7 Things: Counting illegal immigrants hurts Alabama, property tax passes by huge margin, Ivanka Trump touts apprenticeship opportunities in Alabama and more …
7. Alabama hospitals suing opioid makers
- Twenty-one Alabama hospitals have filed a civil lawsuit against companies responsible for making opioids, including Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Abbot Laboratories, claiming the companies falsely represented how addictive opioid products are.
- Attorney Robert King said that the “deceptive marketing efforts of the defendants substantially contributed to an explosion in the use of opioids across the country,” as well as mentioning how hospitals have had to care for a “heroic” number of opioid patients.
6. China waives some tariffs ahead of trade talks
- The Chinese government could be attempting to show some good faith ahead of trade negotiations with the United States by waiving tariffs on 16 American products, which will go into effect on September 17, but there are still currently more than 5,000 Chinese tariffs on goods from the United States.
- The motivation could be different however, as Iris Pang, economist for Greater China at ING, told The Hill this might just be about giving the Chines economy a jolt. Pang explained, “The exemption could be seen as a gesture of sincerity toward the U.S. ahead of negotiations in October but is probably more a means of supporting the economy.”
5. John Bolton out
- It was announced on Tuesday that national security advisor John Bolton had been fired from his position. President Donald Trump said that he “disagreed strongly” with Bolton on national security.
- Apparently, one of the reasons for Bolton’s dismissal was his opposition to Trump meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Trump’s efforts to have a secret meeting with Taliban leaders in an attempt to reach a peace agreement.
4. Banning firearms isn’t making anyone safer
- Recently, more retailers, including Aldi, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Krogerrequested that customers no longer open carry in their stores, but these new requests aren’t making customers safer — they are leading to more guns being purchased.
- People shopping at these stores might feel safer because they don’t see a lawful citizen carrying a gun, but in reality, people who want to do harm aren’t going to pay attention to a store’s request for them not to carry a gun into the store.
3. Apprenticeship program announced
- During Ivanka Trump’s visit to Alabama, Toyota Motor North America and The Manufacturing Institute officially announced their partnership to establish an apprenticeship program.
- At the event, Ivanka spoke about the success of the program and how much Alabama’s economy has improved, mentioning Alabama’s 3.3% unemployment rate and how there are now more job openings than unemployed Americans.
2. Madison approves massive property tax increase by a huge margin
- The 12-mil property tax increase in Madison was expected to pass, but not many expected it to pass by a 70-30 margin. The increase is meant to alleviate the stress on the school system brought about by an increase in students in one of the state’s top-ranked school districts.
- The tax was proposed due to schools currently being near capacity and with the promise that the school system would add a 900 student elementary school, a 1,200 student middle school and expand the capacity two high schools in the district.
1. Cities and states with lots of illegal immigrants want Alabama to have less representation
- U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor has approved 15 states and major cities, including New York, California, Virginia and the District of Columbia, to oppose Alabama’s legal fight to add the citizenship question to the 2020 Census because they want the illegal aliens counted so they will benefit with more congressional representation and federal funding.
- Letitia James, the New York attorney general, stated that they are opposing Alabama’s efforts to fight “the Trump administration’s attempts to tip the balance of power in the nation and Alabama’s endeavor to continue down that path,” but U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall are working to only count citizens because counting illegal immigrants could unfairly disadvantage “states with low numbers of illegal aliens to states with high numbers of illegal aliens.”