Bill to scrap special elections for US Senate makes it out of committee

February 16, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

A bill that would do away with distinct special elections for U.S. Senate vacancies gained the approval of an Alabama State Senate committee Thursday.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark would direct the governor to set the election to fill a vacated U.S. Senate seat to coincide with the next statewide general election.

The bill passed the House last month 65-29.

Clouse’s bill would give the governor the authority to appoint a replacement who would stand for election not in a special election a few months later — but at the next regularly scheduled statewide election.

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Commission for “Ethics Reform and Clarification” is pure fantasy

January 26, 2018

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A Senate joint resolution creating The Code of Ethics Reform and Clarification Commission sponsored by Republican Senators Arthur Orr, President Pro Tem. Del Marsh and Majority Leader Greg Reed has been submitted to the Rules Committee and could be making it’s way through the Senate soon.

Creating a commission to reform and clarify current ethics laws sounds like a reasonable undertaking until it’s understood that the underlying premise is to weaken much of existing laws.

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Senate To Continue Debate BP Bill

September 6, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—As the Senate gathers this week, using BP Settlement monies to pay back the State’s debts and assist in the Medicaid crisis will again be up for debate.

HB36, sponsored by House Ways and Means General Fund Chairman Representative Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) has already been approved by the House with a vote of 91-10. It passed out of Senate Committee late last month and was introduced on the floor. The bill creates an Economic Settlement Authority to issue $639 million in bonds payable by the BP Settlement funds. The bill would pay back $161 million borrowed in 2009 and $437 million from the Alabama Trust Fund borrowed in 2013 of which the State still owes $422 million. Both debts were incurred because of deficits in previous General Fund Budgets.
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