Bill to extend stand-your-ground laws to churches passes House

February 19, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama House of Representatives passed the Church defense bill, House Bill 34 last Thursday.

HB34, sponsored by State Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, gives churches a certain degree of civil immunity if a church attendee is forced to defend himself in church.

“You got nuts everywhere just like you had in the high school in Florida yesterday,” Greer said, referring to a 19-year-old who killed 17 at a Florida High School last week. “Occasionally, they show up in a church.”

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Civil asset forfeiture reform passes out of committee

February 19, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a bill last week that promises to reform civil asset forfeiture laws in the state of Alabama to provide some basic protection the rights of the accused.

Senate Bill 213 is sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur.

“This is not about rewarding criminal behavior,”  Orr said. “To look at the process of requiring a conviction before profit is forfeited.  The bill you have before us still has a lot of work to do.  There should be some due process before civil forfeiture can occur.”

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Opinion | Supporting our space programs

February 19, 2018

By U.S. Rep. Martha Roby

The week of February 18th is Alabama Aerospace Week in Montgomery. NASA and other organizations will be in town to discuss our state’s role in the space industry and to inspire the next generation of scientists and explorers to consider careers in the aerospace field. One of the events is NASA Day at Alabama State University, and I am excited to be attending. NASA’s top level administrators and an astronaut will be present to share with students the many opportunities as well as great things taking place within the organization.

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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.

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Alabama sets new export record in 2017

February 19, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Thursday that Alabama exports reached a record $21.7 billion in 2017, powered by rising overseas shipments of products such as automobiles, aircraft components, chemicals, paper and minerals.

New government trade figures show that exports of Alabama-made goods and services increased more than 6 percent from 2016’s total of $20.5 billion, the state’s previous annual record. The gain reflects a long-term trend, as Alabama exports have surged 21 percent since 2011, and 50 percent in a decade, figures indicate.

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Southern Union State Community College updates strategic plan

February 19, 2018

By Brandon Moseley 
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy Baker announced the opening of the position of president of Southern Union State Community College. This announcement is the culmination of the Southern Union Strategic Planning Initiative announced in August of 2017.

“As promised, the placement of a permanent president for Southern Union State Community College has been made a priority and is moving forward,” Baker said. “Impressive work has been done by the Strategic Planning Committee with input from the entire Bison Community, and a permanent president will be named no later than June of this year.”

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Debra Jones campaigns for Supreme Court in St. Clair County

February 19, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Supreme Court Justice candidate Debra Jones was in Pell City to address the St. Clair County Republican Party.

Jones is a Circuit Court Judge in Cleburne and Calhoun Counties. She is running for the Place 1 on the court. This place was vacated last month where Justice Glenn Murdock left the bench to pursue other opportunities.

Jones said the she was elected in 2010, defeating a 20-year Democratic incumbent.

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Senate bill would require more Ethics Commission oversight of lawmaker consulting contracts

February 16, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

An Alabama State Senate committee approved a bill Thursday that would require more Ethics Commission oversight of lawmakers’ consulting contracts if those contracts are outside the normal scope of the member’s profession or business.

The bill as it passed out of committee would require a company or person seeking to hire a member of the Legislature for consulting work to notify the Alabama Ethics Commission before paying the member if the consulting work is outside the member’s “regular profession or line of business.”

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After Parkland shooting, Alabama lawmaker wants to arm teachers in the classroom

February 16, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

An Alabama lawmaker wants to arm teachers in classrooms across the state.

Guntersville Republican Rep. Will Ainsworth plans to drop a bill that would allow teachers to carry concealed guns at schools if they are trained to a state standard.

The introduction of the bill would come after a mass shooting at a school in Florida Wednesday claimed the lives of 17 students and teachers. Sixteen others were injured.

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Opinion | Your pro-gun arguments are stupid

February 16, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Here we are again.

Another school shooting. Another AR-15. Another domestic terrorist.

And more of the same BS answers from conservatives and gun nuts about a problem that is, quite obviously, directly linked to the weapon of choice used in these awful attacks — a gun.

For some reason, large swaths of Americans, and particularly Alabamians, are incredibly protective of guns — more so, it seems, than of school children. And as such, after every mass shooting, the same old rhetoric gets spewed again and again.

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