December 2020 Group Watch: Tweet of the Month

Tweet of the Month

Dec 16
Rest In Peace Hero.

December 2020 Group Watch: Merry Christmas & Very Happy New Year

From all of us at The Bloom Group, we hope your holiday season is safe and full of joy, despite any differences or challenges COVID has brought to your plans. Goodbye 2020, and welcome, welcome 2021!

December 2020 Group Watch: Justice Department Sueing Alabama

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the State of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). The complaint alleges that the conditions at Alabama’s prisons for men violate the Constitution. The department says Alabama does not provide adequate protection against prisoner-on-prisoner violence and sexual abuse. It is further alleged that ADOC is not providing safe and sanitary conditions, and prisoners are subjected to excessive force at the hands of prison staff. The lawsuit is the result of a multiyear investigation and comes after nearly two years of negotiations that failed to reach a settlement that would correct the alleged deficiencies identified in the investigation. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, but no monetary damages.

December 2020 Group Watch: Lynn Beshear Retires as Mental Health Commissioner

Lynn Beshear retired as Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health on December 16, after being appointed to the position in July 2017 by Governor Ivey. Beshear is credited with spearheading many initiatives to increase access of services for citizens with mental illness while navigating complexities of delivery by the department and community providers. Governor Ivey has appointedKim Boswell as the new Commissioner. Boswell comes to the job with more than 36 years of experience working with individuals with mental illness, substance abuse disorders and developmental disabilities. She previously served as Chief of Staff to Beshear and has been both Associate Commissioner for Administration as well as Director of Human Resources for the Alabama Department of Mental Health. Boswell has a bachelor’s of social work from the University of Alabama Birmingham and a master’s of social work from Florida State University.

December 2020 Group Watch: Special Elections

Governor Ivey has scheduled a special election in Alabama Senate District 14 to replace Cam Ward, who was appointed to head the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. The special primary election will be March 30, 2021. A runoff, if necessary, will be April 27, and the general election will be July 13.

Former state Rep. April Weaver has announced she will run for the seat. Weaver left her House seat in May to accept a job in the Trump administration. She is a registered nurse who has worked for 23 years in hospital administration. Senate District 14 includes portions of Bibb, Chilton, Hale, Jefferson and Shelby counties.

Rep. Kirk Hatcher won the Democratic nomination for Senate District 26, defeating former Rep. John Knight in a runoff. Hatcher garnered 74 percent of the ballots cast. He now faces Republican challenger William Green in the March special general election.

December 2020 Group Watch: Terry Lathan Not Seeking New Term

After serving as Chair of the Alabama Republican Party since 2015, Terry Lathan announced that she will not seek another term. She noted the Party’s recent win reclaiming the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Doug Jones and said she was ready to “travel different roads of service” for the Republican Party. She will continue in her role until the Party’s next meeting in late February.

November 2020 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Fall weather is finally here in Alabama, and along with that pleasant development comes other good “climate” news: national recognition praising Alabama’s business-friendly environment, plus a bevy of positive economic development wins for the state.
  • Golden Boy Foods Expanding AL Manufacturing Operations: Golden Boy Foods plans to invest more than $13 million in an expansion project at its production facility in Troy, creating 67 full-time jobs. To expand peanut butter production, Golden Boy will modify its existing Alabama manufacturing facility and occupy a 170,000 square-foot building being constructed by the City of Troy’s Industrial Development Board and leased on a long-term basis to the company. The growth will essentially double the company’s industrial footprint in Pike County, where it has operated since 2011. Golden Boy Foods is one of the largest manufacturers of private label and contracted manufactured nut butter in North America.
  • Alabama Business Climate High in “Site Selection” Rankings: The state’s business climate ranked near the top of the states in a comprehensive analysis released by “Site Selection,” a national publication that focuses on economic development. In the magazine’s 2020 analysis, Alabama ranked No. 7, tied with Arizona, and up two spots from the previous year. Georgia and North Carolina share the top spot, followed by Ohio, Texas and South Carolina. Ranking behind Alabama in the Top 10 were Kentucky and Tennessee. Workforce skills were the most important criteria to site selectors for the fifth consecutive year, with workforce development programs at No.2. Transportation infrastructure, ease of permitting and regulatory procedures, and state and local taxes complete the top five topics considered.
  • Lowe’s Plans $61 Million Distribution Hub: Lowe’s Home Improvement announced plans to construct a 1.2-million-square-foot distribution facility in Jefferson County, creating 150 jobs as part of a $61 million project. According to the Birmingham Business Alliance, the facility will be located in Bessemer on 98 acres of property currently owned by U.S. Steel. North Carolina-based Lowe’s will contract with developer Clayco to construct and lease back the facility, which will house bulk items for distribution like refrigerators and water heaters and will provide stock space for 112 stores throughout the Southeastern region. The bulk distribution facility will allow Lowe’s to provide quicker deliveries to customers across Alabama and the Southeast and will allow for next-day deliveries for a larger range of products housed within the facility.
  • Amazon Expands AL Footprint In Metro Birmingham: Amazon Logistics announced plans to open two new delivery stations in the Birmingham metro area, creating hundreds of jobs and speeding up deliveries for the internet retailer’s customers in the region. One of the delivery stations will be located at Birmingham’s long vacant Century Plaza Mall, and the other station will open at Lakeshore Parkway and Alabama 150 in Bessemer, where other significant distribution and logistics projects have recently landed. According to Amazon, the delivery stations will create hundreds of full and part-time jobs, paying at least $15 per hour, in addition to hundreds of driver opportunities for Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners and Amazon Flex drivers.

November 2020 Group Watch: AL Election Results

With the retirement of U.S. Reps. Martha Roby and Bradley Byrne and the defeat of Senator Doug Jones, Alabama elected three new members to its nine-member congressional delegation. Former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) was elected to replace Roby in the Second Congressional District, Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl will take the First seat of Bradley Byrne, and former Auburn Head Football Coach Tommy Tuberville defeated Jones for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions. U.S. Reps. Mike Rogers, Gary Palmer, Mo Brooks, Robert Aderholt and Terri Sewell all held onto their seats. Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh won reelection to her post, as did incumbents on the State Board of Education. Republicans swept the state court seats that were on the ballot.

November 2020 Group Watch: Tweet of the Month

Nov 11

Proud of my little girl.

November 2020 Group Watch: Gov Announces Awardees of Crisis Center Funding

Governor Ivey announced the awardees of funding for crisis centers to serve individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders. The providers and locations of the new crisis centers are AltaPointe Health in Mobile, the Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority and Wellstone Behavioral Health in Huntsville. The crisis care centers are a designated place for communities, law enforcement, first responders and hospitals to take an individual who is in mental health crisis. The centers will include walk-in access for individuals to the center for crisis care, including short-term admission, medication management and case management. Services will also include discharge planning and connections to ongoing behavioral healthcare services for longer term care, if needed.

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