The Alabama Community College System
Here’s your Weekend Digest for Tuesday, March 8.
1. Inside Alabama Politics
- A review of Senate race TV & radio spending;
- A review of Governor’s race TV & radio spending;
- Debbie Long resigns from Ethics Commission;
- When will a second ARPA special session begin?
- A late move on taxes from the Legislature;
- What’s next for Jeff Coleman?
2. House takes up education budget
- The Alabama House of Representatives is expected to vote today on next year’s proposed $8.17 billion education budget.
- The record spending plan increases education funding by about $502 million over the current year and has drawn praise from education officials and groups for its increases, including in teacher salaries and workforce development.
- Approved in a House committee last week with a few changes to what Gov. Kay Ivey sent lawmakers, increases include more money for classroom materials, the hiring of technology coordinators and reading coaches and $20 million to implement the K-5 math instruction bill working its way through the Legislature.
- Accompanying budget bills also include a 4% raise for teachers and lump-sum bonus for retirees. There’s also about $34 million to increase teacher pay in the middle of their careers, where the state tends to lag behind neighboring states’ salaries.
- Education groups also praised the increase from $700 to $900 in per classroom supply spending.
- Read more from Mary Sell HERE.
A message from the
Alabama Community College System
- Community. It matters.
- From on-campus events to off-campus collaborations, “community” in Alabama’s 24 community colleges is not just in our name, but is an ongoing priority.
- Our new community page is a systemwide approach to share the many activities and events that happen at our colleges.
- Visit your local community college or learn more about your local college’s events by visiting accs.edu/community.
3. What’s on tap
- The Senate Government Affairs Committee starts the week’s action with a 1 p.m., 11-bill agenda. Sen. Will Barfoot’s “divisive concepts” bill is last on the lineup.
- Senate Bill 292 says the state agencies and educators can not teach or promote certain concepts about race and gender, including that Alabama or the United States is inherently racist or sexist or that “fault, blame, or bias should be assigned to or religion, or to members of a race, sex, or religion, solely on the basis of their race, sex, or religion.”
- Educators have said critical race theory is not taught in Alabama classrooms and bills like Barfoot’s would hinder how educators approach subjects like history.
- A similar House Bill, HB312, is waiting for a committee vote in that chamber.
- The Alabama State Board of Education voted last year to put into its administrative code a ban on “concepts that impute fault, blame, a tendency to oppress others, or the need to feel guilt or anguish to persons solely because of their race or sex.” It also bans theories that promote political ideologies or “one race or sex above another.”
- The House comes in at 2 p.m. and has the slate of education budget bills (more on that in the story above).
- The Senate gavels in at 2:30 p.m. and will take up a calendar of bills said to be of importance to individual senators.
- Among the bills are Senate Bill 2 from Sen. Gerald Allen dealing with state enforcement of firearms, Senate Bill 214 from Sen. Jim McClendon dealing with the State Council on the Arts, Senate Bill 216 from Sen. Bobby Singleton dealing with tobacco taxes and enforcement, and Senate Bill 272 from Sen. Dan Roberts dealing with tele-medicine.
- See you at the State House!
4. Innovation Corporation hosts first meeting
- The board of directors for the Alabama Innovation Corporation met Friday in their first gathering since being established last year.
- The corporation that was established “to implement the initiatives and policy recommendations set forth in the Alabama Innovation Commission’s final report, which includes forward-thinking policies that will create a more resilient, inclusive, and robust economy to remain competitive in a twenty-first century world,” according to its founding charter signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey on May 14, 2021.
- The group is made up of a board of six innovation leaders appointed by Ivey and five ex-officio government officials. It is Alabama’s first statewide public-private partnership focused on entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation.
- In 2021, the Alabama Legislature appropriated $10 million to the corporation. $5 million of these funds must be used for the Innovate Alabama Matching Grant Program, which will grant funds of up to $250,000 to awardees of the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The goal of the program is to increase the commercialization of research in the state.
- Read more from Heather Gann HERE.
5. Ukraine aid growing as lawmakers shape big budget bill
- Proposed U.S. aid for Ukraine and its European allies has grown beyond $12 billion, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday, as congressional bargainers worked toward a bipartisan government-wide spending deal that would also contain fresh sums for battling COVID-19.
- The remarks by Schumer, D-N.Y., underscored the momentum in Congress for helping outgunned Ukraine fend off Russian invaders and assisting that country and others cope with refugees and other economic and humanitarian problems caused by the brutal attack.
- The $1.5 trillion government spending measure would increase spending for defense and domestic programs, though lawmakers haven’t said yet by how much.
- Agencies have run on temporary authority since Oct. 1, when the government’s fiscal year began. That lapses this weekend, and an election-year federal shutdown would occur without more money.
- Biden also proposed another $22.5 billion to continue bolstering government efforts against the pandemic. Republicans have objected that such additional spending should come from unspent funds from previous COVID-19 relief bills Congress has enacted, which totaled over $5 trillion.
- Read more HERE.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Inside Alabama Politics – March 8, 2022
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Teacher, workforce development groups support $8.1B education proposal
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Innovation Corporation holds first meeting
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Reed: Senate to look at repealing business privilege tax
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bill would require more resource information for pregnant women prior to abortions
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Harris leads ‘Bloody Sunday’ remembrance in Selma
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ukraine asks allies for warplanes
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gas prices hit 14-year high
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Inside Alabama Politics – March 1, 2022
AL.COM – Alabama finally back below 5% positivity on COVID tests
AL.COM – Ukraine asks US, NATO for no-fly zone despite Putin’s warning
AL.COM – Daylight saving time a ‘nuisance,’ Tuberville says time to abolish ‘outdated practice’
AL.COM – Key advocate says bill to repeal Alabama’s requirement for concealed carry permit needs work
AL.COM – Contributor Ben Padgett: Limit all election campaigns to 30 days
AL.COM – House to consider record Alabama education budget, teacher raises
AL.COM – Could gas prices hit $4.50 a gallon? Banning Russian oil could set new record
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery Public Schools to go facemask-optional starting April 8
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man facing felony charges in hit and run that left a toddler dead
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery’s Lady K’s golden ticket performance leaves American Idol judges ‘Wide Awake’
Decatur Daily – In the community: Rock ‘n’ rollin’ with the Pygmies
Decatur Daily – Housing authority nonprofit considers options for land wanted by city
Decatur Daily – Teacher, workforce development groups support $8.1B education proposal
Times Daily – Sacks of Love reaching out to help underserved communities
Times Daily – Shoals attorney announces bid for state Legislature
Times Daily – Discovery of bird flu in Limestone a concern for poultry farmers
Anniston Star – Teacher, workforce development groups support $8.1B education proposal
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Early morning house fire in Birmingham
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham sister city in Ukraine comes under attack by Russia
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – What’s the status of Birmingham’s Civilian Review Board?
Tuscaloosa News – University of Alabama police officer faces felony domestic violence charge
Tuscaloosa News – ‘Time to march’: Hundreds gather in Selma to commemorate 57th anniversary of Bloody Sunday
Tuscaloosa News – University of Alabama, OSHA team up for safety on new hospital construction
YellowHammer News – Alabamians see 106% spike in gas prices since 2020 presidential election
YellowHammer News – State Senate hopeful Pete Riehm calls for legislative investigation into Prichard Water Board scandal
YellowHammer News – Alabama House GOP Caucus urges Biden to restore U.S. energy independence, bolster national defense
Gadsden Times – Former Gadsden City Council member Avery to make run for mayor’s office
Gadsden Times – ‘Time to march’: Hundreds gather in Selma to commemorate 57th anniversary of Bloody Sunday
Gadsden Times – Looking for something to listen to? Here’s what’s on Drake White’s playlist
Dothan Eagle – Reports: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launches 2nd satellite
Dothan Eagle – People flee embattled Ukrainian cities along safe corridors
Dothan Eagle – Live updates: Zelenskyy urges more humanitarian corridors
Opelika-Auburn News – Terminally ill children told to form letter ‘Z’ in snow in support of Russia
Opelika-Auburn News – Drivers react as gas tops $4 per gallon
Opelika-Auburn News – Bill to allow marijuana resentencing killed by GOP lawmakers
WSFA Montgomery – ‘Access & Allies’ masterclass to equip, empower women for International Women’s Day
WSFA Montgomery – Death penalty sought for man after pregnant wife, unborn son killed
WSFA Montgomery – 2nd suspect arrested in Millbrook attempted murder case
WAFF Huntsville – Plans for historic Annie Merts Center in Huntsville
WAFF Huntsville – Rep. Allen says bill protects election integrity, others express concern
WAFF Huntsville – 3-year-old injured in Rogersville fire, father facing arson charges
WKRG Mobile – Shell says it will stop buying Russian oil, natural gas
WKRG Mobile – Berliners open their hearts, homes to those fleeing Ukraine
WKRG Mobile – Ukraine war highlights internal divides in Mideast nations
WTVY Dothan – The Patriots baseball team in season number to bringing smiles to teams around the area
WTVY Dothan – Woman found shot dead in car that hit a utility pole
WTVY Dothan – Ruling leaves Dothan dump in limbo
WASHINGTON POST – Ukraine says Russia still disrupting evacuations; U.N. says 2 million have fled
WASHINGTON POST – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to address U.K. Parliament via video
WASHINGTON POST – Anti-Russian hate in Europe is making chefs and school children out to be enemies
NEW YORK TIMES – Live Updates: Zelensky Posts Video From Kyiv as Ukraine’s Forces Stall Russian Advance
NEW YORK TIMES – A 459-Foot Mystery in a Tuscan Port: Is It a Russian’s Superyacht?
NEW YORK TIMES – Rising Gas Prices Have Drivers Asking, ‘Is This for Real?’
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Ukrainians Risk Their Lives to Keep Russian Gas Flowing to Europe
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Shell to Withdraw From Russian Oil and Gas Amid Ukraine War
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Secret Surveillance Program Collects Americans’ Money-Transfer Data, Senator Says
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