The Bulletin—May 29, 2012
The Bulletin compiles news from in and around the US South. We hope these posts will provide space for lively discussion and debate regarding issues of importance to those living in and intellectually engaging with the US South.
- On Thursday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune announced that it "will significantly increase its online news-gathering efforts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while offering enhanced printed newspapers on a schedule of three days a week." Residents of greater New Orleans will only be able to read the 175-year old paper via the print edition on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays or in its online form at www.NOLA.com. Three Alabama newspapers (The Birmingham News, Mobile's Press-Register, and The Huntsville Times) also announced that they would be publishing three days per week and focusing on online news; all four papers are owned by the media company Advance Publications.
- The Alabama Legislature passed Senator Gerald Dial's (R-Lineville) plan for redistricting the state's thirty-five Senate districts in the wee hours of Thursday morning. State Democrats—none of whom voted for the bill—have suggested that the Department of Justice will not approve the plan because it reduces the influence of African American voters across the state. The Alabama Legislative Reapportionment Office details the changes, which reduce the number of majority-white districts in which African Americans make up at least 25% from eleven to six, in this helpful interactive map.
- The US Department of Labor is investigating Florida's implementation of strict new rules for unemployment insurance eligibility after the National Unemployment Law Project and Florida Legal Services jointly filed a detailed complaint which argues that the new rules violate Section 303(a)(1) of the Social Security Act, which requires states to “establish methods of administration reasonably calculated to insure payment of benefits when due.” The rules in question are a part of a series of changes to the state's Unemployment Insurance law enacted in December of 2011 (HB7005).