Good morning!

I hope you've recovered from the excitement (and stress) of the first week of SEC football. Can't say I really have, but man that was fun.

Here's your Daily News for Monday, September 28.
1. Budgeting changes put Alabama in 'enviable' position
  • Alabama’s gross tax revenue was up 5.3% at the end of August with one month remaining in the pandemic-affected fiscal year. 
  • And though some of the dozens of tax revenue streams that flow into the state’s General Fund and education budgets withered when the coronavirus came to Alabama, overall, both funds’ revenues are up in 2020 compared to 2019. 
  • Moreover, both budgets will end the fiscal year this week able to tuck money away into reserve accounts. And planned spending for fiscal 2021, which begins Thursday, is not only more than 2020’s allocations but the most ever, though not what state leaders envisioned when they started crafting the 2021 budgets earlier this year.
  • Looking at many other states more than six months into a global health crisis, Alabama’s budget situation is enviable, several state leaders told Alabama Daily News.
  • It’s a budget situation far removed from five years ago, when it took two special sessions and a cigarette tax increase to patch together a General Fund budget and State House leaders quipped about looking for loose change under couch cushions.
  • Read the full feature story from ADN's Mary Sell HERE.
2. Growing Alabama Tax Credit expires Wednesday
  • A tax incentive used by local economic development organizations expires Wednesday after having not been renewed by the Legislature.
  • The Growing Alabama Credit allows local economic development organizations to leverage state funds to build industrial parks or other job-attracting sites. Since its creation in 2016, 10 economic development organizations have applied for and qualified for the Growing Alabama Credit and $7.5 million had been claimed through 2019, according to the 2020 report. Commerce estimates that incentive has helped create 2,630 jobs.
  • The Growing Alabama Credit and the larger Alabama Jobs Credit and Investment Credit, which expire at the end of the year, were expected to be renewed in the spring legislative session. COVID-19 shortened the session and lawmakers’ list of priorities, leaving the credits in limbo. State officials have pledged to renew them in the 2021 session that begins in February.
  • Asked about the lapse, the importance of renewal and any chance of a special session yet this year, a spokeswoman for Gov. Kay Ivey said economic development "remains a top priority for her."
  • Press Secretary Gina Maiola said Ivey "and her team at the Department OF Commerce have been in discussions related to these items, and all options remain on the table.”
  • Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield in July said his office is looking for other options should lawmakers not act this year.
  • “Although, those options are pretty limited,” Canfield said. “If we don’t have a special session, it certainly will have some impact on the negotiation of certain projects that we’re currently working on or projects that might come to us in the fall.”
  • Full story from ADN's Mary Sell HERE.
3. Times report: Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, 2017
  • President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he ran for president and in his first year in the White House, according to a report Sunday in The New York Times.
  • Trump, who has fiercely guarded his tax filings and is the only president in modern times not to make them public, paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years.
  • The president’s financial disclosures indicated he earned at least $434.9 million in 2018, but the tax filings reported a $47.4 million loss.
  • The disclosure, which the Times said comes from tax return data it obtained extending over two decades, comes at a pivotal moment ahead of the first presidential debate Tuesday and weeks before a divisive election against Democrat Joe Biden.
  • Trump found multiple ways to reduce his tax bills. He has taken tax deductions on personal expenses such as housing, aircraft and $70,000 to style his hair while he filmed “The Apprentice.” Losses in the property businesses solely owned and managed by Trump appear to have offset income from his stake in “The Apprentice” and other entities with multiple owners.
  • During the first two years of his presidency, Trump relied on business tax credits to reduce his tax obligations. The Times said $9.7 million worth of business investment credits that were submitted after Trump requested an extension to file his taxes allowed him to offset his obligations and pay just $750 each in 2016 and 2017.
  • Speaking at a news conference Sunday at the White House, Trump dismissed the report as “fake news” and maintained he has paid taxes, though he gave no specifics. He also vowed that information about his taxes “will all be revealed,” but he offered no timeline for the disclosure and made similar promises during the 2016 campaign on which he never followed through.
  • Read more HERE.
4. Trump vows swift vote on Barrett nomination
  • President Donald Trump said Sunday that confirmation of his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will go “quickly” but his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, implored the Republican-led Senate to hold off on voting on her nomination until after the Nov. 3 election to “let the people decide.”
  • Speaking at a press conference at the White House, the president spotlighted Barrett's Roman Catholic religion, portraying her as a victim of attacks on her faith. But it's her conservative approach to the law, particularly health care access that is drawing opposition from Democrats, not her private beliefs.
  • “It's a disgrace,” Trump said. He vowed she will be confirmed “very quickly.”
  • Trump's announcement of Barrett for the seat held by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is launching a high-stakes, fast-track election season fight over confirmation of a conservative judge who is expected to shift the court rightward as it reviews health care, abortion access and other hot-button issues.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote on Barrett’s nomination in the “weeks ahead.” Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham said confirmation hearings will begin Oct. 12. A vote is expected Oct. 29.
  • Read more about the time line HERE.
  • Four years ago, Amy Coney Barrett was a little-known law professor in Indiana. Within weeks, she is likely to be the newest associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Barrett's fast-track rise, set to drive the nation's highest court to the right for a generation or longer, is the fulfillment of a decades-long effort by conservatives to remake the federal bench that kicked into high gear after Trump was elected. 
  • Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society called Barrett's nomination “... the capstone of a more than four-year process where the president seized upon the issue, stayed focused, and called attention to a small bench of very talented people who he could put on the Supreme Court."
  • Read more about Barrett's background and the effort to reshape the judiciary HERE.
5. LSU loss, Big Ten return shake up Top 25
  • Mississippi's upset of defending national champion LSU plus the return of Big Ten and PAC 12 teams to the rankings shook up this week's AP Top 25 poll.
  • No Big Ten or PAC 12 team will kick off until late October at the earliest, but the AP decided all FBS teams planning to play in the fall would be eligible for inclusion in the Top 25. But some voters abstained from voting for teams that haven't played yet, further complicating the poll.
  • At the top of the rankings this week, Clemson remained No. 1 with 55 first-place votes, followed by Alabama at No. 2 with three first-place votes.
  • Florida moved up to No. 3 with Georgia right behind at No. 4.
  • Auburn moved up to No. 7, setting up a rare early season top ten match-up with Georgia Saturday in the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.
  • The SEC leads all conferences with eight teams in the Top 25, including four in the Top 10.
  • Read more and see this week's full poll HERE.
News Briefs

Samford, Tuskegee partner in new program for law students

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Samford University and Tuskegee University are joining in a partnership that will let students shave one year off the time needed to earn a law degree.
  • A joint announcement says undergraduate students will be able to earn a bachelor's degree from Tuskegee and a law degree from Samford's Cumberland School of Law in six years rather than seven under the new program.
  • Samford is a Christian school located near Birmingham, and Tuskegee is a historically black school east of Montgomery. The partnership allows some coursework to apply for both a undergraduate and a graduate degree.
  • Most Tuskegee students are from Alabama, and Samford produces lawyers who mostly practice in the state. An advisor of the pre-law program at Tuskegee, Tammy Laughlin, says the program will help Tuskegee students get acquainted with the state's prime legal market in Birmingham.

Alabama labor leader named head of national group

  • Alabama’s labor secretary has been installed as the chair of a national workforce association.
  • Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington assumed the role of Board Chair of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Washington, who has served as Labor Secretary since 2014, will serve as Board Chair until September 2021, then will remain on the board for another year as Past Board Chair.
  • “I’m excited to take on this new opportunity and to connect with my peers across the country in learning best practices and comprehensive strategies to strengthen Alabama’s economy and Department of Labor,” said Washington. “I’m extremely honored that my colleagues have placed me in this position and am grateful for their expertise and friendship.”
  • The National Association of State Workforce Agencies, or NASWA, is the national organization representing all 50 state workforce agencies, D.C. and U.S. territories. These agencies deliver training, employment, career and business services, in addition to administering the unemployment insurance, veteran reemployment and labor market information programs
  • Read more from ADN's Will Whatley HERE.

Alabama jail going to digital mail system for inmates

  • HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Inmates in one Alabama county jail will no longer get their mail in the usual manner beginning next month. 
  • The Madison County Sheriff's Office, in a news release, said it's moving to digitize incoming mail, including letters, cards and photographs. The mail will be scanned into the commissary system and delivered to inmates in digital form only, reported.
  • Inmates will have access to their personal mail through a kiosk inside the housing areas. 
  • After the mail is scanned and delivered to the inmates, the Madison County Detention Facility will retain the items for a week from the date received, the sheriff's office said.
  • Sheriff Kevin Turner said the change is prompted by the threat from COVID-19, and to keep inmates from receiving drugs or "dangerous substances" through the mail system. Books and magazines are not affected by the change.
  • "By offering this service, we hope to provide an extra barrier for those seeking to send illegal drugs and other contraband into our jail facility," Turner said. "This mail process is a proactive response to ensure the health and safety of the jail staff and inmates of the jail. We believe that this will enhance our security tremendously."
  • Several law enforcement agencies have adopted the practice of scanning mail and delivering it digitally to inmates including Shawnee County, Kansas; Walton County, Florida and Sangamon County, Illinois.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - How budgeting changes put Alabama in ‘enviable’ situation during pandemic

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Lapse in economic development incentives coming

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Trump vows quick court vote

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - How it happened: From law professor to high court in 4 years

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - AP Top 25: Big Ten and Pac-12 return to most unusual poll

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Alabama labor leader named head of national group

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Trump caps judiciary remake with choice of Barrett for court

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Sen. Doug Jones won’t vote to confirm Supreme Court justice nominee before election

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Alabamians, New York City, & Covid-19

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Weekend Digest – September 27, 2020

AL.COM - Alabama’s nation-leading 16,000 Fortified roofs held up well to Hurricane Sally
AL.COM - Contributor Cameron Smith: Replacing Ginsburg is not a constitutional crisis
AL.COM - Contributors Dr. Mallory Lucier-Greer and Dr. David L. Albright: The dynamics – and the needs – of military members, veterans and families have evolved
AL.COM - Local health officials worry CDC has ‘lost its soul’
AL.COM - Contributor Teresa Thorne: Former Birmingham police captain: Should we defund the police?
AL.COM - Join the effort to profile every Alabama World War II casualty
Montgomery Advertiser - Trump embraces political battle with pick of Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative favorite, for Supreme Court

Montgomery Advertiser - Teen killed, two seriously injured in Zelda Road wreck

Montgomery Advertiser - Montgomery police identify man killed in Sunday morning homicide

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham - ADPH: More than 2,500 people have died from COVID-19 as over 152K test positive and more than 64K recover

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham - Man dies after 3 people are shot in apparent parking dispute

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham - SCLC protests alongside workers at Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center

Tuscaloosa News - MY TURN | CATHY RANDALL: Amendment would clean up state's constitution

Tuscaloosa News - Changes await fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium this season

Tuscaloosa News - Northport voters to choose new mayor in Oct. 6 runoff

Decatur Daily - Austinville Elementary to be taught virtually Monday; 13 employees quarantined

Decatur Daily - $1.8M in online sales taxes in escrow as schools look to fund SROs

Decatur Daily - Canceled dances, virtual events a part of this year's homecoming season

Times Daily - 3 inmates from local cases up for parole

Times Daily - COVID-19 numbers up again in the Shoals

Times Daily - Laduerdale schools awarded $20,000 for virtual learning needs

Anniston Star - Confederate monument in Anniston comes down

Anniston Star - Unusual offerings keep Oxford movie theater in business during pandemic

Anniston Star - Pat Kettles: Do wine bottles need ingredient labels?

YellowHammer News - Kay Ivey hints at mask ordinance extension — ‘What’s working we need to stick with’

YellowHammer News - Airbus marks 5 years of aircraft production at Alabama facility

YellowHammer News - Tuskegee ranks fourth among U.S. News & World Report’s top HBCUs

Gadsden Times - A march in memory: Speaking out against gun violence

Gadsden Times - Stepping down, after 60 years of worship through music at Southside church

Gadsden Times - Afternoon traffic at Litchfield Middle School will be one-way on Campbell Avenue

Dothan Eagle - Global shares up ahead of China holiday, Trump-Biden debate

Dothan Eagle - Governor seeks review of police protest response in Oregon

Dothan Eagle - Church says Cardinal Pell returning to Vatican in crisis

Opelika-Auburn News - New US citizen refugees excited for first presidential vote

Opelika-Auburn News - Asia Today: Australian hot spot, South Korea hit new lows

Opelika-Auburn News - Trump ex-campaign boss hospitalized amid threat to harm self

WSFA Montgomery - Tuskegee police searching for youth facility runaways

WSFA Montgomery - Two cold fronts on the
way to Alabama

WSFA Montgomery - Victim identified in Sunday morning shooting in Montgomery

WAFF Huntsville - Where to find help with your absentee ballot and how to check the status of your vote

WAFF Huntsville - Two children critically injured in wreck on Highway 431

WAFF Huntsville - Decatur church honors law enforcement with free lunch

WKRG Mobile - Storms tomorrow afternoon, cooler weather ahead

WKRG Mobile - Baldwin EMA shares to tips to avoid scammers impersonating FEMA

WKRG Mobile - City of Saraland to hold meeting Monday to discuss recovery efforts following Hurricane Sally

WTVY Dothan - Alabama jail going to digital mail system for inmates

WTVY Dothan - Court allows public nuisance suits against 3 Alabama casinos

WTVY Dothan - Governor Ivey Issues Statement in Support for Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court of the United States

WASHINGTON POST - Democrats focus Supreme Court battle on fate of health-care law under Trump

WASHINGTON POST - ‘All in’ for Trump: These White men, the strongest Trump supporters, say they can’t be swayed

WASHINGTON POST - With five weeks left, Trump plays defense in states he won in 2016

NEW YORK TIMES - Long-concealed records show Trump's chronic losses and years of tax avoidance.

NEW YORK TIMES - Trump’s Financial Records Show Long History of Tax Avoidance

NEW YORK TIMES - Obamacare Returns as Galvanizing Issue After Ginsburg Death and Barrett Nomination

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Those Dying From Covid-19 Are Least Likely to Own Life Insurance

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Global Coronavirus Death Toll on Cusp of One Million

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Trump Declines to Say How Much He Has Paid in Federal Income Taxes

Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)