Senators Republican and Democrat Question General Fund Budget

By Bill Britt 
Alabama Political Reporter

Montgomery–UPDATE/Correction–The General Fund Budget has been a thorn in the flesh to many in state government.

But Senator Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) has been especially vocal in what he sees as a wrong-headed solution to the state fiscal problems. He has even questioned the constitutionality of the bill’s passage.

Not far behind Brewbaker is his senate colleague from across the aisle Roger Bedford (D-Florence).

Brewbaker along with Senators Bussman, Beason, McGill and Sanford vote against the eleventh hour budget. “I voted against the General Fund Budget because it’s unconstitutional,” said Brewbaker. “The only thing the legislature must do in a session is pass a balanced budget.”
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Drake Reflects on 2012 Session

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Late last year Dickie Drake (R) from Leeds was elected to the Alabama State House of Representatives seat that was once held by his brother, Owen Drake (R) from Leeds.  Governor Bentley called a special election to fill Owen’s seat after Owen lost his battle with cancer over the summer.  Dickie Drake defeated three opponents on his way to winning the election.

Rep. Dickie Drake said that he has gained a lot of respect for members of the state legislature once he got to Montgomery and saw just how much work was involved in being an Alabama state representative.  Rep. Drake said, “It was like getting a four year education in 30 days.”  “I learned a lot.”
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Blount County Contractor Arrested for Defrauding Riverchase Church

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY–Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced that Chad Evan Huffstutler has been arrested for crimes associated with work for the Riverchase United Methodist Church.  Chad Evans Huffstutler, age 36 from Blountsville, does business as Huffstutler Contracting, LLC.

Based on evidence presented by Attorney General Strange’s Office, a Shelby County grand jury handed down several indictments against Huffstutler on May 9.  The grand jury found that there was enough evidence to indict Huffstutler on the charges that Huffstutler committed one count of first-degree theft of property valued at more than $2,500 from the Riverchase United Methodist Church.  The state also alleges that Mr. Huffstutler committed one count of first-degree theft by deception of property valued at more than $2,500 from the Riverchase United Methodist Church.  The Blount County man was also indicted on two counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument.  One of those was a performance bond and the other one was a payment bond.
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Sewell, Roby, and Bachus Honor Vets and Observe Memorial Day

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

In Observance of Memorial Day Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D) from Selma released the following statement in recognition of Memorial Day, which was celebrated on Monday.

Rep. Sewell said, “On Monday, we pay tribute and honor the commitment of our brave servicemen and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend this great nation. We owe our country’s freedom and safety to the willingness and courage of our troops who answered the call of duty.”
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Editorial: Job Creation Remains Top Priority

By Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey

It didn’t take long traveling the state once elected Lieutenant Governor to discover the main concern of Alabamians was improving the job climate. I pledged to do my part to create an environment in which the red tape that entangles businesses would be removed, people could move up the job ladder, new jobs could be created and Alabama’s economy would once again prosper.
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Chapman Announces Staff Promotions

Staff Report

From the Office of Secretary of State Beth Chapman

MONTGOMERY – Secretary of State Beth Chapman announced two promotions in her office today.  Emily Thompson has been promoted to Deputy Secretary of State and Adam Thompson (no relation) as her Deputy Chief of Staff, a role which both have assisted in for many years.

“Both of these employees have worked closely by my side for eight years on state and national issues in the Secretary of State’s and State Auditor’s Offices,” Chapman said.
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Governor Pocket Vetoes Taxpayers Bill of Rights II

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY–During a conference call last Thursday Governor Robert Bentley informed the House and Senate sponsors of the Alabama Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights II legislation that he would pocket veto the bill.

The bill, which would have set up an Alabama Tax Appeals Commission separate from the Alabama Department of Revenue had receive broad support from the business community.

Lawmakers on the call appealed to the governor to let the bill stand and that changes would be made at the next legislative session. But Bentley would not relent.
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Senators crusade to protecting elderly from abuse signed into law

By Bill Britt

Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY–Governor Robert Bentley has signed SB262 into law.

“After three years of fighting to enact my Elder Abuse Prevention Act, I am grateful that Governor Bentley realized the importance of protecting our senior citizens and signed it into law this session. This is the first step in protecting our senior citizens from abuse in all of its disgusting forms–physical, emotional and financial,” said the acts champion Senator Tammy Irons (D-Florence).
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Sex in Prison quid pro quo says six

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Editor’s note: Six women were interviewed for this report all are current or former inmates at the Tutwiller Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama.

Only three women are quoted to avoid confusion but all agreed with the others statements. All the names have been changed to protect the women’s identity.

MONTGOMERY–On May 22, 2012, the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department alleging evidence of “frequent and severe officer-on-inmate sexual violence.”
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Shelby Says that FHA has Been Woefully Neglected

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R) from Alabama released a written statement with his remarks made at a hearing on housing finance reform.  Sen. Shelby is the ranking Republican member of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Sen. Shelby said, “Our fragile housing market faces numerous challenges.  The uncertainty created by the nearly four-year conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is one such challenge.  The resulting lack of clarity in the secondary market is a major impediment to private capital returning to our housing finance system.  Without that capital, it will be difficult to have a sustainable recovery in our housing market.”
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