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Daily News Digest – October 13, 2021

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, October 13.


1. Off to the (House) races

  • The 2022 election cycle is heating up!
  • With four months to go before qualifying ends, it is already clear that there will be significant turnover in the Alabama Legislature.
  • We’ll start in the House of Representatives, where there about 20 open seats ahead of the 2022 cycle and several incumbents have announced primary challengers. Candidates have until Jan. 28 to qualify.
  • Meanwhile, legislative districts could change, some significantly, when lawmakers later this month or early next month redraw lines with new census data.
  • Read an update on who is and isn’t running from Mary Sell along with our updated chart HERE.



2. As Democrats press forward with IRS monitoring rule, Tuberville seeks support for countermeasure

  • U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville was in Birmingham Tuesday touting his legislation that would thwart a plan by the Biden administration and congressional Democrats to allow the Internal Revenue Service to monitor smaller bank transactions in order to prevent tax fraud.
  • A proposal under President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” taxing and spending plan would allow the IRS to monitor individual and business financial transactions of $600 or more. Currently, the Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to report transactions of $10,000 or more.
  • Democrats and the Biden administration say the new rule is part of an enforcement effort that seeks to close the “tax gap” by collecting as much as $600 billion annually that goes unpaid. Tuberville and his Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill call it a government intrusion that will negatively impact people and banks.
  • Alabama Daily News first reported on the issue in late September when it was still unclear how officials might proceed on the IRS proposal. Since then, top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, have committed to moving forward with the plan.
  • Read more HERE.



3. 2 inmates killed within a week in state prisons

  • Two inmates were killed within a week in reported assaults in Alabama prisons, a system that is facing a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit over excessive violence.
  • Kristi Simpson, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Corrections, confirmed the deaths and said they are under investigation.
  • The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office said a 31-year-old inmate died Monday morning after a reported assault at Donaldson Correctional Facility. The ADOC identified the man as Kenneth Gilchrist.
  • Travis Hutchins, a 34-year-old inmate at Bibb Correctional Facility, died Thursday of injuries from another inmate-on-inmate assault involving a weapon.
  • Both deaths are under investigation by the ADOC Law Enforcement Services Division, Simpson said. She said the exact causes of death are pending the results of full autopsies.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice last year filed a lawsuit against Alabama accusing the state of failing to protect male inmates from inmate-on-inmate violence and excessive force at the hands of prison staff.
  • Read more HERE.



4. ‘Difficult decisions’ as Biden, Democrats shrink plan to $2T

  • With the calendar slipping toward a new deadline, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning that “difficult decisions must be made” to trim President Joe Biden’s expansive plans for reimagining the nation’s social service programs and tackling climate change.
  • Democrats are laboring to chisel the $3.5 trillion package to about $2 trillion, a still massive proposal that would be paid for with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy. And with no votes to spare, they must somehow satisfy the party’s competing moderate and progressive lawmakers needed for any deal.
  • It’s all raising tough questions that Biden and his party are rushing to answer by the deadline for passage, Oct. 31.
  • Republicans are dead set against the package. So Biden and his party are left to deliberate among themselves along familiar lines, centrists and moderates, with all eyes still on two key holdouts, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, whose votes are crucial in the evenly divided Senate.
  • Read more from Lisa Mascaro HERE.


5. FDA authorizes first e-cigarette, cites benefit for smokers

  • For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday authorized an electronic cigarette, saying the vaping device from R.J. Reynolds can help smokers cut back on conventional cigarettes.
  • E-cigarettes have been sold in the U.S. for more than a decade with minimal government oversight or research. Facing a court deadline, the FDA has been conducting a sweeping review of vaping products to determine which ones should be allowed to remain on the market.
  • The agency said in September it had rejected applications for more than a million e-cigarettes and related products, mainly due to their potential appeal to underage teens. But regulators delayed making decisions on most of the major vaping companies, including market leader Juul, which is still pending.
  • Tuesday’s decision only applies to Vuse’s Solo e-cigarette and its tobacco-flavored nicotine cartridges. The agency said data from the company showed the e-cigarette helped smokers significantly reduce their exposure to the harmful chemicals in traditional cigarettes.
  • While the products can now be legally sold in the U.S., the FDA stressed they are neither safe nor “FDA approved,” and that people who don’t smoke shouldn’t use them.
  • Read more HERE.




Inside Alabama Politics – October 7, 2021


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Who’s running? 2022 Alabama House races update


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – As Democrats press forward with IRS monitoring rule, Tuberville seeks support for countermeasure


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 2 inmates killed within a week in state prisons


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Difficult decisions’ as Biden, Democrats shrink plan to $2T


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – FDA authorizes first e-cigarette, cites benefit for smokers


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marsh gauging ‘real interest’ in education for 2022


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations way down statewide


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Merck asks FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge: Prison staffing levels will be issue on DOJ lawsuit


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House returns to stave off default with debt limit vote


AL.COM – Fairfield among potential sites for $3 billion U.S. Steel mini-mill


AL.COM – Huntsville wins 500 jobs building America’s next-generation missile defense


AL.COM – As former GOP congressman vies to become a university president, conservative voting record comes up


AL.COM – With equity resolution, Birmingham schools pushes against state critical race theory ban


AL.COM – Alabama gas prices saw some of the steepest rises last week.


AL.COM – Jefferson County parent appeals school mask lawsuit to Alabama Supreme Court


Montgomery Advertiser – Five injured in two-vehicle wreck involving ambulance on Federal Drive


Montgomery Advertiser – Photos: Annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration in downtown Montgomery


Montgomery Advertiser – North Burbank Drive shooting kills 13-year-old; juvenile charged with manslaughter


Decatur Daily – Home2 Suites hotel to be built in Athens


Decatur Daily – Morgan courthouse annex tentative opening date: Jan. 1


Decatur Daily – Hartselle adopts online social-emotional learning program


Times Daily – Florence budget includes 3% pay raise for employees


Times Daily – Designs are being drawn for new Muscle Shoals fire station


Times Daily – Colbert Water Department to save $400K refinancing bonds


Anniston Star – Bank acquisition brings new signage to Commerce Towers


Anniston Star – Local school districts not hurting for staff


Anniston Star – Veterans group cancels Anniston parade


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – City of Hoover working to address flooding issues after historic rainfall


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – School lunches reportedly better after major supply issues


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Pelham declares local state of emergency after flooding


Tuscaloosa News – Conner Smith song ‘I Hate Alabama’ dwells on a lost love, not just the dominant Tide


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama will have new license plates in 2022


Tuscaloosa News – Cooler weather expected for 50th annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts


YellowHammer News – State Rep. Kenneth Paschal seeking full term in Alabama House of Representatives


YellowHammer News – Federal judge maintains staffing levels still an issue in DOJ lawsuit against Alabama prison system


Gadsden Times – Etowah County man charged with 105 counts of promoting prostitution


Gadsden Times – Alabama will have new license plates in 2022


Gadsden Times – Attalla Heritage Day set for Saturday, rain or shine


Dothan Eagle – US talks global cybersecurity without a key player: Russia


Dothan Eagle – Energy agency urges bigger global push to cut emissions


Dothan Eagle – US to reopen land borders in November for fully vaccinated


Opelika-Auburn News – Report says UK’s slow virus lockdown cost 1000s of lives


Opelika-Auburn News – Surging California winds spark new wildfires, power outages


Opelika-Auburn News – China pledges $230 million for biodiversity fund at UN meet


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery Area Food Bank sees distribution increase during pandemic


WSFA Montgomery – Fall display in Pike Road neighborhood vandalized


WSFA Montgomery – Law enforcement agencies reflect on Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney’s case two years later


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville holds star-studded Lee Greenwood tribute concert


WAFF Huntsville – Lee Greenwood partners with Breland Homes, Helping a Hero Program to award new homes to Veterans


WAFF Huntsville – Guntersville Taco Bell shooting suspect claims self-defense


WKRG Mobile – Capt. Kirk’s William Shatner on cusp of blasting into space


WKRG Mobile – Florida fines county $3.5 million for mandating vaccines


WKRG Mobile – Child tax credit: Here’s when next payment is coming


WTVY Dothan – Henry County Commission approves corrections program


WTVY Dothan – Henry County Commission decides against severe weather tax free weekend


WTVY Dothan – Abbeville Police seize $50,000 in drugs after traffic stop


WASHINGTON POST – Ban on vaccine mandates in Texas sharpens political battle lines


WASHINGTON POST – As supply chain troubles mount, Biden to tout longer hours for L.A. port


WASHINGTON POST – Southwest’s meltdown could foreshadow a messy holiday season


NEW YORK TIMES – China’s Power Problems Expose a Strategic Weakness


NEW YORK TIMES – Private Equity Funds, Sensing Profit in Tumult, Are Propping Up Oil


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: U.S. to Reopen Canada and Mexico Borders for Vaccinated Visitors


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Inflation Likely Stayed High in September


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Social Security Payments Could Increase the Most in 40 Years


WALL STREET JOURNAL – JPMorgan Profit Jumps on Reserve Release




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