Constitutional Amendment to Strip Power from the Chief Justice Stalls in Committee

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to give a favorable report to a proposed constitutional amendment that would have taken the power to appoint the Administrative Director of the Courts away from the Chief Justice. Instead the administrator would be appointed by a vote of the majority of the justices on the Supreme Court.

SB 105 was a Alabama Constitutional Amendment sponsored by Senator Greg Albritton (R from Bay Minette). Sen. Albritton told the committee that appointing the Administrative Director of the Courts would give more stability to the court system. The Chief Justices have come and gone in recent years and every time they change they appoint a new Administrative Director. This has created chaos with the courts. Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart (R) supports this change.
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Alabama Supreme Court makes up more bingo law

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Supreme Court (ALSC) has made up more law.

You probably missed this, since it happened on Dec. 23 – the Friday before Christmas. That was the day the ALSC chose to issue its latest anti-electronic bingo ruling – this time against GreeneTrack in Greene County.

The court ruled that machines confiscated from that facility could be destroyed, overruling a lower court’s ruling that found the machines complied with the county’s bingo amendment. Read More

Two Senate bills introduced to rein in JIC, COJ

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The prosecution and permanent suspension of Chief Justice Roy Moore has caused several lawmakers to question the legitimacy, even the need for the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) and the Court of the Judiciary (COJ).

The COJ ruling in Judge Moore’s case is under appeal before a specially appointed Supreme Court. However, acting chief justice Lyn Stuart has barred Moore from his office, fired his staff and, reportedly, scheduled a new official Supreme Court photograph.
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Former State Parks Director: Vote “No” on Amendment 2

By Don Cooley
Former Director, Alabama State Parks Division Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

As a former State Parks director, nothing would have pleased me more than being able to vote for a constitutional amendment to protect State Park revenues from being raided by the politicians.

But I will vote “No” on Amendment 2 because it would do more harm than good. Under the guise of protecting State Park revenues, the politicians have embedded language in Amendment 2 that would allow privatization of Alabama’s most popular and profitable State Parks.
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Today is the Last Day to Register to Vote

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Today, October 24, 2016, is the last day to mail in your voter registration and be able to participate in the November 8 General Election. You must have the form filled out and the registration postmarked with today’s date to meet the deadline.

Sunday, October 23 at 5:00 pm was the last day to hand deliver a voter registration form.

Only American citizens are allowed to participate in American elections; but the proof of citizenship requirement to register to vote has been blocked by the federal courts.
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Has Bentley’s Political Intrigue with PCI Doomed Special Session?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Concerns that Gov. Robert Bentley is planning to negotiate a State-Tribal Compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI), reached a boiling point in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, with the Governor’s bill taking a fatal blow. Several Black Caucus members are weary of Bentley’s tactics and several lawmakers in the Senate are expressing the same concerns as Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), who questions the real ramifications of Bentley’s lottery.
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Lottery Is Dead For November 8 Ballot and Foreseeable Future

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Senate debated the lottery for four days of this Special Session. On Tuesday, August 23, it took the Alabama House of Representatives just a few minutes to effectively kill the lottery, without ever even discussing it in a committee.

Freshly energized lottery opponents used the tight timeline and a rarely used parliamentary maneuver to kill the lottery bill for the November 8 ballot. Wednesday, August 24, was the last day for the lottery bill to pass out of the House in time for the November 8 Presidential election. Inexplicably the House chose not to meet on Saturday or Monday. It was a fatal mistake by the House leadership. The leadership had assigned State Senator Jim McClendon’s (R-Springville) Senate Bill 3 to the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee; but there was no scheduled meeting of the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee.
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Bentley Lottery Passes the Senate

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Friday, August 19, 2016, after three days spent debating a much more ambitious lottery proposal, the Senate finally agreed to pass a lottery bill similar to the one first asked for by Governor Robert Bentley (R).

Senate Bill 3 passed 21 to 12.

A bipartisan group of Senators including Beasley, Blackwell, Coleman-Madison, Dial, Dunn, Figures, Holley, Holtzclaw, Livingston, Marsh, McClendon, Melson, Reed, Ross, Sanford, Scofield, Singleton, Smitherman, Ward, Whatley, and Williams voted for the controversial constitutional measure amending Alabama’s Constitution.
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Indians, Attorney General Take Aim At “McLottery”

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—A lottery bill sponsored by Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville) is drawing fire from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) and in a surprise press release from Attorney General Luther Strange.

Lobbyists for PCI and Tribal Vice Chair Robbie McGee are confidently predicting the demise of any lottery bill which would challenge their billion dollar monopoly over gaming in Alabama.

During the public Senate hearing on Tuesday, McGhee informed the committee that the Tribe would only allow a lottery that excluded any other entity from operating electronic gaming devices.
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Sanford to Introduce His Version of Lottery

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama legislature is back in Montgomery for a special session to consider passing a constitutional amendment to allow a lottery.

State Senator Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville) wrote in a statement on social media, “I will introduce a Multi-State Lottery Bill (no scratch-offs & very limited personnel needed.”

Sanford estimated that his simple lottery would produce only $50 million a year annually versus the other full blown Lottery proposals with estimated revenue of $250 to $300 million per year; though Sen. Sanford warned that those other proposals, “Will required adding State Personnel to the tune of 200-300 workers and will create a greater burden on our struggling Retirement System.”
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