State still behind in LGBT protection as lawmakers return to Montgomery, LGBT group says

January 11, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

As lawmakers make their way back to Montgomery for the Legislative Session this year, a branch of the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization says Alabama is still far behind in its protections for LGBT people.

The State Equality Index, an annual comprehensive report released by the Human Rights Campaign rating each state’s laws and policies that affect LGBTQ people and their families, recently placed Alabama in the “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality” category — the lowest category on the scorecard.

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Ivey signs Adoption Bill

May 4, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, May 3, 2017, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed House Bill 24 into law. HB24, sponsored by State Representative Rich Wingo (R-Tuscaloosa) protects the religious liberties of faith-based adoption agencies. The bill protects the rights of the faith based organizations that they can not be forced to place children in homes that are living a lifestyle which the faith based group finds morally objectionable in some way.
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An executive amendment from the Governor could hold up controversial adoption bill

April 27, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey is considering an executive amendment to a controversial bill passed by the Alabama Legislature this week that would give faith-based adoption agencies the right to deny services to same-sex couples.

Ivey is considering a relatively minor change to the bill, sources close to the governor have told the Alabama Political Reporter. But applying an executive amendment to the bill would send it back to the Legislature for another round of votes, where it could get lost in the chaos as the end of the 2017 legislative session looms.

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Fantasy Sports Bill narrowly passes out of House

April 24, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives voted to pass a highly controversial bill to exempt fantasy sports from the State’s anti-gambling laws, but only after it was much modified on the floor of the House.

House Bill 354 was sponsored by State Representative Alan Boothe (R-Troy). Boothe’s mother died, so he was unable to attend the legislature to carry his own bill. The bill was carried in his place by State Representative Ron Johnson (R-Sylacauga).
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“Religious Liberty” bill gets favorable report

February 14, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, February 7, 2017, the House Health Committee gave a favorable report for HB24 which would protect the freedom of religiously affiliated adoption agencies to refuse to place a child with same-sex parents.

House Bill 24 is sponsored by Rep. RIch Wingo (R-Tuscaloosa). Wingo told the committee that his bill is about religious liberty and freedom. “It does not prohibit gay or lesbian couples from adopting or fostering a child.”
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ALEA secretary wants to more than double agency’s budget

February 1, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Stan Stabler left lawmakers at a joint budget committee hearing on Tuesday flabbergasted, when he requested to more than double the agency’s budget in 2017.

It took Stabler until nearly the end of his lengthy presentation before he revealed to legislators that ALEA needs to push its request from the $44 million it received in 2017 to $104 million in 2018. When he did, the figure was met with dismay. Read More

Legislators gear up for Session, State still far behind in LGBTQ protections

January 5, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The Alabama Legislature will convene in little more than a month. As lawmakers continue prefiling bills and preparing for the 2017 Legislative Session, a new report from the Human Rights Campaign shows Alabama still lagging behind in LGBTQ protections.

The State Equality Index, an annual comprehensive report released by HRC rating each state’s laws and policies that affect LGBTQ people and their families, recently placed Alabama in the “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality” category — the lowest category on the scorecard.

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Lottery Passes the House

August 26, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, August 25, the Alabama House of Representatives voted to amend Alabama’s state Constitution to allow a lottery. Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville), has been sent back to the Senate to see if they concur with the many house amendments to the Senate bill.

State Representative Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) said of the Senate version of SB3, “The bill is flawed and needs a lot of work to secure the future of our conservative values, in a state where gambling interest are hungry to control us. Gambling lobbyist are working diligently to manipulate our constitution for their benefit. It is our responsibility to give the people of Alabama, who only get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote, the cleanest proposal possible. Unfortunately that requires time and effort.”
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Today is the Great Lottery Showdown

August 25, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

This is like a Western with no gunplay. Today, two roughly evenly matched groups of Republican lawmakers are going to square off in the Alabama House of Representatives to decide the fate of Governor Robert Bentley’s (R) State General Fund lottery constitutional amendment, Senate Bill Three (SB3).

SB3 was sponsored by State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville). Even though Republicans have a commanding super majority in the House, it will be Democrats who decide which group of GOP Representatives get to declare their victory at the end of the day. As increasingly is becoming common in the Alabama legislature, it is not Democrats versus Republicans, but dueling factions of Republicans battling each other. Each side has to reach across the aisle to the Democratic minority to find allies to use against their fellow Republican lawmakers in today’s showdown.
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Prisons Want $18 Million Budget Increase

January 18, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, January 12, the joint House and Senate Committees on the long troubled State General Fund (SGF). The first state agency to testify was the Department of Corrections. Corrections is asking the legislature for an $18 million increase in their 2017 fiscal year budget.

Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn said that the increase will allow the Department advance our vision to transform the state’s prison system.
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