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7 Things: Alabama’s mask order extended, Dismukes resigns from his church while calls continue for his official resignation, wait before commenting on the governor’s weight and more …

7. Huntsville and Birmingham are the best for business

  • Business Facilities magazine has released its annual State and Metro Rankings Report for the best business climates, and Huntsville and Birmingham both topped categories on the list.
  • Huntsville was ranked first for small-sized metro area for business, and Birmingham was first in a mid-size metro area. Overall, Alabama was listed as fourth. Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said this is “another testament to the advantages that our state possesses for businesses across the globe.”

6. Tech CEOs questioned by Congress

  • Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Sundar Pichai of Google, Tim Cook of Apple and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook all went before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee for questioning about competitors, censorship, antitrust laws and bias against conservatives.
  • Subcommittee Chairman U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) said this is “the most bipartisan issue” in a long time, and added, “Our founders did not bow before a king and we should not bow before the emperors of the online economy.” U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) said that “big tech” targets conservatives, but the CEOs argued that they acted within the legal limits and within their rights, even with Zuckerberg saying they “have distinguished ourselves as one that defends freedom of expression the most.”

5. Brooks has endorsed Tuberville

  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) is being challenged by former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville in the November general election, and now U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has endorsed Tuberville by highlighting his support of President Donald Trump in his endorsement.
  • Brooks said that “Socialist Democrats like Doug Jones, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez threaten America’s national security, suppress American worker wages, and take needed American jobs from struggling American families.” He’s asking voters that want a strong border and “support freedom and liberty” to also vote for Tuberville.

4. Many Alabamians could face eviction

  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout that earlier shutdowns caused, there are many people in Alabama that could potentially be evicted from their rental homes, according to a study by Stout Risius Ross, a global advisory firm. This comes as President Donald Trump is asking Congress to extend an eviction ban for some renters.
  • The study shows that 48.25% of renters in Alabama — 246,000 households — could be evicted, and 31% of housing in Alabama are rental properties. Other estimates, like those from Alabama Arise, suggest that there could be as high as 361,600 households evicted.

3. “A lady never discusses her age or her figure—a true gentleman doesn’t either” 

  • As Governor Kay Ivey announced that the “Safer-At-Home” order would be extended until August 31, Alabama Board of Education member Wayne Reynolds was watching through AL.com’s live stream and commented on Ivey’s appearance, saying “she is gaining weight.” He later defended himself by saying that it wasn’t “meant to be derogatory” and he was commenting as a private citizen.
  • Reynolds was interviewed by AL.com and clarified that Ivey “looked heavy in that white suit” and that he “just made an observation” but he observed that “a lady in pink that came out before her that looked quite slim.” Ivey responded to the comment, saying, “A lady never discusses her age or her figure—a true gentleman doesn’t either.”

2. State Rep. Dismukes resigns from his church

  • After attending the 199th birthday celebration for the first Grand Wizard and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, State Representative Will Dismukes (R-Pratville) has resigned as an Alabama Baptist bivocational pastor at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church as the fallout from his Facebook post on the matter makes national news.
  • Additional information on the event has come to light as State Representative Christopher England (D-Tuscaloosa) posted a flier from the event that includes the “Unreconstructed Band” and “ice-cold watermelon served from PICKANINNY FREEZE WATERMELON STAND,” which make it far harder to make the argument that this is about anything other than, at best, tone-deaf bad judgment, but Dismukes still says has no plans to resign from the legislature.

1. Masks today, masks tomorrow, masks forever

  • During a press conference with State Health Director Dr. Scott Harris, Governor Kay Ivey announced that she’s extending the statewide mask mandate, which was set to expire on Friday, until August 31.
  • Ivey also announced that any teachers and students in 2nd grade and higher will be required to wear masks within school buildings. With the current mask mandate, the state has seen the seven-day average of coronavirus cases go from 1,851 to 1,594.

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