Alabama Legislature Recap Week 9: All questions, no answers

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Question: What happened in the Alabama Legislature this past week?

  1. Lawmakers wasted time and money, like always.
  2. Lawmakers passed embarrassing, illegal legislation.
  3. Lawmakers got into entertaining arguments.
  4. All of the above.

It’s always “All of the above.”

Let’s recap this nonsense.

Civically speaking

One of the most entertaining debates of the week came as the House attempted to pass a bill sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, which he had already ushered through the Senate, to require that Alabama high school students pass a civics test prior to graduating.
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An idea worth considering

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Republicans in the Alabama Legislature have a little explaining to do.

No, seriously. I need them to explain something to me. And to you, the people who vote for them.

For the past several weeks, through committee meeting after committee meeting at the State House, I have watched Republicans disagree with other Republicans on a variety of very important, very serious topics. Everything from gun rights to abortion to same-sex couples’ rights.
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More options for working families

Bradley Byrne

Congressman Bradley Byrne (Al-1)

In the early part of 2017, much of the focus in Congress has been on rolling back damaging policies of the Obama Administration. We have had real success in these efforts, stopping flawed regulations covering everything from education to the Second Amendment to Planned Parenthood.

I think it is critically important we continue looking to reverse regulations and policies that do not work. At the same time, it is also important that we advance our own solutions that will make life better for hard working families.
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5 reasons why Republicans are going to pot on March 8

By Sam McLure
Alabama Political Reporter

On March 8, 2017, at 1:30 the Alabama Legislature will be considering a bill that would decriminalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. The House of Representative’s Judiciary Committee will be holding a public hearing on HB 269 in Room 617 at 1:30 pm.

HB 269 stands on the shoulders of a strong line of marijuana decriminalization bills over the last three years.  In 2014, Carly’s Law paved the way for marijuana by allowing UAB to test the effectiveness of CBD oil on seizure patients.  In 2016, Leni’s Law built on that success and completely decriminalized the use of CBD oil for seizure patients. Leni’s Law was sponsored by Republican Rep. Mike Ball and Republican Senator Paul Sanford. It passed the House and Senate with almost unanimous support; with a 95-4 and 29-3 vote count, respectively.
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Committee gives Gun Bill a favorable report

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, March 1, 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6 to 3 to pass Senate Bill 24, which makes Alabama a Constitutional carry State. The move was opposed by the Alabama Sheriff’s Association and other law enforcement groups as well as by the Alabama County Commissions Association.

SB24 was sponsored by state Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa). Sen. Allen has been a staunch backer of Second Amendment rights for years. Sen. Allen said in a statement, “I pre-filed legislation in the Alabama State Senate to allow Alabamians to lawfully carry guns without a permit. This permitless carry proposal would remove a needless restriction on Alabamians’ Second Amendment rights and make it easier for citizens to protect and defend their families and property.”
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Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter elected as House Majority Leader

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — The House Republican Caucus has elected State Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville), a first-term legislator, as the new House Majority Leader.

Ledbetter, a former mayor and city council member in Rainsville, was first elected the House in 2014. According to the caucus, he is the first freshman House member elected as Majority Leader in modern time.

“I am deeply grateful for the trust and confidence that my Republican colleagues have placed in me, and I look forward to serving as their leader for the next few years,” Ledbetter said.  “My goal as House Majority Leader will be to ensure that the bills, measures and resolutions passed by the body reflect the conservative beliefs and values of our Republican members.”

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Alabama Legislature Week 1: Strange from the jump

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

It was a nice, quiet opening week in the Alabama Legislature.

Ha. Just kidding. It was mass chaos, like usual, and right out of the gate. From the governor’s mistress weeping from her balcony seat over words she (likely) wrote, to arguments over Civil War monuments, to an only-in-Alabama Senate appointment, the 2017 Legislative Session started like all the grace of a roller derby.
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Permit-less carry is on a fast-track to passage

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, the Alabama Senate Republican Caucus released its “Strengthen Alabama” Legislative agenda for the 2017 Regular Session. Senate Republicans are promising to provide tax cuts for Alabama’s working families, reform State government to save taxpayer dollars, protect Alabamians’ Second Amendment rights, and uphold the sanctity of human life.

On gun rights, the caucus wrote: “Protect Second Amendment Rights:

“Permit-less Carry? Ten states across the country allow their citizens to carry guns without a permit, and Senate Republicans believe Alabamians should have a similarly unimpeded right to protect their families and property.
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Please Bill Britt, don’t fire me.

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

Today is my 37th wedding anniversary. Yes, even I have been married to the same woman for 37 years. Never another woman. Just Veronica. We were married on Ground Hog Day 1980. I always joke that if I see my shadow on Feb. 2, we’ll be married another year. I always see my shadow. I’m afraid not to.

I’ve been married to Veronica much longer than I was single. I never married anybody before her. Just her. Read More

Unpacking Black Districts May have Little Effect on Legislature

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Friday, January 20, 2017 a three judge federal court panel ruled that the state of Alabama violated the U.S. Constitution when it drew three Alabama Senate Districts and nine House Districts following the 2010 census and are barred by the court from using those districts as presently drawn in future elections. This means redistricting now become a major task for the legislature during this 2017 session. The current House and Senate were elected using these districts. All of the 12 districts are held by Democrats. Read More

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