Top Headlines: New law shortens unemployment coverage, Alabama Power closings

New law shortens unemployment coverage by nearly half
Starting Jan. 1, people who lose their jobs in Alabama will see the time they can receive unemployment compensation reduced by almost half unless they enroll in a job training program. Proponents say the change will save businesses money and encourage workers to improve skills and land better jobs. Opponents say it will punish those struggling to makes ends meet in an uneven economy. –

High court rules all software subject to sales and use tax
In a recent decision, the Alabama Supreme Court held that the sale of computer software, whether “canned” or customized, is subject to Alabama sales and use tax, while confirming that separately invoiced services for custom software programing accompanying the conveyance of software are nontaxable. The case is styled Ex parte Russell County Community Hospital and was decided on May 17. – JD Supra

Alabama Power closings include a sentimental favorite
Alabama Power’s decision to close 40 offices around the state includes one with a lot of sentimentality attached: it’s in a city that claims to be the utility’s birthplace. Attalla makes that claim in its welcome signs, including one located at city hall. That’s because the utility’s founder, riverboat captain W.P. Lay, built the world’s first hydroelectric plant on Big Wills Creek. – WBRC

Alabama Robotics Training Park building to reopen June 17 after truck crash
A building at the Alabama Robotics Training Park is scheduled to reopen June 17 after being damaged in a truck crash. An 18-wheeler crashed into the park’s Phase 3 building in Tanner on May 21 at around 11:40 p.m. Investigators say the truck’s driver fell asleep and that no mechanical issues were involved. –

Remote tech workers could get $10K bonus in Shoals
Tech workers willing to relocate to the Shoals area could receive up to $10,000 through a new program. The Remote Worker Incentive Program, or Remote Shoals, begins this month through a partnership between the Shoals Chamber of Commerce and the Shoals Economic Development Authority (SEDA). –

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Tyson Foods spill contaminates north Alabama waterway
Tyson Foods officials have confirmed an accidental release of partially treated wastewater from a plant in Hanceville has polluted a local waterway in northern Alabama, killing a large number of fish throughout connected streams and tributaries of Mulberry Fork River. The ecological impact could be seen for 13 miles upstream, according to local news reports. The spill took place June 6. – TB&P

Ford, VW near agreement on self-driving car deal
Volkswagen has ended its relationship with Aurora Innovation Inc., the Silicon Valley self-driving start-up backed by Inc. — paving the way for the world’s largest carmaker to partner with Ford and its self-driving unit Argo AI. A VW spokesperson declined to offer details but confirmed that “the activities under our parameters have been concluded in regard to Aurora” and that talks with Ford “are progressing very well.” – LA Times

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