7 Things: Trump endorses Mo Brooks, Ivey wants ‘comprehensive gaming legislation,’ Birmingham extends its mask mandate and more …
7. Biden: Georgia needs to ‘smarten up’
- Despite the more recent reporting that shows Georgia’s new voting laws are less restrictive than many other states, President Joe Biden has said, “It is reassuring to see that for-profit operations and businesses are speaking up about how these new Jim Crow laws that are just antithetical to who we are.”
- Biden did say that the state needs to “smarten up” and “stop it” to prevent more businesses from leaving, but acknowledged that businesses leaving the state will impact “people who are making hourly wages” the most.
6. Bezos could just scratch a check to the Treasury at any time
- As Democrats seek to raise taxes by reconciliation and avoiding a filibuster, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says to go ahead and do it. Writing on Amazon’s Twitter account, Bezos said his company does “recognize this investment will require concessions from all sides — both on the specifics of what’s included as well as how it gets paid for (we’re supportive of a rise in the corporate tax rate).”
- While this is being treated as an altruistic measure by both Bezos and Amazon, it isn’t really. Amazon can more easily absorb these costs than its competitors; the same goes for their support of a higher minimum wage. Even if the tax hike doesn’t come to fruition, Bezos can still write a check from Amazon to the Treasury and mail it to Reporting and Analysis Branch 2 at P.O. Box 1328, Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328.
5. Economic development in Alabama continued to be strong through 2020
- In 2020, the state of Alabama still saw economic development investments worth $4.8 billion, and there were 9,466 job commitments. This was announced by Governor Kay Ivey, who said these “economic development efforts made a steady and important contribution to the state’s growth prospects.”
- The 2020 New and Expanding Industry Report details that there were 230 new economic development projects in 2020. Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce Greg Canfield said “[T]he economic development pipeline for 2021 continues to flow with high-caliber projects that are poised to bring new opportunities to Alabama.”
4. The federal government won’t support or require vaccine passports
- As speculation has started about whether the federal government will try to require vaccine passports for traveling, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said that the federal government won’t be involved in this type of “credential.”
- Psaki stated, “The government is not now, nor will we be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential.” She also emphasized that there won’t be a “federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”
3. Birmingham mask mandate extended until May 24
- The city of Birmingham has decided to keep a mask mandate in place until at least May 24. The Birmingham City Council voted on the issue as the statewide mask mandate is set to expire permanently on April 9, and Mayor Randall Woodfin has said that this citywide mandate is “necessary.”
- Councilman Hunter Williams was the only one to vote against extending the citywide mask mandate, making the final vote 8-1. According to recent data, about 31% of the people within Jefferson County, where Birmingham is located, have received the coronavirus vaccine. Tuscaloosa is going in another direction, as the city council has revoked Mayor Walt Maddox’s COVID-19-related emergency powers. Maddox supported the move.
2. Ivey is looking to push gaming forward
- With the Senate to take a vote on a lottery bill today, Gov. Kay Ivey’s press secretary said Ivey “is ready to dig her heels in” to get “solid, comprehensive gaming legislation, worthy of the voters” to the people for a referendum.
- The governor’s spokesperson also highlighted how there’s “gambling already happening in our state. In fact, it is rampant, and much of it is illegal. The governor feels strongly that we need to shine a bright light on these activities, control and regulate it and make sure the people of Alabama are the beneficiaries.”
1. So, the Senate race might be over
- It is nearly a consensus belief that an endorsement from President Donald Trump in the 2022 U.S. Senate race would give the person receiving it a giant advantage. On Wednesday, Trump endorsed U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in his bid.
- Trump’s endorsement is a full-throated endorsement that will probably end this race, by all intents and purposes. He said in a statement, “Few Republicans have as much COURAGE and FIGHT as Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks. Mo is a great Conservative Republican leader, who will stand up for America First no matter what obstacles the Fake News Media, RINOs, or Socialist Democrats may place in his path. Mo Brooks is pro-life, loves our Military and our Vets, will protect our Second Amendment, combat the Biden open borders agenda, is fighting for voter integrity (like few others), and was the Co-Chair of our winning, and record-setting, Alabama campaign in 2020. Mo Brooks has my Complete and Total Endorsement for the U.S. Senate representing the Great State of Alabama. He will never let you down!”