7 Things: No additional coronavirus relief, students sanctioned over violations of coronavirus rules, Alabama has worst 2020 Census response and more …
7. NRA report cards are in
- Former Auburn football coach and GOP U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA). Tuberville received the highest rating of “AQ,” which the NRA says is “A pro-gun candidate whose rating is based solely on the candidate’s responses to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and who does not have a voting record on the Second Amendment.”
- By comparison, his opponent U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) was given a “D,” which is defined as “An anti-gun candidate who usually supports restrictive gun control legislation and opposes pro-gun reforms. Regardless of public statements, can usually be counted on to vote wrong on key issues.”
6. Trump is now going after Bob Woodward
- After tapes of President Donald Trump telling Bob Woodward that he knew the coronavirus was fatal and airborne early on were leaked, Trump is now firing back. Trump has maintained that the reason why he downplayed the virus was to not cause a panic.
- On Twitter, he said, “Bob Woodward had my quotes for many months. If he thought they were so bad or dangerous, why didn’t he immediately report them in an effort to save lives? Didn’t he have an obligation to do so? No, because he knew they were good and proper answers. Calm, no panic!”
5. CARES Act funding used for unemployment
- Out of the $1.8 billion Alabama received through the CARES Act, at least $300 million will be used to fund the Unemployment Trust Fund. This was done to avoid taxes on businesses increasing.
- House of Representatives General Fund budget chairman Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) has also said that there could be another $300 million put into the fund, since the “CARES Act allows us to put money in the unemployment trust fund up to what was taken out because of COVID unemployment.”
4. Relief funding for higher education
- As announced by Governor Kay Ivey, $72.34 million in coronavirus relief will go to higher education in Alabama. Per the announcement, $27 million will go to community colleges, $25 million will go to four-year colleges, and $20 million go to independent colleges.
- The funds are meant for helping the schools adapt to some virtual learning. So far, a total of $432 million has been spent on education in the state since July to make sure it can continue through the pandemic, but Ivey has said that her office continues to receive requests for aid.
3. Alabama lagging behind in the 2020 U.S. Census
- The 2020 U.S. Census could impact Alabama severely if there’s an undercount, and now a report released by the United States House Oversight and Reform Committee has released a report that shows if Alabama has an undercount of 1%, there could be a loss of $39.7 million in federal funding every year.
- The average response to the Census nationally is 88.8%, but Alabama has the worst response rate in the country at 79.8%. The deadline for the Census is quickly approaching on September 30.
2. Students facing sanctions over coronavirus
- The University of Alabama has issued 639 “individual student sanctions” for violating coronavirus guidelines. Thirty-three students have been suspended from campus “while their conduct cases proceed through due process.”
- There’s at least one student organization that’s potentially being suspended due to not following guidelines, and three organizations have received sanctions.
1. Coronavirus relief shut down by Democrats
- After a proposed $500 billion in coronavirus relief was blocked by Democrats in the U.S. Senate, relief talks are stuck in limbo. Sixty votes were needed to pass, but the vote was 52-47 with U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) being the only Republican to vote “no.” Alabama’s junior Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) also voted “no.”
- The relief package would’ve provided more funding to the Paycheck Protection Agency, $300 in additional unemployment benefits per week, and funding for schools and colleges.