was approved by the House State Government Committee without any debate on Wednesday.
  • “It’s just a straight repeal of what we did last year,” sponsor Rep. Kyle South, R-Fayette, told Alabama Daily News. “We were thinking that the NCAA last year was going to go in one direction and they ended up adopting basically a different rule that was kind of a blanket for everybody.
  • “And it left us in a place where our state law was more restrictive than what the NCAA adopted,” South said.
  • So, states that adopted nothing, including Michigan and Texas, are now at a recruiting advantage for college athletes now because they’re working solely off the NCAA guidelines, South said. Twenty other states passed legislation related to student-athlete compensation in 2021, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  • The bill is in position to pass the House as soon as today.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.

2. PARCA report makes financial case for Medicaid expansion

  • Expanding Medicaid in Alabama to cover adults up to 138% of the federal poverty level would increase enrollment by as many as 283,636 people and have an economic impact of $1.89 billion per year over the next six years, a study released this week said.
  • Costs to the state would increase by an average of $225.4 million per year above current Medicaid expenditures over the next six years, but the state would also see estimated average annual savings of $397.8 million over those same six years, the analysis from the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama and the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Jacksonville State University.
  • The average annual savings of $172.4 million is more than enough to cover the cost of expansion, it said.
  • Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act allows people with family incomes less than 138% of the federal poverty limit— or around $17,000 for an individual and $29,000 for a family of three to qualify for Medicaid. Currently, Alabama’s Medicaid program covers very few able-bodied adults.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.





A message from

Workers Drive Alabama

  • Alabama is facing a labor shortage, and businesses are starting to notice.
  • 95% of suspended licenses in Alabama stem from unpaid traffic tickets, not dangerous driving. Research shows it’s hard to get or keep a job without a valid driver’s license.
  • Smart public policy keeps up with changing times. That’s why lawmakers from both parties have introduced a bill to end these pointless debt-based driver’s licenses suspensions.
  • Support the bipartisan driver’s license bill and get these folks back on the road. When we’re free to drive, we’re free to work.



3. James opens gubernatorial campaign with evangelical appeal

  • Business owner Tim James appealed to evangelical Christian voters as he opened his Republican campaign for Alabama governor Wednesday, railing against the threat of “godless Marxism,” quoting scripture and saying God has called the conservative state to lead the nation.
  • The son of former Gov. Fob James, who has twice run for the office himself, attacked GOP leaders including Gov. Kay Ivey over the approval of medical marijuana and an educational system that trails much of the nation.
  • James said Republican leaders hadn’t done enough to fight vaccine mandates, allowing one to take effect at the University of Alabama at Birmingham before the state attorney general’s office intervened.
  • James said he would fight “casino barons” to prevent Alabama from becoming “the Las Vegas of the South.”
  • While Alabama “has always been mocked for our values,” James said, it supported the formation of Israel years before it came a nation in 1948 and has a special place in the nation’s future.
  • “We stand at the gate of our state Capitol and seek God’s forgiveness for the sins of America, and we decree in the name of Jesus that Alabama will lead America in the years ahead, back to its proper position of authority amongst the nations, of which authority was granted by God at our inception,” he said.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler and see video of the press conference HERE.




4. Alabama woman who joined Islamic State stuck in refugee camp

  • Attorneys for a woman who left her Alabama home to join the Islamic State terror group plan to continue fighting for her and her young son even though the Supreme Court declined to consider her lawsuit seeking to re-enter the United States, one of the lawyers said Wednesday.
  • Hoda Muthana and her 4-year-old child, the son of a man she met while with IS, have been living in a Syrian refugee camp for nearly the entire life of the child, and it’s unclear what steps might come next to argue for their admittance into the United States, said Christina Jump, who represents the woman’s family.
  • But Jump, who works with the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, said attorneys are considering options.
  • The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the appeal of a lawsuit filed by relatives on behalf of Muthana, who was born in New Jersey and fled her home in suburban Birmingham in 2014 to join Islamic State, apparently after becoming radicalized online.
  • She later decided she wanted to return to the United States, but the government determined she was not a U.S. citizen and revoked her passport while she was overseas, blocking her return. The government cited her father’s status as a diplomat from Yemen at the time of her birth in 1994.
  • Read more HERE.



5. Inflation at 40-year high

  • Inflation jumped at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years last month, a 7% spike from a year earlier that is increasing household expenses, eating into wage gains and heaping pressure on President Joe Biden and the Federal Reserve to address what has become the biggest threat to the U.S. economy.
  • Prices rose sharply in 2021 for cars, gas, food and furniture as part of a rapid recovery from the pandemic recession. Vast infusions of government aid and ultra-low interest rates helped spur demand for goods, while vaccinations gave people confidence to dine out and travel.
  • Price gains could slow further as snags in supply chains ease, but most economists say inflation won’t fall back to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon.
  • High inflation has put President Biden on the defensive. His administration, echoing officials at the Fed, initially suggested that price increases would be temporary. Now that inflation has persisted, Biden and some congressional Democrats have begun to blame large corporations. They say meat producers and other industries are taking advantage of pandemic-induced shortages to drive up prices and profits. But even some left-of-center economists disagree with that diagnosis.
  • Read more HERE.



A message from the

Alabama Track Owners Association

  • We, the people of Alabama, have waited too long for a chance to vote for a lottery, sports betting, and comprehensive casino gaming.
  • The Alabama Track Owners Association invites fellow Alabamians to tell our legislators how we feel.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers move to repeal state’s 2021 NIL law


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – PARCA report makes financial case for Medicaid expansion


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – James opens gubernatorial campaign with evangelical appeal


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama woman who joined Islamic State stuck in refugee camp


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Inflation at 40-year high pressures consumers, Fed and Biden


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey: State must be ‘smart’ about pandemic relief funds


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State budgets: Historic revenue, ‘fiscal cliff coming’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Durant raises $4.3M in Q4


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 2nd election for Amazon workers in Alabama will be by mail


AL.COM – Alabama’s capitol is a crime scene. The cover-up has lasted 120 years.


AL.COM – Teacher pay, school choice: 6 education issues to watch as Alabama Legislature starts 2022 session


AL.COM – Alabama House Democrats want COVID-19 funds spent on health care, oppose permitless carry


AL.COM – Floor collapse at Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind sends 2 workers to hospital


AL.COM – Ray Epps, Trump supporter seen encouraging people to enter US Capitol, is not an FBI informant


AL.COM – Alabama nears 2,000 hospitalizations, now averaging 10,000 new COVID cases per day


AL.COM – Brooks blames Britt and Shelby for GOP losing House in 2018 and Senate in 2020


Montgomery Advertiser – Where have all the workers gone? Alabama economy experts, business leaders analyze the current job market


Montgomery Advertiser – Community Hero: Meesoon Han helps bridge divide between Alabama, Korea


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery mayor shares concerns about crime, signals optimism on other fronts at State of the City


Decatur Daily – COVID surge causing headache for schools, hospitals


Decatur Daily – State budgets: Historic revenue, ‘fiscal cliff coming’


Decatur Daily – Lawmaker wants to repeal athlete endorsement bill because it’s more restrictive than NCAA


Times Daily – State budgets: Historic revenue, ‘fiscal cliff coming’


Times Daily – Lawmaker seeks repeal of his NIL law


Times Daily – Public invited to Chronic Wasting Disease meeting at UNA


Anniston Star – New federal courthouse to serve the courts, the public, tourists


Anniston Star – Ohatchee family has a snowy adventure in Kentucky


Anniston Star – Anniston police investigate teen’s shooting death


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Local non-profit facing thousands of dollars in car repairs after six vehicles were stolen


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – 18-year-old killed in shooting in West Birmingham


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Family remembers 42-year-old Birmingham man who was shot dead on Christmas Eve while working at a local bar


Tuscaloosa News – Where have all the workers gone? Alabama economy experts, business leaders analyze the current job market


Tuscaloosa News – Record number of Alabama children hospitalized with COVID-19


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa News to halt Saturday print edition, expand access to USA Today Network e-Editions


YellowHammer News – Gov. Kay Ivey awards $1.6M in public safety grants toward combating illegal drugs, crime


YellowHammer News – Tim James kicks off gubernatorial bid — ‘Leadership in Montgomery have capitulated to the political structures that control this state’


Gadsden Times – Where have all the workers gone? Alabama economy experts, business leaders analyze the current job market


Gadsden Times – Record number of Alabama children hospitalized with COVID-19


Gadsden Times – Gadsden Times to halt Saturday print edition, expand access to USA Today Network e-Editions


Dothan Eagle – Biden highlighting federal ‘surge’ to help weather omicron


Dothan Eagle – Key dates in Costa Concordia shipwreck, trial and cleanup


Dothan Eagle – French teachers go on strike over handling of pandemic


Opelika-Auburn News – French teachers go on strike over handling of pandemic


Opelika-Auburn News – Key dates in Costa Concordia shipwreck, trial and cleanup


Opelika-Auburn News – Biden highlighting federal ‘surge’ to help weather omicron


WSFA Montgomery – Woman who lost relatives to gun violence reacts to Bama Lanes shooting


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery mayor addresses public safety, development in State of the City


WSFA Montgomery – Dry weather sticks around to end the week, rain returns this weekend


WAFF Huntsville – Athens students share their voice through new podcast


WAFF Huntsville – Grand jury indicts man accused of killing Sheffield Police officer


WAFF Huntsville – Parents of Bama Lanes shooting victim speak


WKRG Mobile – Rubble brings opportunity, and risk, in war-scarred Gaza


WKRG Mobile – Dems switch strategy on voting bill as Biden pushes action


WKRG Mobile – GOP leader McCarthy says he won’t cooperate with 1/6 panel


WTVY Dothan – Alabama surpasses one million cumulative COVID cases since pandemic began


WTVY Dothan – Dothan health care workers give glimpse of working in the pandemic


WTVY Dothan – Early County Elementary School students are offered a new yoga class


WASHINGTON POST – Democrats worry Biden could pay the political price for rising inflation


WASHINGTON POST – Omicron waves appear to slow in New York City, other major metropolitan areas


WASHINGTON POST – Rapid coronavirus tests are hard to find — unless you work for Google or play in the NBA


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: Biden to Announce Military Help for Hospitals in 6 States


NEW YORK TIMES – The Mood in the Capitol Was Already Dark. Then Came Omicron.


NEW YORK TIMES – For Putin, Propping Up Allies Is Turning Into a Perilous Bargain


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Inflation Surge Is on Many Executives’ List of 2022 Worries


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Fed’s Brainard to Tell Congress That Reducing Inflation Is Top Priority


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Tight U.S. Labor Market Has Kept Lid on Layoffs

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