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Daily News Digest – April 7, 2022

Presented by

The Alabama Port Authority


Good morning!

I enjoyed speaking to the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives this morning at their annual conference in downtown Montgomery. Welcome new 

Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, April 7.


1. What’s on tap: final day

  • Welcome to Day 29 of the Alabama Legislature’s 2022 Regular Session. That of course leaves one more possible day on Friday, but most agree that this will be the final day and lawmakers will adjourn Sine Die by the afternoon or evening.
  • Some of the most controversial bills of the session could get votes today.
  • Senate President Pro Tem on Wednesday said the Senate could take up the so-called transgender bathroom bill, which requires K-12 students to only use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate.
  • Meanwhile, a priority Senate bill awaiting a House vote makes it a felony for doctors to prescribe puberty blockers or hormones or perform surgery to aid in the gender transition of people 18 years old or younger.
  • “The House has been working on that bill, we’ve encouraged them, it’s a very important piece of legislation to the Senate,” Reed said.
  • One bill that Reed said the caucus is still measuring support for is the “divisive concepts” bill pending in the Senate. It would prohibit Alabama schools and agencies from promoting or advancing certain concepts regarding race, sex, or religion in teaching or training.
  • A GOP priority bill from early in the session is House Bill 163, increasing state income tax standard deductions and dependent exemptions. It still needs a Senate vote. The bill was originally filed as Senate Bill 19 as a way to help low-income Alabamians, but bills that increase or decrease state taxes must start in the House.
  • The House convenes at 9:00 and the Senate at 9:15. See you at the State House!


2. Education budget goes to the governor

  • The Legislature on Wednesday gave final passage to the Education Trust Fund for Fiscal Year 2023. The $8.2 billion budget is a record level of school spending for the state and a $550 million increase over the current fiscal year’s budget.
  • The budget includes a $200 increase in per-classroom supply spending, $20 million for math coaches under the Alabama Numeracy Act, and new investments in workforce development.
  • Most notably, the budget contains the most significant teacher pay raise in a generation. All teachers, education workers and community college employees get an across-the-board 4% pay raise.
  • But in an effort to reward and retain experienced teachers, those with with nine or more years of experience would get bigger raises ranging from 5% to up to nearly 21% for those with 35 years of classroom experience.
  • A teacher with a bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience would see their minimum salary rise from $48,822 to $51,795.
  • A teacher with a bachelor’s degree and 20 years of experience would see their minimum salary rise from $51,810 to $57,214.
  • A teacher with a master’s degree and 25 years experience would see their minimum salary rise from $61,987 to $69,151.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.




A message from the

Alabama Port Authority

  • The Port of Mobile is vital to the economic growth of Alabama, generating more than 161,130 jobs.
  • The Port is continuing to expand in order to accommodate for and generate even further economic growth and job creation – including through our recently announced inland intermodal transfer facility in Montgomery.
  • Thank you to State Sen. Kirk Hatcher and State Rep. Kenyatte Hassell for sponsoring House Bill 250 authorizing the Alabama Port Authority to build inter-modal and multi-modal transfer facilities. And thank you to Gov. Kay Ivey for signing this essential legislation into law!




3. Legislature passes job seeking requirements for unemployed

  • The Legislature on Wednesday gave final passage to a bill requiring people receiving state unemployment benefits to apply for at least three jobs per week.
  • Senate Bill 224, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, was approved 76-24 by the House and now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.
  • “I want those on unemployment to get off as soon as they can, because the most they’re gonna make a week is $275,” Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, who sponsored the bill in the House . “The faster they’re back in the workforce the better.”
  • Several Democrat legislators spoke against the bill, all citing concerns for a lack of equality in both resources and opportunity to seek jobs in Alabama.
  • Read more from Heather Gann HERE.



4. Bill changing ‘good time’ early release law pending on last day

  • A bill to change the state’s “good time” early release law for state prisoners awaits one vote on what might be the final day of this legislative session.
  • The bill is named for Sgt. Nick Risner, a Sheffield officer who was killed in the line of duty in October. Several Shoals-area lawmakers are trying to advance the bill in the final days of the legislative session. It was approved Wednesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • House Bill 143, by Rep. Phillip Pettus, R-Green Hill, would change state law so that current early release rules don’t apply to those convicted in killings.
  • The bill was approved in the House on March 10 on a 99-1 vote as Risner’s widow, Brandy Risner, watched.
  • Barry Matson, executive director of the Alabama District Attorneys Association, said Tuesday the group is supportive of the bill.
  • Good time reductions allow prisoners to earn time off their sentence with time that they serve with good behavior.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.


5. Bill banning public money expenditures on ballot initiatives awaits final vote

  • A bill pending final passage in the Alabama House would prevent state agencies, universities and local schools from spending tax dollars encouraging people to vote for or against tax increases or other ballot initiatives.
  • Senate Bill 313 was approved in a House committee on Wednesday and needs final passage on what might be the last day of this legislative session Thursday.
  • The bill says “a public official or public employee may not expend any public funds from any source for activities to advocate in favor of or against a statewide or local ballot measure, even if the public official or public employee has determined that the expenditure serves a public purpose.”
  • “Why should the public tolerate the government using taxpayer dollars to weigh in on an issue that is supposed to be decided among the voters?” bill sponsor Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, told Alabama Daily News.
  • Rep. Jamie Kiel, R-Russellville, is handling the bill in the House.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Education budget with historic teacher pay raise goes to governor


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Legislature approves unemployment compensation work search requirement


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bill named for slain Sheffield officer pending in final days of session


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bill banning public money expenditures on ballot initiatives awaits final vote


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – England: Legislature resists common sense parole board reform


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey signs Numeracy Act into law


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Legislature gives final passage to Literacy Act bills 


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers advance transgender bathroom bill


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Divisive concepts’ teaching ban advances in Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bill to put fines on contractors who don’t clean up lead paint


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate advances to alter name of Edmund Pettus Bridge


AL.COM – Bills on transgender issues, ‘divisive concepts’ pending for last day of Alabama session


AL.COM – Alabama lawmakers approve tax exemption for Alabamians age 65 and older


AL.COM – Sen. Tommy Tuberville: ‘No’ on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for US Supreme Court


AL.COM – ‘Mobile International Airport’ can now be part of the conversation


AL.COM – Alabama federal Judge Abdul K. Kallon is resigning


AL.COM – Alabama House rejects bill to require governor approval for health officer’s orders


AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey signs bill eliminating $100 tax for many Alabama businesses


AL.COM – Alabamians 60 and older could receive $30 to use for fresh fruits and vegetables


AL.COM – Ohio Senate candidate shoots ad at Pettus Bridge in Selma, attacks critical race theory


AL.COM – ‘Stolen,’ ‘robbed’ or ‘cheated’: 2020 presidential election top election issue for Alabama Republicans


AL.COM – State investigating Alabama school district after student walkouts, principal ousted


AL.COM – Alabama driver license offices closing for a week this month


Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama House defeats bill requiring governor’s approval of emergency health rules


Montgomery Advertiser – Emotion fills courtroom as Prattville barbershop killers hear judge’s sentence


Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama Legislature sends $8.2 billion education budget to Gov. Kay Ivey


Decatur Daily – Villarreal apartments overcome residents’ opposition because of potential for city growth


Decatur Daily – McCary’s capital murder case sent to grand jury


Decatur Daily – Damaging winds and severe thunderstorms expected Wednesday


Times Daily – Florence takes no action on broadband initiative


Times Daily – Colbert Commission gives poll workers a raise


Times Daily – Risner to receive Legislative Medal of Honor


Anniston Star – Jacksonville police arrest ‘career criminal’ after chase in city


Anniston Star – Anniston City Council hears about solar energy generation project


Anniston Star – Officials warn community of surge in drug overdoses


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham Police and Firefighter unions calling for 15% raise from city of Birmingham


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Community cleans up man’s storm damage after wife taken off life support


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham community residents say bulk trash not being picked up


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama House defeats bill requiring governor’s approval of emergency health rules


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa plans to spend $2.5 million on street paving throughout city


Tuscaloosa News – University of Alabama chosen to lead North America’s water research efforts


YellowHammer News – State Sen. Barfoot: ‘Divisive concepts’ bill doesn’t force teachers to ‘gloss over’ history


YellowHammer News – Katie Britt spokesman Sean Ross blasts Mike Durant’s view on the Second Amendment — ‘It’s not conservative’


YellowHammer News – AG Marshall on not saying Biden was ‘duly’ elected: Didn’t want to ‘legitimize that everything that took place in the 2020 election was appropriate’


Gadsden Times – Southside first responders, school officials drive home drunk driving message with drama


Gadsden Times – Southside first responders, school officials stage wreck to drive home safety message.


Gadsden Times – DeKalb man charged in connection with hit-and-run crash


Dothan Eagle – For Tiger, a walk unlike any other awaits at the Masters


Dothan Eagle – Turkey suspends trial of Saudi suspects in Khashoggi killing


Dothan Eagle – US diplomat: Mediterranean gas pipeline to Europe not viable


Opelika-Auburn News – ‘We fought for liberty:’ Michigan WWII vets welcome memorial


Opelika-Auburn News – EXPLAINER: Can war massacres sway China’s support for Russia


WSFA Montgomery – PANDA project to serve people with Alzheimer’s, Dementia


WSFA Montgomery – Community cleans up man’s storm damage after wife taken off life support


WSFA Montgomery – West Montgomery residents want drainage issues fixed


WAFF Huntsville – Education budget passed by legislature includes at least 4% raises for education workers


WAFF Huntsville – Late wife of Huntsville mayor awarded posthumous lifetime achievement award by President Biden


WAFF Huntsville – Police: Mother accused of kidnapping Montgomery infant still sought


WKRG Mobile – Haunting Canada boarding school shot wins World Press Photo


WKRG Mobile – UN Assembly to vote on suspending Russia from rights council


WKRG Mobile – Scavino, Navarro held in contempt of Congress in 1/6 probe


WTVY Dothan – Panama City Beach sees hike in rent prices


WTVY Dothan – Police: Mother accused of kidnapping Montgomery infant still sought


WTVY Dothan – Coley McCraney’s murder trial delayed


WASHINGTON POST – Ukraine braces for assault in east; Russian talk of civilian killings intercepted


WASHINGTON POST – Eastern Ukraine braces for renewed assault as Russia regroups


WASHINGTON POST – Biden at war: Inside a deliberate yet impulsive Ukraine strategy


NEW YORK TIMES – Ukraine Live Updates: Western Allies Move to Further Isolate Russia Over Atrocities


NEW YORK TIMES – Russia Is Recruiting Mercenaries and Syrians to Ukraine, Western Officials Say


NEW YORK TIMES – ‘We Belong in These Spaces’: Jackson’s Successors Reflect on Her Nomination


WALL STREET JOURNAL – As Mortgage Rates Rise, Home Sellers Fear Time Is Running Out to Cash In


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Shell Warns of Up to $5 Billion Hit From Russia Exit


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures, Bonds Yields Stabilize After Fed-Driven Selloff



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