7 Things: Impeachment fails again, severe weather shuts down parts of the state and some vaccine distribution, Ivey signs bill related to the coronavirus pandemic and more …
7. Borders open but interstate travel could be limited
- President Joe Biden has reportedly been considering domestic travel bans for Florida, but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) said that this “a huge contradiction.” DeSantis pointed to how Biden wants to ban travel from Florida due to the pandemic but signs executive orders on immigration.
- DeSantis said that “you can’t square wanting open borders for illegal aliens, but then also restricting U.S. citizens from basically traveling around the country as they see fit.” He added this travel ban would be “unconstitutional” and “a political attack against Florida.”
6. Biden’s gun control repeats Obama’s failed ideas
- President Joe Biden, while recognizing the three-year anniversary of the Parkland school shooting that killed 17 people, took the opportunity to push for more gun control through Congress.
- Biden called for “commonsense gun law reforms,” which would be in the form of background checks and “banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufactures who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
5. John Merrill senate announcement coming in April
- With U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) announcing that he’s not running for reelection in 2022, candidates are expected to be announcing soon, and now Secretary of State John Merrill has given a timeline on when he’ll announce.
- Merrill appeared on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” where he was asked about a possible U.S. Senate campaign, to which he said he’s “considering it.” Merrill added that his formal announcement will be made “the first or second week of April” about whether he’s running.
4. Ivey signs three priority bills
- Governor Kay Ivey has signed three bills into law that she said were a priority for this legislative session. One of the bills signed will prevent stimulus payments from the federal government from being subject to income tax.
- The bill that protects businesses, churches, health care providers, schools and other entities from frivolous lawsuits related to the coronavirus was also signed by Ivey. Lastly, she signed a bill that assists in job creation through the Alabama Jobs Act and Growing Alabama Act.
3. State of emergency issued by Ivey
- Twenty-eight counties will now be under a state of emergency that was issued by Governor Kay Ivey for the winter storm moving through portions of the state. Ivey’s office stated that this is a “precautionary measure” in the event that areas of the state are “severely impacted due to freezing weather.”
- This emergency order is for Bibb, Blount, Choctaw, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Shelby, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston Counties.
2. Vaccine clinics closing due to winter weather
- Due to the threat of winter weather across many parts of Alabama, some hospitals have decided to close their coronavirus vaccination clinics and are rescheduling all appointments. The remote vaccine site in Tuscaloosa through DCH Health System is closed for Monday.
- The Huntsville Hospital Community Clinic at John Hunt Park, Athens-Limestone Hospital, Cullman Regional Medical Center and the UAB vaccination sites at Parker High School and Hoover Met will be closed, as well.
1. Trump acquitted; Tuberville and Shelby vote to acquit
- In the second U.S. Senate impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump, the final vote was 57-43 to convict him, but with 67 “guilty” votes needed, this resulted in another acquittal.
- Both U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) voted to acquit Trump. Shelby stated that the process is meant for a “sitting President, not a private citizen” and Tuberville brought up “concerns with the lack of due process and constitutionality of this trial going in.”