Week One Legislative Report: 373 bills introduced in the first week of the 2018 Regular Session

January 15, 2018

Contributed by Beth Marietta Lyons
Lyons Law Firm

The Alabama Legislature began its annual Regular Session on Tuesday, January 9. As the annual Session is limited by law to 30 session days within a 105 calendar day period, the Session must conclude by April 23, 2018.

After convening at noon on Tuesday and conducting general business relating to the opening of the Session, both Houses recessed for the Governor’s annual State of the State address Tuesday evening. Initiatives referenced in the Governor’s speech were pay raises for education (2.5 percent) and state employees (3 percent), more money for the Department of Corrections to improve mental health care and hire more correction officers, and improving broadband access throughout the state.

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Alabama government: It’s not about you

May 23, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s probably worth remembering that Alabama’s Legislators work for you.

The men and women who roam the halls of the State House, crafting legislation (or, more likely, copying it verbatim from some lobbyist) and running Alabama are representatives of us. All of us.

That means they’re supposed to be in Montgomery doing what we want, taking care of our needs.

I’ll pause while you recover from laughing hysterically.
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Alabama Legislature Week 3: Take the gun, leave the backpack

February 24, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It’s hard to believe that we’re already through Week 3 in the 2017 Regular Session.

Actually, wait, no it’s not. It’s very believable, since these folks work like four hours per day. They showed up at 1 on Tuesday and bounced by early afternoon on Thursday. And somewhere in the middle they found time to criticize other people for taking state money and not doing enough work.
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Things are getting complex

February 15, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

This third year of the quadrennium Regular Session of the legislature has recently gotten a lot more complex. These next four months will be trying times for the Alabama legislature. They will not only have to deal with a beleaguered General Fund Budget that has to feed a money-eating monster named Medicaid, they have an overcrowding problem in the state prisons to deal with as well as major public school systems being taken over by the state because of mismanagement and underfunding.
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ALFA Hits Jackpot For 20 Years Straight But Doesn’t Want You To

September 6, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Will blame, incrimination and meddling be the legacy of the circular firing squad known as the 2016 Special Legislative Session?

Unrelenting lobbying by various groups helped kill Governor Robert Bentley’s lottery bill SB3, which was carried by Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville), namely, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, those backing GreeneTrack, VictoryLand and Alabama Farmers Association (ALFA).

Each group lost something in the last minute mugging of the lottery bill… except ALFA.
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Zeigler Thinks Special Session Heading Toward Failure

September 6, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—State Auditor Jim Zeigler believes, if a proposed BP bill fails, the entire Legislative Session will be a waste.

Zeigler favors the compromise bill to allocate $850 million in BP settlement split between State debt and Baldwin and Mobile counties. Under the agreement $448 million would repay State debts and $191 million would go to Baldwin and Mobile counties, which were directly impacted by the spill. “Repaying the debt will then free up $70 million for the General Fund, filling the reported shortfall in the Medicaid budget,” according to Zeigler.
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Poor Leadership Wastes Time, Costs Taxpayers With Countless Special Sessions

May 10, 2016

By Rep. Darrio Melton

I would start this piece by talking about how the Legislature finally adjourned for 2016, but the past few years have shown that adjourning from session is really more of an intermission in the legislative process.

Over the past few years, the “regular session” has simply been “part one” to the circus of Republican leadership, because we know we’re always coming back for at least one special session to finish what wasn’t accomplished the first time.
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I Hear That Train A ‘Comin

February 15, 2016

By Graham L. Champion

The first four Legislative Days of the 2016 Regular Session are history, and there have been a few surprises already. One of the major initiatives of the House Republican Caucus was to memorialize within the Alabama Constitution, language confirming that Alabama is a Right-to-Work state. That language is already found in the Code of Alabama but there are those who want to include that right in Alabama’s Constitution as a strong signal to businesses that Alabama is open for business. The problem is, that when it came time for the House to vote on this Proposed Amendment, there were not enough Republicans on the House Floor to reach the mandated 63 affirmative votes needed to pass a Proposed Constitutional Amendment. There were only 60 votes in favor of the Proposed Amendment with absolutely no Democrats voting in favor of the legislation.
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Pittman’s Primary Focus is Passing Budgets During Regular Session

February 3, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Sen. Trip Pittman (R-Daphne), Chairman of the General Fund Budget, said after the first legislative day of the 2016 Regular Session that his concentration will be primarily on the budgets being passed and signed by Governor Bentley during the Regular Session.

“We need to get the General Fund Budget passed so people will realize the reality of the amount of money we have and how far it is going to go so that people could act accordingly,” said Pittman.
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