How STAARS Fell on Alabama

January 31, 2016

By Bill Britt and Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The revelation first reported by the Alabama Political Reporter, that a $47-million-dollar software package known as STAARS caused a meltdown in the State’s ability to pay its bills in a timely fashion, or properly process inter-agency payments, leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in a software limbo, has raised questions about how the contract was awarded.

Acting State Finance Director Bill Newton, and his Chief Legal counsel, Richard Cater, have stated STAARS, as supplied by the Canadian software giant, CGI.com, is simply an upgrade of software purchased in 1982. Therefore, they did not have to put it out for bid.
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House Republicans Release 2016 Legislative Agenda

January 29, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, January 28, House leaders held a press conference to announce their 2016 legislative agenda for the regular session that begins on Tuesday, February 2.

The Alabama House Republican Caucus said in a statement, “The 2016 ‘Right for Alabama’ agenda focuses on important issues like job creation, protecting public school students from harm, and demanding the dignity that unborn life deserves. This agenda continues Alabama’s on-going fight against wrong-headed federal policies that would erode our constitutionally protected gun rights and force the state to accept thousands of potentially dangerous and unchecked Syrian refugees. Read more about our legislative priorities.”
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Williams, Henry Deny Seeking Democrat’s Support

January 29, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— Two Republican State Representatives deny accusations they were recruiting Democrats in an effort to oust Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Rep. Phil Williams (R-Madison) hasn’t made a secret of his campaign to replace Hubbard, neither has Rep. Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) denied his support for Williams.

phil-williamsChuck Dean (al.com) recently reported, “The effort by some Republicans to oust House Speaker Mike Hubbard has them crossing party lines, seeking the votes of Democrats and offering their old political rivals incentives to help them unseat one of the most influential Republicans in the State.”
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Alabama Young Democrats Dissolve Jefferson County Chapter

January 29, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— In a teleconference meeting held Wednesday night, the State committee of the Alabama Young Democrats decided in a 14-to-2 vote to dissolve the Jefferson County Young Democrats chapter after the Jefferson County Young Democrats made unauthorized endorsements in the 2016 Democratic Primary elections. The teleconference call was moderated by a representative from the Young Democrats of America.

“We are disappointed in the actions of this chapter’s leadership and the decision to dissolve the chapter was very difficult,” said Beth Clayton, President of the Alabama Young Democrats. “Unfortunately, the chapter failed to meet the terms of the agreement to lift the suspension of their charter, so the state organization determined dissolution was the best course of action to move forward and protect the members of this organization.”
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Jeremy Oden Appointed to National Transportation Task Force

January 29, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Public Service Commissioner Jeremy Oden (R) has been appointed to a new transportation task force created by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).

jeremy-odenCommissioner Oden said, “Emerging technologies and changes in how people and goods are transported in our modern economy have prompted a renewed interest in transportation issues and demonstrated a need to modernize transportation regulations. My goal will be to develop guidelines that will ensure a safe and efficient transportation system without creating burdensome regulations that will negatively impact the private sector. If done properly, we have a chance to modernize transportation regulations in a way that will keep the public safe and lead to greater economic growth.”
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Is The Republican Lottery Bill Really Just An Attempt To Kill The Lottery?

January 29, 2016

By Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

There’s no doubt that momentum for the lottery is building in Alabama. A public opinion poll, paid for by the House and Senate Republican Caucuses, found that 62 percent of likely Republican Primary voters support the lottery, and 59 percent even support expanding gambling in Alabama.

These strong numbers show why two Republican state legislators, Rep. Alan Harper and Sen. Jim McClendon, recently put out their own lottery bill.
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Time for Common Sense

January 29, 2016

Education Matters
By Larry Lee

As the years roll along, those of us who qualify as “seniors” have the benefit of viewing things through a lens that includes far more life experiences than those who are our junior.   Some call it “wisdom.”  I prefer to call it “common sense.”

And one of the things this common sense has taught me is that the most dangerous people in the world are those who don’t know what they don’t know.  It is no sin to not know something.  However, it is a sin to try and bluff your way through a situation when you clearly are in way over your head.
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Sessions Says that Lack Of Border Enforcement is Big Part Of the Heroin Epidemic

January 29, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Heroin addiction is a growing national epidemic. US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) contends that the lack of border enforcement at the U.S. border is contributing to the heroin problem.

Senator Sessions questioned the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli, on the issue on Wednesday, January 27, in a Senate hearing.

Sen. Sessions asked, “Mr. Botticelli, you’re supposed to set drug policy for America. You’re what they used to call the drug czar. Do you agree that reduced price, high purity, and increased accessibility of heroin are the major drivers of the recent increase in rates of heroin use?”
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School Choice Supporters Rally in Montgomery

January 28, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, January 26, thousands of school choice activists flooded Montgomery to rally legislators to give parents more choices in how they educate their children. Hundreds of rallies for expanding school choice occurred across the nation; but the rally in Montgomery was reportedly the biggest of them all.

del-marshSenate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) addressed the crowds. He told them, “It is important to show support for school choice.” “On charter schools … encourage your locals to look at options.”
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McGill Feels The Lord is Calling him to Run for US Senate

January 28, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

In 2010, former State Senator Shadrack McGill (R) ran for office challenging arguably the most powerful state Senator in the then Democratic controlled Alabama State Senate, Senator Lowell Barron (D-Fyffe). Ignoring the incumbent’s overwhelming money and name recognition, McGill ran anyway and launched one of the most successful insurgent campaigns in Alabama political history. Now Shadrack is back and this time his eye is set on the United States Senate.
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