All I want for Christmas is… for every child to have a good education

December 14, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

When my kids were growing up, I don’t know who was more excited on Christmas morning: the kids opening their presents or me and Gwen watching them!

Ever since God gave us the original and best Christmas gift, our lord and savior Jesus Christ, giving gifts has been a part of celebrating Christmas. But as I thought about what I wanted most this Christmas, it wasn’t anything material or even something for myself.

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Bentley, Azar to Make Medicaid Announcement Thursday

September 21, 2016

By Chip Brownlee
The Alabama Political Reporter

Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to make a “major announcement” Thursday in Montgomery regarding the State’s ailing Medicaid Agency.

In a press release Wednesday, Bentley’s office announced he would be holding the meeting in the Old House Chamber Thursday at 2 p.m., and he will be joined by the Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar.

Bentley has indicated he would be announcing plans soon to return Medicaid providers’ reimbursements to pre-Aug. 1 levels. The agency said it was forced to cut payments to doctors on Aug. 1 because of an $85 million shortfall in appropriations.
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State Medicaid Officials Announce that Doctors Rates Could Drop Back to Pre-Obamacare Levels as Soon As August 1

July 7, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Doctors who take Medicaid patients could see what they are paid by the government to treat Alabama Medicaid patients drop as early as August 1 in a plan outlined by state Medicaid officials on Wednesday.

The controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (popularly referred to as Obamacare) inflated the rates that doctors received for treating poor people under the enormously expensive entitlement program in order to encourage more doctors to take Medicaid patients as Obamacare expanded Medicaid enormously.
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Public Hearing Today on a Bill Giving Governor Power to Select Auditor

April 20, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Even though Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) is facing a criminal investigation and an Ethics Commission investigation. Even though two of the last four elected Governors have actually been convicted of crimes, Bentley’s allies in the legislature are still pushing a bill that would strip the people of Alabama with the power to select their own auditor. House Bill 432 would give Bentley and future Governors the power to appoint the auditor….a constitutionally elected position that has been elected by the people since the 1901 Constitution was written.
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Auditor Gets Budget Cut in the Senate

March 24, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, March 23, the State Senate gave final approval Wednesday to the 2017 State General Fund (SGF) budget, SB125, passed earlier by the State House. The SGF budget now goes to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R), who can sign it into law or veto it, sending it back to the legislature.

While SB125 level funds most state agencies, the State Auditor’s office was cut five percent despite an anticipated four percent rise in state revenues. That cut is on top of a double-digit cut last year to the auditor.
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Zeigler Says Cuts are Illegal

September 30, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, September 30 Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) is expected to announce how cuts to state general fund (SGF) programs will impact state services.
jim-zieglerState Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) said in a statement, “Today is the day Gov. Bentley staffers announce cutbacks to some state parks, drivers license offices, and national guard armories. But NO cuts to his own budget, governor’s aircraft fleet and personnel, governor’s entourage, political perks, and high-paid salaries. Gov. Bentley is only making cuts to things that hurt citizens and none to the politicos and bureaucracy.”
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Zeigler Says that Parks Should Not be Closed

September 23, 2015

 

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

In April, the Governor’s office threatened to close up to 15 of Alabama’s 22 state parks unless the legislature gave more money to the State General Fund (SGF).  It took 3 budgets and two Special Sessions, but eventually the legislature relented and agreed to give ~$156 million to the long troubled SGF.

Alabama Medicaid, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Department of Corrections, Pardons and Paroles, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Department of Human Resources, and the Court system were all fully funded in the budget that was passed by the legislature last week.  The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (like most State agencies) was cut from 2015 levels.  DCN&R has endured a series of budget cuts and transfers from its funding to the troubled general fund.  Again $3 million in money generated by the parks has been transferred to the SGF and the percentage of the $1.72 billion SGF spent on prisons and the state’s Medicaid program is at an all time high.  The Bentley Administration is now preparing budgets based on the appropriations in the fiscal year budget which goes into effect on October 1.  Closing some state parks has been mentioned as a very real possibility.
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Vindictive Bill Gutting Auditor’s Office Passes out of Senate Committee headed to Senate Floor

September 15, 2015

 

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Politcal Reporter

On Monday, September 14 HB1 (sponsored by House Ways & Means General Fund Chairman Steve Clouse (R from Ozark)), received a favorable report by the Senate Finance & Taxation General Fund Committee Monday.

Senate Finance & Taxation General Fund Committee Chairman Arthur Orr (R from Decatur) said, “We have the house passed budget and what I would like to do is to move this forward for a possible vote on the floor tomorrow.”
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State Auditor Claims He Is Being Punished for Outspoken Conservatism

September 14, 2015

 

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Friday, September 11, the Alabama House of Representatives passed a budget which raises taxes in order to continue to feed the troubled Medicaid program and avoid the specter of a federal takeover of the long neglected Alabama Corrections System.

Most other General Fund agencies took modest cuts of only four to ten percent.  The State Auditor’s office was not so lucky.  State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) reports that his office was slashed by 60 percent in the state general fund budget that passed the State House of Representatives on Friday.
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Zeigler Says that Cuts Target People not the Governor or Perks

September 8, 2015

 

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

If the legislature does not raise taxes all State General Fund (SGF) agencies will be forced to begin making cuts to programs on September 30, to compensate for the lack of revenue to replace the trust fund raid money (which has run out).

The second Special Session starts Tuesday.  Gov. Robert Bentley (R) is asking for tax increases and is threatening cuts in government services if the increases are not passed.
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