Peeples says that he will fight for education

July 24, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, July 2017, US Senate candidate Bryan Peeples (R) said on social media, “If you want someone to fight for you, your children, and their children, and all the rights of all the citizens, then get behind a frustrated citizen who will fight the hard fight for the people.”

Peeples said in his statement, “I believe I bring a modern perspective to educational needs. I was a transient child due to my father being a part of corporate America in the 80’s and 90’s economic boom. I can with out a doubt describe the differences in needs between the states and can attest to the poor options this State has. I am a firm believer of the 10th Amendment but there needs to be standards and regulations in place to protect the services rendered, bought, or used. Not all counties or cities have the funds necessary to provide quality education to it’s youth and as you mentioned they can find funds for their coaches but not the healthcare or curriculum needs. Our State constantly pulls from the education fund in order to resupply the general fund. The laws we have in this state do not promote growth at any level and only seek to keep those in power in power. It is frustrating to me that we have this conversation over and over and Alabama constantly ranks in the bottom 5 nationally. We can do better and have to do better for our youth.”
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Takeaways from 2017 Legislative Session

May 22, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The 2017 Alabama Legislative Session is over, and these are some key points to take away.

The biggest loser, by far, was former Governor Robert Bentley.  The Legislature got an awful lot of help from this newer, stronger, bolder version of the Alabama Ethics Commission. But, it was evident that Bentley was going to be impeached and removed once Special Counsel Jack Sharman released his report.  Bentley resigned halfway through the first day of the House Judiciary Committee hearings.  If the House and Senate had to waste weeks on his impeachment, given the 30-day Legislative meeting limit, the Session would have been a disaster.
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Legislative Session is winding down

May 8, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

There are only six Legislative days left in the 2017 Alabama Legislative Session. There is still an awful lot of work to do however.

The primary purpose of even having Legislative Sessions is to pass the budgets. The State General Fund (SGF) budget was passed in the Senate on Thursday. The House passed the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget on Wednesday. Both Houses have now passed both budgets. Both Houses however have to vote on whether or not to concur with changes made by the other house.
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Reports say House Leadership will resurrect Gas Tax

May 5, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Very powerful, very wealthy special interests support spending more taxpayer money on road construction projects and they spend a lot of money on elections so that they get their way in the Alabama Legislature.

Two weeks, ago the Alabama House of Representatives carried over a controversial bill sponsored by State Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) when it became obvious that bipartisan opposition would defeat the bill on the BIR vote. Since the bill was carried over it could be brought back at any time at the call of the chair.
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Timeline, cost for Special Election to let the people vote for US Senator

April 17, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In February, former Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, to fill the seat left vacant by Senator Jeff Sessions when he assumed the role of US Attorney General. Bentley also set the date of the Special Election to allow the people to vote on Sessions’ replacement some two years later, during the 2018 General Election. Bentley, calling for a Special Election two years hence, has received harsh criticism because it violates the will and intent of the State’s 1901 Constitution, according to Constitutional experts who have weighed in on the case.
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Bill to break up ALEA gets favorable report

April 13, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, the Alabama House State Government Committee gave a favorable report to House bill 425, which would undo a key Bentley Administration policy and break up the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). This on the same day that ALEA Secretary Stan Stabler retired under pressure from new Governor Kay Ivey (R).

HB425 was sponsored by Representative Phillip Pettus (R-Killen). Rep. Pettus said that ALEA was created in 2013. This bill would undo those changes and would bring everything back to where it was before ALEA.
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Bill to limit Disability exemptions for expensive homes gets favorable report

March 9, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, February 8, 2017, the Senate General Fund Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would prevent owners of homes worth over $200,000 from being able to get an ad valorem tax exemption if they become disabled. Senate Bill 226 is sponsored by Senator Trip Pittman (R-Montrose), who chairs the Senate General Fund Committee.

Senator Pittman said, “I had a mayor call me and he had a constituent that was complaining about city services. The mayor got to looking and found that that constituent was exempt from paying property taxes. He looked further and 7 or 8 of the houses in that community were exempt from paying ad valorem taxes. He asked me to bring this bill. What this does is put an assessed value of $200,000 limit on that. I think this is a reasonable. You need to pay for the cost of your governor.”
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Finance, Revenue officials suggest reforms for budget process

December 15, 2016

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Legislators are attempting to find a long-term fix for Alabama’s seemingly endless General Fund budgeting woes. But that long-term fix seems far in the distance.

Today, officials from the executive branch offered their input to the Legislative Task Force on Budget Reform, a joint committee of the Alabama Legislature tasked with finding that solution.

Newly appointed State Finance Director Clinton Carter posed several ideas to the joint committee, including reforming agency budget rollovers and implementing a “race to the bottom” budgeting concept.

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Groundbreaking Study Shows Enormous Financial Impact of Alabama’s Energy Industry

November 10, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A first of its kind study found that Alabama’s energy industry contributes more than $13 billion to the State’s economy each year, and that at least 124,000 jobs depend on the energy sector.

This groundbreaking study released by the Energy Institute of Alabama showed that Alabama’s General Fund and Education Trust Fund budgets are enriched by at least $385 million directly from the energy sector.
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Regional Care Organizations Collapsing

October 27, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The promised dream of Regional Care Organizations (RCOs) saving the State’s underfunded and overburdened Medicaid system continues to unravel.

Just recently, the University of Birmingham Medical Systems and Viva Heath Inc., abandoned their programs indefinitely, citing the instability of State funding.

Last month, The Alabama Political Reporter obtained a letter from Mike Warren, President and CEO of Children of Alabama, to Medicaid Agency Commissioner Stephanie Azar in which he detailed the failure of the RCO plan adopted by Gov. Robert Bentley (which was approved by the State Legislature). In it, Warren offers a withering critique of the programs including the false promise of cost savings under the RCO model. “The numbers are frightening,” Warren writes. “RCOs will actually cost the State’s General Fund a substantial amount more than keeping the current program funded.”
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