The bickering over State prisons continues

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There will be yet another prison bill introduced when the Legislature returns on April 4, but even so, skepticism is growing over lawmakers’ chances of getting any legislation passed.

The fact that there will be another prison bill – this one backed by more than a dozen sheriffs and sponsored by Rep. Allen Farley – is evidence of how deeply divided lawmakers are over the issue.
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A Trump supporter just believes

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The President of the United States is under investigation for espionage.

Even Alabama’s politicians haven’t tried that yet.

As for the rest of the Trump base here in the State that helped launch his rise to the White House, things are going about like you’d expect. Which is to say, there’s nothing to see here.

Inside the Bubble of Dumb, life is right on track and America is on the verge of returning to greatness.
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ADOC: Prisoners were transferred to save money, not to inflate the population

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

A spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Corrections acknowledged that it ended contracts with several county sheriffs to house prisoners but said the change was due to budget cuts and not an effort to artificially inflate the prison population.

Several sheriffs earlier this week expressed frustration to lawmakers over the transfer of those prisoners and a lack of communication with DOC officials. The sheriffs at the meeting – six in all – said they had nearly 1,000 empty in their jails alone because of the transfers.
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Alabama Legislature Week 6: You won’t miss them while they’re gone

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

I have good news and bad news.

First the good news: For the next two weeks, the Alabama Legislature will be on break – a much deserved vacation from the grueling 3-day work weeks and mostly 6-hour days spent thinking hard about stuff.

But here’s the bad news: they weren’t off this week, which means we need to recap all the ways you got hosed over the past three days.
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Sheriffs: DOC stole our inmates to make case for new prisons

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

In order to inflate the number of prisoners being housed in State-run prisons possibly to make a better case to build new prisons, Alabama Department of Corrections officials last year began moving dozens of prisoners being held in county facilities, several County Sheriffs said during a meeting Wednesday at the State House.

The Sheriffs – from Clarke, Clay, Sumter, Macon and Lowndes – said they had long-standing contracts with DOC to house prisoners, but last summer, as a new $800 million prison plan was being floated to lawmakers, DOC officers started showing up at their county jails and removing prisoners. Now, those sheriffs said they had more than 600 empty beds – with potentially thousands more in other counties – at a time when DOC officials are saying State prisons are at nearly 200 percent capacity.
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Want to see public records? It’ll cost you

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama’s Open Records Act stinks.

It’s worthless. It’s mostly unhelpful. And for those entities that know how to use the loopholes and rules to their advantage, the law can actually be a deterrent to accessing open records.

The Alabama Medicaid agency is one of those entities.

In “fulfilling” a recent request I made for documents, the agency highlighted all of the holes in the law and took advantage of every ambiguity to essentially deny me access to public records.
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House Budget: 9 hours, no raises passed

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It took nine hours on Tuesday for the Alabama House to pass the same budget it started with, and by the not-so-close margin of 72-28.

Your government at work.

Approval of the budget was held up by an all-afternoon (and most of the night) filibuster by Democrats, who were unhappy that Republicans had stripped from the budget a proposal to give State workers a 4-percent raise. It would have been their first raise in 10 years.
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A new prison debuts, but more changes are coming

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

A new prison bill made its anticipated debut Tuesday, but by the time it hits a Senate committee on Wednesday, it’s likely to have some company in the House.

The new bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward, removed the State from most of the process, allocating just $100 million – a far cry from the original $800 million proposed Gov. Robert Bentley and Ward – and makes that amount available only if two municipalities obtain bonds to build two facilities.
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Make Alabama Great Again: Vote for You!

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The unemployment rate in Alabama is growing.

That’s right. Growing.

There continue to be more people looking for jobs than jobs being created. We have moved from a low of 6.1 percent unemployment a year ago to 6.3 last month.

At this rate, poor ol’ Gov. Robert Bentley is never going to get that salary he promised he wouldn’t take. And at this point, the guy could use it.
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Alabama Legislature Week 5: Jesus would impeach them all

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s Friday, so you know that means: I’m going to get you high today.

Oops, no, wait, that’s Craig and Smokey.

I’m going to give you the weekly recap of what went down in Alabama’s Legislature.

After which, you’ll want to go get high.

So, roll ‘em up and prepare to puff, puff, give as we run through the mess that was Week 5.

Jesus Hates Sick Kids
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