Column | SB15 equals taxation without representation

February 16, 2018

By Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison 

Sen. Rusty Glover (R-Semmes) wants to take away the right of the people to elect their own representatives to serve in the Alabama State House.

He has introduced Senate Bill 15 a constitutional amendment that would allow the Governor of Alabama to appoint someone to fill any vacant seat with less than two years remaining on the term.

This was the case in Jefferson County, when Gov. Kay Ivey appointed Mike Anderton, a Republican, to fill the position of Jefferson County District Attorney, a position which voters elected a Democrat.

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Who benefits when small cities separate to form new school system?

February 2, 2018

By Sen. Linda Coleman Madison

Alabama has 67 counties with 138 separate school systems. Currently, Alabama law states that a city with a population of 5,000 may form its own school system.

Most of Alabama’s schools are countywide and educational resources distributed equally so that all children have access to the same educational opportunities.

The Alabama Educational Trust Fund is the stable source of funding for all Alabama public school systems. Many cities, however, do subsidize their schools through local funding.

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State Rep. Hollis holds town hall in Birmingham

August 8, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, August 1, 2017, State Representative Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham) held a town hall meeting to show voters how their government is working for them.

The town hall was held in Birmingham’s Guiding Light Church on John Rogers Drive.  About 70 citizens were on hand to hear the panel on government, which included Rep. Hollis, US Representative Terri Sewell (D-Selma), State Senator Linda Coleman-Madison (D-Birmingham), Jefferson County Commissioner George Bowman (D), Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Birmingham City Councilwoman Sheila Tyson, and former Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington.
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Health Committee gives favorable report to Drug Paraphernalia Bill

May 12, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, May 10, 2017, the Senate Health Committee gave a favorable report to allow non-profits to participate in a controversial program to give free drug paraphernalia to drug users to slow the spread of AIDS.

House Bill 455 is sponsored by State Representative Jack Williams (R-Vestavia). Rep. Williams said that the nonprofits involved would provide counseling services for IV drug users. Part of that would include giving users clean needles.
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Bill to limit Disability exemptions for expensive homes gets favorable report

March 9, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, February 8, 2017, the Senate General Fund Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would prevent owners of homes worth over $200,000 from being able to get an ad valorem tax exemption if they become disabled. Senate Bill 226 is sponsored by Senator Trip Pittman (R-Montrose), who chairs the Senate General Fund Committee.

Senator Pittman said, “I had a mayor call me and he had a constituent that was complaining about city services. The mayor got to looking and found that that constituent was exempt from paying property taxes. He looked further and 7 or 8 of the houses in that community were exempt from paying ad valorem taxes. He asked me to bring this bill. What this does is put an assessed value of $200,000 limit on that. I think this is a reasonable. You need to pay for the cost of your governor.”
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Committee Supports Bill Protecting Religious Liberties of Faith Based Adoption Agencies

February 23, 2017

By Brandon Moseley

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 the Senate Health Committee gave a favorable report to Senate Bill 145 sponsored by Senator Bill Hightower (R from Mobile). The Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act would prohibit state bureaucrats from discriminating against child care service providers who due to their closely held religious beliefs do not place children with households engaged in same sex sexual conduct,

Sen. Hightower said, “The bill as you read it is pretty straight forward.” Adoption is a great thing and the more channels for adoption the better. I am sorry that this bill is contentious but there is a concern that agencies are not going to let some of the placing agencies continue to operate. 70 percent of the children that are adopted do not go through a state based agency. Just 30 percent of children that are placed for adoption go through faith based agencies. Some people say that what I am saying is totally ridiculous, but I want to allow them (the faith based adoption agencies) to continue to prosper. I don’t want to force faith based placing agencies to choose between violating their core beliefs or going out of doing adoptions.
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Legislature Passes Law Giving It Exclusive Authority to Set the Minimum Wage

February 26, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Birmingham City Council unilaterally raised the minimum wage inside the city leading to an outcry from business owners who were worried about the possibility that the state could have different wages from one limits to the next.

On Thursday, February 25, the Alabama Senate passed, the Alabama Uniform Minimum Wage and Right to Work Act, House Bill 174. HB174 was sponsored by State Representative David Faulkner (R-Mountain Brook) and State Senator Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills).
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