Alabama Senate votes to make state parks free for military vets

February 16, 2018

By Brandon Moseley 
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Senate passed the Parks for Patriots Act on Thursday giving veterans of the armed forces free admission to Alabama State Parks.

The bill was part of a package of five bills to support military veterans passed Thursday, which Gov. Kay Ivey proclaimed was “Military Appreciation Day” in Montgomery.

House Bill 58, the Parks for Patriots Act, was sponsored by state Rep. Dickie Drake, R-Leeds, and passed the House in January.  Ivey declared free admission for veterans starting on November 1.  This bill makes what has been an executive policy decision actual law.  The bill now goes to the governor.

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Commission for “Ethics Reform and Clarification” is pure fantasy

January 26, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A Senate joint resolution creating The Code of Ethics Reform and Clarification Commission sponsored by Republican Senators Arthur Orr, President Pro Tem. Del Marsh and Majority Leader Greg Reed has been submitted to the Rules Committee and could be making it’s way through the Senate soon.

Creating a commission to reform and clarify current ethics laws sounds like a reasonable undertaking until it’s understood that the underlying premise is to weaken much of existing laws.

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Bill removing state superintendent from UA School Board gets favorable report

January 26, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted for a favorable report for Senate Bill 194 dealing with the University of Alabama Board of Trustees. The bill allows the University of Alabama to maintain the districts that they already have anticipating the strong possibility that Alabama will lose a congressional district after the coming 2020 census.

Bill sponsor Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, said that he hopes that Alabama will still have seven congressional districts upon reapportionment; but this bill would allow the university to maintain the districts as they are today.

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Senate Health Committee narrowly approves needle exchange program for addicts

January 25, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The State Senate Health Committee narrowly approved a bill establishing a pilot program to provide intravenous drug users with free needles and syringes in an effort to limit the spread of hepatitis and prevent an outbreak of HIV among the growing drug user community.

Senate Bill 169 was sponsored by Senator Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro.

The pilot program would be administered by the Department of Public Health and local health authorities.  SB169 would also offer some limited criminal immunity to participants in the program.

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Healthy Food Financing Program is a reality for Alabama

November 3, 2017

By Staff
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, an innovative public‐private partnership is officially up and running in Alabama, paving the way to bring fresh food retailers to under-served areas across the state.

The Healthy Food Financing Program is administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affair. ADECA will disperse $300,000 in up to $50,000 increments through a statewide application process. The application is now live at www.adeca.alabama.gov and food retailers, including grocers, farmer’s markets, wholesale markets and other fresh food vendors are invited to apply. The deadline for application submissions is Dec. 20, 2017.
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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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Voters reject tax vote, Walker County on verge of bankruptcy

August 21, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Walker County officials, stunned by voters rejection of a massive tax increase, now are not sure what to do.

February 2017, former Governor Robert Bentley (R) set the special election for the US Senate seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions for November 2018.  Three months later, the law finally caught up to Robert “the Luv Guv” Bentley, so he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and resigned from office rather than be impeached.  New Governor Kay Ivey (R) was sworn in and moved the Special Election to December 12, 2017, with major Party primaries on August 15.
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Series Part 3: How Can Alabama Address Its Medicaid Crisis?

May 5, 2016

By Henry C. Mabry

This is the final in a three-part series focusing on Alabama’s Medicaid issues.

More funds are available without raising taxes

Besides utilization, the other major issue concerns funding and this does not mean nickeling and diming taxpayers year end and year out to bandaid the system.  Funding can be addressed in two manners: one dealing with the short term and the other in dealing with the long term.  In the short term, various programs could be altered to optimize Medicaid funding.  This could save the state $250 million per year and prop up Medicaid needs for a number of years to come with limited additional General Fund contributions.
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Republican Senate Caucus Introduces Agenda for 2016 Session

February 4, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—At a press conference on Wednesday, the Republican Caucus laid out its theme of this year’s agenda: “Continuing Positive Progress.” The priorities for the 2016 Session include, economic growth, protecting children and families, and education pay raises.

President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) and Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper), presented the proposal outlining six legislative priorities: Make economic incentives more flexible and accountable, capitalize on Alabama’s ports, increase protection of abuse victims, expand suicide awareness, education pay raises and a plan to change hiring and retention practices of educators.
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Handicapping the Race: Week Three

December 9, 2015

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

This week we will continue our analysis of the potential horses in the 2018 Alabama Gubernatorial Derby. So far, we have counted down from 18 to 8. In descending order the list includes, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (18), Supreme Court Justice Jim Main (17), Sen. Greg Reed (16), Sen. Arthur Orr (15), Mayor Vaughn Stewart (14), Mayor Walt Maddox (13), Mayor Sandy Stimpson (12), Congressman Bradley Byrne (11), Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey (10), Sen. Del Marsh (9), and State Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan (8). The next four horses will be revealed today and we will conclude the series next week when we reveal the top three horses.
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