Gas tax increase bill is effectively dead

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, April 13, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives rejected a bill supported by House leadership that would have raised fuel taxes on the people of Alabama by nine cents per gallon in three phases between September 1, 2017 and 2024.

Special interests including: the road builders, the trucking association, the County Commissioners Association, and BCA (the Business Council of Alabama) have been pushing massive new spending on road projects for months. Those efforts finally produced a much delayed bill on Thursday, April 6 in House Bill 487, sponsored by state Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa). House Leadership rushed the controversial bill through the Transportation, Utilities, and Infrastructure Committee before the press or the public had a chance to review the legislation. Instead of dealing with the Education Trust Fund budget, the leadership insisted on spending Thursday on this bill. It faced a buzz saw of opposition once on the floor of the House. Eventually it was carried over on the request of the sponsor before the BIR was even voted on.
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Will Poarch Creek casino money return Hubbard to power?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

New information about a reported agreement between convicted felon Mike Hubbard and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) came to light over the weekend. The Tribe has is believed to have agreed to pay all of Hubbard’s legal fees past, present, and future if the once-powerful Speaker of the House helps them elect a majority of like-minded lawmakers who will grant a Compact, giving them Vegas-style casino gambling rights in Alabama.
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Gas Tax increase on the fast track in Montgomery

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

A number of powerful special interests spoke in favor of House Bill 487, which would raise taxes on the gas and diesel fuel that Alabamians purchase every day to commute to and from work, church, school, and play.

HB487 is sponsored by state Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa). Rep. Poole spoke at a public hearing on HB487 in the Transportation, Utilities & Infrastructure Committee.

Rep. Poole told the committee, “This is a very important public policy piece of legislation. I ultimately came to the conclusion that this is the right thing to do for the economy of Alabama.”
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New gas tax bill introduced

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Supporters of raising the taxes on Alabama’s gasoline and diesel fuel have introduced another bill that they hope to pass this session while all the focus is on the impeachment of Governor Robert Bentley. The Alabama Road and Bridge Rehabilitation and Improvement Authority would be established to finance road and bridge rehabilitation and improvements and issue $2.4 billion in new bond debt. All the new tax money would be pledged to pay down the debt. Supporters are calling this massive building works project ATRIP-II and would be administered similarly to the old ATRIP program. House Bill 487 was introduced by State Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa).
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Federal Grand Jury probe may focus on EPA Superfund, BCA involvement

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The presence of a Federal Grand Jury meeting at the Vance Federal Building in Birmingham was revealed through tweets from al.com’s John Archibald and Kyle Whitmire. The duo also stated on Twitter that State Sen. J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) testified before the panel for around two hours. While the nature of the Federal probe isn’t clear, it is believed to have some connection to the Birmingham Water Works, the 35th Avenue Superfund site, and other Federal grant money flowing into the Magic City and surrounding county. There is also a focus on the Business Council of Alabama’s (BCA) role in a joint resolutions opposing the Superfund site.
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Secretary of State’s office wins award for mock election

By Staff Report

Wednesday, March 21, 2017, The Alabama Secretary of State’s Office is delighted to announce that we were honored with The National Association of State Boards of Education Award for Outstanding Leadership in Voter Education from The National Student/Parent Mock Election. The award is given to states across the US who have organized a student mock election in order to educate today’s youth on the importance of voting and citizen involvement in government.
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Want Mike Hubbard on your voicemail?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

What’s a convicted felon to do while out on bond?

If you’re the disgraced felon, and former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, you offer to be “the voice” of products and services. In a letter widely distributed to media companies, Hubbard wrote, “Performing voice-overs for various projects has been one of my favorite and most enjoyable jobs during my career in collegiate sports and broadcasting.”
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Some are using a stalking horse to undermine ethics laws

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The greatest challenge before the Alabama State Legislature when it returns in February is not the budget, schools or Medicaid. It is the slight of hand chicanery used to undermine the State’s ethics laws.

Since the conviction of former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard on 12 felony ethics violations, a coordinated effort has been underway to weaken those laws, with particular focus on how they identify a “principal.” Read More

Hubris, secrecy and duplicity

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A Special Supreme Court of seven selected judges will hear the appeal of Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been suspended without pay for the remainder of his term.

The same Special Supreme Court on December 7, issued a cause order demanding the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) show cause as “to why the Motion to Intervene and Unseal filed by The Alabama Political Reporter on October 19, 2016, should not be granted.”
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Nixonian plots, half-wit schemes

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The scheme to defame the State’s former top law enforcement officer, Spencer Collier, is very similar to the New Jersey “Bridgegate” trial that has seen two of Governor Chris Christies’s allies convicted of using state resources and personnel for political retribution.

Now, an investigation by Senators Gerald Dial and Quintin Ross has discovered that a “dirty tricks” operation used State assets and employees to derail the election of Dr. Craig Pouncey as Alabama’s school superintendent in much the same way.
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