June 2022 Group Watch: Gov Ivey Declares June 15 “Elder Abuse Day”

Governor Kay Ivey declared June 15, 2022, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Alabama to raise awareness about mistreatment of the elderly. It is estimated at least one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced elder abuse, and Alabama is not immune to the problem. According to the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR), last year alone, DHR’s Adult Protective Services Division received 11,122 reports of elder abuse across the state. Alabama DHR commissioner Nancy Buckner urged Alabamians to watch for the warning signs and speak up at the first sign of harm, including: increased fear or anxiety; isolation from family and friends; withdrawal from normal activities; unusual changes in behavior or sleep; unexplained injuries; unsanitary living conditions and poor hygiene; and unusual changes in financial spending patterns. The Adult Abuse Hotline number is 1-800-458-7214.

May 2022 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The 2022 regular legislative session may be over, but there’s still a lot of activity happening in Alabama politics. Both the state’s lauded Pre-K program, which is now growing, and Alabama’s governor are getting top marks.

New companies are coming to the state, and existing companies are expanding and increasing investment. Our D.C. delegation continues to score wins for Alabama; recent grant funds secured by Senator Shelby top $12 million.

And as the countless yard signs, television ads and up and down poll movements remind us, it’s election season in the state. Read on for all the news you need to know on these topics and more.

May 2022 Group Watch: Tweet of the Month

May 11, 2022
Our Founding Principal Hal Bloom was recognized today for 36 years representing
@AL_League and it’s been our pleasure. Congratulations Hal!!

May 2022 Group Watch: Gov. Ivey Remains Among Nation’s Most Popular Governors

Governor Kay Ivey has once again been rated as one of the most popular state chief executives in the nation. A nationwide survey was conducted January 1 through March 31 and consisted of at least 601 registered voters in each state. According to the survey, 62 percent of Alabamians approve of Gov. Ivey’s job performance. Her approval rating ranks 8th among all governors and is the highest in the Southeastern United States. The data found by Morning Consult, one of the nation’s most respected research and intelligence firms, mirrors that collected by the firm in 2021. Ivey is currently seeking to serve a second term as Alabama’s 54th governor. While earlier polling showed the governor avoiding a runoff, garnering almost 60 percent support among likely voters in the May 24 primary election, polling in recent days shows Ivey still leading her opponent, but at a margin that leaves the door for a possible runoff.

May 2022 Group Watch: Alabama To Add 96 New Pre-K Classrooms In The Fall

Alabama’s First-Class Pre-K program was recognized for the 16th consecutive year for meeting 10 out of 10 quality benchmarks recommended by the National Institute for Early Education Research. The state is adding 96 new pre-k classrooms in 35 counties in the fall. The new classrooms, which will open the program up to 26,658 children and bring the state’s total to more than 1,481 classrooms, are made possible by the first round of funding released by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education. Additional classrooms will be funded based on further evaluation of high-needs areas prior to the commencement of the 2022-2023 school year. The Alabama School Readiness Alliance’s Pre-K Task Force, formed in 2006, first proposed expanding voluntary pre-k access to all families in 2012, and since then, the state’s investment in Alabama’s First-Class Pre-K program increased 694 percent, from $19 million to $151 million. The program has also grown from enrolling six percent of the state’s four-year-olds in 2012 to 42 percent during the 2021-22 school year.

May 2022 Group Watch: Airbus Alabama Expansion Project Adding 1,000 Jobs in Mobile

Governor Kay Ivey joined Airbus officials, Mobile leaders and education professionals to celebrate the aerospace company’s new growth plans at its Alabama manufacturing facility. Airbus’ latest expansion project calls for the addition of a third Final Assembly Line at the Mobile factory to support increased production of its A320 family of single-aisle passenger aircraft. Airbus outlined plans to add 1,000 new jobs over the next several years to its workforce at the Mobile manufacturing facility, which today numbers around 1,200. To facilitate Airbus’ hiring plans, Alabama workforce development and education organizations are collaborating on new recruitment and training initiatives to build out the jobs pipeline. AIDT plans to expand its Aviation Training Center at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley to help Airbus get production up and running.

May 2022 Group Watch: AL Republicans Pick Mike Shaw to Run for House District 47

Mike Shaw, a councilman in Hoover, will be the Republican on the ballot for House District 47 in the general election this fall. He’ll run against whichever Democrat wins that primary; two are vying for the chance to face Shaw. The seat was left vacant when David Wheeler died in March. The timing of Wheeler’s passing meant a primary was out, so the state Republican Party chose Shaw from three finalists. Read more about why, here.

May 2022 Group Watch: Shelby Secures $12.5M in Grants for Alabama Airport Infrastructure

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation had awarded $12.5 million in Federal Aviation Administration grants to 25 local Alabama airports for infrastructure upgrades. Shelby, who serves as vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, advised that the funding would serve to enhance local economies. The grants were administered through the fiscal year 2022 Airport Improvement Program. The program was funded in the annual appropriations package that was signed into law in March.

Here are the grant details:

  • Huntsville Executive Airport-Tom Sharp Jr. Field — Huntsville: $1,575,000 to construct, extend and improve a safety area
  • Greensboro Municipal Airport — Greensboro: $1,063,373 to rehabilitate a runway
  • Dothan Regional Airport — Dothan: $1,022,974 to reconstruct a taxi lane
  • Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport — Birmingham: $1,003,180 to construct, extend, and improve a safety area
  • Florala Municipal Airport — Florala: $850,000 to construct an apron and taxiway
  • Montgomery Regional Airport-Dannelly Field — Montgomery: $800,720 to conduct a study and rehabilitate runway and taxiway lighting
  • Southwest Alabama Regional Airport — Thomasville: $716,400 to construct a new airport
  • Gulf Shores International Airport-Jack Edwards Field — Gulf Shores: $670,000 to conduct a study and reconstruct taxiway lighting
  • Wetumpka Municipal Airport — Wetumpka: $560,285 to reconstruct a taxi lane
  • Carl Folsom Airport — Elba: $540,263 to reconstruct a taxi lane
  • Marion County-Rankin Fite Airport — Hamilton: $461,827 to install perimeter fencing
  • Thomas C Russell Field Airport — Alexander City: $461,238 to expand an apron and reconstruct a taxi lane
  • South Alabama Regional Airport-Bill Benton Field — Andalusia: $457,163 to seal runway and taxiway pavement surface and pavement joints
  • Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport — Birmingham: $360,000 to acquire an aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle
  • Sylacauga Municipal Airport-Merkel Field — Sylacauga: $300,000 to acquire land for development
  • Craig Field Airport — Selma: $263,584 to strengthen a taxiway
  • Jackson Municipal Airport — Jackson: $210,000 to rehabilitate a taxiway
  • Ozark Airport-Blackwell Field — Ozark: $185,571 to seal apron pavement surface and pavement joints
  • Talladega Municipal Airport — Talladega: $166,053 to rehabilitate a taxiway
  • L. Sonny Callahan Airport — Fairhope: $150,000 to acquire land for development
  • Monroe County Aeroplex Airport — Monroeville: $150,000 to update the airport master plan
  • Roanoke Municipal Enloe Airport — Roanoke: $150,000 to install an airport beacon
  • Cullman Regional Airport-Folsom Field — Cullman: $148,500 to update the airport master plan
  • Anniston Regional Airport — Anniston: $108,000 to improve airport drainage and erosion control
  • Foley Municipal Airport — Foley: $72,000 to update the airport master plan
  • Bay Minette Municipal Airport — Bay Minette: $62,000 to install perimeter fencing

May 2022 Group Watch: Katie Britt Leading In New AL Senate Poll, Brooks Rising, Durant Slipping

A new poll in the Alabama U.S. Senate race shows a shift among the three contenders for the Republican nomination, with Katie Britt moving to the lead, Mike Durant slipping, and Mo Brooks gaining. The poll by Cygnal surveyed 600 likely Republican voters May 6-7. It showed Britt with 32 percent, Brooks 22.5 percent and Durant at 21.4 percent. There were 8.5 percent of respondents who favored someone else, and 15.5 percent who were undecided. The margin of error for the poll was plus or minus 3.99 percent. The race is for the seat Senator Richard Shelby is leaving after this term. Britt is Shelby’s former chief of staff and former president of the Business Council of Alabama. Durant is a former U.S. aviator and founder of a defense contracting firm in Huntsville. Brooks is in his sixth term representing Alabama’s District 5 in Congress.

May 2022 Group Watch: Macon County Logistics Park Preps For Initial Construction

Construction is scheduled to begin soon on the first building in a logistics park along Interstate 85 in Macon County that backers say could have a massive economic impact when its three phases are developed. The project, called the Regional East Alabama Logistics Park, stems from a partnership between the Macon County Economic Development Authority, Farpoint Development and local businessmen Jimmy and Wayne Bassett. The park will encompass 683 acres at the site of Beck’s Turf Farm off Exit 42 on I-85. The project envisions around 13 buildings offering a combined 5 million square feet of space once the three phases are completed in seven to 10 years. Construction is expected to begin this summer on the first building, a 169,000-square-foot expandable industrial commercial structure. The park is located two miles north of Tuskegee and 15 miles from Auburn. The location is less than 35 miles from the Kia auto assembly plant in West Point, Georgia, and around 50 miles from the Hyundai manufacturing plant in Montgomery.

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