House Democrats call on Gov. Ivey to expand Medicaid

February 8, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday passed a resolution calling for Gov. Kay Ivey to expand the state’s Medicaid program.

“We have seen — and continue to see — the enormous negative impact not expanding Medicaid has already had on our state,” said Rep. Mary Moore, D-Birmingham. “It’s time to stop the bleeding. It’s time to shore up our rural hospitals and rural healthcare providers instead of contributing to the further decimation of these communities and it’s time to strengthen this program which is so vital to so many of our most vulnerable citizens – from young children to seniors.”

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House OKs redistricting plan despite Democrats’ concerns over Jefferson County

May 12, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — After almost 16 hours of bill reading and filibustering over two legislative days, House Republicans pushed through their redistricting plan against the wishes of Democrats who said the plan doesn’t fix gerrymandering problems.

The plan passed 70-30 after Democrats had the 530-page bill read at length by a robotic reading machine.

The GOP plan would change or shift about 70 House legislative districts to comply with a January Federal court decision that ruled 9 House districts unconstitutional. Democrats were amenable to a majority of the changes, but there was intense disagreement over the dividing of Jefferson County and the makeup of its county delegation.

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Democrats use delay tactics to stall House in Spat over Redistricting

May 11, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives took up the controversial court ordered redistricting bill for the Alabama House, HB571, sponsored by State Representative Randy Davis (R-Daphne).

When it became apparent that the Democrats did not have the votes to stop the bill, State Representative Thomas Jackson (D-Thomasville) demanded that the bill be read at length. Since the redistricting bill is over 500 pages this will take approximately 15 hours, during which time the House has to maintain a quorum present.
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House passes Memorials Bill

April 28, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, April 17, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 60, the Memorials Preservation Act. SB60 was sponsored by Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa). The bill was carried in the House by State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City).

Rep. Mack Butler said on social media, “After several hours of lively debate we passed SB 60 which is the Memorial Preservation Act which deals with the preservation of Alabama’s monuments.”
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Midwives decriminalization bill passes House

April 26, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives passed House Bill 315. HB315 was sponsored by State Representative Ken Johnson (R-Moulton) to legalize midwives is now on the floor of the House.

Rep. Ken Johnson said that under Alabama law it is currently a misdemeanor for a certified professional midwife (CPM) to be present at a home birth.

State Representative Mary Moore (D-Birmingham) said, “I have some concerns about this bill.”
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House passes Civics Test Bill

April 25, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Legal residents seeking US citizenship have to pass a test in order to become citizens. On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill to require that Alabama students pass a similar test in order to become Alabama High School graduates.

Senate Bill 32 by state Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) would require that students pass a civics test. SB32 was carried in the Alabama House by state Representative Terri Collins (R-Decatur).
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House votes to keep Law Enforcement Officers’ and DAs’ addresses from Public Ethics filings

April 12, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives passed House Bill 334 (HB334) which would allow the home addresses of Law Enforcement officers, District Attorney and Assistant District to be redacted from Statement of Economic Interest reports to the Alabama Ethics Commission so that their personal addresses are not available to the public.

HB334 is sponsored by state Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City). Butler said that under the current law only undercover officers have their home addresses redacted from their Statement of Economic Interest that is filed with the Alabama Ethics Commissioin. Presently the public can look up the ethics form to gather information about an officer, state employee, or elected official and that includes their home address.
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Bill to save Sheriffs money on inmate Healthcare costs

March 10, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 9, 2017, the Alabama House of Representative passed a bill to allow sheriffs in Alabama to pass some of their healthcare costs to Medicaid. Under current law the county Sheriff’s office is responsible for all of the costs of the healthcare of the prisoners in the county jail. Since Obamacare has greatly increased the cost of healthcare, providing prisoner healthcare has become a burden on Sheriff’s Departments across Alabama.
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House passes Bill giving some Probate Judges more Judicial powers

March 8, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, the Alabama House of Representative during the first night session of 2017 voted to pass House Bill 86 giving judges of probate the power to fine or jail people that defy their orders. Only Probate Judges with law degrees will have these new powers. HB86 was sponsored by State Representative Matt Fridy.

Rep. Fridy said that those probate judges who are learned in the law will have the new civil contempt authority. Fridy said that the new powers are needed because probate judges presently can jail a person for just one day and/or fine them $20 for defying their orders. Probate judges dealing with large estates need the power to have their orders enforced. Probate judges deal with equity law and very large estates. “We have had situations where probate judges can not enforce their orders because they are limited to fines of $20.”
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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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