Bipartisan bill would give retirees a one-time bonus

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Some Republicans in the Senate and at least one Democrat in the State House of Representatives believe certain retired educators should receive a one-time, lump sum payment.

Republican Senator Gerald Dial, who is leading the charge, is joined by Senate colleagues Jimmy Holley, Jim McClendon, Steve Livingston, Tom Whatley and Cam Ward to sponsor SB3. In the House, Rep. Craig Ford is carrying an identical

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Top stories to watch in 2017

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

2016 is over, and 2017 is here. 2016 was a year full of big political news, and we at The Alabama Political Reporter anticipate 2017 to be no less intense.

The election of Donald Trump (R) as President of the United States was the biggest national news story of 2016, and has caused enormous repercussions in Alabama. Below are some of the questions we are asking ourselves as we begin the new

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APR’s Top Stories of 2016

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By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It is sometimes hard to find material for a top-stories-of-the-year piece.

That is not the case for 2016.

If anything, trimming this one down to just 10 – by way of carefully including a number of stories inside broad categories – was the trouble. It was no easy task, but here’s the official APR rankings of Alabama’s Top 10 stories of 2016.

Mike Hubbard gets

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Alabama ranked 47th in the nation for health, report finds

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By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The Yellowhammer State has the second-highest rates of cardiovascular death and infant mortality, a new report ranking the 50 states on a number of health issues found.

Alabama has the third-highest rates of premature death and diabetes. It also comes in within the bottom-five for frequent physical distress, obesity and prevalence of infectious diseases like Chlamydia

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State Auditor Ziegler pitches another prison reform plan

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By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Jim Ziegler has a plan for Alabama’s prison problem.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, the Alabama State Auditor laid out a 12-step plan – which he dubbed “Plan Z” – to correct Alabama’s overcrowded prison issues. Ziegler said his Plan Z would cost taxpayers only a quarter of the $800 million reform plan being pushed by Gov. Robert Bentley.

However, Ziegler conceded that the savings

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The incomparable cost of gross incompetence

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Chanting the much-ballyhooed mantra of “streamlining government, transparency and efficiency,” the administration of Governor Robert Bentley and the Republican-controlled State House have green-lighted, perhaps, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on failed software systems.

Last Monday, Bentley’s cabinet secretary for the Office of Information Technology (OIT), Dr. Joanne

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Zeigler questions Medicaid contracts

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, November 29, 2016, State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) questioned twelve contracts for maternity services totaling $71 million that are up for review on Thursday by the Contract Review Committee.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler asked the panel to delay the contracts to determine if there is a less expensive way to provide the services.

The panel meets on Thursday, Dec. 1 at the Alabama Statehouse

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Bentley, Lawmakers to Hash Out Troubled RCOs

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By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has called several lawmakers and other state officials to Montgomery for a Monday meeting on the status of the State’s troubled Regional Care Organizations.

“I assume he wants to discuss how this thing (RCOs) might be held together, if it can be,” said Sen. Jim McClendon, the chairman of the Senate Health committee.

McClendon will not attend Monday’s meeting due

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One RCO Contract Could Cost State $28 Million

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By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

A consulting firm tasked with implementing Alabama’s new Medicaid managed-care system has been paid nearly $5 million more than the original contract amount and recently received a second one-year extension that could nearly triple the cost of the project.

Navigant Consulting, a Chicago-based firm, agreed back in December 2013 to implement Alabama’s new Regional Care Organizations, as part of

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Regional Care Organizations Collapsing

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The promised dream of Regional Care Organizations (RCOs) saving the State’s underfunded and overburdened Medicaid system continues to unravel.

Just recently, the University of Birmingham Medical Systems and Viva Heath Inc., abandoned their programs indefinitely, citing the instability of State funding.

Last month, The Alabama Political Reporter obtained a letter

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