Week Five Legislative Report: A third of the Regular Session is done

February 12, 2018

By Beth Marietta Lyons
Lyons Law Firm

The Alabama Legislature convened for day 9 of the annual Regular Session on Tuesday, February 6 with 28 committee meetings held throughout the week to consider legislation. Both Houses then convened on Thursday, February 8 for Day 10.

With day 10 completed, one-third of the 30 day Annual Regular Session has been completed. There have been 699 bills introduced to date.

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, February 13 for day 11 of the Session with the House and Senate convening at 2:00 p.m. Sixteen committees have scheduled meetings as of the time of this report.

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Republicans finalize field of State House candidates

February 12, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Qualifying for state house races ended for the 2018 election on Friday.

The Republican Party is hoping that they can hold on to their super majority in the Alabama House of Representatives.  Democrats are challenging the Republicans in 77 of the 105 House of Representatives seats (almost 74 percent).

The GOP primary field has fewer competitive contests that it had four years ago; but it did grow larger on the last day of qualifying.

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Opinion | The importance of civil asset forfeiture

February 12, 2018

By Brian McVeigh and Dave Sutton

The Alabama Legislature is considering legislation that would change the way civil asset forfeitures are handled in Alabama. While well-meaning, some of the proposed changes would essentially gut what is an effective crime-fighting tool while making it easier for drug dealers and other criminals to hang on to their ill-gotten gains. The result would be more crime.

Unfortunately, several special interest groups have pushed a narrative that law enforcement – police, sheriffs and other authorities – are using civil asset forfeiture to unfairly take money and property from innocent Alabamians.

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Opinion | It’s the greed that hurts Alabama most

February 9, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s the greed that bothers me most about the Alabama Legislature.

I know that it sometimes seems tough to narrow down the most troubling aspect of our state lawmakers — to boil down the systemic failures and overwhelming corruption to a single topic.

But it’s not for me.

It’s greed.

Because every bad decision made in that house, every stupid bill, every head-scratching statement, all of the oh-my-God embarrassing moments can almost always be traced back to one motivating factor: self-enrichment.

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Preview of who has qualified as Republicans in State House Races

February 9, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Today is the last day to qualify for political office in the 2018 election as a major party candidate.

Since the Republican wave election of 2010, the Republican Party has had a super majority in the Alabama House of Representatives.  Democrats have recruited a large slate of candidates to challenge the GOP.

A number of incumbents have decided not to seek re-election so this will be a much larger turnover than what Alabama experienced in 2014, before even taking into account any possible upsets in the GOP primaries though there are far fewer (with just hours left) races with competitive primaries than four years ago.

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Anthony Ray Hinton has been exonerated, deserves compensation

February 2, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Make no mistake about it, Alabama Legislature, you can’t fix what happened to Anthony Ray Hinton.

Not even with $1.5 million.

Not with all of the public apologies in the world.

You can’t take 30 years of a man’s freedom, charging him with a crime he didn’t commit, and then fix that wrong with some money and a few resolutions.

But it’s a damn fine start.

A proposal from Sen. Paul Bussman to make three payments totaling $1.5 million to Hinton is the absolute least we can do. It should really be a no-brainer, despite the ignorant pleas of an Attorney General, a finance department lawyer and a deputy AG who all seem unfamiliar with America’s system of innocent-until-proven-guilty justice.

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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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Week Three Legislative Report: The Legislature gets moving

January 29, 2018

Contributed by Beth Marietta Lyons
Lyons Law Firm

The Alabama Legislature convened for day 5 of the annual Regular Session on Tuesday, January 23 with committee meetings held throughout the week. Both Houses then convened on Thursday, January 25 for Day 6.

There have been 554 bills introduced to date. Twenty-eight committees met to consider multiple bills.

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, January 30 for day 7 of the Session with the House convening at 1:00 p.m. and the Senate at 2:00 p.m. Seventeen committees have scheduled meetings as of the time of this report.

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Week One Legislative Report: 373 bills introduced in the first week of the 2018 Regular Session

January 15, 2018

Contributed by Beth Marietta Lyons
Lyons Law Firm

The Alabama Legislature began its annual Regular Session on Tuesday, January 9. As the annual Session is limited by law to 30 session days within a 105 calendar day period, the Session must conclude by April 23, 2018.

After convening at noon on Tuesday and conducting general business relating to the opening of the Session, both Houses recessed for the Governor’s annual State of the State address Tuesday evening. Initiatives referenced in the Governor’s speech were pay raises for education (2.5 percent) and state employees (3 percent), more money for the Department of Corrections to improve mental health care and hire more correction officers, and improving broadband access throughout the state.

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2018 Pre-Session Report

October 25, 2017

By Beth Marietta Lyons
Lyons Law Firm

The Alabama Legislature will convene in just 84 days for the 2018 Annual Regular Session. Established by Alabama law, the Legislative Session begins on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. As the annual Regular Session is limited by law to 30 session days within 105 calendar days, the Session must conclude by April 23, 2018.

2018 is an election year in Alabama for all Constitutional Officers (Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, etc.), all 140 State Legislators, and many judgeships and local offices.

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