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7 Things: Alabama Republicans celebrate redistricting ruling, Ivey hits Biden with a ‘bless his heart’ and more …

7. Mobile looking at creating four majority-black districts based on voting age

  • A redistricting plan is being proposed by Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson to create four majority-minority districts, which involves Districts 1, 2, 3 and 7. Stimpson has moved to introduce this since there is a majority of black voters in those districts.
  • There has never been a black majority among Mobile’s districts, but City Councilman William Carroll said, “We’ve never been here before. We’ve flipped the city where we have the majority of voting-age population now in four districts.” Carroll has been pushing for redistricting.

6. Bill proposes drunk drivers pay child support in fatal accidents

  • State Representative Proncey Robertson (R-Decatur) has proposed new legislation that would require people who are convicted of a DUI “to pay child support for a child of a victim of that offense if the offense leads to the death of a parent or guardian of the child.”
  • The legislation follows Alabama laws around child support, so the payments would be required until the child is 19-years-old. The current guidelines would also be used to determine the amount of child support to be paid.

5. A lot of people have been quitting their jobs in Alabama

  • “The Great Resignation” has impacted all states as people have been quitting their jobs at unanticipated rates throughout the pandemic, even as states have reopened and returned to work. Alabama is ranked at 19 for the most resignations.
  • The data was reported by WalletHub, who used reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the report, from July to October of 2021, 252,000 people quit their jobs.

4. Gerald Allen: Increase the penalty for monument removal

  • State Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) is sponsoring a bill that would discourage more cities and counties from removing monuments by amending a portion of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.
  • The penalty for removing a monument illegally is currently a one-time fee of $25,000, but under Allen’s legislation, it would change to $5,000 per day until the monument was put back in place. The bill has been approved by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. State Representative Mike Ball (R-Madison) has a different idea that would make it easier to move monuments and give local communities more control.

3. Tax cuts approved by Alabama Senate

  • The State Senate has approved tax cuts in legislation sponsored by State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), which increased deductions by $500 for those filing their taxes as single and head of house and $1,000 for joint couples.
  • There would also be an increase in the range for a dependent exemption, which would go from $20,000 to $50,000. The limit for optional standard deduction would increase a total of $2,000 to $35,000. Orr stated, “Inflation is at a nearly 40-year high, and the rising prices make it difficult for several struggling families to afford groceries, gas, and necessities. While individuals are spending more money on these everyday items, the state is directly benefiting from it. It’s critical that lawmakers make a significant effort to support Alabamians when we have the means to do so.”

2. Ivey drops the “Southern f-you”

  • In a new campaign ad, Governor Kay Ivey focused on President Joe Biden and delivered a Southern insult of, “Bless his heart.” This new TV ad was released for Ivey’s reelection campaign; some view the usage of this phrase as a nice way of telling someone “f-you.”
  • Ivey delivered her line after saying, “Growing up, my mom and dad told us, ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.’ Well, here is what I have to say about Joe Biden,” before adding, “Poor Joe…Bless his heart.” Ivey’s campaign tactic continues to be focusing on national issues as a way to ingratiate herself with the Alabama electorate.

1. Alabama’s congressional delegation responds to redistricting

  • The Supreme Court decision that allowed Alabama to keep its redrawn congressional map set off a wave of criticism from the American media and their Democrats. Observers saw a court-ordered redrawing of Alabama’s seven districts as a way to pick up another congressional seat for Democrats, but for now that did not pan out.
  • Reactions from Alabama’s congressional delegation were pretty obviously split down party-lines. U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) complained, “The ruling allows the votes of Black Alabamians to be diluted and further undermines Section 2 of the VRA.” She also pushed for a federal government takeover of voting and redistricting. Alabama Republicans applauded the decision with U.S. Rep. Brooks (R-Huntsville) saying, “It is great news the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the racist and illegal interventionist order because ‘the merits (were not) clearcut in favor of the plaintiff’ and the liberal, activist three-judge panel order violated the requirement that their order not cause ‘significant cost, confusion, or hardship’ to Alabama’s election processes.”

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