Accountability Act receives favorable report from Committee

April 12, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, the Alabama House Ways and Means Education Committee gave a favorable report to SB123. SB123 is sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston). This newest version of the Alabama Accountability Act has already passed the Alabama Senate and could move to the House floor as early as Thursday.

The Accountability Act allows a child in one of the State’s many failing public schools to accept a scholarship to attend a private school. The landmark school choice program has been a major Marsh initiative for years.
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Marsh Says: “This has gone on long enough” and urges Bentley to resign

April 7, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 6, 2017, US Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) called on embattled Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) to resign in the aftermath of a damning finding by the Alabama Ethics Commission on Wednesday that Bentley probably committed four class B felonies consisting of one ethics violation and three violations of campaign finance laws. On Friday, Bentley faces the likelihood that even more sordid details of his relationship with former top political advisor and alleged mistress, Mrs. Rebekah Caldwell Mason, will be released with the lengthy report by special counsel Jack Sharman.
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The Senate’s most powerful member wants Bentley gone

April 7, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Calls for Gov. Robert Bentley to resign have now reached the upper echelons of the Alabama Senate with Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh giving Bentley some stark advice: For the good of the State, step down.

“I hope at the end of the day that the Governor do what’s best for the people of Alabama,” Marsh said. “If it means that these things are pressings, that it’s going to continue to put the State under a cloud if that’s where we’re headed, I hope the governor does what’s best for the State and seriously considers stepping down.”

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Phil Williams tasked with Leading Effort to Writing Senate Impeachment Rules

February 23, 2017

By Brandon Moseley

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to create a bipartisan subcommittee to begin writing rules for an impeachment trial in the Senate.

This new subcommittee will be chaired by Senator Phil Williams (R from Rainbow City). Sen. Williams said, “As far as I can see in the event that impeachment came up from the House there are zero procedures in place as to how the Senate would preside.”
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Alvin Holmes should get Sessions’ seat … sort of

December 27, 2016

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There’s a standard practice in the news business around this time of year.

Cheap hits.

That’s right. We have families and holiday parties and dinners and gift-openings too. And we have to fit it in around still producing content that draws eyeballs to webpages.

So, we need a few stories and columns that are easy to churn out but that still hook readers.

The best in the biz at mailing are the guys who cover sports. And one of their most effective methods is rankings.
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Lottery Killed in Senate

August 29, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Early on Friday, August 26, a jubilant Governor Robert Bentley (R) said, “We came out with a victory from the House, not us, but a victory for the people of this state.” That Bentley and Bentley’s staff have absolutely no idea what is happening in in the Alabama legislature, could not be any more obvious than at that moment.

While the Governor was taking his victory lap after midnight with the exhausted capital press corps, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) and lottery bill sponsor, Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville), were desperately trying to find a plan to save the lottery.
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Bussman Says Lottery Was Flawed Process

August 29, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Saturday, August 27, State Senator Paul Bussman (R-Cullman) said that lottery bill SB3, which was killed by the Senate on Friday, “Was filled with problems.”

Sen. Bussman wrote in a statement, “Yesterday the Senate failed to concur with the House version of the lottery bill, killing the bill for the Special Session. The entire bill was filled with problems. The bill did not even say what kind of games would be allowed, Scratch off, Powerball, or Megaball, etc. It did not determine what percentage of the lottery the State would keep (25, 35 or 50 percent). It did not say where all the money would go. It did not assure a fair system to the players, odds and prize percentage to be determined later.”
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GOP Leadership Suffered a Series of Legislative Setbacks in 2016 Session

May 5, 2016

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.
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Longitudinal Database Bill Before Senate

April 26, 2016

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.
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Senate Passes Teacher Pay Raise with Amendments

April 14, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, April 13, the Alabama Senate approved a cost of living adjustment for teachers and education employees when it passed HB21 sponsored by Rep. Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa).

The House bill was heavily amended in the Senate.

Senate Finance & Taxation Education Committee Chairman Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) amended the bill to include principals and assistant principals in the four percent raise. “They are the backbone of the schools,” Orr said. The bill that came from the House gave a four percent raise to all education employees making $75,000 or less. That would have included virtually all teachers since the pay scale for teachers had maxed out at $62,000. Employees making more than $75,000 were limited to two percent raises. Many principals are in this category. Orr’s amendment would give all principals and assistant principals the full four percent raise no matter what they earn now. Orr estimated that the cost of the principal raises would be $4 million.
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