Hubbard Trial Set for October

Staff Report

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Earlier this morning, Judge Jacob Walker III set House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s (Auburn) trial date for the week of Oct. 19, 2015.

The trial was previously scheduled to begin in March, which some attorneys believed was too ambitious of a date to meet.  It should be pointed out the Alabama legislative session begins March 3, 2015.

The defense, led by Mark White, asked the State to produce a series of records that has not yet been met due to problems with the State’s production equipment.  Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart in turn pointed out that the defense did not indicate a preferred format to the State until January 21, 2015.  The prosecution said the State will produce the necessary documents in the requested format.  Those are now set to be received by February 17, 2015, with the defense’s response due February 27, 2015.
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Governor Bentley Addresses Congress

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, January 28, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on behalf of the National Governors Association regarding the need for Congress to pass a long-term plan for transportation infrastructure investments.

In 2012, Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which authorized funding for highways and transit for 27 months. The legislation expires in May 2015 and Governor Bentley urged Congress to pass a long-term funding bill that provides states the certainty needed to plan for and prioritize transportation projects.
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Sessions and Shelby Comment on Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

By Brandon Moseley
labama Political Reporter

On Thursday, January, 29 US Senators Richard Shelby (R) and Jeff Sessions (R) both issued written statements following Senate passage of legislation to approve construction of the long delayed Keystone XL pipeline.  Both Alabama Senators have long been proponents of the pipeline which would bring oil from newly developed oil sands fields in Canada to oil refineries here in the US.

Senator Sessions said in a written statement, “Senate passage of the Keystone pipeline is a bipartisan affirmation of the need to support American energy jobs and lessen our reliance on foreign oil from unfriendly nations. It will further reduce the power of foreign and domestic oil interests to keep prices high—providing another source of oil for America that will place downward pressure on gasoline prices and advantage our national security interests.”
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Merrill Creates Probate Judges Advisory Council

By Byron Shehee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Secretary of State John Merrill announced on Thursday, that the Secretary of State’s Office has created the Probate Judges Advisory Council.

The eight person council is a bipartisan collection of probate judges from counties across the State who will advise Sec. Merrill about issues that need improving at the county and state levels.  Specifically, the council was created to ensure that elections and corporate filings are administered appropriately, accurately, efficiently and as effectively as possible.
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ACA Alabama Enrollment Outpacing Other Southern States

Staff Report

MONTGOMERY— According to an analysis by the Alabama Enrollment Coalition, gains in enrollment under the Affordable Care Act in Alabama are outpacing other Southern states.

According to the analysis Marketplace, enrollment in the State has seen a 41 percent increase in sign-ups through January 21.

“Alabama’s enrollment surge shows that affordable health coverage is available, and Alabamians are seizing the opportunity,” ACPP policy director Jim Carnes said. “As the Feb. 15 enrollment deadline approaches, we urge anyone who needs insurance to learn about the financial assistance available and sign up for a plan that works for them.”
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Probate Judges Will Marry Same Sex Couples

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, January 28, the Alabama Probate Judges Association released a written statement reversing their earlier position that the controversial ruling striking down Alabama’s Constitutional ban on same sex marriage somehow did not apply to them.  The probate judges affirm that if Judge Granade’s two week stay is not extended, then same-sex couples will be eligible to apply for and receive marriage licenses in the State of Alabama after all.
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Hundreds Rally for School Choice In Montgomery

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, January 27, hundreds of Alabama school children and their parents joined Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) in a rally in front of the state capital demanding that the state of Alabama offer more education choices to students such as charter schools and expanding the controversial Alabama Accountability Act.

Speaker Mike Hubbard said in a statement on Facebook, “School Choice Week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. When we stand up for the future of our children and fight for the betterment of our educational system, Alabama families are winning and we are all better off for it.”
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SPLC Files Judicial Ethics Complaint Against Judge Moore

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, January 28, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a judicial ethics complaint against popular Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) for his comments regarding the controversial recent ruling by Federal Judge Callie Granade, declaring that Alabama’s Marriage Protection Act and Sanctity of Marriage Amendment violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
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Moore Responds To SPLC Ethics Complaint

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Late on Wednesday, January 28, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) responded to a complaint by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that he violated judicial ethics by commenting unfavorably about a decision in federal court striking down Alabama’s defense of marriage act.  An unapologetic Chief Justice Moore claimed that he was doing his duty and that lower federal and appeals court decisions are not binding of state of Alabama judges who have equal authority
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Ed Henry Running For ALGOP Leadership Role

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama State Representative Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) announced in a statement on Tuesday, January 27, that he was running as a candidate for Alabama Republican Party District 4 and 5 Vice Chair.

Alabama Representative Henry wrote, “After much thought and prayerful consideration, I feel led to seek the District 4 and 5 Vice Chair position of the Alabama Republican Party, and I am seeking your support.  The anti-Obama wave in the last election gave our Party a firm toehold in areas of Alabama that have traditionally supported Democrats, and I have new energy, new ideas, and devout conservative beliefs that we need in order to build and solidify those gains.”
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