Democrats announce 2017 Legislative Agenda

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.”
Read More

House approves warrantless trespass bill for schools

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 2, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives voted in favor of House Bill 71 authorizing school principals and college administrators to call Law Enforcement to have people arrested for refusing an order by a school administrator to leave a school campus. HB71 was sponsored by State Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa). This is the third year in a row that Representative Poole has carried this piece of legislation.
Read More

Conservatives Rally Against Data Collection Bills

By Brandon Moseley

The legislature has returned for another session and some GOP legislators are once again pushing a longitudinal data collection scheme. Once again the primary opponents of this grand scheme are fellow Republicans. On Thursday, February 23 Alabama Eagle Forum led a conservative rally in opposition to the longitudinal data bills, House Bill 97 and Senate Bill 153.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) read a statement from his wife, state school board member Jackie Zeigler (R) vowing to oppose the data collection.
Read More

Online Petition Demands Stop to Non-Educator Hiring

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—A growing number of individuals are banding together to stop the hiring of a non-educator, who has been chosen to lead Alabama schools.

The online petition is a reaction to the August 11 decision, made by the Alabama Board of Education, to hire Michael Sentance, a former Massachusetts bureaucrat-turned education consultant, to head the Alabama Department of Education. According to the online petition, the Board’s action, “was a hard slap in the face to every educator and concerned public school parent in the State.”
Read More

The Future of the Supreme Court at Stake

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

As we have watched and participated in the presidential foray this entire year, an equally important event occurred. The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February is a very important event in American government.

Scalia’s unexpected death at 79 could affect the ideological tilt of the Supreme Court and could essentially have a profound impact on our nation’s public policy.

Our founding fathers created a three prong government triumvirate. The three branches, executive, legislative and judicial, are all designed to balance each other and work congruently to give us a functioning democracy.
Read More

Bentley Extends Deadline for ESSA Plan

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, July 19, 2016 Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) amended his Executive Order Number 16 so that the Committee preparing the state’s plan to implement the controversial Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) would have more time to prepare their report.

Gov. Bentley said in the new order, “By virtue of the authority vested in me by law, I hereby amend Executive Order Number 16, executed March 14, 2016, and amended on May 5, 2016, to change the deadline for the State Plan to January 19, 2017, as follows: “BE IT FURTHER ORDERED, that this Committee shall meet at the call of the chair and shall develop the state plan as outlined in Title 1, Part A, Section 1005 of the reauthorized ESSA (ESSA State Plan), in collaboration with the Alabama State Department of Education. By January 19, 2017, the Committee shall submit the ESSA State Plan to the Governor, the Alabama State Board of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education.”’
Read More

GOP Leadership Suffered a Series of Legislative Setbacks in 2016 Session

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

For five years the tag team of Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) have had their way on bill after bill after bill. Whether it was the School Flexibility Act morphing into the Accountability Act, charter schools, raiding the Alabama Trust Fund, raising taxes for the General Fund, Medicare reform, ethics reforms, eliminating most of the limits on corporate donations, etc. anytime the two legislative leaders wanted to move legislation it moved and if they ran over some members of their own caucus to do it, well that was just collateral damage. 2016 was an entirely different experience.
Read More

Longitudinal Database Bill Before Senate

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

There are only five legislative days left in the 2016 Alabama Legislative Session, and the leadership plans on burning three of those this week.  Both of the constitutionally mandated budgets have passed, so all that is left is deciding what bills live, and what bills die, when legislators vote to sine die this session.

One of the most controversial pieces of legislation facing the Senate is HB125, sponsored by State Representative Terri Collins (R-Decatur), which would create a State longitudinal data system to track Alabama school students as they progress through schools, on to college, and into the work force.
Read More

Senate Passes Wireless Broadband School Technology Bill

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, March 3, the Alabama Senate voted to pass the Wireless Infrastructure Renovation for Education Act, HB41, which is more commonly known as the “WIRED Act”. The legislation would provide wireless broadband access in all of the state’s K-12 public schools.

The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) as Senate Bill 17, the Alabama Ahead Act but was substituted in the Senate by HB41. Sen. Dial said that HB227 was sponsored by State Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa). It is the companion bill to HB41. It provides $12 million in funding so that Alabama school systems can get the matching dollars to apply for federal technology dollars.
Read More

© Copyright 2017 Alabama Political Reporter