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Daily News Digest – Wednesday, June 12

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, June 12.

1. Pocket vetoes.

  • Two bills failed to become law this week after Gov. Kay Ivey declined to sign them.
  • Interestingly, it looks like the governor would have signed them but for some drafting errors in the legislation that could have led to some unintended consequences.
  • House Bill 262, one of Rep. Merika Coleman’s human trafficking bills, would have prohibited without a court order the publishing of photos of those charged with prostitution, while allowing publication of photos of those charged with soliciting or procuring prostitution. It was nicknamed the “John-shaming” bill.
  • But in reviewing the bill, the governor’s office raised a red flag: some language could have made the law more ambiguous and potentially more detrimental to victims of human trafficking.
  • House bill 213, a campaign finance bill from Rep. Juandalynn Givan, was intended to make candidates’ campaign finance spending on elections days more transparent. But a Senate-added amendment inadvertently made it less transparent by pushing back the final reporting day by two days, Secretary of State John Merrill told Alabama Daily News. So basically, you’d have no last day reporting requirement, which could lead to all sorts of problems.
  • Under Alabama’s constitution, if a bill is not signed by the governor it fails to become law in what is referred to as a “pocket veto.” Monday was the deadline for Ivey to sign bills passed during the last days of the 2019 Regular Session.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Mary Sell and Caroline Beck HERE.


2. Runoff in HD74.

Turnout was light in yesterday’s special primary election for Montgomery-based House District 74, and the result is a runoff between Republicans Charlotte Meadows and David Fritz.
Democrat Rayford Mack had no opposition and secured his party’s nomination by default.
Meadows won 44 percent of the vote and Fritz captured 22 percent. 50 percent plus one is needed to win without a runoff.
The GOP runoff will be held August 27, the same day as the Montgomery mayoral election, which should increase voter turnout.
Participation was paltry Tuesday. I’ve seen SGA elections with higher turnout. Here was the vote breakdown out of 2,771 ballots cast:
  • Charlotte Meadows – 1,218 (43.95%)
  • Michael Fritz – 618 (22.30%)
  • Jesse Caleb Heifner – 321 (11.58%)
  • Daniel Sparkman – 307 (11.07%)
  • Tobias Grant – 192 (6.92%)
  • Jay King – 115 (4.15%)
Read more on the race from The Montgomery Advertiser’s Brian Lyman HERE .

3. Special Election in HD42.

A special election has been set for State House District 42, which was vacated after the passing of State Rep. Jimmy Martin, R-Clanton, during the final days of the session.
Gov. Kay Ivey has set the following election dates:
  • Candidate qualifying: Tuesday, June 18
  • Primary: Tuesday, August 20
  • Primary runoff (if needed): Tuesday, November 5
  • General (if no primary runoff): Tuesday, November 5
  • General (if primary runoff): Tuesday, January 21
The district includes most of Chilton County, including the county seat of Clanton, and growing northeastern Autauga County.
Some of the names floating as potential candidates are Chilton County Commissioners Jimmie Hardee and Allen Canton, and Autauga County Commission Vice Chairman Van Smith.
We had some analysis of these candidates in the last edition of Inside Alabama Politics , which is updated with a map of the district, if you are so inclined.

4. Staffing up.

  • Gov. Kay Ivey has named Leah Garner as her new Communications Director.
  • In related staff changes, Gina Maiola has been promoted to Press Secretary and Lori Jhons has been promoted Director of Digital Media Relations.
  • Garner currently works as the Director of Governmental and Advocacy for the Business Council of Alabama. She has worn a number of hats at BCA for the last five years, from helping coordinate the ProgressPAC political wing to working with the media. Before BCA she worked in communications at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and was Deputy Press Secretary during former Gov. Robert Bentley’s first term. Garner also brings experience and knowledge of education policy, both from her work as a teacher and helping lead BCA’s education efforts.
  • Maiola and Jhons are both current deputy press secretaries in the governor’s press office. They have been leading the governor’s media efforts since early April, when former Press Secretary Daniel Sparkman stepped down to run for the state House of Representatives.
  • That work during the very busy legislative session clearly made an impression on Ivey, hence their promotions.
  • Subscribers to our sister publication Inside Alabama Politics had this news first yesterday, but now it’s out from behind the paywall and you don’t have to ask to borrow anyone’s username and password.
  • Read and share the full story via ADN HERE.

5. AP News Briefs.


Jon Stewart rips Congress over 9/11 fund
  • Comedian Jon Stewart scolded Congress Tuesday for failing to ensure that a victims’ compensation fund set up after the 9/11 attacks never runs out of money.
  • Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders, angrily called out lawmakers for failing to attend a hearing on a bill to ensure the fund can pay benefits for the next 70 years. Pointing to rows of empty seats at a House Judiciary Committee hearing room, Stewart said “sick and dying” first responders and their families came to Washington for the hearing, only to face a nearly deserted dais.
  • The sparse attendance by lawmakers was “an embarrassment to the country and a stain on this institution,” Stewart said, adding that the “disrespect” shown to first responders now suffering from respiratory ailments and other illnesses “is utterly unacceptable.”
  • Lawmakers from both parties said they support the bill and were monitoring the hearing amid other congressional business.
  • Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., predicted the bill will pass with overwhelming support and said lawmakers meant no disrespect as they moved in and out of the subcommittee hearing, a common occurrence on Capitol Hill.
  • Read more and watch video of the exchange HERE.
Southern Baptist Convention takes steps to fight sex abuse
  • Confronting an unprecedented sex-abuse crisis, delegates at the Southern Baptist Convention’s national meeting voted Tuesday to make it easier to expel churches that mishandle abuse cases.
  • The Rev. J.D. Greear, president of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, said the SBC faced a “defining moment” that would shape the church for generations to come.
  • “This is not a distraction from the mission,” Greear said of the fight against sex abuse. “Protecting God’s children is the mission of the church.”
  • Read the full story from Jay Reeves HERE.
Ivey signs bill creating medical marijuana study commission
  • A new medical marijuana study commission will make recommendations for Alabama legislators to consider next year.
  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said Monday that the governor had signed the bill by Republican Sen. Tim Melson of Florence. The commission is tasked with helping to draft legislation ahead of the 2020 session.
  • The measure was approved as a compromise after a bill to allow medical marijuana stalled in the Alabama Legislature.
  • Melson’s original bill would have allowed patients with certain medical conditions to purchase medical marijuana with a doctor’s approval. The Alabama Senate approved the measure, but the proposal hit opposition in the House of Representatives.
  • The signed bill also extends Carly’s Law that allows some patients to access CBD oil through a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Tiny Earthquake
  • The U.S. Geological Service reports a 2.4 magnitude earthquake occurred at noon on Tuesday in Jackson County, Alabama.
  • The Alabama Emergency Management Agency says the northeastern region of the state has a history of small quakes.
  • Shaking from small magnitude events like this is not typically associated with structural damage.
  • The U.S.G.S. says a magnitude 2 quake is usually only felt by a few people, while a magnitude 3 quake is quite noticeable to people indoors.


A message from the Alabama Food Bank Association
Alabama’s network of Feeding America food banks are offering free summer meals across our state for kids and teens. 
To find meals in your community, text “FOOD” to 877-877 or visit our website at  and click on “find a summer feeding site.”
And please share the summer meals link with your friends and constituents!




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘John-Shaming’ bill pocket vetoed by Governor
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – VIDEO: Jon Stewart lashes out at Congress over 9/11 victims fund
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey names Leah Garner Communications Director
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Southern Baptists meet; endorse steps against sex abuse
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey signs chemical castration law, process details still pending
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Governor, state leaders begin push to abolish elected school board
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – June 11, 2019
INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – Staffing up in the Governor’s Office; Jimmy Martin hard to replace; A new name for Senate 2020; Winners and Losers from the Legislative Session; Ainsworth makes a mark; Lawmakers push back on California boycott calls; Inside the Supreme Court’s Hubbard appeal.
AL.COM  – Charlotte Meadows, Michael Fritz in runoff for Montgomery House seat
AL.COM  – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey picks communication director
AL.COM  – Gov. Kay Ivey sets special election to fill Jimmy Martin’s House seat
AL.COM  – First earthquake detected in north Alabama in 2019
AL.COM  – New law reduces unemployment compensation in Alabama
AL.COM  – ‘How many kids will it take?’ Protesters demand Southern Baptists do more to fight sex abuse
AL.COM  – Medical marijuana isn’t legal in Alabama; Bill only establishes study
AL.COM  – Life expectancy for Alabamians low, but there’s some good news
Montgomery Advertiser – Meadows, Fritz headed to GOP runoff in House District 74
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man charged in shooting
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man charged with domestic violence
Montgomery Advertiser – Ivey calls special election to fill Jimmy Martin’s House 42 seat on Aug. 20
YellowHammer News – Mazda Toyota Manufacturing embraces Alabama hometown’s space roots
YellowHammer News – Ivey appoints Garner as communications director, promotes two comms staffers
YellowHammer News – Ivey signs equal pay act into law
Dothan Eagle – Reduced unemployment compensation in Alabama begins Jan. 1
Dothan Eagle – Better Business Bureau issues alert on Ozark boutique
Dothan Eagle – Houston County deputies find missing Cottonwood woman
Tuscaloosa News – Former Tuscaloosa teacher is Ivey’s new communications director
Tuscaloosa News – Testimony begins in reckless murder trial over Holt shooting
Tuscaloosa News – Mayor Walt Maddox addresses recent wave of gun crimes
Tuscaloosa News – Witness recounts bloody beating death of Emmett Kyzer
Decatur Daily – ‘John shaming’ bill pocket vetoed by governor
Decatur Daily – Divided Morgan Commission OKs constructing new annex buildings
Decatur Daily – Bibbee pushes for nonprofit to pay for plaque mistake
Times Daily – Shoals economy nets $600K from AHSAA tournament
Times Daily – ‘John shaming’ bill pocket vetoed by governor
Times Daily – Council approves contract for culvert replacement
Anniston Star – Jay Johnson resigns as Anniston’s city manager
Anniston Star – Gov. Ivey signs chemical castration law, process details still pending
Anniston Star – Oxford seeks help in gaining its own post office
Gadsden Times – Sex abuse crisis tops Southern Baptists’ agenda
Gadsden Times – State adds Pre-K classes in Etowah County
Gadsden Times – Catholic Center for Concern needs additional funds
Troy Messenger – GONE FISHING: ‘Kids Fishing Day’ creates life-long memories
Troy Messenger – First responders discuss universal radio system
Troy Messenger – AirBnB owners bring noise complaint about Infusions bar to council
Andalusia Star News – Fuel tax expected to generate $1.18 million in local community
Andalusia Star News – County OKs pay plan for maintaining roads for DCNR
Andalusia Star News – County Commissioners appoint arena advisory board
Opelika-Auburn News – Trial begins for second suspect in 2016 Cusseta home invasion
Opelika-Auburn News – Phenix City police investigating two overnight shootings, one fatal
Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn school board approves $19M bid for Drake Middle construction
Daily Mountain Eagle – BSCC receives $950K from state to expand mine training facility
Daily Mountain Eagle – Patching potholes on Empire Road
Trussville Tribune – Clay Council receives audit presentation, next meeting to be held at Fire Station 4
Trussville Tribune – Trussville business owner expresses gratitude to city employees ‘who are the heart of the great city’s success’
Trussville Tribune – Part of rezoning plans for Carrington Lakes recommended by Trussville P&Z
Athens News Courier – LCSO: Suspected porch pirate followed delivery trucks
Athens News Courier – Assembly lines at MTM plant to be named Apollo, Discovery
Athens News Courier – Investors should guard against tunnel vision on trade wars
WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery police take ‘barricaded subject’ into custody
WSFA Montgomery – Meadows, Fritz set for runoff in GOP nomination for House District 74
WSFA Montgomery – Could we see a lottery proposal to help fund prisons?
Fox 6 Birmingham – How the state plans to enforce new chemical castration law
Fox 6 Birmingham – Protesters gather outside Southern Baptist Convention
Fox 6 Birmingham – Abandoned cemetery situation close to resolution
WAFF Huntsville – Authorities respond to boating incident on Wheeler Lake, one person missing
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville adding new bus routes
WAFF Huntsville – Alligator found in Lauderdale County
WKRG Mobile – BREAKING: Daphne Waffle House robbed, K9 searching for suspect in wooded area
WKRG Mobile – UPDATE: Man shot on Stanton Road near Holloway Elementary School
WKRG Mobile – Conecuh County fugitive on crime spree in Escambia County
WTVY Dothan – Dothan Leisure Services offers a therapeutic recreation program
WTVY Dothan – Fundamentals of Modern Maintenance
WTVY Dothan – Restructuring in full swing at Dothan Prep and Honeysuckle
WASHINGTON POST  – Justice Dept. to Congress: Back off contempt process, or Barr will ask Trump to shield census documents
WASHINGTON POST  – Contributor Ronald Krotoszynski: Sorry, Hugh Culverhouse. Alabama law school class sizes aren’t your call.
WASHINGTON POST  – GOP leader concedes tax cuts may not pay for themselves as 2019 deficit grows
NEW YORK TIMES  – Contributor Mary Ziegler: The End of the Rape and Incest Exception: Republicans are abandoning language that has long been standard in abortion bans. Why?
NEW YORK TIMES  – Trump Touts Mexico Deal, but Reveals No Details

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