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Daily News Digest – July 19, 2021

Good morning!

It’s going to be another wet day across the state with some flash flooding possible. Be careful out there.

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, July 19.


1. Who’s running and who’s not?

  • With primary elections less than a year away, many state lawmakers are deciding whether or not to run again in 2022.
  • Several high profile leaders in the House and Senate have previously announced they would not seek reelection, including House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia and former Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston. Alabama Daily News has previously reported that others longtime lawmakers are deciding to hang up their political boots, including Sen. Jimmy Holley, R-Elba, Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville and Rep Harry Shiver, R-Bay Minette
  • ADN contacted several more lawmakers to ask about their reelection plans.
  • Read the latest from Caroline Beck and me HERE.


2. State asks feds if relief funds can be used for prisons

  • Alabama is asking federal officials whether COVID-19 recovery funds can be used to improve state prisons with “better, enhanced, and/or extended infrastructure.”
  • You may remember that Alabama Daily News reported back in June that, as the prison lease plan fizzled due to financing problems, top lawmakers expressed an interest in using a portion of the state’s $2.1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act money to fund construction of new prisons.
  • Now, The Montgomery Advertiser’s Brian Lyman reports that Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn sent a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department asking if such a use is appropriate. Dunn framed the request as enhancing health care and programming for inmates. Lawmakers have previously said they want to know if pandemic recovery funds can be used for prison construction and renovations.
  • Read more HERE.



3. Key week for infrastructure on Capitol Hill

  • It is a critical week for the prospects of Congress passing a national infrastructure bill.
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, has set an arbitrary deadline of Wednesday for negotiators of a $1 trillion bi-partisan infrastructure deal to complete their work. To show he’s serious, Schumer today is expected to file for cloture on a motion to proceed on that package, even though it isn’t complete. That means we could find out this week whether or not the bi-partisan deal can get the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate.
  • Schumer has also asked Democrats to finish their separate $3.5 trillion budget package that, in addition to infrastructure, includes spending on climate change, education and Medicare expansion.
  • That’s the plan that Democrats are hoping to squeeze through the Senate via the budget reconciliation process that is filibuster proof and would only require a simple majority to pass.
  • The moves are meant to speed up the process, but they could also work to derail it.
  • Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, pushed back on the pressure Sunday saying senators should have more time to get the proposal right.
  • He also said that a provision to strengthen IRS enforcement of tax laws to help fund the infrastructure spending had been dropped from the bill.
  • Read more HERE.


4. Amid pandemic uptick, surgeon general worried

  • The U.S. surgeon general said Sunday that he’s concerned about what lies ahead with cases of COVID-19 increasing in every state, millions still unvaccinated and a highly contagious virus variant spreading rapidly.
  • Noting that nearly all coronavirus deaths now are among the tens of millions of people who haven’t received shots, despite widespread vaccine availability, Dr. Vivek Murthy painted an unsettling picture of what the future could hold.
  • “I am worried about what is to come because we are seeing increasing cases among the unvaccinated in particular. And while, if you are vaccinated, you are very well protected against hospitalization and death, unfortunately that is not true if you are not vaccinated,” Murthy said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
  • U.S. cases of COVID-19 last week increased by 17,000 nationwide over a 14-day period for the first time since late fall, and an increase in death historically follows a spike in illness. Much of the worsening problem is being driven by the delta variant first identified in India, that has since hit the United Kingdom and other countries, said Murthy.
  • In Alabama, COVID-19 hospitalizations have more than doubled in the last month. Just 166 patients were hospitalized with the virus a month ago compared to 429 today, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • 1.5 million Alabamians have been fully vaccinated, representing about a third of the population.
  • Murthy, the surgeon general, said “not nearly enough” progress was being made in the fight against misinformation spread through social media about COVID-19 and vaccines.
  • Read more from Jay Reeves HERE.



5. House Republicans post record fundraising ahead of 2022 race

  • The committee charged with helping Republicans wrest control of the House in 2022 raised $45.4 million over the last three months, a record quarterly haul during a year without a national election.
  • That total was bolstered by $20.1 million raised in June, the highest ever monthly off-year total.
  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week announced that it had raised $14.4 million in June, bringing its second-quarter total to about $36.5 million — its best ever for that stretch.
  • The large sums signal that excitement is high among donors to both parties as they prepare for what is expected to be a contentious midterm election season. Democrats hold a razor-thin majority in the House, but Republicans have history on their side: The party that occupies the White House typically sees large losses in both the House and the Senate.
  • Read more HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Who’s running and who’s not? Lawmakers talk reelection


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State asks feds if COVID funds can be used for prisons


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Amid pandemic uptick, surgeon general worried


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senator: Bipartisan infrastructure bill loses IRS provision


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Schumer sets infrastructure vote, pressures Dems


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House Republicans post record fundraising ahead of 2022 race


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS -Alabama promoting COVID-19 vaccination in TikTok contest


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘A blaring siren’ for Democrats after ruling halts DACA


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Medicaid expansion activists in Alabama court over graffiti


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jurors hearing differing views on Alabama sheriff on trial


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – July 18, 2021


AL.COM – Alabama sheriff asks judge to dismiss 4 charges amid his corruption trial


AL.COM – Doug Jones calls Mo Brooks’ tweet laughing at COVID-positive lawmakers a ‘low point’


AL.COM – Conservative Climate Caucus? Not for Alabama


AL.COM – Can critical race theory help Republicans win back suburban swing voters?


AL.COM – COVID still kills more Americans than guns, car crashes and flu combined


Montgomery Advertiser – Eastdale Mall store spaces should be all full by August


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man charged with capital murder in shooting death of 3-year-old


Montgomery Advertiser – Child killed Saturday evening in Montgomery shooting


Decatur Daily – Ladner suggests city should build large, centralized rec center


Decatur Daily – Hospital’s ambulance fleet expands, First Response sounds warning


Decatur Daily – Second phase of Sixth Avenue paving begins


Times Daily – Governor tabs Poole as new state finance director


Times Daily – COVID-19 cases are the highest in the Shoals since February


Times Daily – Muscle Shoals council, board of education to sign new agreement on SRO program


Anniston Star – Bus passengers sheltered at Oxford Civic Center after interstate collision


Anniston Star – Bill Poole named state Finance Director


Anniston Star – Ivey, advocates push for expanding summer learning


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham Shuttlesworth Airport planning for busy fall travel season


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Video of JPD officer slamming woman raises concerns about use of force


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – 4 kids charged in Gibson Co. poaching case


Tuscaloosa News – Developers withdraw economic aid request, new hotel now in question


Tuscaloosa News – PHOTOS: Memories of living in Julia Tutwiler Hall


Tuscaloosa News – A Centreville mystery: Who killed Sandra Lockett Huckleberry and why?


YellowHammer News – Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport to host job fair amid increased airline travel


YellowHammer News – State Health Officer Scott Harris on low vaccination rates: ‘I’m not sure what else we can do’


YellowHammer News – ULA’s Student Rocket Launch gives flight to payload from Vestavia Hills school


Gadsden Times – PET OF THE WEEK: Bruno described as ‘couch potato’


Gadsden Times – Theatre of Gadsden revisits gospel music with second ‘Looking for a City’ installment


Gadsden Times – CharACTers presents ‘Something Rotten’ at Mort Glosser Amphitheatre


Dothan Eagle – Russia reports successful test launch of hypersonic missile


Dothan Eagle – With no summit, South Korean president to skip Olympics


Dothan Eagle – Mixed feelings, Johnson in quarantine mar UK’s ‘freedom day’


Opelika-Auburn News – Hungary: Politicians demand inquiry into alleged spying


Opelika-Auburn News – Top Olympic sponsor Toyota pulls Games-related TV ads


Opelika-Auburn News – Official: Sudan seeking debt relief from Gulf Arab nations


WSFA Montgomery – Law enforcement asks public to lock cars, homes following Millbrook break-ins


WSFA Montgomery – Arrest made in fatal Montgomery shooting of child


WSFA Montgomery – Community center renamed after late Montgomery city councilman


WAFF Huntsville – ADPH: More than 557K positive COVID cases as delta variant increases


WAFF Huntsville – Liz Hurley speaks to Greta Van Susteren on Huntsville’s role in space travel


WAFF Huntsville – Rocket City Trash Pandas hosting an on-field movie night


WKRG Mobile – Man faces 1st sentencing for felony in riot at US Capitol


WKRG Mobile – 88th annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo comes to a close


WKRG Mobile – MPD: Suspect fires shots at police officer during chase


WTVY Dothan – Sex, drugs, plea in murder case


WTVY Dothan – Panama City Beach officials remind everyone to stay safe in the sun this summer


WTVY Dothan – Arrest made in fatal Montgomery shooting of child


WASHINGTON POST – In Orban’s Hungary, spyware was used to monitor journalists and others who might challenge the government


WASHINGTON POST – Jamal Khashoggi’s wife targeted with spyware before his death


WASHINGTON POST – In Orban’s Hungary, spyware was used to monitor journalists and others who might challenge the government


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: England Enters ‘Freedom Day’ With Prime Minister in Isolation


NEW YORK TIMES – This Train Crash Killed 49 People. It Didn’t Have to Happen.


NEW YORK TIMES – Lost Lives, Lost Culture: The Forgotten History of Indigenous Boarding Schools


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures, Oil Drop as Delta Variant Sends Investors Into Bonds


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Bill Ackman Drops SPAC Plan for Universal Music Deal


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Money-Market Funds Buckled in Two Crises in a Row. Regulators Look to Fix Them Again.




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