7 Things: Local mask mandates up in the air, tax hikes could doom Biden infrastructure plan, politicians criticize businesses’ involvement in political issues and more …
7. Arkansas governor will veto transgender treatment bill
- The Alabama Legislature is considering legislation that would ban gender conversion treatments for transgender youth, and in Arkansas, the state legislature passed a similar bill. Despite this, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) has vetoed the legislation.
- Hutchinson said his reason for vetoing the bill is because they would be “creating new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people.” It’s likely that the Arkansas Legislature will override this decision with a majority vote in the House and Senate.
6. Report: Occupational licensing costs jobs
- The Alabama Policy Institute (API) has released a report called the “Not-So Sweet Home Alabama” that shows occupational licensing laws have cost Alabama about 21,000 jobs and around $56 million per year. Occupational licensing laws require that members of some professions be certified through the government.
- The national average for jobs that require a government license is at 31, but Alabama has 36 jobs that require those licenses. The main issue with this is that there are some low-income professions where these licenses become a burden, such as athletic trainers, massage therapists and manicurists.
5. Tuberville: Stop politicizing the military
- In a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, U.S. Senators Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) highlight how new training within the United States military is too political and they need to refocus on being non-partisan.
- The letter says “examination of the stand-down training materials reveals a disappointing partisan slant and poorly defined First Amendment rights for military members.” They go on to say that “some of the training materials imply only certain political thoughts are welcome.” The letter ends by asking Austin to “personally review the stand-down training material disseminated by the services and other subordinate headquarters in order to ensure that these materials comply with the guidance issued by your office. We cannot allow our military to be politicized.”
4. Majority of Americans support union at Amazon plant in Alabama
- Data for Progress has released new polling data from AFL-CIO, which shows that a majority of registered voters support Amazon workers at the Bessemer fulfillment center unionizing. Of likely voters, 69% support the workers while 16% oppose the move to unionize.
- The results were also divided by political party, as 55% of Republicans, 79% of independents and 96% of Democrats were in support of unionizing. A spokesman for Amazon said, “Our employees know the truth – starting wages of $15 or more, health care from day one, and a safe and inclusive workplace.”
3. Politics and sports continue to mix while McConnell warns businesses to stay out
- President Joe Biden faced criticism after saying that the voting laws in Georgia are “Jim Crow on steroids” and urging Major League Baseball to move the All-Star game to Colorado, which has the same restrictions, When asked about this, White House press secretary Jen Psaki shied away from giving a strong answer and said that Biden “supports them being able to make the decision.” Then when asked if Biden would support moving the Masters Tournament from the state, she said, “[O]ur focus is on doing what we can to advocate for making voting easier and more accessible around the country and that’s where our efforts are going to be from the White House.”
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is warning businesses about getting involved in politics, saying that businesses “will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.” McConnell went on to point out how New York actually has less availability for early voting than Georgia and added that there’s an agenda at play as “Democrats want to pass a sweeping bill that would let them rewrite all 50 states’ election laws and turn the Federal Election Commission into a Democrat-run partisan body.”
2. Infrastructure bill with big tax hikes loses the Democrat support it needs
- President Joe Biden is working on a $2 trillion dollar infrastructure program, but it will require 100% Democrat support in the U.S. Senate. Unfortunately for Biden, the tax increases in the bill have cost the bill the support of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and others needed to get the bill across the finish line, even if they attempted to use a process that would avoid a filibuster and only requires a simple majority
- As the White House’s tax plan seems to be hitting a brick wall, they are sending Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin out to suggest that other nations should raise taxes across the board to eliminate tax havens and competitions between the nations for businesses.
1. Decatur mask order remains as the shaming of businesses starts
- The City of Decatur failed to remove its mask mandate ahead of the expiration of the statewide mask requirements expiration on April 9. The vote to immediately consider the move to repeal the order failed to pass 4-1 after council member Billy Jackson declared, “This mask ordinance was no different. It was done by the previous council for the safety of our community so I will not support this tonight.” There is no science that backs this up. For example, Michigan is seeing a virus surge with a mask mandate and Texas continues to see its cases fall three weeks after going wide-open. Birmingham will consider extending its order today.
- In what should be seen as amazing news, Alabama only saw 89 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, but some in the state are still not comfortable with the mask mandate ending. It is expected that the media will be curating and printing lists of businesses that will continue to require masks, which gives those who are angry about it the ammunition to complain online without actually going to these businesses.