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7 Things: Alabama Nurses Association asks for help, local bills could see movement in the Alabama Legislature this year, SCOTUS spreading misinformation and more …

7. Alabama and Georgia are set for the national championship (Prediction: Alabama 38-21)

  • The University of Alabama and the University of Georgia are set to face off in the national championship. As the state prepares for the game, some of those in the congressional delegation have placed wagers on the outcome.
  • U.S. Representatives Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) and David Scott (D-GA) have entered a “double or nothing” bet on the winner. If Alabama wins, Sewell will be treated to Chick-fil-A and peach cheesecake by Scott, but if Georgia wins, Scott will get Dreamland Bar-B-Que and sweet potato fries. U.S. Representatives Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) and Buddy Carter (R-GA) have also entered a wager. If Alabama wins, Carter has to wear Alabama gear, but if Georgia wins, Carl has to wear Georgia apparel.

6. AOC tests positive for COVID after controversial Florida vacation

  • U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently made a controversial trip to Miami, Florida, and now she has tested positive for the coronavirus. Coronavirus numbers are surging across the country, and it’s been reported that AOC has been symptomatic.
  • AOC received the booster shot for the coronavirus vaccine in the fall, but a week ago, she attended a crowded show at a drag queen bar in Miami. AOC’s trip was largely controversial since she has advocated for masking and mitigation efforts, but during her vacation, she was seen multiple times ignoring the rules she encourages.

5. Democratic candidate for governor wants marijuana and the lottery

  • A self-proclaimed conservative Democrat has entered the gubernatorial race in Alabama. Chad “Chig” Martin has announced his candidacy and qualified to run. Yolanda Flowers is the other Democratic candidate in the race that has qualified.
  • Martin is primarily focused on getting the lottery legalized in Alabama, decriminalizing marijuana and sending more funding to schools. Martin stated, “I want to be a governor that works with all parties.” When discussing decriminalizing marijuana, Martin advised, “Alcohol is much more dangerous than cannabis. People can buy all they want freely and get as drunk as they want now. And they’re much more dangerous than people out there using cannabis.” The ALGOP has a pro-pot candidate as well.

4. No, Brooks wasn’t cheering for rioters

  • U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has denied claims from U.S. Representative Liz Cheney’s (R-WY) staffer Ryan O’Toole that during the riot at the U.S. Capitol, Brooks “was glad.” O’Toole added, “He was cheering on the fact that the 117th Congress had started this way. That was much to the dismay of others in the room, and certainly, I think, does not carry the sentiment that the day has today.”
  • Brooks responded to the claim saying that O’Toole is a “dishonorable gutter rat,” adding that the claim is “categorically false.” Brooks went on to say, “If there were an instance in which I had met with one of these protestors on the Capitol grounds or one of these people who is engaged in illegal conduct and cheered them on, that would be on videotape…The witch-hunt committee would have released that to the news media the very moment they saw it.”

3. SCOTUS justices are spreading misinformation

  • President Joe Biden’s private employer mandate was scheduled to go into effect on Monday, but multiple federal court rulings have put a pause on that plan to allow the Supreme Court to take on the issue. While the issue has not been ruled on by the higher court yet, the court did take on the issue Friday, even though some of the judges seem to have a tenuous grasp on the facts.
  • The liberal justices on the court sound like COVID-19 alarmists as they misstated the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. They claimed that masks and vaccines prevented the spread of COVID-19, instead of preventing it greatly. It was so egregious, the head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had to correct the record.

2.  Legislative priorities continue to come into focus

  • Republicans in the State House have already laid out their legislate agenda, which includes tax cuts, constitutional carry and a ban on Critical Race Theory. State Senate Pro-Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper) said bills of local interest will come up that were stalled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Noting the second year of the quadrennium was shortened, apparently, this is where local bills thrive. Reed explained, “I want to make sure that those members. If they’ve offered legislation, they want to offer legislation again this year on issues that are important to their communities, that they have an opportunity for that to be done and be debated.”

1. Alabama nurses are asking for assistance

  • As Alabama struggles with a nursing shortage, which is also a current issue in most states, the Alabama State Nurses Association (ASNA) is asking for the state to send them more funding so they can increase staff. ASNA president Lindsey Harris said, “The main concern is that nurses have not received any [funding].” 
  • Harris was specifically talking about appropriate funds going to nurses during the coronavirus pandemic. She advised, “State funding has gone toward hospitals, state funding has even gone toward travel nurses.” Harris is emphasizing that funding is needed for nurses that have been in the state throughout the pandemic and bringing more “long-term” nurses. It was reported last week that $1.5 billion of coronavirus relief spending is available for allocation which may require a special session.