Senate committee approves supplemental funding bill to give Corrections $30 million

February 22, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

A Senate committee passed a supplement to the General Fund Wednesday that appropriates an additional $30 million for the Department of Correction in their ongoing dilemma to raise standards of mental health and prisoner health care.

The Senate Committee on Taxation General Fund approved the measure yesterday after chairman state Sen. Tripp Pittman, R-Montrose, said committee members had worked through some technical problems with the bill.

Read More

Bill to license some day cares passes Senate committee unanimously, goes to floor

February 22, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

The day care bill, which would license certain day cares in the state, gained a favorable report Wednesday from the Senate Judiciary Committee after overwhelming approval on the House floor a couple weeks ago.

In a release after its approval, the bill’s sponsor state Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, said the favorable report put the bill with “one last hurdle to clear.”

“I hope this will be on the floor of the Senate in the coming days and it will continue to get the bipartisan support it has so far,” Warren said. “It’s wonderful to see everyone working together to make sure not one more little one gets harmed.”

Read More

Elections: More than two dozen legislators will vacate their seats later this year

February 21, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

Now that party qualifications are over, 29 lawmakers in the Legislature announced they will vacate their seats.

The Alabama House of Representatives is seeing some of its longest serving members depart as newcomers run for the vacated seats.

Particularly of note, is state Rep. James Buskey, D-Mobile, who served in the lower house since 1976. Buskey, who is the second longest serving representative in the chamber, announced his retirement last August.

Read More

What to expect Wednesday in the Legislature

February 21, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

Here’s what to expect during Wednesday’s committee meetings at the Alabama Legislature:

Licensed Day Care bill debuts in the Senate

Melanie Bridgeforth, executive director of VOICES for Alabama’s Children, speaks about the day care bill at a press conference in May 2017. (Samuel Mattison/APR)

The long-awaited day care bill will appear in a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Wednesday where it will be acted on by committee members.
Read More

Pew Report: Alabama tax revenue close to pre-Great Recession levels, growing slowly

February 19, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

A new report from the Pew Research Center found that Alabama’s tax revenue has slowly grown over the past two years, but has seen significant improvement since the late 2000s crash that almost derailed the global economy.

The report, which accounts for inflation, showed that while Alabama has grown considerably since 2008, it is still 5.3 percentage points shy from its peak tax revenue in the third quarter of 2007.

Read More

Debate over formation of city school boards dominates Senate committee meeting

February 16, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

One committee meeting in the statehouse on Wednesday was met with debates over the qualifications to start a school board by city governments.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, would raise the requirements for the formation of school boards by increasing the population requirement from 5,000 to 25,000.

It would also require the Alabama State Department of Education to determine if the city has a tax base to support the school system. Coleman-Madison, speaking at Wednesday’s Senate committee on Education and Youth Affairs meeting, said the bill was a cost saving measure.

Read More

Senate committee approves General Fund along with pay raise for state employees

February 15, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

The General Fund, one of Alabama’s two budgets, passed out of committee Wednesday.

The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee approved the bill sponsored by Chairman of the committee Sen. Tripp Pittman, R-Montrose, after going line-by-line through the changes in the substituted version of the budget.

Pittman said the version passed through the committee was similar to requests by the Governor’s Office, which called for a substantial increase in certain state departments.

Read More

Bill to remove anti-LGBT language from sex ed law passes out of committee

February 15, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

A bill that would remove anti-LGBTQ portions of Alabama’s sexual education program passed out of its committee on Wednesday with little resistance from committee members.

The bill’s sponsor state Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, pushed for the legislation at the committee meeting and answered some questions about the language included in the bill.

Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, speaks at a committee meeting on Wednesday in favor of the sexual education bill.


Read More

State Sen. Hank Sanders, the longest serving senator, will not seek re-election

February 13, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

State Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, is leaving the Alabama Senate after serving 9 terms in the upper chamber.

Sanders, who had qualified to run, made the decision last-minute through a press release saying “Some times it is time.”

“I had thought that I would run to serve one more term in the Alabama State Senate, and I qualified to run in January,” Sanders said. “However, when I took off 24 hours for our 48th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago, I began to realize what a heavy load I carry.”

Read More

Lawmakers request ALSDE give back $1.4 million to MPS after clerical error

February 9, 2018

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

State Reps. John Knight, D-Montgomery, and Thad McClammy, D-Montgomery, called on the Alabama State Department of Education to return $1.4 million that was mistakenly sent to another school district in a letter and press conference on Thursday.

Their complaint stems from a clerical error by the Alabama State Department of Education that sent $1.4 million to the Pike Road Schools instead of the Montgomery Pubic School System. The money, which was supposed to be returned in October, never manifested from the Pike Road Schools

Read More

© Copyright 2017 Alabama Political Reporter