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Daily News Digest – May 29, 2019

Presented by

the Alabama Wholesale Beer Association

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, May 29.

1.Education budget passes.

Photo credit: Dionne Whetstone, Alabama House of Representatives

The Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a $7.1 billion education budget, but its final passage still depends on agreement with the Senate on several points, including health insurance for low-income children.
House education budget chairman Rep. Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, told his colleagues the proposed budget, nearly $500,000,000 increase over the current budget, would not fix all of the state’s education problems, but is part of the equation.
“This is a positive budget for the state,” Poole said. “It passed by unanimous vote, which I hope demonstrates that this budget addresses needs in every area of the state and on every level of education.”
In its current form, the $7.1 billion education budget includes:
  • a four percent raise for K-12 and community college educators;
  • a $25.3 million increase for the state’s voluntary pre-K program;
  • more than $200 million in new funding for K-12 education’s Foundation Program, which funds the basics of schools’ operations;
  • about $79 million in new money for universities;
  • $28.8 million in additional money for community colleges, but that’s not as much as the Senate-passed version of the budget had.
Because of differences between the House and Senate versions, the budget is expected to go to a conference committee of select lawmakers from both chambers where differences will be worked out.
A conference committee for the $2.1 billion General Fund is meeting today. One of the sticking points is a disagreement between some State House leaders about which budget should pay $35 million for the state’s share of the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program for low- and mid-income children.
ADN’s Mary Sell followed the debate and vote in the House yesterday, and you can read her full story HERE .


2. Parole bill advances after contentious committee meeting.

  • A bill to overhaul the state Board of Pardons and Paroles advanced through a Senate committee Tuesday over the objections of the current board leadership, Democrats, and prisoner advocates.
  • House Bill 380 alters how the Pardons and Paroles Board and its executive leadership are chosen, giving more responsibility to the governor. The bill creates a Director of Pardons and Paroles position appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate, which would replace the current executive director chosen by the board.
  • “Currently, the Board of Pardons and Paroles does not answer to an elected official,” said bill sponsor Rep. Connie Rowe, R-Jasper, while speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Therefore they can do whatever in their wisdom of a three-person panel they decide to do.”
  • She argued the 600-person state agency needs to be more accountable, hence allowing the governor appointment authority.
  • There was some drama in the committee. Lynn Head, the current Chair of the Pardons and Paroles Board, defended the Board and took a shot at the Attorney General, who is supporting the bill. AG’s office Chief Counsel Katherine Robertson attempted to respond, but was cut off by Sen. Vivian Figures, D-Mobile. That led Judiciary Committee Chairman Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, to intervene. Figures later apologized and cooler heads prevailed, but it’s fair to say there is some bad blood on this issue and it will be interesting to follow on the Senate floor.
  • Read the full story HERE.

A message from

the Alabama Wholesale Beer Association

A new economic impact study shows Alabama’s beer industry contributes $2.8 billion annually to the state economy.
What’s more, the study shows that 20,436 state jobs are impacted by the beer industry, accounting for $784 million each year in wages and benefits and generating $528 million annually in business, personal and consumption taxes.
Beer serves Alabama , and the Alabama Wholesale Beer Association is proud to represent distributors throughout the state and the more than 4,000 workers they employ.
Thank you to Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature for supporting Alabama’s beer industry and the jobs it creates!

3.Fantasy sports bill goes to governor.

  • Legislation allowing fantasy sports players to bet on their games passed the Senate Tuesday.
  • Lawmakers added an amendment increasing the tax on fantasy companies like DraftKings and FanDuel from 8 percent to 10.5 percent.
  • Late last night, the House concurred with the Senate’s changes and sent the bill to the governor’s desk.
  • Fantasy sports allow fans to draft players from real professional rosters and select teams to compete against peers in regular contests. Most every sport is offered, but professional football, basketball and baseball are the most popular.
  • Playing fantasy sports is legal and common in Alabama, but betting on the contests is no longer allowed after former Attorney General Luther Strange outlawed the games because he considered them to be forms of gambling.
  • Rep. Kyle South, R-Fayette, the bill’s sponsor says fantasy sports are games of skill, not chance, so betting on them is akin to entering a golf or fishing tournament for money.


4. Court seems open on abortion laws.

  • The Supreme Court signaled Tuesday it is more open to state restrictions on abortion, upholding an Indiana law supported by abortion opponents that regulates the disposal of fetal remains.
  • At the same time, the justices declined to take on an issue closer to the core of abortion rights, rejecting the state’s appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked a ban on abortion based on gender, race or disability.
  • On Tuesday, with two liberal justices dissenting, the court allowed Indiana to enforce a requirement that abortion clinics either bury or cremate fetal remains following an abortion, reversing a ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court that had blocked it. The justices said in an unsigned opinion that the case does not involve limits on abortion rights.
  • Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Ginsburg said in a short solo opinion that she believes the issue does implicate a woman’s right to have an abortion “without undue interference from the state.”
  • Justice Clarence Thomas, who supports overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that first declared abortion rights, wrote a 20-page opinion that linked race, gender, and disability-based abortion to eugenics, the now-discredited movement to improve the human race through selective reproduction. The Indiana provision promotes “a state’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics,” Thomas wrote.
  • “Although the court declines to wade into these issues today, we cannot avoid them forever,” he wrote.
  • Yeah, the Supreme Court is taking up abortion before too much longer.
  • Read the full story HERE.


5. Trumps dump on Roy Moore.

This is interesting and still developing, so follow me here…


AP News Briefs.

Alabama inmate seeks to block execution set for Thursday
  • An Alabama inmate set to die by lethal injection on Thursday wants the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to block his execution.
  • Court documents show Christopher Lee Price informed the court Tuesday he plans to challenge a lower court decision issued Sunday.
  • U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose refused to block Price’s execution. She ruled his latest attempt to postpone death was similar to previous challenges.
  • Price is set to die for his part in the sword-and-dagger slaying of pastor Bill Lynn in Fayette County in 1991. A second man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life.
  • A federal judge stayed Price’s execution in April after he challenged Alabama’s lethal injection procedure. The Supreme Court fractured 5-4 to allow the execution, but the midnight death warrant expired.
‘Anti-Road Rage Act’: In the fast lane, you must pass others
  • The Alabama Senate has passed legislation prohibiting drivers from staying in the leftmost lane on interstate highways for more than a mile-and-a-half (2.4 kilometers) without passing another vehicle.
  • The sponsor of the bill, Republican Rep. Phillip Pettus, calls it the “Anti-Road Rage Act.”
  • He says it’s aimed at reducing the risk of violence from drivers becoming angry at slow drivers in the left lane.
  • The bill allows for some exemptions, such as during inclement weather or particularly bad traffic conditions.
  • The legislation now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed.
Alabama Senate: require civil asset forfeiture tracking
  • The Alabama Senate has voted to make it mandatory for law enforcement to report how often they use civil actions to seize a person’s property when the person hasn’t been convicted of a crime.
  • Senators on Tuesday voted 33-0 for the bill. It now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
  • Civil asset forfeiture is the practice of law enforcement seizing property through a civil action for suspected criminal activity.
  • Republican Sen. Arthur Orr had originally sought to require a criminal conviction for property seizures. The bill was amended to require mandatory tracking of cases instead of banning or altering the practice.
  • Orr says the measure is an “incremental” step and he plans on reintroducing a bill to ban the practice next year.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Positive’ $7.1 billion education clears House, varies from Senate version
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pardons and Paroles overhaul bill advances
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trumps dump on Roy Moore
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supreme Court signals more openness to state abortion rules
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Once dead, cannabis compromise makes comeback
AL.COM  – Lawmakers approve teacher pay raise, education budget
AL.COM  – Alabama lawmakers approve fantasy sports bill
AL.COM  – Bill would require law enforcement to report property seizures
AL.COM  – Remington furloughs hundreds during 2 month closure; Alabama could be impacted
AL.COM  – Donald Trump Jr. blasts Roy Moore: ‘It’s time to ride off into the sunset, Judge’
AL.COM  – Roy Moore to enter Senate race, Bradley Byrne says; Moore says he’d beat Doug Jones.
AL.COM  – Appeals court denies stay for Alabama inmate set to die Thursday.
AL.COM  – Despite record budget, Alabama’s education spending still below pre-recession levels.
Montgomery Advertiser – House approves $7.1 billion education budget
Montgomery Advertiser – A horde strolls in and grabs what they can: String of mass shoplifting shocks store owners
Montgomery Advertiser – CEO sentenced to 1 year for conspiring to bribe Alabama legislator in diabetes clinic scheme
YellowHammer News – Trump Jr. to Roy Moore: ‘Time to ride off into the sunset, Judge’
YellowHammer News – Report: Byrne believes Roy Moore will enter Senate race in June
YellowHammer News – State Senate committee approves bill incentivizing tech companies to ‘stay and grow’ in Alabama
Dothan Eagle  – U.S. Rep. Martha Roby tours Bell Helicopter as huge Navy contract decision looms.
Dothan Eagle – Daleville council member facing of sex charges allegedly sends victim a birthday card
Dothan Eagle – Defense claims DNA doesn’t match; requests speedy trial or bond
Dothan Eagle – Trial continued for man charged in Pettus Street murder
Tuscaloosa News – ‘Anti-Road Rage Act’: In the fast lane, you must pass others
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama House OKs $7.1B education budget with teacher raise
Tuscaloosa News – Divided committee OKs Alabama parole board changes
Decatur Daily – $7.1 billion education budget clears House, varies from Senate version
Decatur Daily – City, museum group want meeting on civil rights museum
Decatur Daily – Boy dies in Smith Lake boating accident
Times Daily – ‘Positive’ $7.1 billion education clears House, varies from Senate version
Times Daily – Pardons and Paroles overhaul bill advances
Times Daily – Plumbing problem damages carpet in county offices
Gadsden Times – Dog wakes boy in time for him, sister to escape blaze
Gadsden Times – Appeals court denies stay for inmate on death row
Gadsden Times – Roy Moore to enter Senate race
Anniston Star – ‘Positive’ $7.1 billion education clears House, varies from Senate version
Anniston Star – Man killed in Monday crash on Leon Smith Parkway
Anniston Star – Montevallo man charged with rape, sodomy in Calhoun County
Troy Messenger – WRIT IN STONE: Plaque memorializes Goshen veterans
Troy Messenger – Council approves agreement to bring new retail center
Troy Messenger – Premier gives Jeep to PCHS grad
Andalusia Star News – Man charged for burglary, theft
Andalusia Star News – Sanford, sheriff’s office to partner for law enforcement
Andalusia Star News – County ends contract for solid waste enforcement
Opelika-Auburn News – Lee County gets class 4 ISO rating; commission OKs resurfacing roads
Opelika-Auburn News – Eufaula man dies in apparent Phenix City drive-by shooting
Opelika-Auburn News – Teen girl killed near Salem when vehicle overturns; several water deaths reported in region
Daily Mountain Eagle – 44 arrests made over holiday weekend
Daily Mountain Eagle – Tucker busy with changes as probate judge
Daily Mountain Eagle – Walker County Lake closed
Trussville Tribune – Trussville City Council: Linden Street to be closed for 45 days starting June 4
Trussville Tribune – Man dies after suffering snake bite at Smith Lake
Trussville Tribune – City of Clay not holding fishing rodeo this year, adding fence to Cosby Lake peninsula
Sand Mountain Reporter – DAV receives $5,000 grant to fight suicide
WSFA Montgomery – Human trafficking bills pass Ala. House, now head to Senate
WSFA Montgomery – Lawmakers react to ADOC strategic plan
WSFA Montgomery – Florida man looking for owner of urn necklace found on Siesta Key Beach
Fox 6 Birmingham – Fire heavily damages Flying J gas station in McCalla
Fox 6 Birmingham – Woman grateful to be alive after shootout outside her home
Fox 6 Birmingham – World Health Organization classifies “Burnout” as a disease
WAFF Huntsville – Jackson County authorities searching for escaped inmate trustee
WAFF Huntsville – Valley families patient, but expecting results on medical marijuana
WAFF Huntsville – Owens Cross Roads man accused of using app to meet child for sex act in another city
WKRG Mobile – ECSO investigating after someone robbed at knife point
WKRG Mobile – Alternative hearing device becoming a game changer for patients
WKRG Mobile – Murder victim was a mother of three, described as a “mother to everyone”
WTVY Dothan – Chaos as dozens of shots fired in Montgomery parking lot
WTVY Dothan – Roby frustrated about delay in passing disaster relief bill
WTVY Dothan – Justin McNelley sits down with Chip Lindsey and Scott Cross
WASHINGTON POST  – Democrats aim not-so-friendly fire at Trump over military deferments
WASHINGTON POST  – Contributor James Comey: No ‘treason.’ No coup. Just lies — and dumb lies at that.
WASHINGTON POST  – Disaster aid stalls again in House after second Republican objects
NEW YORK TIMES  – Which Box Do You Check? Some States Are Offering a Nonbinary Option
NEW YORK TIMES  – Joe Biden Debuts Education Plan, Then Touts It to Teachers’ Union

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