House committee approves bill to regulate exempt religious day cares

January 31, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

A bill that would revoke the exemption status of non-profit religious day cares and bring them under the oversight of Department of Human Resources health and safety regulations passed out of committee Tuesday.

The move marks the legislation’s first approval in the sometimes lengthy process. It’ll need to be approved by the House, a Senate committee and the full Senate before making its way to the governor’s desk.

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The daycare bill, part II: It’s all about the money

January 31, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Here we go again.

The daycare bill is back in the Alabama Legislature, and the hand-wringing has commenced.

Only, most of it has occurred behind closed doors, away from the watchful eyes of the public and the media, back in the crevices of the State House, where the real business gets handled.

That’s where state Rep. Pebblin Warren’s bill, which seeks to accomplish the apparently monumental change of forcing church-affiliated daycares to adhere to the same basic rules and standards as the other daycares, had to travel first — to the backroom.

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Ride-sharing bill approved in the House, but it will need a second vote in the Senate

January 31, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that could potentially take ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft statewide.

The House approved the bipartisan bill overwhelmingly, 97–3, after hours of debate led to a Democratic amendment, which adds more specific non-discrimination rules for the companies.

The bill would transfer regulation of ride-hailing companies, dubbed transportation networking companies in the bill, from the local level to the state level, enabling the companies to operate statewide if the bill is approved by the Legislature and signed into law.

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House passes bill allowing for additional county economic development tax incentives

January 31, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, the Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill that will enable additional tax incentives.

The bill was negotiated as a part of the deal to land the Toyota-Mazda plant in Limestone County. President Donald Trump was so impressed with the announcement that he included it in his State of the Union address. Senate Bill 98 was sponsored by state Senator Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, and was carried in the House by state Rep. Danny Crawford, R-Athens.

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St. Clair County rejects tax increases

January 31, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, St. Clair County voters went to the polls and sent a resounding message that they did not want to pay higher taxes.

Sixty-one percent of voters rejected the proposed 59 percent increase in property taxes for schools.

“Want to thank the folks in Moody, Springville, Leeds, and Margaret for supporting our school system that wanted more for their communities. However, the majority is satisfied with what we have at their schools. Thanks for all who voted,” St. Clair County School Board member Bill Morris Sr. said on social media.

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Alabama leaders largely enthusiastic following Trump’s State of the Union speech

January 31, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, President Donald Trump delivered an upbeat State of the Union speech that was well received by conservatives.

“Tonight, President Trump made clear his commitment to the American people and to improving the quality of life for everyone. By protecting our borders, strengthening our military and creating an environment that enhances domestic economic growth, the president underlined his commitment to national security. I echo his call to further improve our economy through continued deregulation, low taxes and investment in infrastructure,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement.

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Opinion | Alabama’s Year of the Woman

January 31, 2018

By Steve Flowers
Inside the Statehouse

This political year of 2018 may very well be the Year of the Woman in Alabama politics. In Alabama’s 200 year history, only one woman has been elected governor. Lurleen Wallace won in 1966. Only two women have served as governor, Governor Lurleen and our current governor, Kay Ivey. It may be a historic year.

Sue Bell Cobb, the former Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice, and the first woman to hold that position, is hoping to be able to be the Democratic standard-bearer. She was elected Chief Justice in 2006, in a very expensive, high profiled battle with Republican Drayton Nabors. She had been a District Court Judge in her native Conecuh County for a long time before running statewide. She was elected to a six year term as Chief Justice in 2006, but quit after four years, inexplicably.

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Former Miss America Mallory Hagan considers run for US Rep. Mike Rogers’ Congressional seat

January 30, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Mallory Hagan is no stranger to the spotlight. From her days as Miss New York and Miss America to her current role as a local news anchor, she’s often been out front.

But she’s considering a new public role, one in public office. The former Miss America, who was crowned the winner in 2013, is considering a run as a Democrat for Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes large swaths of East Alabama.

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APR files records request related to Luther Strange and Super Fund site

January 30, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Political Reporter filed a freedom of information request with the Alabama Attorney General’s office requesting any and all public records concerning any email communications between the Drummond Company and former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.

The same FOI request was made by Tallahassee Attorney David A. Ludder on Aug. 23, 2017, but for some reason has been more or less ignored by the Attorney General’s office. Ludder has again requested the public information.

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Longtime education advocate Larry Lee to seek Montgomery School Board seat

January 30, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Longtime Alabama education advocate Larry Lee, who writes weekly columns and publishes a blog on education policy, is running for a seat on the Montgomery County School Board.

Lee announced Monday that he would be seeking the seat for District 2.

Five of the seven elected seats on the school board are up for election this year, and District 2 incumbent member Durden Dean is not seeking re-election.

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