Bill would modify workers’ compensation

December 20, 2011

Staff Report

MONTGOMERY | A bill prefiled for the 2012 session of the Legislature would modify the state’s workers’ compensation law to increase payments to injured workers by $20 a week, but would reduce long-term benefits. The bill also would give appellate courts the authority to reject trial court rulings in workers’ compensation cases.

The proposed changes could lower workers’ compensation premiums paid by businesses and make Alabama more competitive with other states in recruiting industry, said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur.
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Officials meet to discuss possible pseudoephedrine legislation

December 20, 2011

Staff Report

CULLMAN — Three sheriffs, local legislators, pharmaceutical lobbyists and their clients, judges and prosecutors, local pharmacists and at least one Cullman physician all sat down at the same table Monday evening for a summit of sorts to discuss whether future state legislation can help curb the production of methamphetamine.

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Civil rights groups seek action against voter ID laws

December 20, 2011

Staff Report

WASHINGTON — Nation­al and local civil rights groups are asking federal of­ficials to aggressively chal­lenge new election laws in Alabama, Mississippi and other states, saying the laws threaten to reverse decades-old efforts to expand voting rights to all Americans.

“It’s a widespread rollback of voting rights the likes of which we haven’t seen since poll taxes,” said Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project, a voting-rights group based in Washington. “So we’re going to fight like we did in 1964.”
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Representative Bachus Touts Keystone Pipeline

December 20, 2011

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

United States Representative Spencer Bachus (R) is calling on President Barack Obama. to approve the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. Bachus says the pipeline will create 20,000 construction jobs without costing the taxpayers anything. Bachus released his comments to the American public and the people of the sixth district in a U-Tube press release Bachus is urging President Obama to sign the permits to allow pipeline construction to begin. “For anyone following events in the Middle East, our country simply can not afford to turn down a million barrels of oil a day from Canada, our faithful friend from the north. And to do so would be a terrible grave mistake,” said Bachus.
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Alabama campaign season off and running

December 20, 2011

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

‘Tis the season to be jolly….’ This is the holiday season!! Most people are now busy celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with Christmas or they are celebrating the Restoration of the Temple in Hanukah or at the very least they are experiencing a crass commercialized celebration of unbridled consumerism. This is also a very important season in the Alabama political calendar. Now is the time to qualify if you want to run for any Alabama elected office in 2012. Campaign season is upon us.
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AEA under new leadership at a crossroad

December 20, 2011

By Grant Hallmark
Alabama Political Reporter

Henry Mabry, the man expected to replace Paul Hubbert as the executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association (AEA), has a tall task ahead of him. Although he is optimistic about his new position and the future of the AEA, the organization is clearly at a crossroads.
Up to 2010, the AEA was the most politically influential organization in the state. Alabama was up to this point a one-party state under the Alabama Democratic Party (ADP). The AEA had an explicitly close relationship with the ADP; donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to political candidates was not uncommon. This is of course not surprising, given the organization’s and the party’s shared interests. Although it seemed logical 10 or 20 or 30 years ago for the educators union to hitch their wagon to the democratic star, one has to recalculate where that star is going every now and then.
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Vernon Burns: Are we trading our democratic republic for false promises?

December 19, 2011

By Vernon Burns

In Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address, given March 4, 1801, he warned that that if we wandered from our founding principles because of “error or alarm” we should “hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.”

Jefferson also expounded what is the foundational principle of our shared republic, “equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state of persuasion, religious or political….”
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Bill Britt: Political leaders must work together, but “No,” does not add to the solution

December 19, 2011

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Benjamin Disraeli, one of Britain’s greatest prime ministers once said, “Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.”
Now is a time for the Governor and Legislature of Alabama to be powerfully inspired. Faced with budget shortfalls, unemployment rates—while improving—are still too high for the present and an opposition not yet ready to face the realities of the present dilemma.

Over a year ago, the people of Alabama sent a message to Montgomery, we want a government with a plan, a conservative government that will make hard choices for hard times.
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Bill Johnson back in Bama; tweets of the week and more (Political Skinny)

December 19, 2011

Staff Report

Bill Johnson, the former Alabama gubernatorial candidate who was caught in a sperm donation scandal in New Zealand this month, is back in Alabama.

Friends of the Skinny reported that Johnson, 52, was seen dining out with his wife, Kathy, at La Jolla restaurant in Montgomery on Tuesday night, a day after his story broke in the Press-Register.

Johnson, a Republican from Prattville, reportedly was acting as a sperm donor to multiple lesbian couples in New Zealand, where he has been working for the past year as a disaster contractor. Reports from from New Zealand, however, suggest he may be in the market for a new job.
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Tuscaloosa News: What happened to our Citizen Army?

December 19, 2011

Staff Report

Our modern army is quite efficient as an all- volunteer, professional fighting force.

But let me suggest that that is not the central, or even the principal, role of the Army in our society and throughout our history.

By “Army,” I am writing of all the armed forces, but the Army is the biggest and the oldest of our branches of the service and I’ll just use “army” to mean all.
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