Legislative Session is winding down

May 8, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

There are only six Legislative days left in the 2017 Alabama Legislative Session. There is still an awful lot of work to do however.

The primary purpose of even having Legislative Sessions is to pass the budgets. The State General Fund (SGF) budget was passed in the Senate on Thursday. The House passed the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget on Wednesday. Both Houses have now passed both budgets. Both Houses however have to vote on whether or not to concur with changes made by the other house.
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Randy Brinson announces candidacy for Senate

April 25, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, April 24, 2017, the race for US Senate got more crowded as Randy Brinson announced that he was leaving his position as head of the Christian Coalition in order to run for the US Senate vacancy created when Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) stepped down after he was confirmed by the Senate as President Trump’s US Attorney General.

Brinson said in a statement, “As President of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, and founder and chairman of Redeem The Vote, I believe we have been successful in helping shape the moral direction of our State and more importantly, speaking out about corruption and illegal activity that has led to the resignation and conviction of many of our elected leaders. Working with these groups has given me insight into how frustrated voters are with the corruption, self-dealing, and venality of politicians at all levels of our government. For this reason, I am now compelled to step down from my roles with the Christian Coalition and Redeem the Vote in order to run for the United States Senate in the special election this August. I am looking forward to working with a preeminent campaign team and running a modern, well-funded campaign that will draw a contrast between myself, as a voter advocate and faith leader, and the incumbent, and other career politicians running for this office. In the coming days I will be launching my campaign website, engaging the grassroots throughout Alabama, and calling on you for your support and prayers. Together we will win this race.”
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Qualifying for Senate Seat begins today

April 24, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Republican Party announced that it will open candidate qualifying for the Alabama US Senate Special Election on Monday, April 24 at 8:30 a.m. central time.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) had originally set the special election to replace Jeff Sessions for November 2018 to coincide with the regular election. A number of legal scholars, including state Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) and State Representative Christopher John England (D-Tuscaloosa) argued that Bentley and his team of legal advisors had improperly defined “forthwith” and urged a 2017 Special Election.
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The end to judicial override in Alabama is imminent

April 5, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Alabama’s death penalty sentencing system, which allows judges to override a jury’s recommendation for life in prison, may soon be changing to put the Yellowhammer State in line with all other states that allow capital punishment.

On Tuesday, the Alabama House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would prohibit a judge from overriding a jury’s recommendation on the death penalty through a process known as judicial override. Under the bill passed Tuesday, sponsored by Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery, in the Senate and Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, in the House, a jury will have the final say on whether a defendant receives the death penalty.

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House expected to vote Tuesday on bill to end judicial override

April 4, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Alabama’s House of Representatives, on its first day back from spring break, is expected to take up a bill that would end the State’s judicial override sentencing system.

On Tuesday, the House is expected to begin debate, and maybe vote, on the bill sponsored by Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa. England’s bill would prohibit a judge from overriding a jury’s recommended sentence of life to impose the death sentence instead.

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California proposes an opioid tax

March 29, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

According to some estimates the growing the growing prescription opioid epidemic has a national economic burden of $78.5 billion. It is estimated that Alabama alone is spending over $234 million a year most of that on extra healthcare costs.

Drug overdose deaths have soared 167 percent nationally. In California alone the healthcare costs for opioid use has reached over $4 billion a year. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) found that in 2013 alone, 11,683 people, or 32 people a day, were treated in California emergency rooms for non-fatal overdoses and other opioid-related conditions.
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Democrats announce 2017 Legislative Agenda

March 16, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama House Democrats are badly outnumbered in the State House of Representatives; but that does not mean that they don’t have ideas they want to push forward. The group announced their 2017 agenda on a Thursday, March 9, 2017 press conference in the State House.

New House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) “All Alabama families want is a fair shot and level playing field – and, they deserve that. This is why we are focused on major investments in education, infrastructure, innovation and the Alabama worker.”
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Lawsuit filed over Bentley’s Senate Special Election date

March 6, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — State Auditor Jim Zeigler and a Democrat from Conecuh County have filed a lawsuit seeking a mandatory injunction requiring Gov. Robert Bentley to reschedule the special election for the US Senate seat vacated by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Zeigler and Tommy Chapman, chair of the Conecuh County Democratic Executive Committee and former district attorney for Conecuh and Monroe Counties, filed the lawsuit in Montgomery County Circuit on Sunday.

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AG declines to issue opinion on Bentley’s Senate Special Election

February 28, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Attorney General Steve Marshall has declined to issue an opinion on Gov. Robert Bentley’s Senate Special Election date — a request of State Auditor Jim Zeigler, an outspoken critic of the Governor.

Earlier this month, Zeigler requested an Attorney General’s Opinion on Bentley’s Special Election schedule. Marshall declined Zeigler’s request because he said the scheduling does not directly relate to Zeigler’s office.

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The rare, bipartisan push to end judicial override in Alabama

February 16, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There was a rare show of bipartisanship during Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee meeting, and even rarer step taken to end a long-outdated practice.

A bill that would bring an end to judicial override – the power that only Alabama now grants judges to overturn the decisions of juries and sentence a defendant to death – passed through the committee with bipartisan support.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) now goes to the floor for a vote.
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