House passes Civics Test Bill

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Legal residents seeking US citizenship have to pass a test in order to become citizens. On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill to require that Alabama students pass a similar test in order to become Alabama High School graduates.

Senate Bill 32 by state Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) would require that students pass a civics test. SB32 was carried in the Alabama House by state Representative Terri Collins (R-Decatur).
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Christian Coalition leader to run for Senate

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The head of Alabama’s Christian Coalition wants to be a US Senator.

Randy Brinson, who’s worked for years as one of the State’s most vocal Christian conservative advocates, announced Monday that he plans to challenge Luther Strange for Jeff Sessions’ seat.

“As president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, and founder and chairman of Redeem The Vote, I believe we have been successful in helping shape the moral direction of our State and more importantly, speaking out about corruption and illegal activity that has led to the resignation and conviction of many of our elected leaders,” Brinson said in a social media post. “Working with these groups has given me insight into how frustrated voters are with the corruption, self-dealing, and venality of politicians at all levels of our government.”
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Ivey orders changes to Amber Alert guidelines

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, one hour and forty minutes after an incident in which a vehicle was stolen with a child inside, Bessemer police requested the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to issue an AMBER Alert for the child. Based on the criteria in place at that time, the incident did not meet the previously adopted requirements for an AMBER Alert to be issued.
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Randy Brinson announces candidacy for Senate

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, April 24, 2017, the race for US Senate got more crowded as Randy Brinson announced that he was leaving his position as head of the Christian Coalition in order to run for the US Senate vacancy created when Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) stepped down after he was confirmed by the Senate as President Trump’s US Attorney General.

Brinson said in a statement, “As President of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, and founder and chairman of Redeem The Vote, I believe we have been successful in helping shape the moral direction of our State and more importantly, speaking out about corruption and illegal activity that has led to the resignation and conviction of many of our elected leaders. Working with these groups has given me insight into how frustrated voters are with the corruption, self-dealing, and venality of politicians at all levels of our government. For this reason, I am now compelled to step down from my roles with the Christian Coalition and Redeem the Vote in order to run for the United States Senate in the special election this August. I am looking forward to working with a preeminent campaign team and running a modern, well-funded campaign that will draw a contrast between myself, as a voter advocate and faith leader, and the incumbent, and other career politicians running for this office. In the coming days I will be launching my campaign website, engaging the grassroots throughout Alabama, and calling on you for your support and prayers. Together we will win this race.”
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Strange says he’s proud to vote to confirm Sonny Perdue

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, April 24, 2017, US Senator Luther Strange (R) joining 86 other Senators colleagues in voting to confirm former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue (R) as Secretary of Agriculture.

Senator Strange said, “We have waited long enough for this critical opportunity, and I was proud to cast my vote today for Governor Sonny Perdue. In him, the Department of Agriculture has a principled leader, and Alabama farmers have a loyal advocate who understands the unique concerns of Southern growers. As a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, I look forward to working with the Secretary on the upcoming farm bill as the voice of Alabama farmers.”
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Week 9: Alabama Legislative Report — April 21

Contributed by Beth Marietta Lyons
Lyons Law Firm

The Alabama Legislature convened in Session for Day 18 of the annual Regular Session on Tuesday, April 18, held 24 committee meetings throughout the week, and convened in Session on Thursday for Day 19.

There have been 944 bills introduced to date.

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, April 25 for Legislative Day 20 of the Session with the House convening at 1:00 p.m. and the Senate convening at 2:00 p.m.

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Fantasy Sports Bill narrowly passes out of House

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives voted to pass a highly controversial bill to exempt fantasy sports from the State’s anti-gambling laws, but only after it was much modified on the floor of the House.

House Bill 354 was sponsored by State Representative Alan Boothe (R-Troy). Boothe’s mother died, so he was unable to attend the legislature to carry his own bill. The bill was carried in his place by State Representative Ron Johnson (R-Sylacauga).
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Qualifying for Senate Seat begins today

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Republican Party announced that it will open candidate qualifying for the Alabama US Senate Special Election on Monday, April 24 at 8:30 a.m. central time.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) had originally set the special election to replace Jeff Sessions for November 2018 to coincide with the regular election. A number of legal scholars, including state Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) and State Representative Christopher John England (D-Tuscaloosa) argued that Bentley and his team of legal advisors had improperly defined “forthwith” and urged a 2017 Special Election.
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Zeigler ends lawsuit after Ivey sets Special Election

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, April 20, 2017, Alabama Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) announced that he and Tommy Chapman were dropping their lawsuit challenging the legality of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s (R) dubious decision to delay the Special Election for US Senate for 21 months. Bentley has since departed the Governor’s mansion to avoid impeachment and prosecution, and Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has reversed Bentley’s order on the Special Election.
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Today is Confederate Memorial Day

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, April 24, 2017, is Confederate Memorial Day. State offices are closed in remembrance of the soldiers and sailors who died defending the Confederate States of America (C.S.A.) during the Civil War of 1861 to 1865.

The President of the Southern Historical Protection Group Mike Williams said in a statement, “Confederate Memorial Day is set aside in Alabama to honor the thousands of men who were called upon by their State to defend the rights held by this State. Governor Lewis E. Parsons made a preliminary estimate of losses. Nearly all the white men served, some 122,000 he said, of whom 35,000 died in the war and another 30,000 were seriously disabled. The next year Governor Robert M. Patton estimated that 20,000 veterans had returned home permanently disabled, and there were 20,000 widows and 60,000 orphans. I am glad Alabama has chosen to continue to honor the sacrifices these brave Alabamians. I hope everyone stops and reflects on the sacrifices made and why we continue to honor them. This is a big part of Alabama History.” Mike Williams is also the past State Adjutant of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
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