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Daily News Digest – May 28, 2021

Good morning and Happy Friday!

Here’s your Daily News for May 28.


1. Ivey vetoes Literacy Act delay bill

  • Gov. Kay Ivey has vetoed a bill that would delay until 2024 a requirement that third-grade students who are not reading proficiently repeat the grade.
  • Thursday was the last day Ivey has to approve bills passed during this year’s legislative session. Without her signature, legislation dies.
  • Senate Bill 94, sponsored by Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, would have delayed the holdback provision in the Alabama Literacy Act from Spring 2022 to Spring 2024.
  • Democrats and many Republicans supported the bill arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected students’ education, forcing some out of the classroom, and to test them after next school year under the act would be unfair.
  • Ivey addressed the pandemic learning loss in a statement announcing her veto Thursday.
  • “Everyone agrees that the past 15 months of the Covid-19 pandemic have been hard on all Alabamians, including school personnel, students and parents. However, to establish any delay at all in the Alabama Literacy Act prior to analyzing the 2020-2021 summative assessment data for reading would be hasty and premature. Therefore, I have notified the sponsors of the promotion policy delay that I have vetoed SB 94,” Ivey said.
  • She also asked State Superintendent Eric Mackey to provide a full public review of Spring 2021 Assessment results in all subjects and grades to see what recommendations might need to be made moving forward.
  • Read more from Caroline Beck and Mary Sell HERE.



2. Ivey signs oversight, teachers’ benefits bills

  • Alabama’s state agencies wanting to spend $10 million or more on purchases or projects will soon have to answer more questions from a panel of lawmakers.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday signed House Bill 392 from Rep. Mike Jones, R-Andalusia. Though the final version of the bill significantly scaled back from what Jones originally filed, the bill will give the existing Legislative Contract Review Committee, made up of about a dozen lawmakers, the ability to question state agency or department spending of more than $10 million or 5% of their annual appropriation from the General Fund, whichever is less.
  • The committee can now delay state contracts and expenditures for 45 days, but can’t outright kill them.
  • Ivey also signed Thursday legislation allowing newer teachers to rollover each year their sick leave and get paid for unused days when they retire. Current Tier II teachers lose unused days each year.
  • Sponsor Rep. Alan Baker, R-Brewton, has said his goal with House Bill 93 was to erase some of the “disparity” between Tier I and Tier II benefit recipients. As originally written this year and approved in the House, Baker’s bill would have let Tier II teachers collect retirement after 30 years instead of at age 62 as is now law. That portion was struck.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.


3. Inside Alabama Politics

A new edition of Inside Alabama Politics is out!
In this issue:
  • Campaign announcements abound;
  • Dismukes update;
  • Enter the Rileys?
  • What’s the plan with Rescue Plan money?
  • Mike Ball unfiltered;
  • What’s to become of Bud’s and Jubilee?
  • Potpourri.
ADN Insiders can read these stories and more HERE.
Not yet an ADN Insider? Still bumming off someone else’s account? C’mon, man.
Subscribing is worth it and easily written off as a campaign or business expense. Check out rates HERE.

4. Social spending, business tax hike drive $6T Biden budget

  • President Joe Biden’s $6 trillion budget proposal for next year would run a $1.8 trillion federal government deficit despite a raft of new tax increases on corporations and high-income people designed to pay for his ambitious spending plans.
  • Biden had already announced his major budget initiatives, but during a rollout today he will release them as a single proposal to incorporate them into the government’s existing budget framework, including Social Security and Medicare. That provides a fuller view of the administration’s fiscal posture.
  • Democratic aides disclosed key elements of the Biden plan, speaking on condition of anonymity because the document is not yet public.
  • The whopping deficit projections reflect a government whose steadily accumulating pile of debt has topped $28 trillion after well more than $5 trillion in COVID-19 relief. The government’s structural deficit remains unchecked, and Biden uses tax hikes on businesses and the wealthy to power huge new social programs like universal prekindergarten and large subsidies for child care.
  • The budget incorporates the administration’s eight-year, $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal and its $1.8 trillion American Families Plan and adds details on his $1.5 trillion request for annual operating appropriations for the Pentagon and domestic agencies.
  • Read more HERE.


5. Senate eyes R&D bill to counter China, bolster manufacturing

  • What started as a pragmatic effort to boost scientific research and development has morphed into a sweeping Senate bill aimed at making the U.S. more competitive with China and other countries, including $50 billion in emergency funds to shore up domestic computer chip manufacturing.
  • The American Innovation and Competition Act is key to President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plans and was heading toward final passage despite some glitches late Thursday. It’s also a test of whether the split 50-50 Senate can accomplish bipartisan achievements when there’s pressure on Democrats to change the rules to push past obstruction and gridlock.
  • Senators slogged through days of debates and amendments, but proceedings came to a standstill late Thursday. One Republican, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, protested the rush to finish and insisted on more changes to the sprawling package. A few other Republicans joined him.
  • By midnight senators huddled in the chamber to discuss next steps. Passage was still expected, but debate dragged into early today before a recess until later in the morning.
  • Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., the Commerce Committee chairwoman managing the action for Democrats, reminded colleagues that the bill has been through lengthy committee hearings with input and changes from all sides.
  • “I actually think we have gotten more mindshare with people about why this is important, right, because we had an open debate process,” she said earlier in the week.
  • The emerging final product has enjoyed broad, bipartisan support and would be one of the more comprehensive investments in U.S. research and development in recent years as the country tries to bolster and rebuild home-state industries that have shifted overseas during the era of globalization.
  • Read more HERE.






ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey vetoes bill to delay third-grade literacy holdback


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey signs oversight, teachers’ benefits bills


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge: Man charged with bringing guns to DC had militia ties


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senators try to salvage legislation on Jan. 6 commission


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Social spending, business tax hike drive $6T Biden budget


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate eyes R&D bill to counter China, bolster manufacturing


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AG: Sheriff resigns amid impeachment probe


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey signs bill to ban curbside voting


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US pipelines ordered to increase cyber defenses after hack


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden orders more intel investigation of COVID-19 origin


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – May 27, 2021


AL.COM – Ivey vetoes delay of 3rd grade reading requirement


AL.COM – Hoda Muthana, Alabama ‘ISIS Bride,’ says in new documentary she was ‘brainwashed,’ wants to come home


AL.COM – While Woodfin remains silent, Birmingham mayoral candidates troubled by police chief’s FOP no-confidence vote


AL.COM – Montgomery launches “Get out the Vaccine” campaign


AL.COM – Huntsville again eyeing ‘iconic’ skybridge over busy Memorial Parkway


AL.COM – Airbus foresees post-COVID ramp-up to record production for jets it builds in Alabama


AL.COM – WIC cash benefits increasing June 1


AL.COM – Alabama grocery taxes contribute to food insecurity, study finds


AL.COM – Judge orders Uniontown to stop fighting $31M sewer fix


Montgomery Advertiser – Investigation: ATF rarely issues harsh gun dealer penalties in Alabama


Montgomery Advertiser – The Villas at Brookstone a small Prattville neighborhood that’s full of pride


Montgomery Advertiser – Pike Road High School holds graduation


Decatur Daily – AUSTIN HIGH CLASS OF 2021: Branum plans to follow lifelong plan of becoming nurse


Decatur Daily – Council to end teleconference votes in July


Decatur Daily – Decatur police: Moulton man stole vehicle from Home Depot parking lot


Times Daily – Shoals Theatre reopening with Broadway hit, “Annie”


Times Daily – Florence native announces Supreme Court run


Times Daily – COVID clinic targets veterans and the homeless


Anniston Star – GRADUATION 2021: One night, 10 schools, 1,000 graduates


Anniston Star – Ivey vetoes bill to delay third-grade reading requirement


Anniston Star – Court docs: Woman tried to hit man with car in Ranburne


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – CDC says breakthrough cases are rare


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Oak Mountain State Park prepping for Memorial Day crowds


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – UAB hosting lunch-and-learn series on post-COVID symptoms


Tuscaloosa News – Gov. Kay Ivey vetoes delay in third grade retention under Literacy Act in Alabama


Tuscaloosa News – Groups accuse Tennessee Valley Authority of misusing funds


Tuscaloosa News – Ex-astronaut pleads guilty in fatal DUI crash of two young girls; prison sentence starts immediately


YellowHammer News – ‘VETO’: Governor Kay Ivey takes strong stand for Alabama’s children


YellowHammer News – Alabama’s John Christy pens climate science journey


YellowHammer News – Michael Morrissey appointed chairman of Protective Life board of directors


Gadsden Times – It’s back! First Friday returns in June


Gadsden Times – Couple that met, married while at trade school still together 50 years later


Gadsden Times – Rendering plant hearing Day 2: No official ruling until June 4


Dothan Eagle – Proposal to decriminalize abortion prompts debate in Malta


Dothan Eagle – Production of another COVID-19 vaccine to begin in weeks


Dothan Eagle – The ultimate garage & estate sale guide for this weekend


Opelika-Auburn News – Disgruntled worker who killed 9 appeared to target victims


Opelika-Auburn News – Atlanta philanthropist, businessman A.D. Correll dies at 80


Opelika-Auburn News – Watch Now: This bouncing robot can hop four times its own height


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery hospitality industry rebounding; hotels struggling to fill jobs


WSFA Montgomery – Dadeville couple turn Pennington Park into Memorial Day remembrance


WSFA Montgomery – 2 women shot, 1 killed in Montgomery’s Sheridan Heights community


WAFF Huntsville – Alabama constitution still prohibits interracial marriage, integrated schools; committee to begin revisions


WAFF Huntsville – Future development of Town Madison


WAFF Huntsville – What does law enforcement need to issue an Amber Alert?


WKRG Mobile – Mobile Fire-Rescue searching for man who set fires inside East I-65 Service Road Walmart


WKRG Mobile – ECSO warns parents about edible marijuana after students taken to hospital


WKRG Mobile – Early morning hit and run in Fort Walton Beach


WTVY Dothan – One dead after a shooting off Highway 84 just outside Daleville


WTVY Dothan – AAA predicts 60 percent more travelers this Memorial Day holiday weekend than 2020


WTVY Dothan – Dothan COVID-19 vaccine clinic Thursday and Friday


WASHINGTON POST – Yes, we’ll probably need coronavirus booster shots. But which one?


WASHINGTON POST – Renewed focus on Wuhan lab scrambles the politics of the pandemic


WASHINGTON POST – India’s covid surge has killed more than 500 doctors and sickened hundreds of others since March, stretching staffs thin


NEW YORK TIMES – Russia Appears to Carry Out Hack Through System Used by U.S. Aid Agency


NEW YORK TIMES – Biden’s Fossil Fuel Moves Clash With Pledges on Climate Change


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: As Cases Wane, U.S. Looks Forward to a More Normal Summer


WALL STREET JOURNAL – China’s Vaccination Surge Could Accelerate Asian Recovery From Covid


WALL STREET JOURNAL – India’s Covid-19 Crisis Leaves Nation in Grief


WALL STREET JOURNAL – India’s Stock Market Peers Beyond Covid-19 Surge



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