Senators vote nearly unanimously to do away with marriage licenses

January 17, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Marriage licenses and state-mandated marriage ceremonies may soon be a thing of the past if the Alabama Senate has anything to say about.

The Alabama Senate voted Tuesday to approve a bill that would abolish the requirement for marriage licenses and allow two people to enter into a marriage by signing an affidavit instead of through a ceremony.

The move comes after years of back and forth among some probate judges who have refused to issue licenses at all following the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling recognizing same-sex couples’ right to marry. The judges argued that they didn’t want to issue licenses to gay couples, so they just wouldn’t issue them at all.

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Proposed bill would have prevented US Senate Special Election

October 31, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Special elections are costly and turnout is often dismal but giving an appointee the time to settle in Washington can afford them the protective status of incumbency. That was the paradox that Gov. Kay Ivey and her predecessor grappled with in trying to decide what to do about Jeff Sessions’ vacated Senate seat.

A bill pre-filed by Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, and State Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, would have preempted that decision and directed the governor to set the election to coincide with the next general election. In the case of Sessions’ seat, Sen. Luther Strange would have gotten 18 months in Washington before facing election.

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Bill to regulate troubled youth camps in danger of dying on Governor’s desk

May 24, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

On the phone last week, Charles Kennedy, a retired police captain who served more than 20 years, was near tears and he wasn’t hiding it.

“I’m just so proud I could cry – I think I’m going to, actually,” Kennedy said.

The emotional swell for Kennedy came just after Rep. Steve McMillan called with news that Legislation Kennedy had been pushing for years had quietly passed both Houses and was on the way to Gov. Kay Ivey to be signed into law.
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Daycare bill fails to make it past Senate floor despite last minute push

May 20, 2017

By Sam Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

A bill that would have regulated non-licensed daycare facilities failed to get past the Senate floor despite the resolve of supporters Friday morning.

The bill would have brought daycare centers that received government subsidize around Alabama under the regulating power of the Department of Human Resources. Under existing law, there is no regulatory authority over these unlicensed daycare centers.

The bill initially faced opposition from those who said the bill would infringe upon religious liberty because some of these daycare centers are located in churches and non-profit religious schools.

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Ivey Administration set to kill parking deck bill over “optics.”

May 16, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Opinion

A bill that would provide much-needed parking space for State employees and those doing business in Montgomery, overwhelmingly passed the State Senate and looked to be a shoo-in in the House. However, the project is being threatened by those in the Gov. Kay Ivey Administration who fear of “bad optics.”

Bad optics, according to the Urban Dictionary is, “What something will look like to the outside world; the perception a public relations person would have on something.”
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Jackson unapologetic over 19 hours of Legislative time wasted last week

May 16, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, May 11, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives met for a rare 14 and a half hour session. Most of that time however the Legislators were forced to listen to a robot reading the House Redistricting plan word for word. The Alabama Legislature has an arcane provision in the rules allowing any legislator to require that a bill be read at length.
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Senators promise to blow-up session if there’s no vote on autism bill

May 5, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — An unlikely issue has become one of the most contentious topics in the State House this session: mandating insurance coverage for an autism spectrum therapy called applied behavioral analysis therapy.

The debate over a bill that would provide just that has many senators demanding a vote and some promising an inconvenient slowdown in Senate business if the opportunity for one isn’t provided. The bill’s supporters say the mandate is needed to ensure families can afford the important but expensive therapy.

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Bill pushing armed security forces at churches suffers setback

February 23, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Apparently, Alabama churches are boiling over with potential violence.

At the Alabama House Judiciary Committee meeting on Wednesday, Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, proposed legislation to protect church-goers from that violence – a bill that would authorize armed church security forces to receive firearms training by police departments or sheriffs.

“Oh, you’d be surprised,” Greer said of potential violence within Alabama’s churches following the meeting. Committee chairman Mike Jones elected to hold Greer’s bill over so Greer would have time to make changes and get support from law enforcement associations.
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APR is Simply The Right Fit

October 12, 2016

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

So, here I am.

Unless I’ve failed to remember correctly, this will be the first column written that I’ve written in at least 15 years that won’t appear in The Montgomery Advertiser. I am surprisingly happy about that.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly weird to be out of the newspaper world, but I also feel pretty good about where I’ve landed.

I think The Alabama Political Reporter is a fantastic news outlet that has quickly climbed the media ladder in this State. If you doubt that, flip on talk radio and listen to the babbling heads criticize APR while simultaneously ripping off the website for material and news.
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Indians Oppose Bill to Help Alabama’s Children

August 17, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Yesterday, in a Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee’s public hearing on the lottery, Robbie McGee spoke in support of one bill, while being in strict opposition of another.

McGee, vice chairman for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI), first spoke against Senator Jim McClendon’s (R-Springville) lottery bill, and then in support of Senator Greg Albritton’s (R-Bay Minette) proposal for a compact between the State and the Tribe.
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