Anthony Ray Hinton has been exonerated, deserves compensation

February 2, 2018

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Make no mistake about it, Alabama Legislature, you can’t fix what happened to Anthony Ray Hinton.

Not even with $1.5 million.

Not with all of the public apologies in the world.

You can’t take 30 years of a man’s freedom, charging him with a crime he didn’t commit, and then fix that wrong with some money and a few resolutions.

But it’s a damn fine start.

A proposal from Sen. Paul Bussman to make three payments totaling $1.5 million to Hinton is the absolute least we can do. It should really be a no-brainer, despite the ignorant pleas of an Attorney General, a finance department lawyer and a deputy AG who all seem unfamiliar with America’s system of innocent-until-proven-guilty justice.

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Midwifery bill on its way to Governor after Legislature’s approval

May 20, 2017

By Sam Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

The Midwifery bill, which decriminalizes the practice, has passed both chambers and now awaits the Governor’s signature.

This bill has faced many challenges since its first public hearing at a House Judiciary Committee meeting in March, and even faced great challenges Friday (the final day the Legislature was meeting), getting out of the Senate.

The hearing prompted a group of midwives to sit in at the Senate gallery on Thursday night till midnight to petition the Senate to hear their bill. At the time, the Senate was reading, in full, the 537-page Redistricting bill that would take until noon on Friday to complete.

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Terminally Ill Children’s Bill gets favorable report

May 12, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, May 10, 2017, the Alabama Senate Health Committee gave a favorable report to a bill, House Bill 373, which gives legally binding authority to a child’s advanced directive when not in the hospital.

HB373 is sponsored by State Representative April Weaver (R-Alabaster) who chairs the House Health Committee. Weaver said that the bill requires that a terminally ill child’s advance directives be honored.
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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 decriminalize midwifery has a public hearing

May 4, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, May 3, 2017. the Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 315 sponsored by State Representative Ken Johnson (R-Moulton).

Rep. Johnson said, “HB315 is a very simple bill. It gives mothers a right to have a safe natural child at home.” Johnson said that the bill would decriminalize midwifery and would follow the example of 44 other states.

State Senator Phil Williams (R-Rainbow City) said, “I have concerns about this bill.” Williams said that there is no regulations and no requirement that the midwifes carry malpractice insurance. “Malpractice insurance is there to protect the patient.”
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Senate withstands filibuster, passes ETF budget

April 5, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Senate on Tuesday finally waited out Sen. Paul Bussman and passed its version of the State’s Education Budget.

The $6.4 billion Education Trust Fund Budget increases overall funding by a bit more than 1 percent, or about $90 million, and mostly level funds K-12 schools and higher ed. However, the overall share of the ETF budget declined again, bring the wrath of Bussman, who essentially carried out a two-day filibuster.
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Senate passes broader tax credits for Alabama Accountability Act scholarships

February 24, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — The Senate has narrowly given the go-ahead to a bill that would double the tax credit cap for contributors to the Alabama Accountability Act’s private school scholarship program.

The Senate approved the bill by President Pro Tempore Del Marsh (R-Anniston), which would increase the cap on income tax credits for donations to scholarship-granting organizations from $50,000 a year to $100,000, by a vote of 17–15.

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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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Committee Approves Bill Allowing Students to Use Sunscreen

February 23, 2017

By Brandon Moseley

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 the Alabama Senate Health Committee voted to give a favorable report to allow school children to use sunscreen. Senate Bill 63 was sponsored by Senate Health Committee Chairman Jim McClendon (R from Springville).

Sen. McClendon said, “This is a pretty simple bill.” Students would be authorized to use sunscreen at school.

Sen. Paul Bussman (R from Cullman) asked, “Can you explain why this is necessary?”
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Hunter says that graduation rates were misstated

December 12, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, December 9, 2016, Alabama Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance reported to the Board of Education that the State of Alabama has been giving high school students diplomas that they did not really qualify for.

Sentance had to admit that the State was deceiving the students and people of the State after a US Department of Education investigation questioned why Alabama was reporting the highest graduation rate in the entire country without any corresponding improvement in test scores.
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