Some of Tim and I's favorite moments include summertime meals at Cotton Row in downtown Huntsville #Our67 #CottonRow
GOOD NEWS ⭐: Vials produced by SiO2 Materials Science may be the critical component needed to ensure safety in the vaccine distribution process. The breakthrough technology developed by the Auburn-based company provides a glimmer of hope amidst challenging times and showcases how Alabamians are working diligently to craft solutions that will assist our nation and the world in the fight against COVID-19. In addition, SiO2 will create 200 highly-skilled jobs as a result of their grant award, which will benefit Lee County as well as our entire state.
Dr. Nicole Jones
More here in the Alabama Political Reporter: https://www.alreporter.com/2020/06/11/auburn-based-sio2-receives-federal-funds-to-produce-vials-for-potential-covid-19-vaccine/
Alabama COVID-19 Update 6-10 – with Governor Kay Ivey
[note form, please excuse typographical errors]
Governor Kay Ivey
- There will be no special session prior to August because budget numbers will not be in until 15 July 2020.
- All options are on the table on whether or not there will be a special session. Before calling a special session, Gov. Ivey will work with the bipartisan legislature to ensure a plan is in place to maximize time in Montgomery and provide transparency to the public, and address legitimate issues that cannot wait until February 2021. (no surprises for anyone)
- Issues regarding monuments, names on buildings, etc. – Following the death of George Floyd, Governor Ivey sent out a statement on 1 June, “Like so many others throughout the country and world, I, too, was shocked by the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd…. it should have never happened. I agree with Alabama native Congressman John Lewis 'Rioting and burning is not the way.'” *plans to re-send full statement to legislature
- Has personally reached out to mayors of Alabama’s 10 largest cities as well as several small towns. And continues to watch news as to how local governments are responding
- Part of the reason Governor Ivey has not discussed prior to this is because she did not want to score "political bonus points " / In January 2020, Senator Figures, Representative Daniels, and more helped assemble a meeting with 65 African American leaders from multiple states – first meeting of Alabama United – 58 showed up at the Blount House – during the conversation, the group began to discuss issues with minorities that affect African American Alabamians – have been encouraged and inspired by Alabama United – had no idea we would have a national discussion on race relations, truly believe the group is working on potential solutions to the time-sensitive issues today. Ivey Administration will be reaching out to both parties in the coming weeks as we work to find common ground.
Dr. Scott Harris – Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)
- 21,600 confirmed cases
- 3-month mark since first case reported
- unfortunately more than 25% have occurred within the past 2 weeks (some can be reflected in increase of testing) – based on positive tests turned in, still high numbers
- 3 hospitals in Montgomery (including Prattville) reported more inpatients than they ever had
- additional hotspots: Morgan County poultry plant in Decatur – hospital has more than 30 cases either confirmed or under investigation
- As we approach 4 July, legislators need to get message out to be safe at this time. Many communities are planning celebrations. Communities need to do so in a safe manner with large groups. – wear masks, use hand sanitation, older population and vulnerable populations should pass up big crowds
- 739 deaths in AL in past three months, around ½ in nursing homes, more than 40% have occurred in African American population
Finance Director Kelly Butler
- Coronavirus relief fund monies from federal government (administration of) – Alabama has implemented guidance and has reimbursed aspects of SB161 – sent notification to cities and counties on 28 May that they can begin to claim reimbursements, some have sent in, others on the way in – several conference calls and Zoom meetings with different groups to determine what can and cannot be reimbursed
- 3 June communication with government agencies that they can be reimbursed - $300MM state government, __(?) M telework for state agencies, $200M corrections buckets, $10MM allocated to the courts
- work now is concentrated on business/nonprofit/faith-based bucket of $300MM, working with ADOR to establish small business grant program modeled from programs in other states on businesses that have been affected by COVID-19, fill out a one-page form – eligible for a grant in the amount to $25K on business interruption costs by COVID-19 – open to small businesses without employees and sole proprietors, cannot receive more than $5MM in annual revenue, limited to $100MM
Commissioner Jeff Dunn – Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC)
- 3 areas to update today: 1. update on COVID-19 in prison system, 2. talk about efforts to resume a new operational environment to transition to more steady state environment within COVID-19 3. update on Alabama prison program to revitalize infrastructure
- As of yesterday at 3:40PM, approx. 75 staff or contractors with COVID, 27 cleared to return to duty
- There are COVID-positives in several facilities, paying most attention to Tutwiler (staff), ___ correctional facility, state medical facilities that serve Elmore and Frank Lee Community Based Facility/Community Work Center – within last 48 hours, several healthcare providers have tested positive, working on an augmentation plan to provide emergency, critical, and essential services for inmates out of that location
- 27 positive inmates, 18 of which are active
- reviewing CDC guidelines for inmates, on telephone weekly for updates with counterparts around the country to share information about how to best address
- providing medical testing for procedures to ensure they do not go to the hospital with a positive COVID-19 test
- transition to new operational environment: recognize we will not be “normal” any time soon but we have to get to a point where we can operate services within the prison system – that process and protocols will be conditions-based, not time-based (evaluate on case-by-case basis and ability to deliver medical and mental health services as they open facilities).
- Stringent requirements (deep cleanings, hand sanitizer, temperature checks, etc.)
- It is near impossible to social distance with the overcrowded conditions.
- in-house educational services have resumed and are monitored under new programs, including vocational education, visitation, and religious services
- It will take ADOC time to adjust based on conditions within facilities.
- infrastructure – have received proposals from developer teams, put ADOC in to 2-part process – technical and financial aspects of proposals / technical evaluation completed – all proposals met or exceeded technical, now evaluating the financials
- Goal: offer opportunity to negotiate contracts for facilities by late-summer
- working to obtain the body camera grant from the DOJ indicated – for canine teams, will test with correctional supervisors in the fall
- working with Ingram State Technical College (ITSC) to provide educational services through electronic means – portable electronic devices for GED work, etc.
- All information available on ADOC website updated daily
- House Majority Leader Nathanial Ledbetter question for Commissioner Dunn: alluded to financial evaluation-based – what are you looking for? / Answer: ADOC asked developer teams to bid on the technical specifications and financial cost because this is a lease arrangement to provide costs, financial modeling, ability to obtain finances needed for the project – will be evaluating the project at the quality required within the affordability level
- Representative Matt Simpson question to Comm. Dunn: Why are the inmates on probation revocation not getting credit/ Local jails are not sending ADOC. People can be sitting in jail for 45 days and not waiting until they get to ADOC to receive credit / Comm. Dunn response: procedurally under normal conditions the clock would not start until ADOC. However, ADOC provided mechanism to which counties can release probationary dumps from their custody and not send to ADOC. Governor Ivey announced earlier in the COVID-19 crisis. / Nathanial Ledbetter: can you send back out to us? Would like legislature to have (Yes – will send)
Secretary Fitzgerald Washington - Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL)
- US unemployment down approx. 1% (approx. 14% to 13%), hopefully a sign to road to prosperity again
- 12.9% Alabama unemployment rate
- 1.9M working, down 273,000 over the course of the year
- Proud of staff’s work on countless hours to how people get paid and eligibility questions from employers and employees / diligently clarifying
- $1.5MM paid out for unemployment claims, over 300,000 claims made
- $34MM PUA for self-employed
- To date, ADOL has responded to 92% of COVID-19-related claims
- Once applicants file their initial claims, if entered correctly, will be processed within 15 minutes. if entered incorrectly, will force the claimant to be initially denied –80% the vast majority of delays are due to the following – incorrect information on application (SSN, misspellings, incorrect routing numbers, etc.)
- Some employees have not been truthful when filing, knowing it will be financially beneficial to quit and get government aid. In these cases, ADOL has to give employers time to respond (due process)
- All claimants need to file weekly certifications. Some people get benefits one week but do not file the weekly requirements. More than 36,000 claims filed as of last week had to call back last week to get issues resolved. Now claimants getting direct messages to re-certify weekly.
- As a reminder, direct deposit is the fastest way to receive benefit. ADOL issued debit cards take an additional 5-7 days to process.
- On alert for fraud and theft of personal information / two metro jail inmates were trying to use a false identity to get unemployment benefits for drugs and cigarettes
- Continuing to find ways to improve claims, hired call centers, expanded hours. Brought back retired employees to help communicate the process, hired a firm to develop user-friendly ways to use tools available on website – labor.alabama.gov
- Currently this is mind-boggling – over 200,000 calls per day(!) with only 400 to answer the calls
- Thank you to Stephen Reed in Montgomery and ASU President Quintin Ross for ADOL to set up at Cramton Bowl and ASU stadium
Dr. Mackey – Alabama State Dept. of Education (ALSDE)
- As of 1 June, public schools, private school, colleges, etc. can reopen
- Many campuses working on getting sports practices back
- Some opted not to open until this week.
- Some pushback as regard to the fall – virtual school option for public schools – RFP open on Monday of this week. Meeting yesterday afternoon to brief Dr. Mackey with responses – all over the map responses (costs, proposals different from different vendors) – 7 vendors responded to all or part of the RFPs
- There is a team of instructional and technical specialists going through the vendor applications with a focus on K-8.
- We have a limited number of folks that can participate in those classes. Will use federal funds to expand capacity for 9-12
- proposal out to get coursework for local school systems - Hire teachers and give virtual instruction as requested. Asked school admin to ask parents whether or not they prefer an online option – example: 4-5% to 33% - difficult for local school system with the larger numbers/ need 30% of faculty committed to virtual, rest for on-campus – working on issues all summer
- Schoology – statewide learning management system under contract – part of the power school student information system, now expanding because the original purchase did not have a virtual option (new contract negotiated already, will be put into place before the fall)
- will have a draft to refine to meet needs as best possible – publicly available within about three weeks (have to wait until the final document to mitigate potential confusion within the community)
- as we continue to implement the Alabama Literacy Act, some reading specialists are being moved (voluntarily – have applied) to take positions as personal coaches and reading coaches in high-need areas / wanted to begin on 1 July, but many will start 1 August so the local positions can be replaced
- Folks will work for home, Dept of ED will pay travel as they go back and forth to critical need areas
Dr. Nicole Jones
Thank you, No Kid Hungry, for feeding Alabama's children. #Our67
If you have children or grandchildren in need of food, enter your address or city/town to find FREE, healthy meals served by organizations in your community.
GOOD NEWS ✈: Last year economic developers were in agreement that the newly constructed A220 aircraft manufacturing facility would serve as a catalyst for jobs and aerospace investment in the near future and for years to come. JetBlue's partnership is an example of how that statement has become a reality. The announcement demonstrates Airbus' strength in our state, our nation, and the world. We are fortunate to have Airbus in Mobile, Alabama. #Our67
Dr. Nicole Jones
More here in the Alabama Political Reporter: https://www.alreporter.com/2020/05/21/airbus-begins-production-of-a220-aircraft/
GOOD NEWS - Jobs, long-term investment, and PPE 🛡: HomTex is a fine example of an Alabama company retooling to meet a critical PPE need during an unprecedented time in United States history. The washable, reusable masks are reasonably priced, environmentally friendly, and manufactured by a family-owned business, qualities that make us proud to say, 'Made in Alabama.'"
Dr. Nicole Jones
More here in the Alabama Political Reporter:
National COVID-19 Update - PROJECT AIRBRIDGE 🇺🇸🛩: Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched 'Project Airbridge' and enlisted the help of the private sector to deliver needed supplies in an expedient manner. FedEx and UPS have been engaged to participate in the public-private partnership.
Supply chain management efficiency is the goal. Utilize skilled industry partners to quickly send supplies to hotspots so Americans can start using what they need.
Dr. Nicole Jones
More here in the Alabama Political Reporter: https://www.alreporter.com/2020/04/10/fema-and-hhs-launch-project-airbridge/
GOOD NEWS from Alabama automakers: Whether retooling to create products or donating funds to obtain supplies needed to combat COVID-19, Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz certainly have demonstrated their roles as key Alabama economic development partners. Until a treatment is found, supplies and strategy are of great value for fellow Alabamians and Americans. Thank you to all companies and individuals who contribute in various ways.
Dr. Nicole Jones
More here in the Alabama Political Reporter: https://www.alreporter.com/2020/04/06/alabama-automakers-contribute-to-covid-19-fight/
ALABAMA ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES LIST [from the Order effective 4/4 at 5PM] 🇺🇸:
For the purposes of this Order, “essential businesses and operations” means and includes:
a. Government operations, including public safety and first responders, law enforcement, fire prevention and response, courts and court personnel, military, emergency management personnel, corrections, probation and parole, child protection, child welfare, EMTs, 911 call-center employees, all workers and vendors that support law enforcement and emergency management operations and services, and other federal, state, tribal, or local officials or employees;
b. Health-care providers and caregivers, including physicians, dentists, mental health workers, nurses, chiropractors, physical therapists, veterinarians, hospitals/clinics,
medical practices, research and laboratory operations, hospice, health care facilities, clinical staff, nursing homes, residential health care facilities, adult day care centers,
blood banks, congregate-care facilities, assisted living facilities, elder care, medical wholesale and distribution, home health workers and aides, medical supply and
equipment manufacturers and providers, medical waste disposal, hazardous waste disposal, other ancillary healthcare services;
c. Infrastructure Operations, including electric, natural gas, and water utilities, nuclear facilities and other generating facilities, utility poles and components, fuel pipelines and transmission systems, petroleum producers, telecommunications, electronic security and life safety services, wireless communication companies, communications sales and customer support, telecommunication and data centers, cybersecurity operations; businesses and other operations concerned with flood control, aviation, and the maintenance, operation, or construction of dams, airports, ports, roads and highways, and
mass transit; automotive sales and repair, vehicle rental and taxi services, network providers (such as Uber and Lyft), freight and passenger rail, motor carriers, pipelines,
and other transportation infrastructure and businesses, water and waste water systems, transportation companies such as airlines and bus lines, hazardous waste disposal, hotels and commercial lodging services, and RV parks;
d. Manufacturing facilities, including food processing and production; companies that produce pharmaceuticals, food additives, medical equipment, medical devices and
supplies, technology, biotechnology, chemical products, telecommunications products; automotive production and suppliers, airplane, ship, and space vehicle or rocket
manufacturers; companies involved in healthcare, energy, steel and steel products, fuel and petroleum exploration and production, lubricants, greases and engine oils, mining, national defense, sanitary and cleaning products, household products, personal care products, products used by any other Essential Business or Operation;
e. Agricultural operations and farms, including food cultivation, livestock, cattle, poultry and seafood operations, transportation of agricultural products, livestock auctions,
feedlots, dealers and brokers of livestock, farmer’s markets, feed stores, repairers and suppliers of agricultural equipment, gas, diesel and petroleum suppliers, companies
involved with aquaculture, horticulture, and chemicals, including pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer producers and distributors, forest products businesses, including those
involved in forestry operations, logging, manufacture of lumber and paper products; meat processing facilities, rendering facilities and transporters, feed processing facilities,
f. Essential retailers, defined as all supermarkets, food and beverage stores, including liquor stores and warehouse clubs, food providers, convenience stores, office-supply stores, bookstores, computer stores, pharmacies, health care supply stores, hardware stores, home improvement stores, building materials stores, stores that sell electrical, plumbing, and heating materials, gun stores, gas stations; auto, farm equipment, bicycle, motorcycle, and boat supply and repair stores, and businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, and goods directly to residences;
g. Restaurants and bars;
h. Essential personal services, defined as trash collection, mail and shipping services, home repair, automotive sales and repair; warehouse, distribution and fulfillment centers, kennels, animal shelters, laundromats/laundry service, dry cleaners, childcare facilities,public transportation, and providers of business services including security and payroll; funeral, cemetery, and related services;
i. Media operations, including newspapers, digital news sites, television, radio and other
j. Education operations, including educators supporting public and private K-12 schools,colleges and universities or other educational institutions, for purposes of facilitating distance learning and education continuity plans approved by the State Superintendent of Education, performing critical research or other essential functions, including public schools preparing and transporting distance-learning materials and meals to eligible students and colleges providing lodging for students (all in compliance with paragraph 12 below);
k. Financial services, including banks and related financial institutions, credit unions, payday lenders, businesses that process credit card and other financial transactions, and other services related to financial markets;
l. Professional Services, including legal services, accounting services, insurance services, real estate services (including appraisal and title services);
m. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including businesses, religious and secular non-profit organizations, food banks, homeless shelters and congregate-care facilities;
n. Construction and construction-related services, including building and construction, lumber, building materials and hardware businesses, electricians, plumbers, other
construction tradesmen and tradeswomen, exterminators; cleaning and janitorial, HVAC and water heating businesses; painting, moving and relocating services, other skilled trades, and other related construction firms and professionals for maintaining essential infrastructure;
o. Essential public services, defined as services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences and essential businesses and essential business operations, including law enforcement, fire prevention and response, firearm and ammunition manufacturers and retailers, building code enforcement, security, emergency management and response, building cleaning including disinfection, automotive sales and repair, mortuaries and cemeteries;
p. Military or defense operations, including employers and personnel who support the essential products and services required to meet national security commitments, including personnel working for companies and their subcontractors, who perform under contract to the Department of Defense providing materials and services to the Department of
Defense and government-owned/contractor-operated and government-owned /government-operated facilities.
q. Essential services or product providers, defined as vendors that provide services or products, including logistics, transportation, and technology support, child care programs
and services, medical waste disposal, hazardous waste disposal, services needed to ensure the continuing operation of an essential business or operation, operation of government agencies, and to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public;
r. Religious entities, including religious and faith-based facilities, entities and groups;
s. Federally-designated critical infrastructure, defined as workers and related industries
identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in its “Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response,” https://www.cisa.gov/identifyingcritical-infrastructure-during-covid-19, as may be amended;
t. Other state-designated essential businesses and operations, defined as businesses and operations deemed essential by the Alabama Department of Public Health or the Alabama
Emergency Management Agency; and
u. Support operations for essential businesses and operations, defined as employees,contractors, agents, suppliers, or vendors of an essential business or operation as definedin this paragraph.
COVID-19 Alabama Update 3/30 : This morning Governor Ivey, Dr. Harris with ADPH, Secretary Canfield with Commerce, Dr. Mackey with Education, Major General Sheryl Gordon of ANG, and others hosted a teleconference to discuss COVID-19 response measures.
Key points [Note form]:
Governor Ivey: Army Corps of Engineers – team in MGM area visiting 6 areas in our state conducting facilities that can be used to provide additional hospital beds – Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Tuscaloosa, Auburn / General Holland working with ADPH and supposed to provide findings this week
FAQ document for businesses issued by Alabama Dept of Public Health (ADPH) – retailers can work, re-stock, carry-out operations, etc. OK as long as employees maintain 6 foot distance (doors closed to public only, not employees) / Retailers can do carry-out, curbside, and online sales
Greg Canfield: Secretary Canfield and the Alabama Department of Commerce are working diligently to identify companies across Alabama that can manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) or who can quickly learn to make the items we are most in need of. They have identified 30 companies so far.
Dr. Harris - ADPH: Cases in AL – 831 cases as of this morning, 15 deaths – publicly acknowledged only 7 because not all have been officially reported yet / up to 2,500 deaths nationwide
Issued new health orders on Friday exp. 17 April at 5PM – retail is controversial subject, trying to make decisions with social distancing / Attorney General’s office answers ADPH requests to ensure rules are being explained appropriately
Clinics opening in Macon and Dallas County today – Wilcox Wednesday – Houston Thursday / Wiregrass and Blackbelt now more testing – now 30 pop-up sites in these areas
Hospitals using available space to add additional ICU areas
Hospital unecessary capacity diminished (good) – because of recent health order prohibiting elective procedures
PPE – ADPH received third and final shipment from strategic national stockpile / Allocation – a certain amount that is going to hotspot hospitals in crisis right now – using same formula based on size and reported needs of counties
Kenneth Butler - Finance: Finance dept goal to continue operations with social distancing – ensure payments are made to health providers, Medicaid, and vendors that provide services
Implemented plans that allows to do remotely if necessary, employees working at home continuing to process payments and transactions - all vendors are being paid
2020 budget – expected revenues to decline – we have not seen a decline in the first 6 months of the fiscal year, we think that March receipts are based on February economic activity / expect to see sales and income tax decline in April’s number
Because of the strong first 6 months, do not expect to call proration in remainder of fiscal year
Governor included changes to normal purchasing rules so Alabama can acquire PPE we need
President Trump expanded social distancing order to 30 April
Walker County: Food pick-up sites for families in need through 3 April #Our67
Please drop me a note if your community is doing this as well -
Tim won his seat last night and will now serve as Trump Delegate, Place 19. Thank you to everyone who voted for him! #Our67 🇺🇸
Vote for Tim * Timothy (Tim) Wadsworth * on Tuesday - Statewide Trump Delegate Place 19 🇺🇸 / Tim was the sixth (6th) elected official nationwide to endorse Donald Trump in 2015 and has been a steadfast supporter of our president and the policies that Make America Great Again! #Our67
Beautiful presentation by the Tuskegee Choir in the State House today #Our67
The Paying It Forward Campaign has expanded to include the well-known, 100+ year old, locally owned and operated Chris' Famous Hotdogs on Dexter Avenue. Thank you, Chris' Hotdogs!
More here: https://www.alabamanews.net/2020/02/23/paying-it-forward-campaign-expands-to-chris-hot-dogs/
GOOD NEWS 🌟: A refreshing theme resonated in the Old House Chamber - Alabama’s business climate is strong and unprecedented. Economic development is a team effort, and our Governor has worked with the business community, elected officials, and constituents to facilitate this environment. Economic development requires partnerships, strategic planning, and investment in our future. If we continue following these principles, we will continue to witness success stories in Alabama. Governor Ivey also expressed a willingness to tackle tough problems that other parties have not had the political courage to do so. I commend the governor and her efforts to address rural healthcare, prison reform, and education.
More here: https://www.alreporter.com/2020/02/05/alabama-republican-praise-iveys-state-of-the-state-speech/
Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The United Nations designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January, the day of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. #Our67 #WeRemember
(Pictured during Holocaust Remembrance Week 2019 at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC)
This is my favorite picture from when Tim took me on a beautiful trip to the Lodge at Gulf State Park. The orange leather chairs in the lobby are made in Arley, Alabama! #Our67
We all had a beautiful first Christmas together. Though Hayden and Sheridan truly enjoyed their gifts, we all agree that Tim is the greatest blessing in our lives! ❤
GOOD NEWS ⭐: We are living in a red-letter time in history with continuous record low unemployment. Alabama is open for business, and companies are hiring. Much of this economic resurgence can be credited to tax and workforce development policies initiated by the Trump Administration. The Pledge to America’s Workers, for example, includes commitments from businesses and trade groups to offer programs that educate, train, and re-skill workers of all ages. Companies are bringing their plants back to the United States and willing to invest in their human capital again – and when the majority of folks are working, we all benefit. #Our67
Dr. Nicole Jones
More here in the Alabama Political Reporter: https://www.alreporter.com/2019/12/24/alabama-hits-record-low-unemployment-rate-of-2-7-percent/
Happy 200th Birthday, Alabama! This is my favorite picture with Governor Kay Ivey, taken one year ago in the Old House Chamber at the unveiling of the Alabama Bicentennial Coca-Cola! #Our67
Tags: Nicole Jones, Huntsville, AL, Montgomery, Arley, Nicole Jones Alabama, economic development, #Our67
Dr. Nicole Jones
Post Office Box 667
Huntsville, Alabama 35804
Post Office Box 67
Arley, Alabama 35541
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