Connect with us

In Case You Missed It

Shelby Addresses Young Republicans

Brandon Moseley




By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, August 20, US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) was at The Club in Birmingham, to speak to the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans at their annual summer luncheon.

Shelby began by praising Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan: “She is determined to make the Republican Party Stronger, and more viable that it has ever been.”  Shelby told Lathan, “I am proud to work with you.” 

Sen. Shelby said, “When I grew up, I did not know a Republican.  My parents really liked Dwight Eisenhower (R) and supported him when he ran for President. Eisenhower was the first President I voted for. That was a bid deal then. I have never voted for a Democrat for President I can tell you that.” 


Sen. Shelby said, that the Alabama Republican Party has, “Control of the legislature, and we are going to keep it that way. We have the Constitutional offices, and we are going to keep it that way. We have the courts, and we are going to keep it that way.” 

Shelby said, that 2016 is most important election in our lifetimes. “We are either going to tilt one way or the other, and the country has been leaning left recently we need to tip it back to the right. 2016 is going to be the tipping point.”

Shelby said, “Who is going to be the nominee (for President)? Any of them will be better than what we have.”  2016 is important for the Presidency it is also important for keeping control of the House and for keeping control of the Senate.  In the Senate 24 Republican Senators are up for re-election and just 12 Democrats so it is going to be hard to maintain control, but we can do it. 

Alabama’s senior Senator said, that he is market driven. “I don’t like big government, and I don’t like big business either…when they get so big that we have to prop them up.” 

Shelby said, “I know Hillary, but I question does anybody really know her?  She has taken a lot of cuts. People are starting to wake up.” 

Shelby said, “Young Republicans, you are going to be the future.” 

Shelby said, “…because you keep sending me back, I am the Chairman of the Senate banking committee and, hopefully one day, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee…you will notice that.” 

Shelby told the young Republican leaders present to always keep the party in mind, help the party, recruit good candidates, and keep the party strong. 

GBYR Chairman Jackie Curtiss asked Sen. Shelby what he thought of efforts to remove the: Minority Republicans, College Republicans, Young Republicans, and Republican Women from the Alabama Republican Party Steering Committee. 

Shelby said, “I wouldn’t remove them. We need to reach out. We have got to have a big tent. We are bringing in legally about a million folks each year legally.  They are going through the immigration process and there are growing minority populations in this country. We should be reaching out to these people, because that is what America stands for.”

On the pending nuclear weapons agreement with Iran, Shelby said, “I am voting No. I believe all of the Republican will vote no. We will win the first round. Then the President (Obama) will veto our rejection of it.  There are 54 Republicans we need 13 more to override the President’s veto.  Schumer and Menendez both has said they are voting no. It is a bad deal. Obama was chasing the deal and Kerry was hoping to win a Nobel Peace Prize, which doesn’t really mean anything. You can count on me to oppose that.”

Shelby said, “We really need massive tax reform. 50 percent are paying no income tax.  5 percent of the taxpayers are paying 74 percent of the income tax.  Everybody should pay something. If I was czar, like the Romanovs were, I would abolish the income tax. We existed over a hundred years without an income tax.” Shelby said, that he would prefer a national sales tax; but that is not going to happen.  A flat tax would be one heck of an improvement over what we have now.  Of the IRS Shelby said, “You can’t trust them.  Look at what they did to conservative groups trying to get tax exemptions. A Republican administration would be in jail.” 

Senator Shelby said, “This is a great nation.  This is our nation.  It is worth fighting for.  I worry about the debt of our nation.  We are over 18 trillion in debt.  How are we going to pay the debt?

Shelby said, “We have got an administration that is left of senator that is going to do everything it can by decree for the next 18 months.”

Senator Shelby was introduced by Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) who thanked Shelby not only for his service but also for the example he has set and for his influence on Merrill’s life.

Chairman Jackie Curtiss said, “This event would not be possible without Richard Shelby.” 

Curtiss said the GBYR are focused on taking back Jefferson County next year.  Curtiss vowed to canvass Republican areas like Gardendale, Trussville, Over the Mountain and get those people registered and get them to the polls on election day.

Republican National Committeeman Paul Reynolds said that the RNC is like one of those old balloons with a weight in the bottom of it: you knock it down and it gets back up.  There are four legs to the Republican Party: the RNC, National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC), and the Whitehouse effort.  Anytime anything goes wrong it is the RNC which takes all the flack.  If Boehner or McConnell do something wrong some old lady in South Alabama will call up the RNC and say I am not giving any more money until you get rid of that person.  That is not the way it works. 

Reynolds praised RNC Chairman Reince Priebus: “The RNC is collecting between $9 and $13 million a month. We have boots on the ground in every state working for 2016.” 

Alabama’s RNC Committeeman Reynolds said that Vickie Drummond is the RNC national committeewoman.  Together with Chairman Lathan we represent you on the Republican National Committee.

Chairman Curtiss said, “Paul is up for reelection next year: remember how kind he has been to us.”

Continue Reading

In Case You Missed It

House passes General Fund Budget

Brandon Moseley



By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama House of Representatives passed the state General Fund Budget on Tuesday.

The General Fund Budget for the 2019 fiscal year is Senate Bill 178. It is sponsored by Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Montrose. State Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, carried the budget on the House floor. Clouse chairs the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee.

Clouse said, “Last year we monetized the BP settlement money and held over $97 million to this year.”

Clouse said that the state is still trying to come up with a solution to the federal lawsuit over the state prisons. The Governor’s Office has made some progress after she took over from Gov. Robert Bentley. The supplemental we just passed added $30 million to prisons.


The budget adds $50 million to the Department of Corrections.

Clouse said that the budget increased the money for prisons by $55,680,000 and includes $4.8 million to buy the privately-owned prison facility in Perry County.

Clouse said that the budget raises funding for the judicial system and raises the appropriation for the Forensic Sciences to $11.7 million.

The House passed a committee substitute so the Senate is either going to have to concur with the changes made by the House or a conference committee will have to be appointed. Clouse told reporters that he hoped that it did not have to go to conference.

Clouse said that the budget had added $860,000 to hire more Juvenile Probation Officers. After talking to officials with the court system that was cut in half in the amendment. The amendment also includes some wording the arbiters in the court lawsuit think we need.

The state General Fund Budget, SB178, passed 98-1.

Both budgets have now passed the Alabama House of Representatives.

The 2019 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, 2018.

In addition to the SGF, the House also passed a supplemental appropriation for the current 2018 budget year. SB175 is also sponsored by Pittman and was carried by Clouse on the floor of the House.

SB175 includes $30 million in additional 2018 money for the Department of Corrections. The Departmental Emergency Fund, the Examiners of Public Accounts, the Insurance Department and Forensic Sciences received additional money.

Clouse said, “We knew dealing with the federal lawsuit was going to be expensive. We are adding $80 million to the Department of Corrections.”

State Representative Johnny Mack Morrow, R-Red Bay, said that state Department of Forensics was cut from $14 million to $9 million. “Why are we adding money for DA and courts if we don’t have money for forensics to provide evidence? if there is any agency in law enforcement or the court system that should be funded it is Forensics.”

The supplemental 2018 appropriation passed 80 to 1.

The House also passed SB203. It was sponsored by Pittman and was carried in the House by State Rep. Ken Johnson, R-Moulton. It raises securities and registration fees for agents and investment advisors. It increases the filing fees for certain management investment companies. Johnson said that those fees had not been adjusted since 2009.

The House also passed SB176, which is an annual appropriation for the Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The bill requires that the agency have an operations plan, audited financial statement, and quarterly and end of year reports. SB176 is sponsored by Pittman and was carried on the House floor by State Rep. Elaine Beech, D-Chatham.

The House passed Senate Bill 185 which gives state employees a cost of living increase in the 2019 budget beginning on October 1. It was sponsored by Sen. Clyde Chambliss, R-Prattville and was being carried on the House floor by state Rep. Dimitri Polizos, R-Montgomery.

Polizos said that this was the first raise for non-education state employees in nine years. It is a 3 percent raise.

SB185 passed 101-0.

Senate Bill 215 gives retired state employees a one time bonus check. SB215 is sponsored by Senator Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, and was carried on the House floor by state Rep. Kerry Rich, R-Guntersville.

Rich said that retired employees will get a bonus $1  for every month that they worked for the state. For employees who retired with 25 years of service that will be a $300 one time bonus. A 20-year retiree would get $240 and a 35-year employee would get $420.

SB215 passed the House 87-0.

The House passed Senate Bill 231, which is the appropriation bill increase amount to the Emergency Forest Fire and Insect and Disease Fund. SB231 is sponsored by Sen. Steve Livingston, R-Scottsboro, and was carried on the House floor by state Rep. Kyle South, R-Fayette.

State Rep. Elaine Beech, D-Chathom, said, “Thank you for bringing this bill my district is full of trees and you never know when a forest fire will hit.

SB231 passed 87-2.

The state of Alabama is unique among the states in that most of the money is earmarked for specific purposes allowing the Legislature little year-to-year flexibility in moving funds around.

The SGF includes appropriations for the Alabama Medicaid Agency, the courts, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Alabama Department of Corrections, mental health, and most state agencies that are no education related. The Alabama Department of Transportation gets their funding mostly from state fuel taxes.

The Legislature also gives ALEA a portion of the gas taxes. K-12 education, the two year college system, and all the universities get their state support from the education trust fund (ETF) budget. There are also billions of dollars in revenue that are earmarked for a variety of purposes that does not show up in the SGF or ETF budgets.

Examples of that include the Public Service Commission, which collects utility taxes from the industries that it regulates. The PSC is supported entirely by its own revenue streams and contributes $13 million to the SGF. The Secretary of State’s Office is entirely funded by its corporate filing and other fees and gets no SGF appropriation.

Clouse warned reporters that part of the reason this budget had so much money was due to the BP oil spill settlement that provided money for the 2018 budget and $97 million for the 2019 budget. Clouse said they elected to make a $13 million repayment to the Alabama Trust fund that was not due until 2020 but that is all that was held over for 2020.

Clouse predicted that the Legislature will have to make some hard decisions about revenue in next year’s session.


Continue Reading

In Case You Missed It

Day Care bill delayed for second time on Senate floor, may be back Thursday

Sam Mattison



By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

The day care bill, which would license certain day care centers in Alabama, was once again delayed on the state Senate floor after one lawmaker requested more information.

Its brief appearance Tuesday ended with state Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, saying a compromise had not yet been worked out with the bill’s detractors.

Alabama’s Senate has been hesitant to act on the legislation because of complaints of state Sen. Shay Shelnutt, R-Trussville, who has been an opponent of the bill since its introduction last year. The bill’s delay on Tuesday marks the second time its been taken off the Senate’s agenda.

The bill has had a rocky time in this year’s session, but the bill’s sponsor state Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, said she is still confident about its passage out of the Legislature.


Warren, D-Tuskegee, filed the bill this session with the support of influential lawmakers including Gov. Kay Ivey, who told reporters last year that she though all day cares should be licensed.

Mainly sparked by the death of 5-year-old boy in the care of a unlicensed day care worker, the bill had great momentum coming into this year’ session.

Despite the growing support from lawmakers, Religious groups had concerns that the bill would increase state-sponsored reach into religious day cares in churches and non-profit groups.

Spearheading the dissenters was Alabama Citizens Action Program, a conservative religious-based PAC.

Warren, proponents, and ALCAP announced a compromise to the bill while it was still in the Alabama House.

Announced by ALCAP originally, the new bill was a weaker version in that it did not require that all day cares in the state be regulated. Instead, religious-based day cares would only need to be registered if they received federal funds. At a Senate committee meeting in February, Warren said a similar requirement was about to come from federal law in Congress.

The bill moved through the House in a overwhelming vote in favor of the proposal and passed unanimously out of a Senate committee a few weeks ago.

Warren, speaking to reporters after its passage from the House, said she was unsure if the bill would encounter resistance in the upper chamber.

It was the Senate that killed the daycare bill last year amid a cramped last day where senators took the bill off the floor. The bill may face similar complications this year, as lawmakers seem to be preparing to adjourn within a few weeks.

Continue Reading

In Case You Missed It

Fantasy sports bill fails on Senate floor

Sam Mattison



By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

Would-be Fantasy Sports players in Alabama will have to wait to legally play in the state following a Senate vote on Tuesday.

The Alabama Senate decisively killed a bill to exempt fantasy sports from the state’s prohibition on gambling.

Not even entertaining a debate on the Senate floor, the proposal was killed during a vote for the Budget Isolation Resolution, which is usually a formality vote preluding a debate.

Fantasy sports are contests where participants select players from real teams to compete on fantasy teams using the real-world players’ stats.


Since 2016, the practice has been illegal in Alabama following a legal decision by the Attorney General’s Office that categorized it as gambling.

The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville, predicted the bill’s failure during a committee meeting two weeks ago, where the bill passed unanimously.

Sen. Paul Sanford speaks to reporters after a Senate Committee meeting on Feb. 28, 2018. (Samuel Mattison/APR)

Speaking to reporter’s after the committee meeting, Sanford said the decision to file the bill was mainly a philosophical belief that the practice shouldn’t be illegal.

Sanford, a fantasy sports player before its ban, said that fantasy sports are a way to bring people closer together and not a means to win money. The Huntsville senator is not seeking re-election.

The bill’s failure in the Senate follows its trajectory last year too. A similar version of the bill, also sponsored by Sanford, failed in the Senate during the final days of the 2017 Legislative Session.

Since Sanford is retiring, it is unclear if the bill will even come back next session, or if it will even have a Senate sponsor.

Continue Reading






Shelby Addresses Young Republicans

by Brandon Moseley Read Time: 5 min