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Daily News Digest – January 10, 2023

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Good morning!
Today begins a bustling few weeks of Capitol complex activity with the organizational session this week and inauguration next week. We’ll see you down there.
Speaking of the inauguration, there are still advertising opportunities open next week for what will be prime readership days. Hit me up.
Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, January 10, 2023.



1. Ivey announces rules for prison ‘good time’ incentives

  • Gov. Kay Ivey announced new rules for prison “good time” incentives that allow some inmates to shorten their prison stays based on their behavior.
  • Ivey signed an executive order that she said will provide “clear rules” for prison staff and inmates on how much “good time” credit will be lost for different categories of offenses and how an inmate can restore the credit.
  • Alabama law allows inmates sentenced to 15 or fewer years in prison to receive “good time” behavior incentives to reduce their time in prison. In 2021, about 9% of state inmates were eligible for these incentives, according to the Alabama Sentencing Commission. People convicted for rape, murder or manslaughter are ineligible.
  • After the fatal shootings of two law enforcement officers, some aspects of Alabama’s good time law have been criticized by state politicians.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.



2. House to take up rules changes as organizational session begins

  • The GOP-controlled Alabama House could alter its rules for how it handles and debates proposed amendments to bills and how much public notice is needed before committee meetings are called late in sessions.
  • Lawmakers, including more than 30 newly elected last year, will gather in Montgomery for a two-day organizational session starting at noon today.
  • Besides finalizing leadership in both the House and Senate and committee assignments, each chamber will vote to adopt rules for the next four years.
  • A draft of the proposed House rules document, shared with ADN by leadership, includes a change to allow committee leaders to give four-hour notice of meetings on bills received from the Senate after the 20th legislative day. Currently, 24-hour notice is required up to the 27th of 30 legislative days.
  • Other changes include allowing the speaker to refer a bill to another committee after it has been passed by its original committee, allowing all committee amendments to be combined on the floor and voted on at once rather than separately, and allowing local legislation to be challenged by 11 members from outside the counties affected.
  • Rep. Joe Lovvorn, R-Auburn, who has been slated to be the next House Rules Committee chairman, told Alabama Daily News the proposed changes are intended to make the proceedings more efficient and transparent.
  • Read more about the draft changes from Mary Sell HERE.




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3. Hubbard released from prison

  • Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has been released from prison after serving more than two years behind bars for a 2016 ethics conviction.
  • Hubbard was released from Limestone Correctional Facility on Sunday, the day his 28-month sentence was set to end, the Alabama Department of Corrections said.
  • The Republican was one of the state’s most powerful politicians until the ethics conviction ended his political career. The architect of the GOP’s takeover of the Alabama Legislature in 2010, Hubbard was a legislator from Auburn and former chairman of the state Republican Party. He was elected House speaker soon after Republicans won control of the House. He was reelected as speaker in 2015 despite facing the criminal charges.
  • Read more HERE.



4. Having elected House speaker, Republicans try governing

  • Electing the House speaker may have been the easy part. Now House Republicans will try to govern.
  • Speaker Kevin McCarthy passed his first tests late Monday as the Republicans approved their rules package for governing House operations, typically a routine step on Day One that stretched into the second week of the new majority. It was approved 220-213, a party-line vote with one Republican opposed.
  • Next, the House Republicans easily passed their first bill — legislation to cut funding that is supposed to bolster the Internal Revenue Service.
  • It was an effective start to what could otherwise be a new era of potentially crisis governing.
  • With sky-high ambitions for a hard-right conservative agenda but only a narrow hold on the majority, which enables just a few holdouts to halt proceedings, the Republicans are rushing headlong into an uncertain, volatile start of the new session. They want to investigate Biden, slash federal spending and beef up competition with China.
  • Read more from Lisa Mascaro HERE.



5. DOJ reviewing potentially classified docs at Biden center

  • The Justice Department is reviewing a batch of potentially classified documents found in the Washington office space of President Joe Biden’s former institute, the White House said Monday.
  • Special counsel to the president Richard Sauber said “a small number of documents with classified markings” were discovered as Biden’s personal attorneys were clearing out the offices of the Penn Biden Center, where the president kept an office after he left the vice presidency in 2017 until shortly before he launched his 2020 presidential campaign in 2019. The documents were found on Nov. 2, 2022, in a “locked closet” in the office, Sauber said.
  • Sauber said the attorneys immediately alerted the White House Counsel’s office, who notified the National Archives and Records Administration — which took custody of the documents the next day.
  • Irrespective of the Justice Department review, the revelation that Biden potentially mishandled classified or presidential records could prove to be a political headache for the president, who called Trump’s decision to keep hundreds of such records at his private club in Florida “irresponsible.”
  • Trump weighed in Monday on his social media site, asking, “When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House?”
  • Read more from Zeke Miller HERE.




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ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Capitol Journal – January 6, 2023
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House leadership proposing changes to legislative rules
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey announces rules for prison ‘good time’ incentives
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former House speaker Hubbard released from prison
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Having elected House speaker, Republicans try governing
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – DOJ reviewing potentially classified docs at Biden center
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New member profile: Kirkland a ’true professional’ from Jackson County
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – McCarthy’s next big task: Win GOP support for House rules
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama woman who joined Islamic State hopes to return from Syrian camp
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden inspects US-Mexico border in face of GOP criticism – Severe weather possible on Thursday in Alabama – Do you have covid XBB.1.5? Symptoms for new ‘crazy’ highly infectious variant – Will gas stoves be banned? Feds cite indoor pollution, ‘hidden hazard’ to health – Two teens charged with capital murder in Tuscaloosa County double homicide – Alabama rider killed in Florida rodeo when horse throws her into a pole – Will Aniah’s Law keep New Year’s Eve shooter in jail? Police chief isn’t so sure
Montgomery Advertiser – Gadsden native Evelyn L. Lewis, track star, coach and mother of Olympic legend, dies at 93
Montgomery Advertiser – Deep freeze prompts round-the-clock pet neglect calls in Montgomery
Montgomery Advertiser – Ivey details order for how ‘good time’ among prisoners can be revoked
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama parents can be held liable for child’s use of guns
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama Power offers saving tips to help lower high energy bills
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Four donkeys mysteriously wandering around McCalla
Tuscaloosa News – Gadsden native Evelyn L. Lewis, track star, coach and mother of Olympic legend, dies at 93
Tuscaloosa News – Montgomery vet found dead near Tuscaloosa was ‘good kid,’ sister says
Tuscaloosa News – Two Montgomery men charged in Tuscaloosa County double homicide
Times Daily – Evaluation declares murder suspect not competent for trial
Times Daily – Florence man suspected of abusing his 2-year-old son
Times Daily – Plans for new EMA Colbert headquarters being reviewed
Anniston Star – PCB information meeting set for Tuesday
Anniston Star – Carver Community Center Chili Cook-Off set for Jan. 14
YellowHammer News – ALGOP Steering Committee votes no confidence in RNC chair
YellowHammer News – Rogers ‘lost temper,’ apologizes to Gaetz
YellowHammer News – State delegation: GOP ‘united’ behind McCarthy
Gadsden Times – Ford calls Melcie Guyton ‘beautiful fit’ as secretary to mayor’s office
Gadsden Times – Gadsden native Evelyn L. Lewis, track star, coach and mother of Olympic legend, dies at 93
Gadsden Times – Ivey details order for how ‘good time’ among prisoners can be revoked
Dothan Eagle – Feds propose ‘student loan safety net’ alongside forgiveness
Dothan Eagle – ‘What madness looks like’: Russia intensifies Bakhmut attack
Dothan Eagle – Rain to persist as storm weary Californians face evacuations
Opelika-Auburn News – Feds propose ‘student loan safety net’ alongside forgiveness
Opelika-Auburn News – ‘What madness looks like’: Russia intensifies Bakhmut attack
Opelika-Auburn News – Rain to persist as storm weary Californians face evacuations
WSFA Montgomery – Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie looks to 2023 for his community
WSFA Montgomery – 2 cousins arrested in Hayneville for Tuscaloosa County double homicide
WSFA Montgomery – January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month
256 Today – IronMountain Solutions awards grants to nonprofits
256 Today – Bradley elevates Osborne to partner; welcomes Howard
256 Today – A Rocket City Rumble – pro wrestling grabs the fans
WASHINGTON POST – Satellite images show crowds at China’s crematoriums as covid surges
WASHINGTON POST – Ukraine live briefing: Brutal fighting as Russia focuses on seizing salt mining town near Bakhmut
WASHINGTON POST – Georgia hits repeat, defends national title with CFP final rout of TCU
NEW YORK TIMES – House Narrowly Approves Rules Amid Concerns About McCarthy’s Concessions
NEW YORK TIMES – New House Rules Make It Easier to Dump Speaker, and Harder to Spend or Raise Taxes
NEW YORK TIMES – House Republicans Vote to Rescind I.R.S. Funding
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Bank Earnings to Put U.S. Economy Under Microscope
WALL STREET JOURNAL – House Passes Rules Package as Republicans Regroup After Speaker Fight
WALL STREET JOURNAL – FDA Increasingly Halting Human Trials as Companies Pursue Risky, Cutting-Edge Drugs

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