Finance Director: “We are really excited about this budget”

January 12, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, January 10, 2018, Alabama Finance Director Clinton Carter met with journalists at the Capitol to discuss the state’s budgets.  Carter briefed the press on Gov. Kay Ivey’s General Fund and Education Trust Fund budget proposals.

Carter said, “We are really excited about this budget.”  Carter said that state revenues, “Are historically great by all measures.”  “The economy really is booming.”  Carter said that state income tax revenues and sales tax revenues, which are earmarked for the education trust fund (ETF), are at all-time highs.  The revenues funding the general fund, primarily insurance premium taxes,

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Walker County has no easy answers for financial mess

August 24, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, August 21, 2017, State Senator Greg Reed (R-Jasper) and State Representative Connie Rowe (R-Jasper) met with the Walker County Commission six days after voters went to the polls and rejected a sales tax that the Commission had billed as Walker County’s only way to avoid bankruptcy.  The voters said. “No” and now the Commission is looking for alternatives.

Sen. Reed said that he has been looking at several possibilities. Reed thanked the Commission for working with them in a collaborative manner.  The sales tax, “Was the best option.”  “We have spent the last 15 months working toward that option. That opportunity has come and gone.”

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Investigation into Pouncey Smear delivered to Special Prosecution Division

August 14, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

On Friday last, a package was hand-delivered to the State’s Attorney General’s Office containing the results of two investigations into what is labeled a smear campaign against Dr. Craig Pouncey, by those who plotted to deny him the position of State Education Superintendent.

Delivered directly to the Special Prosecution Division, lead by hard-boiled chief Matt Hart, the dossier encompasses the finds by the Alabama Department of Education conducted by Michael Meyer and the bipartisan Senate committee lead by Senators Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) and Quinton Ross (D-Montgomery).

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Governor “unofficially” disbands Gambling task force

July 11, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Advisory Council on Gaming seems to has vanished.

The 11-member committee, formed by former Gov. Robert Bentley to study the impact of various types of gambling on state revenue, hasn’t held a meeting in more than four months and sources close to several committee members say they were told Gov. Kay Ivey has “unofficially” shut it down.

“It was my understanding that it died when Ivey came in,” a source said. “The work was done, all that was left was writing the report. And the report wasn’t far from being completed.”

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Gov. Ivey’s chief legal counsel seeks gag order on media

April 18, 2017

By Bill Britt

Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced the appointment of Bryan Taylor as her chief legal counsel. The Governor’s spokesperson, Eileen Jones, told The Montgomery Advertiser that Taylor was appointed because the Governor feels “he is an excellent lawyer; excellent.”

The Alabama Political Reporter informed Jones early on Monday morning that Taylor, a former State Senator and chief counsel for the Department of Finance, was suing The Alabama Political Reporter and its owners, Bill and Susan Britt.
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Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearing on prison reform

March 2, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, March 1, 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on Governor Robert Bentley’s controversial plan to borrow $800 millions in bonds in order to build four massive new prisons. Senate Bill 70 is being sponsored in the Senate by Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster).

Sen. Ward said, “I have committed my life to prison reform over the last few years.”

Ward said that you can not operate a 21st century prison system with buildings built in the mid 20th century and offer the services that we need. There are ten amendments in the bill of rights. The 8th amendment to the Constitution is there just like the second and we have to follow it. We are going to build facilities at some point, whether we do it on our own or we are forced to do it by a federal judge.
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The people want to vote

February 1, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

During the past couple of months everywhere I go people continually ask me why in the world the legislature could not simply put the issue of whether they could vote for or against a lottery on the November ballot.

The fact that this inquiry has lingered for this long tells me that folks are upset about this travesty. They are mad at the legislature. However, the blame lies with the governor. Read More

Gaming council delays report until summer

January 13, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Gov. Robert Bentley’s Advisory Council on Gaming isn’t going to meet its deadline.

Originally devised to offer guidance to the Governor and State lawmakers in time for the 2017 Regular Session, which begins Feb. 7, council members voted unanimously on Thursday to delay any report and set a new deadline of June 30 — well after the session has ended.

“It’s obvious that we’re not going to be able to meet this deadline (of January 31),” council chairman and State Finance Director Clinton Carter said. “I think it’s best if we push that back until June 30. It might not take us that long, but we’ll set that date.” Read More

The incomparable cost of gross incompetence

December 5, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Chanting the much-ballyhooed mantra of “streamlining government, transparency and efficiency,” the administration of Governor Robert Bentley and the Republican-controlled State House have green-lighted, perhaps, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on failed software systems.

Last Monday, Bentley’s cabinet secretary for the Office of Information Technology (OIT), Dr. Joanne Hale, informed an oversight committee that the CARES software system is still inoperable after nearly four years and $60 million in squandered taxpayers’ money.
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More bailing on failed software

November 15, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

For over a year, Governor Robert Bentley repeatedly received warnings concerning the many technological and systematic failures under the leadership of Acting Finance Director, Bill Newton, and his assistant, Rex McDowell.

The time and attendance management system eSTART is just one of several software solutions to fail so badly; it had to be abandoned. A recent letter from State Health Officer Thomas M. Miller, M.D., informed the staff of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), that eSTART would no longer be used to report time and attendance.
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