It’s Columbus Day, which means many state and federal employees are enjoying a day off work. Wish it weren’t so soggy out for you.
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, October 12.
1. Confirmation hearings begin
- Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett are set to begin as a divided Senate charges ahead on President Donald Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and cement a conservative court majority before Election Day.
- Barrett, a federal appeals court judge, will tell the Senate Judiciary Committee that she is “forever grateful” for Ginsburg’s trailblazing path as a woman. But she is resolved to maintain the perspective of her own mentor, the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia and “apply the law as written,” according to her prepared opening remarks for the hearings, which begin today on Capitol Hill.
- “Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,” Barrett says in the remarks.
- Republicans, who control the Senate, are moving quickly to seat Barrett before the Nov. 3 election to secure Trump’s pick and hear a high-profile challenge to the Affordable Care Act and any election-related challenges.
- Democrats are trying in vain to delay the fast-track confirmation by raising fresh concerns about the safety of meeting during the pandemic after two GOP senators on the panel tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
- Read more about the nomination HERE.
- Read a “viewers guide” about what to expect over the next few days and watch live HERE.
2. Lawmaker proposes new licensing requirements on small, in-home child care providers
- A north Alabama lawmaker says it’s time to revisit the requirement that anyone providing care in their home for one child or more must be licensed by the state.
- “When you look at our surrounding states, our current system appears to be highly restrictive,” Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, told Alabama Daily News recently. “And given the COVID situation with working parents trying to find child care for their children, offering more possibilities is certainly a good thing.”
- The state requires a license for anyone providing in-home care to a child not related to them for more than four hours in a 24-hour period.
- Orr said he plans to pre-file soon a bill easing that licensing burden. Options under his legislation could include exempting in-home providers of up to four children and creating a voluntary registration or requirements for exemption, including CPR and first aid training and background checks.
- Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.
3. State oyster harvest begins early
- Alabama officials have announced an earlier start for the upcoming oyster harvest that they hope will be even better than last season.
- The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources approved a Monday start to the season after surveys to check whether Hurricane Sally damaged Mobile Bay reefs came up clear.
- The opening applies to a zone in Heron Bay, west of the last piece of mainland before Alabama Highway 193 crosses open water to Dauphin Island. Starting Monday it will be open for weekday harvest from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- “Prior to Hurricane Sally, we surveyed the public oyster bottoms and discovered they showed a potential for harvest that exceeded the previous season,” said Scott Bannon, director of the department’s Marine Resources Division. “We still have some concerns about the hurricane’s impact on the bottoms, but sample trips after Sally made landfall leave us feeling optimistic that catchers could have a better season than in recent years.”
- Read more HERE.
4. Stacy Column: Fun with electoral math
- We are three weeks and one day out of Election Day, making this truly the homestretch of this seemingly never-ending presidential race.
- When you’re a political nerd like me, this is when it starts getting really fun: sifting through polling like catnip, playing with maps to see various election results and hypothesizing about the crazy outcomes that could happen under our system.
- I recently wrote a piece for Inside Alabama Politics about all of this, and now it is liberated out from behind the paywall for all to enjoy, hate or otherwise tolerate.
- Read it in full HERE.
5. Top 25: Clemson, Bama, Georgia remain on top, Florida drops
- No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia held steady at the top of the rankings Sunday, setting up a top-three matchup Saturday when the Crimson Tide hosts the Bulldogs.
- That’s already getting ‘game of the century’ hype, which I’m pretty sure is used once or twice every year.
- Florida fell to No. 10 after losing to Texas A&M, but still somehow is ranked above the No. 11 Aggies.
- Auburn fell one spot to No. 15 after sneaking past a scrappy Arkansas team.
- LSU fell out of the rankings completely after losing to Missouri.
- Read more and see the full rankings HERE.
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