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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Results are in: The top issues facing the state according to APR’s Influentials Poll

January 3, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Results from the Alabama Political Reporter‘s first Influentials Poll are in, and some of the state’s most prominent political minds believe the state needs to chart a course for growth that doesn’t neatly fit into either party’s public persona.

APR asked its exclusive list of lawmakers, public officials, consultants, association leaders, media analysts and lobbyists to rank the most important issues facing the state as it moves into 2018.

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Juvenile Justice changes could save money, improve outcomes

December 19, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Significant changes are likely coming to Alabama’s Juvenile Justice System.

A 20-member task force made up of lawmakers, judges, youth services employees and law enforcement officials spent the last six months reviewing current practices and examining the most successful programs and recommendations from experts across the country.

On Monday, the panel released its findings, noting a need for dramatic changes that will drastically cut the amount of state tax dollars spent on juvenile programs and bring better results.

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Alabama’s gun law debate has left reality

October 25, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There are times when I wonder if this is real life, or if, instead, there’s a fairly significant portion of the country that’s pulling a prank on the rest of us.

You know, just to see what we’ll do, and then laugh at our reactions to the absurdity.

One of those moments occurred this morning. In a place where many other such moments have occurred – the Alabama State House.

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Does Governor Ivey support a vote on the lottery?

August 25, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

At a recent press gaggle,  a reporter asked Governor Kay Ivey what the chances of Alabama passing a lottery are? Alabama is one of only six states that does not have some form of lottery. Her statement while clear to those who understand Alabama’s 1901 Constitution was taken out of context to say that the Governor opposed letting the people vote on a lottery.

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What can we learn on the Plains of Weehawken?

August 9, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

“If we had an Attorney General, there’d be a Grand Jury,” said a retired judge referring to revelations in APR’s exit interview with Ethics Commissioner, Dr. Stewart Tankersley.

Examples of collusion, questionable opinions, and other suspect activity, he said, “should be before a Grand Jury, and we should ask them: ‘What do you want us to do with this?'”

Speaking truth to power or shining a light on a brood of vipers undoubtedly has consequences both negative and positive. At the moment, Tankersley is feeling the wrath of those he has criticized.

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Prison healthcare provider steps forward to meet Alabama’s challenge

August 9, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Earlier this summer, US Federal District Judge Myron H. Thompson declared the mental health care system in Alabama prisons to be “horrendously inadequate.” It is likely Judge Thompson will soon rule that Alabama must improve all health care services for inmates at State Correctional facilities. His ruling already has State lawmakers scrambling to find a solution that both meets Judge Thompson’s orders while offering healthcare that is affordable. One company, Centurion, LLC, ready to accept the challenge.
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Unlike bingo, Fanduel requires skill

May 11, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

You can’t win at Fanduel.

That’s not a generic “you.” I mean, you – the person reading this. The person who has never played a daily fantasy sports game.

If you and I competed against each other in a game, I would beat you 100 times out of 100. And barring some freak of nature, it wouldn’t be close.

Yet, some in our Legislature would have you believe that these daily fantasy contests are on the same level as all other gambling — that everyone who plays has the same tiny opportunity to win, the same giant opportunity to lose. Don’t fall for that nonsense.
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Will Poarch Creek casino money return Hubbard to power?

April 12, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

New information about a reported agreement between convicted felon Mike Hubbard and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) came to light over the weekend. The Tribe has is believed to have agreed to pay all of Hubbard’s legal fees past, present, and future if the once-powerful Speaker of the House helps them elect a majority of like-minded lawmakers who will grant a Compact, giving them Vegas-style casino gambling rights in Alabama.
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OIT makes power grab ahead of Legislative approval

March 6, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Even before Legislation is passed to make the Office of Information Technology (OIT) a stand-alone agency under SB219, OIT Secretary Dr. Joanne Hale and her underlings have taken control of the Information Services Division (ISD) without Legislative approval, according to high-level sources. But this is just the beginning of a story which winds through the State’s top Law Enforcement agency, and four separate investigations before landing on lawmakers’ desks.
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