COVID-19 Update: Gov Ivey Issues New Order

COVID-19 Update: Gov Ivey Issues New Order

Earlier today, Governor Ivey issued a “stay at home” order for the entire state effective on Saturday, April 4 at 5pm in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. This new order tightens the restrictions on movement, gathering and commerce that were already in place. You can read the order in its entirety here.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about how this order will affect or impact your business or organization or need help navigating the fine print and layers of bureaucracy, please, don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of The Bloom Group team.

We are here to answer questions, address concerns and guide you through any issues that may arise as a result of this and earlier orders. Look left to find full contact info for every one of us.

And feel free to forward this to any of your clients or friends who may also have questions or governmental relations needs.

Stay safe and well!

March 16, 2020 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Last week, the sixth of this regular session, saw a education lottery bill get introduced, and amid all the other happenings, Governor Ivey addressed the coronavirus crisis, issuing information on the state’s response now that the virus has made its way into Alabama. Here’s a wrap-up with more detailed information in articles below.

  • Tuesday, March 10, (11th day of session): The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee approved two House-passed bills to require that all annexed property in overlapping police jurisdictions be approved by all affected parties in certain situations, and to authorize the Board of Nursing to establish standards for student nurse apprenticeships. Additionally, the committee approved bills to authorize the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue to make appointments to county boards of equalization under certain conditions, and to authorize the Board of Social Work Examiners to charge and collect fees for verifying the existence of a current license, reinstating an inactive or lapsed license. The House passed several bills of local application only and general bills to create a K-12 Teacher Bill of Rights; to authorize local school boards to offer yoga in grades K-12; and to require monitoring for inmates on work-release in certain circumstances. The Senate debated at length bills relating to the allocation of state judges and to further provide for penalties under the Monument Protection Act before carrying over both measures and adjourning for the day.
  • Wednesday, March 12  (committee day): the House Local Legislation and Jefferson County Local Legislation Committees approved bills of local application only relating to Jefferson and Geneva Counties. The House Judiciary Committee approved bills to require the Department of Corrections to make quarterly reports to the Joint Legislative Prison Oversight Committee and to revise the reporting requirements; to update the statutes relating to video depositions in child abuse prosecutions; and to provide that a conviction of a parent for rape or incest is a ground for termination of parental rights. The House Ways and Means Education Committee approved a bill to modify the participation requirements for the Math and Science Teacher Education Program. The House Education Policy Committee approved bills to require mental health awareness to be included in the annual training for employees of each K-12 school; to further provide that board members of the Community College System may serve two full terms; and House-passed bills to provide for the education of children of military families and to provide for the establishment of charter schools to serve military families. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved bills to expand the expungement of criminal records to include certain misdemeanor and felony offenses and to create the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights.
  • Thursday, March 12 (12th day of session): The House gave final approval of 28 Senate-passed sunset bills to continue the operation of various boards, agencies and commissions, and a bill to provide a mental health service coordinator for each K-12 school system subject to a legislative appropriation. The Senate passed bills requiring student expulsion or long-term suspension in certain circumstances and gave final passage to House-passed bills to authorize the development of property adjacent to military bases and to provide supplemental appropriation to various agencies including the Department of Public Health for the state response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The House plans to reconvene on March 26 at 9:30 am. The Senate is scheduled to return on Tuesday, March 31 at 2:30 pm. Both are subject to change due to coronavirus. 

March 16, 2020 Group Watch: Tweet of the Week

from our client, @3M
March 12, 2020

For healthcare workers & people caring for #coronavirus patients, a respirator is a central piece of protective gear for keeping healthy. 3M’s Dr. Nikki McCullough explains the proper way to wear a mask via@NPR: https://n.pr/2TYPQBP

March 16, 2020 Group Watch: Gov Ivey Declares State of Emergency

Governor Ivey declared a state of emergency in Alabama on Friday after the state saw its first confirmed cases of coronavirus. Multiple steps have been taken in response, including the closing of Alabama’s public K-12 schools, effective March 18. No doubt many private schools will follow suit. Public schools are currently expected to resume classes by April 6. Earlier in the week, before the state’s first case, Ivey had released a letter to the heads of all state government agencies with guidance on how to deal with the likely eventuality of coronavirus making it to Alabama. Ivey asked each department head to make sure they have a plan to continue offering services should the virus be detected in Alabama. The governor stated that the safety and welfare of all Alabamians is her paramount concern and pledged to work with leaders throughout to limit exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the state $8.1 million to help fight the spread of the coronavirus

March 16, 2020 Group Watch: Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

Following hours of debate on Thursday, the Alabama Senate approved a bill allowing the use of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions with a vote of 22 to 11. It now moves to the House. The bill prohibits smoking and vaping marijuana as well as ingesting it through edibles like gummies. It also calls for the formation of a statewide commission to oversee and license medical marijuana facilities and manage a patient registry. Several amendments ensure that Alabama farmers and Alabama businesses are first in line to benefit from the business side of making medical marijuana legal in the state. Read more here.

 

March 16, 2020 Group Watch: Education Lottery Bill Introduced

Rep. Steve Clouse of Ozark filed an education lottery bill with 70 of the 105 members of the House as co-sponsors. The bill proposes a paper-based lottery that is said to be able to generate about $167 million each year, with 50 percent of the proceeds going to fund the Pre-K program and the other half for scholarships. Video terminals will not be allowed under this bill. The bill will also provide for charity bingo and pari-mutuel wagering on horse or dog racing that were approved prior to January 1, 2005. Clouse said he wants the lottery on the ballot for November 2020.

March 16, 2020 Group Watch: Bobbie Knight Named Miles College President

Bobbie Knight has been named permanent president of Miles College by the school’s board of trustees. Knight, who served as interim president since last summer, becomes the school’s 15thpresident and its first female president effective immediately. Knight retired from Alabama Power after a 37-year career, which included her last position with the utility company as senior vice present. In January of this year, she helped land the largest single gift in school history from NBA legend and Auburn alum Charles Barkley of $1 million. Florida State alum and former Heisman winner Jameis Winston donated $50,000 to the football program.

March 16, 2020 Group Watch: Senate Approves Air Force Base Development Bill

The Alabama Senate approved a bill aimed at encouraging development around Air Force bases like Maxwell-Gunter in Montgomery. The Senate gave final passage to a House-passed bill by Rep. Thad McClammy of Montgomery by a vote of 29-0 with no debate. The bill allows cities to create authorities aimed at rehabilitating property contiguous to Air Force bases. The authority would allow the issuance of bonds for the development of a district. Members within a district could be exempted from state, county and local taxes, or the authority could collect payment in lieu of taxes. The bill now goes to the governor who is expected to sign it.

March 16, 2020 Group Watch: Auto Supplier Plans Expansion in Selma

Seoyon E-Hwa Interior Systems, a Tier 1 supplier to the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama assembly plant, announced plans to invest more than $5 million to expand its industrial operation in Dallas County. The company will add 60 jobs to its current workforce of 436 in Selma, which makes the company one of the county’s largest employers. Seoyon E-Hwa’s expansion project is expected to get underway in April, with potential completion by the end of September. The company’s total investment will be $5.14 million.

March 16, 2020 Group Watch: House Approves School Yoga Bill

The Alabama House approved a bill that would allow yoga to be offered in the state’s public schools after a 27-year ban. The bill was approved 84 to 17 after a brief debate. The bill would allow local boards of education to offer yoga as an elective. The practice would be limited to poses, stretches and exercises. The legislation prohibits the use of “chanting, mantras, mudras, mandalas and Namaste greetings”. The bill passed with broad bipartisan support.

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