7 Things: Alabama legislative session not quite over yet, government may ‘allow’ vaccinated people more ‘privileges,’ states dump federal unemployment benefits and more …
7. Inmate killed just before release
- The Alabama Department of Corrections has said that an inmate, 23-year-old Ian Retting, died in an “apparent inmate-on-inmate assault,” but Retting’s death happened just one day before he was scheduled to be released.
- The department also said that the deal is “being thoroughly investigated by the Department’s Law Enforcement Services Division,” adding, “Violence within ADOC facilities is not tolerated.” This comes after the U.S. Department of Justice ruled that conditions at Alabama men’s prisons were unconstitutional.
6. Moore supports constitutional carry
- State Representative Andrew Sorrell (R-Muscle Shoals) and State Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) have both introduced legislation that would legalize constitutional carry in Alabama, which would remove the requirement for concealed carry permits.
- U.S. Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) has now voiced support for this legislation, saying, “We shouldn’t need a permit to exercise our rights. The 2nd Amendment IS our permit.” He went on to say, “People are realizing now, more than ever, we need state legislatures to step up and fight against gun grabs by the Democrats.”
5. Clarke County sheriff being impeached
- Clarke County Sheriff William Ray Norris has been served notice of an Information of Impeachment and Prayer for Ouster in the Alabama Supreme Court, and Attorney General Steve Marshall has announced that the impeachment process is in motion.
- The investigation into Norris started last year and has resulted in four charges of corruption in office and 11 charges of the commission of crimes involving moral turpitude. If there are going to be criminal charges outside the impeachment, those charges must be brought separately.
4. U.S. may have undercounted deaths
- Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he believes the United States has undercounted how many people have died from the coronavirus throughout the pandemic. Nationally, there are over 581,000 deaths from the coronavirus.
- Fauci made these comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he also indicated that he doesn’t agree with the University of Washington analysis that the death toll could be over 900,000. Although, he went on to say that the national vaccination rate should be 80% and we need to use “trusted messengers” to get there.
3. Some states are rejecting federal unemployment benefits, Alabama could as well
- After an underwhelming jobs report, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced that his state will be the latest state to reject the federal unemployment benefits of $300 per week as there’s a national struggle to find workers coming out of the pandemic. The federal benefits are meant to last until September at least, and Arkansas will be ending their participation on June 26.
- While Governor Kay Ivey has not mentioned making changes in Alabama, the problems cited in these states are here as well. Unemployment is low, and reports of businesses not being able to find jobs have been aplenty.
2. You might be allowed to do more stuff soon, if the government approves
- When asked about why a clearly vaccinated President Joe Biden is still wearing a mask, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients responded, “The CDC guidance across time will allow vaccinated people more and more privileges to take off that mask.”
- Zients also told CNN that the Biden administration is aware of the obvious. He advised, “I think everyone is tired and wearing a mask can be a pain, but we’re getting there. The light at the end of the tunnel is brighter and brighter.”
1. The last day of the Alabama legislative session is one week away
- There’s only one day left in the session, but there are still a number of bills that are awaiting a final decision in the Alabama Legislature. While it seems unlikely that the gambling bill will have a future this session, it is technically still in play.
- Another bill that is pending this session is that of banning transgender treatment for minors and making administering certain medications or performing gender reassignment surgery a felony. The legislation that would make it a criminal offense to enforce any new federal gun control laws could still be considered, and the bill that could delay the requirement for third graders to pass a reading test to advance still has the potential to pass.