7 Things: Shelby ‘announcement forthcoming in the next few weeks,’ this could be medical marijuana’s year, long-shot impeachment could be weaponized and more …
7. Auburn resuming full on-campus operations
- Auburn University has decided to start all in-class instruction on campus. The school is ending remote options for classes, and a majority of employees are also returning to work on campus.
- This decision was made somewhat because of the low number of coronavirus cases on campus, with only a 0.9% positivity rate for those tested and 75 cases the week of January 31. University medical clinic Director Dr. Fred Kam also said that “vulnerable” employees are going to continue working remotely.
6. Get kids back in school
- As many health officials have already recommended, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that students can return to in-person classes — at least those in middle school and lower. He reasoned that age group doesn’t transmit the coronavirus “as readily.”
- Fauci was only hesitant on supporting high schoolers returning to the classroom. Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky has also supported reopening schools and recently said that “there is increasing data suggesting schools can safely reopen.” She added that a “safe reopening” doesn’t require for teachers to be vaccinated.
5. Brooks reappointed to Armed Services Committee
- U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has been reappointed to the House Armed Services Committee, the subcommittee for Strategic Forces, while also being appointed to Cyber, Innovative, Technologies, and Information Systems subcommittee.
- Brooks said that while on the committee, he’ll “continue using my growing seniority to both protect America’s national security interest and promote Redstone Arsenal and the groundbreaking research and development work we do in the Tennessee Valley.” Also appointed to the House Armed Services Committee from Alabama were U.S. Representatives Jerry Carl (R-Enterprise) and Mike Rogers (R-Saks).
4. Skilled labor still needed in Alabama
- The coronavirus pandemic has put many people out of work in Alabama, but Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington has said that there are still jobs available in skilled labor. He specifically pointed out where there’s been job creation in utility, transportation and hospitality.
- Washington added that they’re trying to cut down on unemployment numbers, so the “administration has been working tirelessly to make sure we continue our recruitment efforts to bring new industry to the state, as well as help existing companies expand operations.”
3. Impeachment could become a political weapon
- U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke about the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, which is starting this week, and said that under the standards that Trump has been impeached, “we ought to impeach Chuck Schumer then.”
- Paul pointed out times that Schumer has used “inflammatory wording.” He’s also focused on how the impeachment is unconstitutional, pointing out how U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rejected presiding over the trial in the Senate.
2. This could be the year for medical marijuana
- The medical marijuana bill by State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence) has already received favor from the Senate Judiciary Committee, but will likely face challenges in the House of Representatives, where State Representative Mike Ball (R-Madison) will carry the bill.
- Ball has said that he believes “this is the year” the legislation will pass. He also said that the “opposition” to legalizing medical marijuana is “fear-based.” Ball has emphasized that the purpose of this legislation is utilizing the medical purposes of marijuana, not a secret effort to legalize recreational marijuana.
1. Shelby likely won’t run for reelection
- It’s expected that U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) likely won’t run for reelection in 2022, according to a recent report from the Associated Press. Shelby is currently serving his sixth term.
- Shelby hasn’t confirmed these reports, and his spokeswoman Blair Taylor said that “there will likely be an announcement forthcoming in the next few weeks.” With AP’s report, there’s now speculation on who will run for Shelby’s seat in the midterms, should he ultimately make the decision to retire.