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Weekend Digest – August 30, 2020

Good afternoon!
Here’s your Daily News for Sunday, August 30.

1. Special session talk

  • As Alabama Daily News has reported, two of Alabama’s major industrial incentive acts that the state used to lure businesses will expire later this year without legislative action. That raises the possibility that lawmakers could be called back to Montgomery for a special session.
  • The Alabama Jobs Act, which provides tax credits and rebates to new industries, will expire on Dec. 31 and the Growing Alabama Act, which provides tax credits for donations to economic development organizations, will expire Sept. 30 unless they are renewed by lawmakers.
  • Lawmakers were originally slated to consider them in the last legislative session, but it was cut short because of COVID-19 concerns. Calling a special session would require lawmakers to return during the pandemic. No action would leave the incentives — two of the major tools the state uses to recruit industries to the state — lapsed until at least February when lawmakers return to the Alabama Statehouse for the 2021 regular legislative session.
  • AP’s Kim Chandler spoke with several state leaders and lawmakers about the issue, and her full story is HERE.
  • Also, in case you missed it, the Friday’s issue of Inside Alabama Politics went in depth on the myriad reasons why we might or might not have a special session. IAP subscribers can read that HERE.


2. After cancer diagnosis, RSA’s Bronner urges check-ups

  • Retirement Systems of Alabama CEO David Bronner says he was diagnosed with cancer on his left tonsil in May. Now, he is using his experience to encourage others to have regular health check-ups and screenings.
  • “After six weeks of radiation, five days per week, plus your prayers, the mold on my tonsil had not moved to other areas, which is unusual,” Bronner writes in the September issue of The Advisor, RSA’s monthly newsletter. An advanced copy was given to Alabama Daily News.
  • He said the cancer on his tonsil is dead. A follow-up scan is scheduled for November his office said.
  • Bronner, 75, has led RSA for more than 40 years. He said he had no signs or symptoms of the cancer and credits his “hero” dentist for detecting it at a routine appointment.
  • Bronner, a member of the State Employees’ Insurance Board, encouraged members to use their health benefits.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.


3. State Supreme Court denies Hubbard retrial

  • The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday refused to reverse its decision upholding much of the 2016 ethics convictions of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard, and the state attorney general said it’s time for Hubbard report to prison.
  • Without comment, justices turned down Hubbard’s request to rehear his case. The Alabama Supreme Court this spring overturned five of the counts in Hubbard’s ethics convictions while upholding six others. Prosecutors accused Hubbard of leveraging his powerful public office to obtain clients and investments for his businesses. His defense lawyers maintained the transactions were all aboveboard.
  • Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said it is time for Hubbard to begin serving his prison sentence.
  • “The long road to justice is finally nearing its end for former Speaker Mike Hubbard,” Marshall said in a statement, adding that “all that remains is for him to report to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to be processed and turned over to the Alabama Department of Corrections.”
  • The attorney general’s office indicated state law requires Hubbard to report to authorities within 15 days.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.


4. Alabama team planning march against social injustice

  • University of Alabama players and coaches are planning a march Monday to protest social injustice, ending at the schoolhouse door where Gov. George Wallace once stood to block two Black students from entering in 1963.
  • Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said he supports his players’ focus on trying to “make things better in the future.” They’re joining a number of other college and professional sports teams who have marched or spoken out in the wake of police shootings including Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
  • Tailback Najee Harris posted the plans for Monday’s march on Twitter and teammates retweeted. Harris said they would march from the Mal Moore Athletics Facility at 4 p.m. and “meet at the schoolhouse door at Foster Auditorium.”
  • “We want our voices to be heard as we strive to enact social change and rid our world of social injustices,” Harris wrote.
  • In another post, he said: “We want all Alabama athletes to join us. This isn’t a fan day … this isn’t a football game … this is about lasting CHANGE!”
  • Saban has arranged for a number of speakers to the team, including Condoleeza Rice, Tony Dungy, Stephen A. Smith, Joey Galloway and Charles Barkley.
  • Read the full report HERE.


5. Op-Ed: Alabama Medical Practices Hit Hard by COVID-19, Survey Finds

  • Dr. John S. Meigs, president of the Medical Association of Alabama, contributes an op-ed today.
  • In it, he shares the results of a recent comprehensive survey of medical professionals that shows how the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way our healthcare delivery system works.
  • The survey identified several key findings like: Public health concerns, financial impact, patient volume, telemedicine Increase, and liability concerns.
  • In light of those findings, the association is recommending several public policy proposals to combat the pandemic’s effects on physician practices and care delivery.
Here’s an excerpt:
“This pandemic has made telehealth more important than ever, enabling access to care to patients whose needs can be met remotely. Telemedicine has saved lives, helped reduce the spread of the virus, and enabled physicians to care for patients in a time when they might have otherwise been unable to. However, it is not a “silver bullet” and should not be viewed as a total replacement for in-person care.
“Whether in a hospital, surgery center, or in a clinic, COVID-19 has drastically changed the care we as physicians provide for our patients. We cannot allow this virus to decimate our already strained healthcare system. Supporting those who care for us is needed now more than ever.”
  • Read Meigs’ full op-ed which links to the survey HERE.


Week in Good News

Dating corona-style leads to love connections, even marriage
  • If there’s one thing the pandemic hasn’t canceled, it’s the search for love.
  • Throughout the health emergency, daters have taken to apps, websites and matchmaking services in search of connection, with more meeting in person as the crisis drags on at a time when every touch is calculated and fraught.
  • Some daters insist on safety precautions before leaping into offline meetups. Others take no precautions, relying on mutual trust. A lucky few are on the ultimate step, marriage.
  • In March, the popular dating app Hinge experienced a 30% increase over January and February in messages sent among users. In June, compared to the same month last year, there was a 13% increase in the number of dates — virtual and in person — in the U.S. and U.K., said Logan Ury, chief researcher for the app.
  • Read more about how people are making it work HERE.



Inside Alabama Politics – August 28, 2020
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Special session possible to renew industrial incentives
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – After cancer diagnosis, RSA’s Bronner urges check-ups, screenings
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS -AG: Time for former Alabama speaker to go to prison
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama team planning march against social injustice
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Op-Ed: Alabama Medical Practices Hit Hard by COVID-19, Survey Finds
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – August 28, 2020
AL.COM – Alabama adds 1,561 coronavirus cases to total but 1,297 from backlogged data.
AL.COM – Alabama’s spike in probable coronavirus cases: Week in review.
AL.COM – Special session possible to renew Alabama industrial incentive acts.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Good luck, America. The GOP has given up.
AL.COM – UAB students, employees who won’t follow COVID rules not allowed on campus this fall.
AL.COM – Jacob Blake case fuels demonstration in Mobile
AL.COM – Columnist Frances Coleman: The anniversary of Emmett Till’s death, and why it matters 65 years later
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Marsh: ‘Don’t see the need’ for special session — Willing to come back ‘anytime’ if people will come and work
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Doug Jones: ‘Still work to be done to ensure that our military fosters an inclusive environment’
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Tuscaloosa business added to the National Registry of Historic Places.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama Supreme Court won’t rehear Mike Hubbard case.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – How Emmett Till’s death paved the way for Black Lives Matter 65 years later.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Finally, it looks like renovation of Prattville’s historic gin shop will begin.
DECATUR DAILY – State health officials recommend flu vaccine as pandemic lingers.
TIMES DAILY – STAR ID deadline delayed again.
TIMES DAILY – ‘Engage Alabama’ conference elevates the voices of women.
OPELIKA AUBURN NEWS – COVID-19 risk rising in Lee County; EAMC reporting lower numbers.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Peanut Festival’s shutdown impacts nonprofits, school boosters, businesses.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Barry Moore apologizes for posting meme concerning Kenosha violence.
DOTHAN EAGLE The Dothan Eagle: Hoist with his own petard.
WASHINGTON POST – One person shot dead in Portland following clashes between BLM activists, pro-Trump supporters.
WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: Global freedom would suffer grievous harm in a second Trump term.
WASHINGTON POST – Infections rise to more than 1,000 on University of Alabama campus.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump tours storm-battered Gulf states to assess damage left in Hurricane Laura’s wake.
WASHINGTON POST – Yes, your unemployment benefit is taxable income. But it shouldn’t be.
WASHINGTON POST – College football kicks off COVID-19 style in Alabama.
NEW YORK TIMES – Contributor Matthew Desmond: When the Threat of Eviction Meets the Threat of the Virus
NEW YORK TIMES – No More In-Person Election Briefings for Congress, Intelligence Chief Says
NEW YORK TIMES – A Word Not Uttered by Republican Officials at the Convention: Obamacare
DAILY TIMES – ‘Who is standing up for us?’ — Black, rural students left behind as US schools go online.

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