Lawmakers eye 2.5–3 percent raise for state educators, employees

January 15, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

With high revenues and confidence in the budgets this year, state lawmakers are hoping for what could be as high as a 2.5–3 percent pay raise for K-12 educators and state employees.

Gov. Kay Ivey proposed the pay increase in her first State of the State Address last week but the Governor and other officials have been vague on how large the pay increase could be. State employees haven’t received a cost-of-living pay raise since 2009 and educators haven’t seen one in two years.

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McCutcheon, Ward, Whatley, and Patterson awarded for autism bill efforts

January 2, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The National Autism Law Summit was held in San Diego, California.  Several members of the Alabama legislative delegation were awarded as legislative champions for their efforts to pass legislation requiring that insurers cover autism therapy.  State Representative Jim Patterson, R-Meridianville, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, state Senate Tom Whatley, R-Lee County, and Senate Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, shared in the group’s Legislator of the Year award for their efforts.

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Perspective | The Top Ten Issues Facing the Legislature

December 29, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The 2018 Alabama Regular Legislative Session begins in just 11 days on Jan. 9, 2018, and this is an election year so formal major party qualifying begins on the same day.  The elections mean that the session begins earlier than normal and will likely end even sooner so that incumbents can get back to their districts to campaign.  There are a lot of issues facing the legislature, however.

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Sen. Ward elected chairman of national energy research group

September 22, 2017

Staff
Alabama Political Reporter

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Center for Legislative Energy and Environmental Research installed Alabama State Sen. Cam Ward as its new chairman for 2017-2018 at its annual meeting on Sunday, Sept. 17. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was on hand in Little Rock for the event with Sen. Ward. CLEER is an affiliate of The Energy Council, a legislative organization of 12 energy-producing American states and two Canadian provinces.

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Great teachers make great students

September 14, 2017

By Sen. Cam Ward
Alabama State Senate

Over the past few years, I have made it a point to visit elementary and high school classrooms across Senate District 14. The passion of the teachers I meet never fails to inspire me. For many teachers, education is both a career and a calling to shape the lives of young people. Most educators work long hours, taking papers and tests home with them to grade after dinner with their own family.

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Lawmakers “blackballed” over Autism bill

July 20, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The invitation list to the Business Council of Alabama’s annual summer party is four names shorter this year.

Sens. Dick Brewbaker, Cam Ward and Bill Holtzclaw, along with Rep. Jim Patterson, were all left off the list, Brewbaker said Wednesday. He called it being “blackballed” later on Twitter.

The party, which is actually dubbed the BCA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, is set to be held Aug. 11-13 at the its usual location – the Grand Hotel in Point Clear. It has become one of the largest gatherings of State Republicans – and a few Democrats – each year.
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Juvenile Task Force shooting for big changes

June 14, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

As the District Attorney in Montgomery County, Daryl Bailey deals daily with the issue of youth crimes.

It has, in his opinion, reached a breaking point.

“We are on the cusp of losing an entire generation of kids,” Bailey said Tuesday. “What has happened over the last several years with our young people, it’s to the point that the system we have simply won’t address the problems.”
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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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Autism Bill show worthy of the WWE

May 17, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

My mother was wrong.

For years, she told me that professional wrestling was a waste of time – a brain cell-melter. It was silly, she said, as she recommended that I use my time more wisely. I should be reading or studying or doing something to prepare me for life, she thought.

Well, she got it all wrong.

Turns out, that pro wrestling – or ‘wrasslin’ – prepared me just fine for my career. I couldn’t have picked a better way to get ready for a career covering the Alabama Legislature.
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Autism Bill passes Senate on Tuesday instead of Wednesday

May 17, 2017

Sam Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Senate passed a bill that would require healthcare plans to cover Autism Spectrum Disorder treatments for people under 19.

Only children 9 and under are required to be covered currently.

The substituted version of a bill was unexpectedly introduced on the Senate floor. It was originally scheduled to be voted on Wednesday but it was put on Tuesday’s agenda as the first bill.

President Pro Tem Senator Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said the bill was introduced early because they had worked on the bill over the weekend and wanted to introduce it as soon as possible. Advocates of Autism coverage were planning on being present on Wednesday to see the bill voted on.
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