Secretary of State: No crossover voters will be prosecuted

November 17, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill’s office said Friday that no crossover voters will be prosecuted and the instances of crossover voting were far fewer than initially believed.

Initial numbers indicated in a formal election report in August showed more than 674 individuals had voted in the Democratic primary and then went on to vote in the Republican run-off — a violation of an Alabama law passed during the 2017 Legislative Session

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Lawmaker will try again to pass bill allowing hunting over bait

October 23, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

A South Alabama lawmaker will try again next Legislative Session to get a bill passed that would allow licensed hunters to take feral swine and whitetail deer over bait.

Rep. Jack Williams, R-Wilmer, has pre-filed a bill that would amend Alabama’s hunting laws to allow hunters to shoot deer and hogs over shucked and shelled corn, wheat, salt and other baits. He introduced the same bill last year, but it failed toward the end of the Legislative Session.

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2018 Legislative Session just 92 days away

October 9, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Halloween is not here yet, and most people are just beginning their Christmas shopping list. That said, it is time to begin preparing for the 2018 Legislative Session. The 2018 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature begins early this year so that the members can go out and campaign ahead of the June 5, 2018 major party primaries.

This Session begins on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, and must end no later than Monday, April 23, 2018 at midnight. If both Houses pass both the Education (ETF) and State General Fund budgets, they can leave earlier than that.

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Number of payday lenders down, demand still high

August 28, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A recent article in The Economist found that nationally, the number of payday lenders is on the decline, which mirrors Alabama, where payday lending outlets have dropped significantly since the adoption of a statewide database designed to track loans and curtail abuses.

What doesn’t seem to have ebbed, is the need for the type of short-term loans provided by payday lenders.

In the last Legislative Session, Republican lawmakers aligned with left-leaning advocacy groups, but failed to cap small loan interest rates at 36 percent.

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Troubling questions land at Real Estate Commission doorstep

August 22, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

When regulatory boards start acting like trade associations and trade associations have to fight to keep a commission on task, that signals real trouble, according to sources close to the Alabama Real Estate Commission (AREC) and the Alabama Association of Realtors (AAR).

“The Realtors Association is in a terrible place because the Real Estate Commission is acting like a quasi-association,” said an individual with knowledge of the situation who agreed to be a source of background information so he might speak freely.

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A curious case of Canarys

July 19, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

It has become common to hear lawmakers say “BCA is the new AEA.” This statement refers to the fact that, under the leadership of convicted felon, former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, the Business Council of Alabama has risen to control the State’s Legislative agenda, much like the Alabama Education Association did in years past.

So egregious is BCA’s CEO Billy Canary’s latest behavior that he is receiving widespread criticism not only in Montgomery but in Washington DC, as well. High-level operatives and agents say Canary is no longer welcome in some Senate and Congressional offices. Lawmaker’s in the Nation’s Capital, as well as Montgomery, are set on isolating him until the BCA Board sees the light.
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It’s not about right wing and left wing, it’s about right and wrong

May 25, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

It would be easy to think nothing good has happened lately in the world of Alabama politics, and that Montgomery is so mired in corruption and bickering that nothing ever gets done.

After all, the Legislative Session that just ended began with one governor and ended with a different one; tensions over Legislative redistricting and a controversial email slowed its final days to a crawl; and important issues that were left unfinished will most likely lead to a costly Special Session.
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Medical Parole Bill passes

May 19, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, May 18, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives passed SB87 which would allow Alabama’s oldest prisoners to apply for medical paroles.

State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) said on social media, “SB87 dealing with medical parole for prisoners has passed. We are now adjourned for the night. We come back in tomorrow morning at 9am. Have a blessed night!”

State Representative Tim Wadsworth (R-Arley) said on social media, “SB87 Modification of Medical Parole Bill – eligibility for release of certain prisoners after they have served certain time if suffering chronic life-threatening illnesses.”
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$845 million prison construction bill dead for Session, sponsor says

May 18, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — The plan to build four new “mega” prisons at a cost of up to $845 million is dead for this Legislative Session, the bill’s sponsor confirmed to the Alabama Political Reporter.

With the Legislative Session hastening to an end and only a few meaningful hours left to pass anything, the bill hit a brick wall in the House, which has been held hostage by on-and-off Democratic filibusters for the past week. Commotion over an email black lawmakers found offensive Tuesday also lessened the bill’s chances of getting to the floor for a vote.

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My gun dilemma solved…..for now

May 17, 2017

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

The good news, as reported by The Alabama Political Reporter’s Brandon Moseley Monday, is there are only four more days in this year’s Legislative Session. That down to three now.

Legislative sessions usually can’t end fast enough, especially with some of the proposals that turn up. The General Fund and education budgets – the Legislature’s primary responsibility – are basically in the can.

One issue I’ve been watching the whole Session with interest is SB24, the so-called Gun Bill. Sponsored by Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), it would allow anybody qualified to have a gun to be able to carry it concealed without buying a gun permit from their local sheriff.
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