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Daily News- May 10, 2019

Good morning!
Todd’s celebrating a friend’s wedding this weekend so you’ve got me today.
Here is your Daily News for Friday, May 10, 2019

1. Chaos Erupts in Senate

  • It was quiet the day in the Senate yesterday.
  • The senate erupted in a shouting match after Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth gaveled down an amendment that was passed out of the senate committee that would provide an acceptation to Rep. Terri Collins’ abortion bill for cases of rape and incest.
  • Sen. Clyde Chambliss, who was carrying the bill in the Senate moved to table the amendment very quickly after the bill was introduced and Ainsworth sustained it before any roll call vote was able to be taken.
  • Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton immediately challenged that motion which then led to the angry and shouted exchange between Singleton and Ainsworth.
  • The Senate shortly adjourned after that and Ainsworth later said that he still stands by his actions and that he has “always followed both the spirit and letter of the Senate rules.”
  • You can read more about it from Kim Chandler HERE and watch some of the video of the chaotic scene HERE.

2. Medical Marijuana Passes Senate

  • The Senate was just full of surprises on Thursday, and before they even touched on abortion, they swiftly passed the medical marijuana bill from Sen. Tim Melson with a 17 to 6 vote.
  • After a good amount of filibustering from Sen. Larry Stutts on Wednesday it was unclear what the future of the bill looked like.
  • But once the Senate convened on Thursday before Stutts had the chance toe resume his debate, the bill was called for a vote.
  • Stutts main concerns were that not enough studies on marijuana had been done and that the larger medical community had not reached a consensus on the use of marijuana for medical treatment.
  • Another concern that was shared among some senators was the worry that by legalizing marijuana for certain medical uses, it could lead to eventually legalization for recreational use and be used as a gateway drug for harder drugs.
  • Supporters for the bill said that the language in the bill was very specific in explaining exactly which illnesses would be allowed to use marijuana for a medical treatment and were assured it could not be abused.
  • Senators also like that studies have shown that medical marijuana has helped those with opioid addictions, something that Alabama has been suffering from more than any other state.
  • Now the bill moves on to the House where Rep. Mike Ball will carry it.
  • You can read Todd and mines write up on the passage HERE.

3. Parole Board Changes Pass

  • While everyone was focused on the Senate yesterday, the House saw more than six hours worth of debate on Rep. Connie Rowe’s bill about changes to the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
  • The bill eventually passed along party lines with a 73 to 27 vote and now moves on to the Senate.
  • The bill would eliminate the nominating board that makes the recommendations to the governor for who to appoint on the three-person board.
  • Instead, the bill would allow the governor to appoint members directly with the consent of the Senate.
  • The bill also puts into law the sentence minimums that an inmate must serve before becoming eligible for parole consideration.
  • The concern for many of the Democrats was that the bill would be giving over too much power for the Governor in appointing members to board, a right that the Democrats believe should remain with the legislative body.
  • Democrats were also concerned that this was a knee-jerk reaction to the Jimmy O’Neal Spencer scandal last year who was a improperly classified as a “non-victim” offender and once released was charged with killing three other people include a 7-year-old boy.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center released a statement saying that they have data that shows the problem is not as wide spread as Rowe or Attorney General Steve Marshall are claiming.
  • I also was able to get a comment from the chair of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, Lynn Head, who told me that the board has always adopted the best practices and followed the proper models for considering parole decisions.
  • You can read all of that on my write up on the debate HERE.

4. Column: The 1986 Gubernatorial Race

  • Being that I am not originally from Alabama, I am always looking for more ways to learn about ya’ll’s interesting political history here, and that’s where Skip Tucker comes in handy.
  • In this week’s column, Skip talks about the seedy underbelly of the 1986 gubernatorial race that was a landmark for many reasons.
  • Skip explains the heated primary race and then the interesting runoff between Charlie Graddick and Bill Baxley.
  • How Skip explains the race, it sounds exactly like an episode of House of Cards, full of power, money and sex, which could probably be said for many political races in U.S. history.
  • Here is a juicy snippet:
“Here’s the thing: Politics is power. Power attracts. A high profile campaign hums with power, money and energy. Put them together and what you get isn’t bippityboppity-boo (except maybe the bop), it’s a sex magnet that attracts attractive people, some of whom will do anything to please. It’s survival of the fittest keyed to Darwin’s wildest wanderings.”

5. News Briefs

Tornado touches down in North Alabama
  • Officials say a tornado caused minor damage when it touched down near the Tennessee-Alabama state line.
  • The National Weather Service in Huntsville, Alabama, says a tornado with wind speeds of 85 mph (135 kph) touched down Thursday near U.S. Highway 231 in Lincoln County, Tennessee.
  • Officials said a tree fell on a house in Lincoln County. WSMV-TV reports that weather officials said most of the damage surveyed was in Lincoln County.
  • Damage surveys will be conducted Friday to obtain more conclusive information about the tornado.
  • Read more about it HERE.
Alabama Teacher of the year named
  • A native of Guatemala who mainly teaches Spanish-speaking students has been named Alabama’s teacher of the year.
  • News outlets report that Ana Carolina Behel of Weeden Elementary School in Florence was honored Wednesday night in Montgomery.
  • Behel was raised in Guatemala and speaks fluent Spanish, and she’s the first person in her immediate family to graduate from college. She’s got degrees from the University of North Alabama and the University of Alabama.
  • Behel says most of her students speak Spanish at home, and she teaches them English so they can connect with the community.
  • Read more about it HERE.
North Korea tensions rise over seized ship
  • The U.S. said Thursday that it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that was used to violate international sanctions, a first-of-its kind enforcement action that comes amid a tense moment in relations between the two countries.
  • The “Wise Honest,” North Korea’s second largest cargo ship, was detained in April 2018 as it traveled toward Indonesia. It’s now in the process of being moved to American Samoa, Justice Department officials said.
  • Officials made the announcement hours after North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, the second weapons launch in five days and a possible signal that stalled talks over its nuclear weapons program are in trouble.
  • The public disclosure that the vessel is now in U.S. custody may further inflame tensions, though U.S. officials said the timing of their complaint was not a response to the missile launch.
  • You can read more about it HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– House passes bill to change Board of Pardons and Paroles
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US seizes North Korean ship amid tense moment in relations
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Immigrant named Alabama teacher of the year
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tornado touches down near Tennessee-Alabama state line
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama abortion ban vote delayed after shouting breaks out
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Skip Tucker: More Milt Than A Trout Stream Could Hold (Part 1)
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate approves medical marijuana bill
INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – More Senate 2020 ins and outs; Who is Arnold Mooney? Another special session? Latest on DOJ / DOC negotiations; DNC’s deadline passing for AlaDems; Meadows ahead early in HD74; Brooke Reid appointed to replace Hobbs.
AL.COM – Chaos erupts as Alabama Senate strips rape exception from abortion ban, delays vote.
AL.COM – Alabama House passes bill giving governor more control over parole board.
AL.COM – Alabama World War II pilot to get proper burial 76 years after crash.
AL.COM – Sen. Jones: Remember Chris McNair for boosting Birmingham, not for crimes.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: If you’re going to pass this abortion bill, Alabama senators, put your names on it.
AL.COM – Alabama Senate approves medical marijuana.
AL.COM – Religious exemption to vaccines would be eliminated under new Alabama bill.
AL.COM – ‘Awe-inspiring’ Amazon center taking shape in Bessemer.
AL.COM – Protesters clash as efforts to ban abortion gain steam.
AL.COM – Alabama lottery plan changed; vote next week.
AL.COM – ‘Most dangerous military town’ in America is in Alabama.
AL.COM – Tensions grow between Shelby, White House over disaster aid bill.
AL.COM – ‘Awe-inspiring’ Amazon center taking shape in Bessemer.
Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama Senate approves medical marijuana bill
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man arrested for human trafficking, rape, sexual extortion
Montgomery Advertiser – Abortion bill delayed as Alabama Senate falls into chaos
YellowHammer News – House abortion ban sponsor Rep. Terri Collins threatens to ‘kill the bill’ if Senate adds exceptions for rape, incest
YellowHammer News – State Rep. John Rogers challenges Doug Jones to public debate
YellowHammer News – Video contest will award funding to nonprofits making a difference in Alabama
Dothan Eagle – Habitat’s ReStore getting new roof thanks to local fundraising effort
Dothan Eagle – Arrest made in Fadette stabbing
Dothan Eagle – Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine students enjoying new walking trail
Tuscaloosa News – Bill bolsters governor’s role in shaping school board
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama abortion ban vote delayed after shouting breaks out
Tuscaloosa News – Rain, storms set to last through weekend, NWS says
Decatur Daily – Mayfield auction brings in $486,000; most winning bidders plan to renovate
Decatur Daily – Council rejects proposal to pave service road
Decatur Daily – 3 men die in separate area accidents
Times Daily – Council approves work on tennis courts, Lewis Field
Times Daily – Senate approves medical marijuana bill
Times Daily – Commission commits ag center funds if needed
Gadsden Times – Vote on abortion bill delayed

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