7 Things: Dispute over Trump rally draws attention, Alabama gas prices going up, Republicans will hold COVID-19 hearings but Democrats won’t and more …
7. Oh no, stop — please send your Californians
- Starting on July 1, state-funded travel from California to Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia will be banned over legislation passed related to transgender youth in sports and healthcare.
- Other states that California has already restricted travel to are Texas, Oklahoma, Idaho, Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.
6. Confederate statues likely to be removed from Capitol
- On Tuesday, the House of Representatives considered a bill that would remove the former Vice President John C. Calhoun, Roger Taney and Jefferson Davis statues from the Capitol. Taney was known for a pro-slavery decision, and Davis was part of the Confederacy.
- U.S. Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) said that the statues are “personally an affront to me as a Black man to walk around and look at these figures and see them standing tall, looking out as if they were visionaries and they did something that was great.”
5. Ivey: Drop plans to expand the court
- In a letter to President Joe Biden, Governor Kay Ivey joined 19 other governors in asking that Biden abandon any plans to consider expanding the U.S. Supreme Court. This comes as a response to the commission that was created to study the impacts of making changes to the court.
- The letter pointed out, “Each partisan shift will result in seats added to the Court until the Court has lost not only its independence but its authority.” It also emphasizes how important it is for the court to remain the same to maintain the integrity of the court and its decisions.
4. Speaker of the House race heats up in Alabama
- Since Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) announced that he won’t be running for reelection, State Representatives Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) and Nathanial Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) have both announced their candidacy for the position.
- Poole outlined in his announcement that as speaker, he would want to “establish transparent processes, and then to aggressively pursue the enactment of policies related to the issues that matter the most to the citizens of our state.” Ledbetter argued his age was an asset, stating, “I am also committed to making the tough decisions, leading the Chamber with authority, and ensuring that the will of the majority is being carried out during floor debates, deliberations, filibusters, and votes.”
3. If Democrats won’t hold the hearing, Republicans will
- After spending plenty of time advocating for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to hold a hearing on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, House Republicans have proceeded with their own hearings and continue to demand that Pelosi hold a hearing on the matter.
- Pelosi spokesperson Henry Connelly said that “if Republicans were actually interested in real answers, they would remember that the House Intelligence Committee is reviewing the intelligence on this matter in addition to the Biden administration’s own review.” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) has also asked that the House take up the COVID-19 Origin Act that’s already been passed by the U.S. Senate in a unanimous vote.
2. Gas prices are up about $1 more than last year
- Gas prices have already been on the rise nationally, now averaging $3.09 per gallon, the prices in Alabama have continued to increase and only sit slightly below the national average. Currently, prices average $2.81 per gallon in Alabama.
- This time last year, the average price for a gallon of gas in the state was $1.88. Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi all have lower prices than Alabama, but the highest in the nation is California at $4.27 per gallon.
1. Ivey claims she wasn’t involved in Trump rally decision
- President Donald Trump was stopped from holding a Fourth of July rally at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park because it was deemed a political event, but Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office says they told them it was not. Initially, there were whispers that Governor Kay Ivey was to blame, which she denied and the commission for the park has confirmed that it was their decision.
- Ivey’s office said, “Governor Ivey did not get involved to prevent a Trump rally at the USS Alabama.” Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola emphasized Ivey’s support of Trump and stated that Ivey advised the commission that the statute preventing state property from being used in a political way “would not bar this event from happening and encouraged them to seek an opinion from the Attorney General.”