Finance Director: “We are really excited about this budget”

January 12, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, January 10, 2018, Alabama Finance Director Clinton Carter met with journalists at the Capitol to discuss the state’s budgets.  Carter briefed the press on Gov. Kay Ivey’s General Fund and Education Trust Fund budget proposals.

Carter said, “We are really excited about this budget.”  Carter said that state revenues, “Are historically great by all measures.”  “The economy really is booming.”  Carter said that state income tax revenues and sales tax revenues, which are earmarked for the education trust fund (ETF), are at all-time highs.  The revenues funding the general fund, primarily insurance premium taxes,

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Perspective | The Top Ten Issues Facing the Legislature

December 29, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The 2018 Alabama Regular Legislative Session begins in just 11 days on Jan. 9, 2018, and this is an election year so formal major party qualifying begins on the same day.  The elections mean that the session begins earlier than normal and will likely end even sooner so that incumbents can get back to their districts to campaign.  There are a lot of issues facing the legislature, however.

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Knight complains about cuts to Alabama State University

November 21, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Sunday, state Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, issued a letter complaining about what he felt are excessive budget cuts to Montgomery’s Alabama State University.

“Alabama State University has come too far to allow the chairman of the Senate Education Committee to destroy our university. He has proposed ten times more cuts to Alabama State University than all the other universities in the state of Alabama combined,” Rep. Knight wrote.

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Report claims SPLC moved millions into foreign accounts

September 1, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, August, 31, 2017, the Washington Free Beacon’s Joe Schoffstall is reporting that the Montgomery based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt “charitable” organization, has transferred millions of dollars in cash to foreign accounts in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.

According to the research done by Joe Schoffstall, the SPLC recorded more than $50 million in contributions and $328 million in net assets on its 2015 Form 990, the most recently available tax form from the nonprofit. SPLC’s Form 990-T, its 2015 business income tax return, shows that they have “financial interests” in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda and 2014 forms reveal some of the SPLC’s transfers to foreign entities, including hundreds of thousands to an account in the Cayman Islands. SPLC also lists Tiger Global Management LLC, a New York-based private equity financial firm, as an agent. There is a foreign partnership between the SPLC and Tiger Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P., a pooled investment fund in the Cayman Islands and SPLC transferred $960,000 in cash on Nov. 24, 2014 to the fund, along with additional cash transactions to offshore funds.

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Budget Reform Task Force to vote Tuesday on interim report

May 16, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, May 16, 2017, the Alabama Joint Legislative Task Force on Budget Reform will meet on Tuesday morning at the Statehouse and vote on an interim report, which will be sent to Governor Kay Ivey (R) and the entire State Legislature.

Committee Co-Chair Senator Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) said in a statement, “The fourteen members of the budget task force have been working diligently over the past six months to craft a sustainable path forward for Alabama’s State budgets. This interim report recommends specific reforms on everything from tax credits and exemptions to un-earmarking. I am grateful that Governor Ivey has indicated broad support for many of the report’s recommendations.”
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Legislative Session is winding down

May 8, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

There are only six Legislative days left in the 2017 Alabama Legislative Session. There is still an awful lot of work to do however.

The primary purpose of even having Legislative Sessions is to pass the budgets. The State General Fund (SGF) budget was passed in the Senate on Thursday. The House passed the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget on Wednesday. Both Houses have now passed both budgets. Both Houses however have to vote on whether or not to concur with changes made by the other house.
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Reports say House Leadership will resurrect Gas Tax

May 5, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Very powerful, very wealthy special interests support spending more taxpayer money on road construction projects and they spend a lot of money on elections so that they get their way in the Alabama Legislature.

Two weeks, ago the Alabama House of Representatives carried over a controversial bill sponsored by State Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) when it became obvious that bipartisan opposition would defeat the bill on the BIR vote. Since the bill was carried over it could be brought back at any time at the call of the chair.
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Bentley Says Committee Vote Was a Step in the Right Direction

August 25, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, August 24, the Alabama House of Representative Committee on Tourism and Economic Development passed Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s (R) lottery plan out of committee with a favorable report.

Afterwards, Gov. Bentley spoke to reporters. The Governor said that today’s committee vote in favor of the lottery, “Was a step in the right direction.”

Gov. Bentley said, “This is not about a lottery this is about the people we serve.” “The people are asking for the opportunity to help their neighbor and other people.”
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Lottery Is Dead For November 8 Ballot and Foreseeable Future

August 24, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Senate debated the lottery for four days of this Special Session. On Tuesday, August 23, it took the Alabama House of Representatives just a few minutes to effectively kill the lottery, without ever even discussing it in a committee.

Freshly energized lottery opponents used the tight timeline and a rarely used parliamentary maneuver to kill the lottery bill for the November 8 ballot. Wednesday, August 24, was the last day for the lottery bill to pass out of the House in time for the November 8 Presidential election. Inexplicably the House chose not to meet on Saturday or Monday. It was a fatal mistake by the House leadership. The leadership had assigned State Senator Jim McClendon’s (R-Springville) Senate Bill 3 to the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee; but there was no scheduled meeting of the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee.
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House Votes to Repeal Prescription Drug Tax

August 18, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

In the 2015 Special Session, the Alabama legislature passed a new tax on the dispensing of prescriptions. The purpose of the tax was to raise more money for the beleaguered Alabama Medicaid program. On Wednesday August 17, 2016, the Alabama House of Representatives voted to repeal the tax after the US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) denied the request to allow the tax, which was costing Medicaid money. Since the federal government more than doubles the $700 million the state spends on the joint program most of the cost of the higher dispensing fees would have been federal dollars so CMS had veto power in the original 2015 legislation, which they chose to exercise.
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