Special Session on Alabama prisons expected

July 7, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, June 27, 2017, US District Judge Myron H. Thompson declared the mental health care system in Alabama prisons to be “horrendously inadequate.” Judge Thompson said that the prisons are an unconstitutional failure that has resulted in a “skyrocketing suicide rate” among prisoners over the last two years. US District Judge Myron H. Thompson has ordered the state to reform the system which has been chronically underfunded and overcrowded.
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Judge declares Alabama prisons’ mental health care constitutionally inadequate

June 28, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, June 27, 2017, US Federal District Judge Myron H. Thompson declared the mental health care system in Alabama prisons to be “horrendously inadequate.” The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) is being sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center and a number of prisoners who claim that their mental and health needs are being neglected by the prison system.

In a 302 page ruling, Judge Thompson said that the prisons are an unconstitutional failure that has resulted in a “skyrocketing suicide rate” among prisoners over the last two years. US District Judge Myron H. Thompson ordered the State to reform the system and directed them to work with the Southern Poverty Law Center to resolve the issues with the chronically underfunded and overcrowded prison system.
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The Legislature needs to pass the Lottery in the Special Session

June 8, 2017

Guest Editorial from Rep. Craig Ford

The Alabama Legislature is quickly running out of excuses for failing to let the people vote on a State Lottery.

Last summer, Gov. Bentley called a Special Session specifically for the purpose of passing a Lottery. After passing out of the State Senate, the Lottery went to the House where it passed on its second vote after a few changes had been made. Those changes meant the bill had to go back to the Senate, and the Senators didn’t agree with the changes the House had made. So, the Lottery once again died without getting a chance to go before the people.
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Senate impeachment rules subcommittee looks to Illinois for guidance

February 24, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY —  In 2009, Illinois became the last state to impeach and remove their governor. Now, the Alabama Senate is looking to that state for guidance on how to handle an impeachment trial of Gov. Robert Bentley in the Senate — if it comes to that.

The Senate Judiciary subcommittee tasked with crafting the procedure for an impeachment trial met for the first time Thursday morning. As three of the committee members met, they reviewed the Illinois State Senate rules that established the procedure for the impeachment trial of former Gov. Rob Blagojevich.

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Bentley’s Plan to Borrow $800 million for Prisons

December 22, 2016

By Brandon Moseley

Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, December 19, 2016 Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) told the ‘Montgomery Advertiser’s Bryan Lyman that he was considering having a special session within the 2017 regular session to force the legislature to consider his controversial plan to build new prisons on credit.

Gov. Bentley told Lyman, “That will be the top of the agenda,”

On Tuesday, December 20 the Governor’s office appeared to confirm that reporting when it twittered a link to the story with the text: “ICYMI: “Number One Agenda item for 2017.”
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Prison bill could be defining moment

December 7, 2016

By House Minority Leader Craig Ford

Prisons could be the issue that defines the Alabama Legislature in 2017. Gov. Bentley has said he may call a special session to address the issue, and has indicated that he will revive the prison construction bill he first proposed in his 2016 State of the State address.

In recent years, numerous lawsuits have been filed relating to the conditions in our prisons. Violence and riots have increased as the number of corrections officers has decreased, and even the federal government has begun an investigation of violence, rape and overcrowding in our prisons.
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Zeigler opposes $800 million no-bid contract to build prisons

November 21, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Politcal Reporter

Thursday, November 17, 2016, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) said that he opposes Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s (R) plan to borrow $800 million or more to build new prisons in an anticipated January special session.

Auditor Zeigler said, “Gov. Bentley is threatening a $400,000 special session to push his $800 million no-bid contract for four mega-prisons at sites he selects. It would indebt Alabama taxpayers for 30 years. I am almost finished with “Plan Z”, a common sense alternative that would cost 75% less and not allow the Bentley cronies to control this huge contract.”
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Brutal Alabama inmate beat-down goes viral on hip hop site

November 14, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

On a Hip Hop site which regularly features public fighting captured on video, music videos, and aggregate news content, a fight between two Alabama prison inmates can be viewed. It has already been seen by almost a million users and counting.

The 33-second video uploaded on November 12, 2016, by an individual using the name JaNay, captures a fight between a black inmate and a white inmate at an Alabama Correctional facility. The fighters are being cheered on by about half-a-dozen men, in what appears to be a TV room. The black inmate pummels the white inmate to the floor and then, in WWE parlance, lands a “Flying Elbow Drop.”
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Bentley Doing The Right Thing

September 21, 2016

By Steve Flowers

Folks, I have been observing and participating in the legislative process for over 50 years. Lest you think I am real old, I started paging in the legislature when I was 12, served in the House of Representatives close to two decades, and have been reporting on the legislative process for now close to two decades and I am here to tell you I have not seen a more up and down roller coaster ride than the recently completed special session to deal with the lottery issue.
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Medicaid Announces Delay in RCO Implementation

September 20, 2016

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Even after a lengthy Special Session dedicated to finding funds for Gov. Robert Bentley’s experimental Medicaid Regional Care Organizations, Alabama’s Medicaid Agency announced last week it has requested a delay in the implementation of the RCO plan.

The Alabama Medicaid Agency officials, in a news release on their website, said they will ask the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to “postpone the start date for the proposed Regional Care Organizations until July 1, 2017.”
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