Jasper businessman Matthew Woods sworn in as state community colleges trustee

February 15, 2018

By Staff
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees gained a new member on Wednesday.

Gov. Kay Ivey recently appointed Matthew Woods, a Bevill State Community College graduate and Jasper area businessman, to serve as a representative for District 4 in West Alabama.

Woods was sworn in on Wednesday after being confirmed by the Alabama Senate on Feb. 8. He’ll replace District 4 Trustee Frank Caldwell, who recently resigned his position on the board, which oversees Alabama’s 25 community and technical colleges.

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House Democrats call on Gov. Ivey to expand Medicaid

February 8, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday passed a resolution calling for Gov. Kay Ivey to expand the state’s Medicaid program.

“We have seen — and continue to see — the enormous negative impact not expanding Medicaid has already had on our state,” said Rep. Mary Moore, D-Birmingham. “It’s time to stop the bleeding. It’s time to shore up our rural hospitals and rural healthcare providers instead of contributing to the further decimation of these communities and it’s time to strengthen this program which is so vital to so many of our most vulnerable citizens – from young children to seniors.”

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Opinion | Is HB317 a return to the orgy of greed and corruption? 

February 6, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

At least it seemed for a moment that the cancer eating away at Alabama’s state government was in remission.

The rise of Gov. Kay Ivey and Speaker Mac McCutcheon after the removal of Gov. Robert Bentley and Speaker Mike Hubbard appeared to herald a new day in state politics. But in the State House, bills are offered that would reintroduce the same type of mischief that poisoned the system when Hubbard and Bentley were in office.

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Ivey awards more than $10.5 million in community improvement grants

February 2, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday awarded more than $10.5 million in community development block grants to 28 towns and cities, providing funds for those communities to improve their streets and water, sewer and drainage systems.

Ivey said the block grants are needed to address the health and welfare of citizens in many communities. This is the second round of community development block grants. The first were awarded on Jan. 24.

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Alabama set to move forward with Medicaid work requirements on Gov. Kay Ivey’s orders

January 17, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama may become one of nearly a dozen mostly Republican states that are seeking a waiver from the federal government that could allow the state to institute work requirements for some of those who are on Medicaid.

Gov. Kay Ivey said Tuesday that she has directed Medicaid Commissioner Stefanie Azar to begin working on seeking a waiver for the requirements and raising co-pays for beneficiaries. States are typically required to request waivers from the federal government for changes to their Medicaid programs.

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Opinion | MLK statue long overdue at State Capitol

January 15, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

At a ceremony Monday at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in downtown Montgomery, Gov. Kay Ivey will announce Alabama’s inclusion in a 12-state Civil Rights Trail.

The Trail will feature historic landmarks in several cities, including 10 sites in Montgomery alone.

At none of those Montgomery sites will there be a statue of Martin Luther King Jr.

Because there isn’t a single statue of the man in Montgomery.

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Governor joins bipartisan lawmakers in push for regulations to take Uber, Lyft statewide

January 12, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Gov. Kay Ivey joined lawmakers and drivers from ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft to push for a piece of bipartisan legislation that would set statewide regulations for how such companies can operate, which could allow Alabamians to call a ride anywhere in the state.

Lyft and Uber, the nation’s two most popular ride-hailing companies, operate in 15 medium-to-large cities across the state but were forced to work with those cities on local regulations that allowed them to start offering rides. The time and money needed to negotiate with individual cities prevent the companies from going statewide, Ivey said Thursday on the steps of the State House.

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Will leaders lay fundamental groundwork for tomorrow or wimp out?

January 8, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Results from the Alabama Political Reporter’s first Influentials poll show that many of our state’s best thinkers see an urgent need to invest in infrastructure, encourage new industry and develop a 21st-century workforce. These are three big ideas that, if executed correctly, will have a profound effect on the state’s economy, quality of life and upward mobility of all citizens who wish to participate.

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2018 might be better … cautious warning aside

December 29, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

When we look back over 2017, it would seem there is little cause for celebration, and yet, there are signs of a better year to come. As we ponder the coming year, here are some things to keep in mind.

Happening in the House

Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon is showing that it is possible for now to lead the House of Representatives with the strength of conscience and not just political muscle or intimidation. The 2018 Regular Legislative Session should roll along without any great turmoil. Expect House members to enter the State House more united, but voters shouldn’t expect too much in the way of sweeping legislation as it is traditional to tamp down controversy before a general election. Instead, expect McCutcheon and his team to be teeing up the ball for 2019 with an emphasis on budgeting reform, infrastructure planning and a more inclusive agenda that doesn’t merely rely on National GOP talking points.

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Prison healthcare negotiations move forward despite bribery claims

December 18, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In righting the ship of state, Gov. Kay Ivey has demonstrated shrewd political instincts since taking office earlier this year, but her administration took a potentially disastrous turn this past week on a prison healthcare contract.

Several reports on companies bidding to provide federally mandated healthcare service to Alabama’s prison systems found Pennsylvania-based Wexford Health Sources, Inc., has routinely underperformed and is currently caught up in a major bribery scandal in Mississippi.

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