Ivey announces construction of new whiskey factory in Troy

September 15, 2017

By Brandon Moseley 
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced that the makers of Clyde May’s Alabama-style whiskey plan to consolidate operations in Troy, Alabama, where the company will build an artisan distillery, rack houses and a bottling hub, as well as a tasting experience center designed to attract tourists.

Conecuh Ridge Distillery LLC’s project calls for an initial investment of $13.6 million in Troy and will employ 50 people in the fifth year of operation. The average annual wage for those jobs is around $54,000.

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An agri-business center would be a great addition to the mega sports complex

September 8, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford
State House of Representatives

Tourism and hospitality are a $13 billion a year industry in the state of Alabama. That number comes from the Alabama Department of Tourism, and it was included in a press release Gov. Ivey put out last month.

But tourism and hospitality don’t just come from our beautiful beaches and college football. Alabama brings tourists from all over the country to participate in fishing and golf tournaments, space camp and tours of the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, travel ball sports and many, many more events.

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Interstate 65: Alabama’s immediate infrastructure needs

June 19, 2017

By State Auditor Jim Zeigler

I do not need expensive studies and consultants to know that Alabama has immediate infrastructure needs. I experienced a major infrastructure problem Saturday afternoon.

While the inadequacy of Interstate 65 from Birmingham to Montgomery — and on all of the Beach route — may or may not be our most dangerous problem, it may well be the most immediate. It is a problem right NOW.
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A sports complex would be big for our local economy

January 6, 2017

By House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

Etowah County has produced a lot of great athletes over the years, including several NFL players like Dre Kirkpatrick and Carnell “Cadillac” Williams. In November, the “Lady Fusion 03” soccer team won the state championship in the U13 division.

We have a proud sports tradition here, and now more than ever we need a sports complex to accommodate these teams. Whether its you soccer like our state champion Lady Fusion team (soccer is the fastest growing sport in the country) or travel ball and little league baseball and softball teams, there is a significant need for a sports complex. Read More

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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McClendon, Dial Ask: Give The People The Right To Vote On Lottery

August 18, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The lottery bill, SB11, was carried over at the call of the chair late Wednesday, with few Republican senators present. It could resurface Thursday morning, should more lawmakers come onboard.

Jim McClendon (R-Springville) brought SB11 to the Senate Floor on Wednesday. It passed out of Tourism and Marketing Committee on Tuesday. He said he brought this bill to the attention of the Legislature, as a result of his constituents asking him to pass a bill, so they did not have to drive to neighboring states to buy lottery tickets.
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The General Fund Needs Injection of New Money

March 16, 2016

By State Senator Jim McClendon

Medicaid and the entire health delivery system for the State of Alabama is a House of cards, and one of the integral cards is Medicaid itself.  If Medicaid falters, the entire system falters. Without Medicaid, hospitals will close, and the entire system will be jeopardized. Thousands,  no, hundreds of thousands of  Alabamians will be denied access to healthcare.

The RCO model was adopted by this legislature because we are broke, and it is getting worse year by year. The RCO model was adopted to reduce the ever increasing pressure on the General Fund. It was never touted as a way to stop this growing demand, but it is the only way we know to slow this growth.
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Why Tourism Matters

March 14, 2016
Bradley Byrne

By Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1)

It is that time of the year again. Families and students are flocking down Interstate 65 or across Interstate 10 to our Alabama beaches for spring break. Those of us who have lived here our entire lives know what it means: crowded roads, packed restaurants, and full hotels.

What you may not have realized, is just how important tourism is to our area’s economy. In Baldwin County alone, 5.7 million tourists visited the beaches last year. Approximately 46,000 people in Baldwin County are employed in the tourism and hospitality industry. Even more, the economic impact in just Baldwin County is over $3.5 billion dollars, and the number of visitors to our beaches continues to grow each year.
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