7 Things: Cease-fire declared between Israel and Hamas, feds say Alabama prisons are still bad, BCA’s Britt could be ready to enter Senate race and more …
7. Ivey signed the yoga bill; Literacy Act delay still out there
- It’s now legal for schools to allow yoga after Governor Kay Ivey has signed the bill that ends the ban that was adopted by the State Board of Education in 1993. Schools can start offering yoga in the 2021-2022 school year.
- Interestingly, Governor Ivey has not signed the Literacy Act delay yet. State Representative Terri Collins (R-Decatur) is still calling for her to veto the bill.
6. Jim McClendon isn’t running for reelection
- Chairman of the Senate Healthcare Committee State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) has announced that he won’t be running for reelection in 2022. McClendon has served in the Senate since 2014.
- In his announcement, McClendon said “There is a lot of important work to be done between now and the end of my term,” but he admitted that it’s “time to pass the torch and give the opportunity to serve my district in the Senate to someone else” as his reason for not running again.
5. Anti-Asian hate crime bill signed by Biden
- The legislation meant to assist in reviewing and reporting hate crimes committed against Asian Americans has been signed by President Joe Biden, with Biden saying, “[W]e are committed to stop the hatred and the bias.”
- Biden said that “right now, this is a critical problem, hate crimes being under reported.” Vice President Kamala Harris added, “[T]his bill brings us one step closer to stopping hate, not only for Asian Americans but for all Americans.” A new position will be created with the Justice Department to aid in reviewing reports of hate crimes, specifically COVID-19-related hate crimes.
4. Disciplinary hearing scheduled for officer William Ben Darby
- Huntsville police officer William Ben Darby has been convicted for the murder of Jeffery Parker, and now the City of Huntsville has announced that there will be a disciplinary hearing for Darby scheduled to assess his current status of employment with the Huntsville Police Department.
- It has been clarified that Darby has no authority as a police officer as a result of his conviction. The disciplinary hearing was originally scheduled for Monday, but “has been postponed and will be promptly rescheduled to a later date following a change in his leave status.”
3. Some advocating for Katie Boyd Britt to run for U.S. Senate
- Conservative activist CJ Pearson has started a public push for Katie Boyd Britt to run for U.S. Senate, which U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and former U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard have already announced their candidacy.
- Pearson has started the push on social media, but recently when asked if she would run for U.S. Senate, Britt said she’s “been praying very diligently about this for the last several months” and that it’s still something she’s considering but is yet to announce her decision.
2. DOJ: Alabama prisons are still bad
- It’s been two years since the Department of Justice first determined that Alabama prisons were unsafe and potentially violating the constitutional rights of inmates, and now the DOJ has said in a filing of an amended complaint that the prisons are no safer than they were two years ago.
- In the complaint, the DOJ said that for the time since their initial complaint, “prisoners at Alabama’s Prisons for Men have continued daily to endure a substantial risk of serious harm, including death, physical violence, and sexual abuse at the hands of other prisoners.” The complaint was signed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
1. Cease-fire agreement reached, Biden attempts to take credit
- Egypt managed to work out a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas after 11 days of fighting, but President Joe Biden has tried to take some of the credit for the saying he “spoke with the prime minister six times” as well as speaking with “President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority more than once as part of our intense diplomatic engagement.”
- Biden took credit for the cease-fire, but it was an Egyptian deal. The president did differentiate between Hamas and the Palestinian backers and enablers. He also said that he intends to assist in helping Israel restore their Iron Dome system, adding, “The United States fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks from Hamas.” This comes as reports show Israel sees the White House as the “good guys” and Congress as the “bad guys,” which may have something to do with “The Squad.”