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Daily News Digest – November 16, 2021

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Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, November 16.


1. Labor shortage hitting state agencies

  • The labor shortage that is impacting the private sector nationwide has now made its way to the Alabama state employee workforce.
  • Agencies and departments are experiencing a higher than normal employee turnover rate and more job vacancies, State Personnel Director Jackie Graham recently told ADN.
  • “Critical positions with the Department of Human Resources and Department of Corrections are becoming harder to fill,” Graham said. “Also, fewer job applicants are responding to state agencies in their recruitment efforts.”
  • Labor shortages nationwide have persisted following the COVID-19-related economic slowdowns, despite cuts to pandemic-related unemployment assistance.
  • Graham said her department is working with agencies on ideas to help retain and recruit workers.
  • Alabama state employees’ pay and several benefits outpace those of neighboring states, according to a recent presentation to lawmakers.
  • In 2020, state employees in Alabama had an annual wage of $57,841, more than surrounding states.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.
  • And in case you missed it, read Mary’s feature story on the ongoing teacher shortage HERE.



2. Biden signs $1T infrastructure deal

  • President Joe Biden signed his hard-fought $1 trillion infrastructure deal into law Monday before a bipartisan, celebratory crowd on the White House lawn, declaring that the new infusion of cash for roads, bridges, ports and more is going to make life “change for the better” for the American people.
  • But prospects are tougher for further bipartisanship ahead of the 2022 midterm elections as Biden pivots back to more difficult negotiations over his broader $1.85 trillion social spending package.
  • The president hopes to use the infrastructure law to build back his popularity, which has taken a hit amid rising inflation and the inability to fully shake the public health and economic risks from COVID-19.
  • Read more about the event HERE.
  • Read more about what’s in the bill HERE.




A message from


  • It’s National Apprenticeship Week and in Alabama we have progress to celebrate.
  • The Department of Early Childhood Education became the first state agency to sponsor an apprenticeship to help address the teacher shortage.
  • The Alabama Board of Nursing created a Nurse Apprentice License to facilitate development of apprenticeships for RNs.
  • The Alabama Trucking Association helped design the state’s first competency based CDL program.
  • Alabama A&M University launched the first master’s degree apprenticeship to combat the shortage of mental health resources.
  • We cannot PAY our way out of a skills gap. We have to TRAIN our way out of a skills gap.
  • Learn more at




3. Marshall sues to stop Biden health care worker vaccine mandate

  • Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all health care workers.
  • This is the third lawsuit brought by the state of Alabama in recent weeks challenging federal vaccine mandates. Marshall cited concerns over the state’s available workforce since, unlike the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s mandate for large employers, the mandate for health care workers does not allow for weekly testing in lieu of vaccination.
  • “One can only imagine the damage that will be done by this mandate to already short-staffed rural and community hospitals, clinics and nursing homes that receive federal funds for Medicare and Medicaid services,” Marshall said in a press release.
  • Monday’s lawsuit seeks to block the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services vaccine mandate President Joe Biden announced on Nov. 4.
  • Marshall has already filed lawsuits against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contract workers and for employers with 100 or more employees.
  • Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.


4. Lawsuits challenge new legislative, congressional lines

  • A pair of lawsuits announced Monday are challenging Alabama’s new congressional and legislative districts as racially gerrymandered to diminish the voting power of Black and minority voters.
  • The lawsuits argue the new districts unlawfully pack Black voters into a small number of districts — limiting their ability to influence elections outside those districts — and break up minority communities elsewhere in the state. The cases were brought on behalf of Greater Birmingham Ministries, Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, and several individuals who are being represented by advocacy groups.
  • The lawsuits are asking federal judges to block the maps from being used in the 2022 elections.
  • Read more HERE.



5. Ivey names Liz Filmore chief of staff

  • Liz Dowe Filmore will replace Jo Bonner as Gov. Kay Ivey’s chief of staff, becoming the first female to hold the position in Alabama, Ivey’s office said Monday.
  • Filmore, previously the top deputy in the position, has been an advisor to Ivey since 2013, when she worked on Ivey’s re-election campaign for lieutenant governor.
  • “Loyalty and integrity are two of the most important qualifications needed to be an effective chief of staff,” Ivey said in a statement. “Liz possesses both of these qualities and more. I am proud she has agreed to take on the critical responsibilities that accompany this position.”
  • Bonner, who previously represented southwest Alabama in Congress, was selected as the next president of the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He will remain on Ivey’s staff through the end of the year.
  • Read more HERE.




A message from


  • Using bill tracking software shouldn’t be rocket science. Your time is valuable.
  • FastDemocracy provides the most accurate and up-to-date information so you’re always well-informed and on top of everything happening in Montgomery.
  • Email [email protected] to get a demo and don’t forget to use the promo code ALDAILYNEWS.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Labor shortage hitting state agencies


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marshall sues to stop Biden healthcare worker vaccine mandate


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawsuits challenge new legislative, congressional lines


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden signs $1T infrastructure deal


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Roads, transit, internet: What’s in the infrastructure plan


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey taps Liz Filmore as chief of staff


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – NFIB: Support small businesses this holiday season


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In teacher shortage, advocates stress better benefits


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Groundbreaking held for nearly $760M west Alabama highway


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama man arrested in DC for guns, explosives admits guilt


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Congress returns with eye on Biden’s big budget bill


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – With Dems’ prized bill at stake, a numbers game looms ahead


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Auburn QB Bo Nix to have season-ending ankle surgery


AL.COM – Workers sue Alabama rocket plant over vaccine policy


AL.COM – ‘This is Africatown’s house’: Museum to tell story of slave ship Clotilda set to open in April or May 2022


AL.COM – Pregnant woman shouldn’t be prosecuted for refilling pain pills, says Republican Alabama lawmaker


AL.COM – With Patrick Leahy and Shelby retiring, Senate Appropriations Committee likely to be led by women


AL.COM – Take a first look at Mazda crossover SUV to be built in Huntsville


AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson: Don’t merely delay reading holdback law, scrap it and find something smarter


AL.COM – Ed Lab Live: Hear from national experts on what can help Alabama students regain reading skills


AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: Breaking up with our culture of fear this holiday season


Montgomery Advertiser – Advocate Patrick Aitken battles cancer while organizing drive to help the homeless


Montgomery Advertiser – Members of the 908th Airlift Wing return from deployment


Montgomery Advertiser – Tale of two streets: Renaming movement finds some Southern streets divided


Decatur Daily – Female employee killed in forklift accident at Athens lumber company


Times Daily – Bentley seeks D-3 state House seat


Times Daily – Ag authority board accepts ALDOT’s right of way offer


Times Daily – Tuscumbia’s Commercial Row featured on Civitan Christmas ornament


Anniston Star – Fellowship group hands out food, warm clothing


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – B’ham PD: ATM stolen from North Birmingham bank; search underway


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Childersburg Fire Dept. discusses the importance of fire safety


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Law enforcement praises technology for helping fight crime


Tuscaloosa News – State-of-the-art Saban Center won’t include branch of Tuscaloosa Public Library


Tuscaloosa News – Gov. Kay Ivey’s chief of staff named president of the University of South Alabama


Tuscaloosa News – Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa County donates 15 vehicles to schools


YellowHammer News – Gov. Kay Ivey promotes Liz Filmore to chief of staff, will become first female to hold position in state history


Gadsden Times – Alabama redistricting: Take a look at maps for new congressional, legislative districts


Gadsden Times – Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to be collected this week


Gadsden Times – Friends, family members walk in remembrance of those touched by COVID-19


Dothan Eagle – Polish forces use water cannons on migrants who threw stones


Dothan Eagle – Blinken to Africa to boost US response to regional crises


Dothan Eagle – German agency suspends approval process for Russia pipeline


Opelika-Auburn News – Democrat Beto O’Rourke running for Texas governor in 2022


Opelika-Auburn News – Top pics from the weekend: Belarus-Poland border and more


Opelika-Auburn News – Cuban dissident leaders call for a protest over curbs on civil rights


WSFA Montgomery – Mayor Reed seeks appointment power to the Montgomery Airport Authority


WSFA Montgomery – Teacher returns home after donating kidney to former student’s mom


WSFA Montgomery – Lawsuits challenge new legislative, congressional lines


WAFF Huntsville – Authorities search for missing man in Bear Creek


WAFF Huntsville – Thank Alabama Teachers Week; teachers feeling unappreciated


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Venue Group releases name, opening date of new amphitheater


WKRG Mobile – Alabama AG files lawsuit to block COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers


WKRG Mobile – More than 8 million tons of masks and Pandemic related waste polluting oceans, beaches, study says


WKRG Mobile – Fla. legislature begins special session to discuss protections against vaccine mandates


WTVY Dothan – Man indicted on charges he kidnapped Slocomb teen


WTVY Dothan – Downtown Enterprise gearing up for Whoville celebration


WTVY Dothan – Dothan man spends his Mondays trying to bring joy to everyone


WASHINGTON POST – In hours-long virtual meeting, Biden and Xi manage strained U.S.-China ties


WASHINGTON POST – Biden signs $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, fulfilling campaign promise and notching achievement that eluded Trump


WASHINGTON POST – CDC adds more European destinations to highest-risk travel list


NEW YORK TIMES – Biden and Xi Pledge More Cooperation, but Offer No Breakthroughs


NEW YORK TIMES – U.S.-China Summit Produces Little More Than Polite Words, but They 


NEW YORK TIMES – The Worst of Both Worlds: Zooming From the Office


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Biden, Xi Cool Down Hostilities in Virtual Meeting


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Shoppers Likely Boosted Spending Last Month, Taking on Higher Prices


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Retirement Fund Giant Calpers Votes to Use Leverage, More Alternative Assets



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