Senate Education Committee approves bill that gives retired educators a bonus

February 8, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, the Alabama Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee approved Senate Bill 21, which would give retired educators a one-time bonus check. The bill is sponsored by state Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville.

Dial said that we should show appreciation and gratitude to the people that have educated us. We have been unable to provide them with a cost of living adjustment for some time now. We need to show that the legislature appreciates their service.

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Smitherman, Williams support Alabama public transportation trust fund legislation

February 7, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, Alabama Arise Citizens’ Policy Project held a press conference in support of legislation to advance public transportation. The legislation, Senate Bill 85 and House Bill 10, is sponsored by Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, and State Rep. Jack Williams, R-Vestavia.

Alice Paris chairs Alabama Arise’s legislative committee. “Alabama is one of only five states that do not fund public transit,” Paris said. “The state loses out on millions of dollars of transportation dollars every day. We are supporting legislation this year by Senator Rodger Smitherman and Rep. Jack Williams.”

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Alabama Senate passes bill to prohibit, track racial profiling in traffic stops

January 17, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama State Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday in favor of a bill that would define racial profiling, prohibit law enforcement officers from engaging in it and require law enforcement agencies to track the race of those pulled over for traffic stops.

Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, introduced the bill, which would require agencies, including local police departments, county sheriffs and ALEA, to file reports with the Attorney General’s Office that including the race and ethnicity of motorists stopped by law enforcement.

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Senate OKs Republican redistricting plan against wishes of black lawmakers

May 5, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Alabama Senate Republicans on Thursday passed a new legislative redistricting plan that will adjust more than 20 Senate districts. The plan passed against the wishes of black lawmakers who argued that it doesn’t fairly divide Jefferson County or fully alleviate racial gerrymandering concerns.

The new legislative districts come after a January three-judge federal court ruling found that 12 of the state’s legislative districts were unconstitutional because lawmakers improperly used race to draw district lines.

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Clinton to Open Birmingham Headquarters on Saturday

February 5, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) essentially tied in Iowa with Mrs. Clinton getting the technical victory from a series of fortuitous coin tosses.  Senator Sanders is expected to win Tuesday’s New Hampshire Primary because the small New England state borders Sanders’ Vermont. Sec. Clinton is hoping to cut into Sen. Sanders lead in New Hampshire while preparing to launch her own southern strategy.
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Senate Democrats Discuss Legislative Issues

February 24, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Recently, State Senate Democrats met to discuss some of the many issues facing the legislature including, Medicaid expansion, charter schools and the Governor’s yet to be revealed tax proposal.

Gov. Bentley says that the State is facing a budget shortfall of $700 million, the Democratic Senators say that one clear way to reduce that deficit is the expansion of Medicaid.

“First and foremost we’ve already lost $1.5 billion by not expanding Medicaid last year,” said Senate Deputy Minority Leader Billy Beasley, “Each quarter we do not participate, we lose $375,000.”
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Don’t Bring a Chart to a Gun Fight: Vote Trading on Goat Hill

March 17, 2014

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

News headlines flowing from Montgomery late this legislative session have focused on many controversial topics – something that some politicos had said was unlikely in an election year, but that is happening nonetheless.

Chief among these has been a bill proposed by GOP lawmakers that would increase representation on the Birmingham Water Works Board to include members from outside Jefferson County, an undertaking spearheaded by Senator Jabo Waggoner in the Senate and Representative Paul Demarco in the House.
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Marsh Agrees to Amend Education Reform Bill

March 7, 2014

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, March 5, the Alabama Senate Taxation and Finance Education Committee heard a public hearing on a bill abolishing the Last In First out (LIFO) concept many school systems in the State use during a Reduction In Force (RIF). The bill, SB 353, is sponsored by Senator Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) from Anniston.

Montgomery area middle school Principal, Ibrahim Lee, testified in favor of the bill. Lee said that LIFO hurts young teachers. Lee said that principals should have the flexibility during an RIF to keep the best teachers and to let go of those teachers who are the least effective, regardless of seniority.
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Democrats in Senate urge Republican Supermajority to consider budgets before any other business

May 8, 2013

Staff Report

Montgomery, AL–Today, Democrats in the Alabama Senate publically urged the Republican Supermajority to take up the Education Trust Fund Budget and the General Fund Budget before conducting any other business this session. Finally, after hours of pressure from Democrats, a calendar was adopted late in the afternoon that contained the Education Trust Fund budget immediately before recessing.

“The Senate Democratic Caucus agreed that we do not want to work on any other bills until both budgets are passed,” said Senate Minority Leader Vivian Davis Figures (D-Mobile).  “Even though so many Republicans ran on the platform of passing the budgets by the 15th Legislative Day, it is the 28th Legislative Day and we have not seen the most current version of the education budget, and there is a floor substitute of the budget that has not even been seen by the Legislative Fiscal Office.”
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