Politics continue to overrule ethics

May 15, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The State Legislature begins its four-day sprint to the finish this Tuesday. To-date, 1025 bills were introduced over the 27 days, and still, there is much more to be accomplished. The Legislative leadership hopes to sine die on Friday, ending a drama-filled Session that saw Governor Robert Bentley resign, Governor Ivey sworn in, topping the melee of competing interests that always seems to accompany a Legislative Session.
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Roy Moore has a real shot at the US Senate, but so does a Democrat

April 27, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Roy Moore is running for US Senate.

Moore announced his plans to run for the seat vacated by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the steps of the Alabama Capitol building, an audience of a few dozen supporters cheering him on.

And because Roy Moore is Roy Moore, he didn’t disappoint the group.

He bemoaned the State of the God-denying country, promised to fight the Federal government’s attempts to force education on our Alabama children and told everyone that in order to make America great again, we have to first make it good again.
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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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Lottery Substitute Changes Language

August 25, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—A substitute to lottery bill SB3 was approved by the House Tourism and Marketing Committee on Wednesday afternoon.

SEE BILL

When SB3 was voted on by the full Senate this week, the language did not completely reflect all of the amendments that had be agreed upon and mainly related to where the proceeds would be distributed.

A substitute was accepted at the beginning of the meeting incorporating all of the amended changes made in the Senate that failed to make it into the final draft.
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Special Session August 15

July 29, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—“Not just about a lottery,” Gov. Bentley began, as he announced the August 15, 2016 Special Legislative Session, “This is about our people.”

In a short video, Bentley said he wanted the legislature to work together to solve the decades-old budget problems, to protect the “Most vulnerable and helpless” who need adequate healthcare.

Earlier in the week Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) emphasized the need for a special session to address funding for Medicaid and the Regional Care Organizations (RCOs). “The legislature made a commitment to fund the RCOs and in speaking with my colleagues in the Senate and House, I am hopeful that we will continue to make progress toward achieving that goal,” said Marsh. “It important that we continue this revolutionary transformation of the Medicaid system, which is acting as a pilot for continued healthcare reforms and is projected to save the state millions of dollars over time.”
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Update: Bentley May Doom Medicaid, Lottery Siegelman-Style

July 27, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

 

Update: In what is being described as a bizarre video press release, Gov. Robert Bentley spoke for over five minutes about a Special Session without ever once mentioning the date of the call. Bentley says he will be traveling the State to gather support for a Lottery to feed the State’s ailing General Fund Budget but didn’t commit to a date certain.

MONTGOMERY—Soon, maybe even today, Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to call a Special Session of the State Legislature to address Medicaid and a State Lottery. However, over the last several days, Bentley has flip-flopped on when to call the Special Session. Last week, Bentley said he would call a Special Session in late summer or early fall, but the decision to hold the session in the fall has been meeting resistance in the Senate, where a lottery bill sits awaiting the call.
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BCA’s Canary Cares About Next Superintendent of Education

July 18, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Business Council of Alabama CEO, Billy Canary, and former State Superintendent of Education and current leader of BCA’s education arm, Joe Morton, recently co-authored an Op-Ed in which they pose questions they want answered by the State Superintendent candidates.

Canary and Morton write, “no way are we trying to influence the vote or the final selection…[of State Superintendent]” This is like a hooker telling a John that hard cash will have no bearing on the outcome of their date.
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Hubbard Trial: Day Two “100,000 Reasons”

May 26, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

OPELIKA—”A bad day for the defense” is how one prominent defense attorney described Day Two of the Mike Hubbard felony trial.

Hubbard’s former chief of staff, Josh Blades, was the State’s star witness on this second day of testimony. Blades revealed Hubbard’s actions regarding the adding of 23 words into the Medicaid budget, to give his lobbying client, American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc. (APCI), a monopoly over a proposed Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) program.
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Marsh Addresses Lottery, Budget, Education Bills

February 3, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said on Tuesday that his understanding was that the Senate was “not in the mood” for tax increases, and that with a $43 million estimated deficit in the General Fund Budget a lottery was an option.

Marsh said, “All options are a possibility, as I said, I don’t see tax increases.”

Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville) pre-filed an open-ended lottery bill before session. Marsh said that he is open to look at anything.
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