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Daily News Digest – March 13, 2018

Good morning!  Here is your Daily News for Tuesday, March 13. 

1. Opinions differ on gun and school safety

  • Jefferson County school officials met with lawmakers, including House Speaker Mac McCutcheon yesterday to discuss the issues of gun violence and school safety.
  • The meeting was organized by Rep. Allen Farley, who is trying bring legislative colleagues to a consensus on a meaningful school safety measure before the end of the session.
  • Trish Powell Crain was at the meeting and wrote an in-depth story for that is definitely worth your time this morning.
  • The basic message from educators: Funding? Yes, please. Mental health support? Absolutely. More school resource officers? Gotta have ’em. School ‘marshals’? Yeah, maybe. Arming teachers voluntarily without a program in place? Heck no.
  • The meeting came as the family of Huffman shooting victim Courtlin Arrington began speaking out for increased security measures for schools.
  • I realize that it’s not at the level of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office debacle, but isn’t it a scandal that Huffman had metal detectors that weren’t being used that day and dozens of ways to get into the school that weren’t secured??

2. Moving on down

  • Alabama’s unemployment rate has reached another record low of 3.7 percent
  • Governor Kay Ivey’s office released seasonally-adjusted jobless levels yesterday showing that almost 40,000 fewer Alabamians are unemployed today than at the same time last year.
  • Alabama’s economic progress corresponds with a national economy going gangbusters, though our unemployment rate beats the national 4.1 average.
  • With 84 days until the June 5 primary, incumbent candidates – especially Gov. Ivey – benefit significantly from an economy that continues to surge.
  • Republicans around the country are hoping the economic momentum can help them maintain majorities in the U.S. House and Senate.
  • And many are hoping the Trump tariffs are temporary and go away before they slow down the economy by causing manufacturers and consumers to pay a lot more.

3. What’s on tap

The Legislature convenes for the 19th day of the 2018 Regular Session today. Here’s what to expect.


The General Fund Budget is on the floor today. That includes the $30 million supplemental appropriation for prisons, the cost-of-living increase for state employees, various fee changes, and all the other bills that constitute the General Fund.

Should the House finish the budget, they will take up a calendar of bills that includes:

  • Rep. Jack Williams’ human trafficking legislation;
  • Rep. Rod Scott’s bill to modify the Simplified Sellers Use Tax (the third of its kind this session);
  • Rep. Terri Collins’ bill to reinstate and update the school security task force;
  • Rep. Randall Shedd’s bill to establish the Rural Hospital Resource Center at UAB;
  • Rep. Elaine Beech and Sen. Billy Beasley’s bill to revise audit procedures for independent pharmacies; and
  • Rep. Margie Wilcox’s Public Transportation Infrastructure Bank bill.


The Education Trust Fund Budget will be considered in committee today and could reach the Senate floor by Thursday.

Legislation expected to be considered today includes:

  • Sen. Gerald Dial’s nursing home bills, one bill granting nursing home investigators power of peace officers and another authorizing new non-compete rules;
  • Sen. Tom Whatley’s bill to allow criminal youthful offenders to have their records expunged;
  • Sen. Cam Ward’s bill regulating high-voltage power lines with new distance restrictions;
  • Sen. Trip Pittman’s bill authorizing as much as $40 million from the state’s Rolling Reserve fund to be used to bolster school security.


  • A floor fight is brewing within the Jefferson County Delegationover the three percent car rental tax dedicated to funding a downtown Birmingham stadium. It could come at any moment, and when it does it will be pretty nasty.
  • Lawmakers continue to negotiate a way forward on expanding Wireless Broadband coverage into rural areas. It has been grants vs. tax incentives, but I’m also hearing a hybrid model could be in the works.

4. Hillary doubles down on ‘Deplorables’

  • It’s like magic.
  • Even as President Donald Trump makes more people every day doubt his good judgment, Hillary Clinton reemerges to remind America of what a disaster candidate she was.
  • Speaking in India, Clinton rehashed the 2016 election (bad idea jeans) and broke down the electorate in terms of geography, wealth, and her subjective judgment of the character of millions of Americans.
  • Watch the video for yourself here. 

“I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.”

“And his whole campaign — ‘Make America Great Again’ — was looking backward. You know, you didn’t like black people getting rights; you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs; you don’t want to, you know, see that Indian American succeeding more than you are — you know, whatever your problem is, I’m gonna solve it.”

  • This disdain for half the country is not a good look for Clinton, but I’m interested to see how many national Democrats actually denounce or run from it.
  • The cultural contempt she demonstrates is the tip of a very large iceberg barely beneath the surface in the liberal base.
  • Oh, and if you’re a woman and voted for Trump, it’s because your husband, boss or son told you to. What a joke.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Family of Huffman shooting victim calls for action on school safety

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Todd Stacy column: Trump tariffs a political gamble 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWSHillary Clinton doubles down on ‘Deplorables’

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama to receive $2.3 million in grants for preserving Civil Rights landmarks

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New York City halts sewage train to Alabama amid stink issue

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – State returns $1.4 million to Montgomery Public Schools amid lawsuit mediation 

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Commerce, Ethics Commission at odds over developer bill

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – HOGS GONE WILD:  Once established, feral hogs hard to contain, difficult to eradicate.

AL.COM – Settlement ‘likely’ for Alabama death row inmate who survived execution attempt.

AL.COM – Alabama superintendents tell lawmakers what they need to keep students safe.

AL.COM – Alabama awarded more than $2.3 million to preserve civil rights landmarks.

AL.COM – Alabama Child Care Safety Act could finally pass.

AL.COM – Mo Brooks: Doug Jones election to Senate ‘major loss’ for country.

AL.COM – New York stops sewage trains to Alabama landfill.

AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith:  Trump’s wrecking ball politics are reshaping our political ‘normal’.

AL.COM – What are Alabama’s automakers worth?

AL.COM – Roy Moore accuser can’t run as Democrat, seeks Florida House seat as unaffiliated.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – In Legislature, payday loan industry has more power than the poor.

GADSDEN TIMES – Dawson details reason he’s running for governor.

GADSDEN TIMES – Authorities aren’t laughing about threatening messages.

WASHINGTON POST – Republicans on House panel, exluding Democrats’ input, say there’s no evidence of Russia collusion.

WASHINGTON POST – Sessions calls on U.S. attorneys to aggressively prosecute gun buyers who lie on background checks.

WASHINGTON POST – Democrats show little willingness to fight GOP ahead of spending deadline.

NEW YORK TIMES – Despite Mueller’s Push, House Republicans Declare No Evidence of Collusion

NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Plans to View Wall Prototypes. Here Are Some He Won’t See.

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