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Daily News Digest – September 27, 2021

Presented by the

Energy Institute of Alabama

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, September 27.


1. 10 things to know as the special session begins

  • Today’s the day.
  • After months of negotiations, state lawmakers will convene in Montgomery today for a special session on prisons.
  • Many are saying the session will be short, only lasting the five days it takes to pass a bill. Still, some say there could be hiccups that drag things out.
  • Set to be discussed is a plan to build two new mens prisons at a total cost of $1.2 billion, much of which will be federal American Rescue Plan Act money and borrowed in a long-term bond. A new women’s prison is in the second phase of the draft bill, but there isn’t a dedicated funding source. Renovations to existing prisons are planned in phase three.
  • Also included in the agenda are two sentencing reform bills left over from this year’s regular session.
  • Mary Sell has an excellent rundown of all you need to know as the House and Senate gavel into session later today.
  • Read her full story, 10 things to know as the special session begins, HERE.
  • See you at the State House!



2. Alcohol law goes into effect Oct. 1, but don’t expect deliveries right away

  • A new law allowing for the home delivery of beer, wine and spirits goes into effect Oct. 1, but Alabamians will have to wait longer for their favorite beverages at their front doors.
  • “The law becoming effective Oct. 1 literally means that is the first day we can begin processing applications,” Alcoholic Beverage Control Board spokesman Daniel Dye told Alabama Daily News.
  • Those applications are from retail licensees, manufacturers and third party businesses who want a delivery service license allowing them to deliver certain amounts of alcohol directly to consumers, Dye explained.
  • Once an application is received by ABC, it takes time for staff to review and confirm information then issue the license. Once approved, it may take time for businesses to finalize their delivery operations.
  • So, it’s hard to say exactly when home delivery may start and it may vary between services.
  • A spokesperson for Shipt, the Birmingham-based grocery delivery service that advocated for the law change in the 2021 legislative session, said the company plans to apply for a license as soon as they are available.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.





A message from the

Energy Institute of Alabama

  • Mercedes-Benz and Volvo are planning to phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2030 and General Motors is preparing to go fully electric by 2035. Honda targets 2040 as the date to be all-electric while Toyota has announced 70 electrified models will be available by 2025. Ford is investing $29 billion in EVs and is releasing its F-150 Lightning truck next year.
  • The message is clear: The electric vehicle revolution is here.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature recognize this certain and imminent shift and we are preparing Alabama to continue in its role as a national auto-manufacturing leader.
  • Read more in an op-ed from Rep. Danny Garrett HERE.






3. Big week ahead after budget talks hit ‘stalemate’

  • It’s another consequential week for Democrats, President Joe Biden and their legislative agenda on Capitol Hill.
  • Biden himself on Friday acknowledged the talks over his $3.5 trillion rebuilding plan have hit a “stalemate” in Congress as he made the case for his expansive effort to recast the nation’s tax and spending programs.
  • There are still major differences between the Democrats’ liberal and moderate factions, which makes finding the right balance nearly impossible with such razor thin majorities in the House and Senate.
  • The House had been set to vote today on a related $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, but that now postponed until Thursday. Moderates want that package prioritized, while progressives are threatening to sink the larger budget package if it doesn’t pass first.
  • The Senate votes today on a continuing resolution to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling ahead of Thursday’s fiscal year deadline. The measure won’t pass because Republicans are united against it. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned for months that Republicans would not help Democrats raise the debt limit and that they must find a way to do it on their own.
  • The GOP is also lockstep opposed to Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget proposal, which would be paid for by increasing the corporate tax rate, from 21% to 26.5% on businesses earning more than $5 million a year, and raising the top rate on individuals from 37% to 39.6% for those earning more than $400,000 a year, or $450,000 for couples.
  • Two Democratic holdouts, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, also have said they won’t support a bill of that size. Manchin has previously proposed spending of $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion.
  • Read more HERE.




4. Poll numbers down, justices say they aren’t politicians

  • Three Supreme Court justices delivered the same plea in rapid succession in recent days: Don’t view justices as politicians.
  • The justices have reason to be concerned. Recent polls show a sharp drop in approval of a court now dominated by conservatives.
  • The call by justices Clarence ThomasStephen Breyer and Amy Coney Barrett for the public not to see court decisions as just an extension of partisan politics isn’t new. But the timing of the recent comments is significant, just after a summer in which conservative majorities on the court prevailed over liberal dissents on abortionimmigration and evictions, and at the start of a blockbuster term.
  • Thomas, Breyer and Barrett took aim at the perception of the court as political in recent speeches and interviews.
  • Breyer, the court’s eldest member at 83 and leader of its diminished liberal wing, has spoken for years about the danger of viewing the court as “junior league politicians.”
  • But he acknowledged it can be difficult to counter the perception that judges are acting politically, particularly after cases like the one from Texas in which the court by a 5-4 vote refused to block enforcement of the state’s ban on abortions early in pregnancy.
  • “It’s pretty hard to believe when a case like those come along that we’re less divided than you might think,” Breyer said in an interview earlier this month with The Washington Post.
  • Thomas said the justices themselves were to blame for shifting perceptions of the court by taking on roles that properly belong to elected officials. “The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous,” he said at the University of Notre Dame, where Barrett taught law for many years.
  • Read more HERE.


5. AP Top 25

  • The top three teams in the country remained unchanged this week as Alabama, Georgia and Oregon each had dominating victories on Saturday.
  • Oklahoma slipped from No. 4 to No. 6 after barely beating West Virginia at home, Penn State moved up to No. 4 continuing its upward trend and Clemson dropped all the way to No. 25 after losing to Georgia Tech.
  • And Auburn actually jumped a spot to No. 22 after surviving a Homecoming scare against Georgia State.
  • Read more and see the full AP Top 25 HERE.






A message from

Cover Alabama

  • Alabama’s veterans deserve access to health care.
  • Medicaid expansion is desperately needed to help our veterans’ community.
  • Let’s show our respect for those who have served our country and give them the health security they need.







ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 10 things to know as special session begins


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alcohol law goes into effect Oct. 1, but don’t expect deliveries right away


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Big week ahead on Capitol Hill after budget talks hit ‘stalemate’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Poll numbers down, justices say they aren’t politicians


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: Clemson falls to No. 25, snapping top-10 streak


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – September 26, 2021


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Critics say prison problems go beyond buildings


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Chief justice says ruling guts access to police records


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge dismisses execution lawsuit, reprimands AG’s office


AL.COM – Alabama lawmakers will consider $1.4 billion plan to build two 4,000-bed prisons


AL.COM – House budget panel advances Biden’s giant tax, spending bill


AL.COM – US has enough COVID-19 vaccines for boosters, kids’ shots


AL.COM – What pandemic? Alabama’s booming beaches set new tourism records this summer


Montgomery Advertiser – The Alabama Legislature is about to meet on prisons. Here’s what to know.


Montgomery Advertiser – Prattville mansion for sale for just under $650K


Montgomery Advertiser – Pike Road Schools hosting job fair on Sept. 30


Decatur Daily – 10 things to know about lawmakers’ special session


Decatur Daily – Mayor to propose hiring lobbyist for third Decatur bridge


Decatur Daily – Opponents of 700-home development at Newby Farms cite traffic, drainage


Times Daily – Alabama encourages residents to fill out broadband survey


Times Daily – Commission OKs budget with 5% pay raise


Times Daily – Ag Center likely to be annexed


Anniston Star – Ivey’s call sets prison special session agenda



Anniston Star – Cancer patient support team cycles through Anniston


Anniston Star – Season’s final ‘4th Friday’ features a wet mayor


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – State health leaders say hospitals still stretched thin because staffing shortages


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham city leaders add concert tickets to vaccine incentive program


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – State health leaders worry hospitalizations will spike with less monoclonal antibody treatments being supplied to the state


Tuscaloosa News – The Alabama Legislature is about to meet on prisons. Here’s what to know.


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa City Council adopts combined $228 million fiscal 2022 operating budget


Tuscaloosa News – T.J. Bunn Jr. settles Megan Rondini lawsuit days before trial set to begin


YellowHammer News – University of Alabama welcomes record numbers of freshmen, graduate students


YellowHammer News – State Sen. Stutts: Probably a ‘yes’ on prison construction; Not in favor of adding sentencing reform issues


Gadsden Times – Missing person: Etowah County Sheriff’s Office finds missing 69-year-old woman


Gadsden Times – The Alabama Legislature is about to meet on prisons. Here’s what to know.


Gadsden Times – 21 Kids Foundation, Attalla churches unite for vaccine clinic with incentives


Dothan Eagle – ‘Moulin Rouge!’ musical wins 10 Tony Awards; Germany’s Social Dems win tight race; NFL Week 3 recap


Dothan Eagle – US officials: Biden aide to meet Saudi crown prince on Yemen


Dothan Eagle – Florida woman accused of tossing firebombs at Buddist temple


Opelika-Auburn News – Liz Weston: Is a new job the right financial move?


Opelika-Auburn News – Party that narrowly won German vote wants quick coalition


WSFA Montgomery – Woman charged with murder in Saturday night Montgomery shooting


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery 16-year-old graduates college, aiming for a second degree


WSFA Montgomery – I-85 NB near Mitylene reopens after crash


WAFF Huntsville – Alabama Supreme Court Ruling gives police departments power to release body camera footage or not


WAFF Huntsville – Hidden Rivers Farm in Hartselle has plenty of pumpkins despite heavy rain


WAFF Huntsville – The Powerball jackpot brings many Alabamians across state lines


WKRG Mobile – MCHD no longer offering COVID-19 testing, vaccinations at N. Bayou Street location starting Monday


WKRG Mobile – Gabby Petito’s father at memorial service on Long Island: ‘Most amazing person I’ve ever met’


WKRG Mobile – MCHD no longer offering COVID-19 testing, vaccinations at N. Bayou Street location starting Monday


WTVY Dothan – Annual peanut boil returns to Landmark Park


WTVY Dothan – Southern Fall on Foster draws hundreds to downtown Dothan


WTVY Dothan – Pumpkins, gourds arrive for FUMC Dothan’s annual fundraiser


WASHINGTON POST – Germany’s Social Democrats say Merkel’s party lost and should go into opposition


WASHINGTON POST – What you need to know about Olaf Scholz, possibly the next German chancellor


WASHINGTON POST – Democrats outside D.C. worry party will blow its chance of enacting historic agenda — a failure with grave political consequences


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: U.S. Vaccine Mandates Face Early Test in N.Y.


NEW YORK TIMES – The Economy Looks Solid. But These Are the Big Risks Ahead.


NEW YORK TIMES – Live Updates: Merkel’s Party Suffers Sweeping Losses as Germans Spread Vote


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Facebook Pauses Instagram Kids Project


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Germany’s Election Gives Two Smaller Parties Outsize Influence


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Cryptocurrency Exchanges Curb Trading From China After Beijing’s Warning




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