Republican leadership gathers in Troy for summer meeting

September 1, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Saturday, Republicans from across Alabama gathered at Troy University in Troy for the summer meeting of the Alabama Republican Executive Committee.

Rick Dearborn, who is the deputy chief of staff for the Trump White House was the featured speaker at the event. Dearborn was formerly Senator Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff. He, Sessions and former Sessions staffer, Stephen Miller, are all playing key roles in the administration of President Donald J. Trump. Dearborn praised Senator Sessions and was optimistic and upbeat about his service in the Trump administration.

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Gentile angry for being shut out of Oxford debate

June 20, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, June 20, 2017, the Calhoun County Republican Party will be holding a debate of GOP Senate Special Election candidates. Not all of the Republican candidates however will be present though. GOP Senate candidate Dom Gentile said that he was not invited by the Calhoun County Republican Party which is hosting the debate at the Oxford Civic Center Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
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Dom Gentile supports medical marijuana

June 14, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

US Senate candidate Dom Gentile has announced that he supports medical marijuana.

Gentile said in a statement, “I have recently met with dozens of people who are stricken with medical conditions such as epilepsy, seizures, severe autism, Alzheimers and MS. Many of them have symptoms that can be relieved by cannabis that is specifically formulated for medical use. As I listened to the passionate pleas of these patients and their families, and understood how this can help them, I became a believer that something needed to be done at the federal level. Medical cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. It is in the same class as heroin and LSD, and that is absurd. I am calling for the FDA and the DEA to immediately re-classify cannabis for medical use and allow the states to decide how to dispense the drug.”
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Dom Gentile advocates creating health insurance options

June 6, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, June 5, 2017, Alabama candidate for US Senate, Dom Gentile announced his plan to give consumers more health insurance choices in states that are currently dominated by one large insurance company, such as Alabama where Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama (BCBS) has over 90 percent of the health insurance market.

Gentile said in a statement, “My plan is to introduce legislation that allows consumers in these states the option to buy their insurance from the same plans that Congress and their staffs do, which is currently DC Health Link (www.dchealthlink.com). DC Healthlink has 112 plan options and four large private insurers. Once congress gets its act together and finally repeals and replaces Obamacare, this Legislation would allow consumers in these states to have access to any new insurance options given to the Congressmen, Congresswomen and Senators should the DC Health Link option be changed.”
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Gentile running for Senate as Republican

May 17, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Birmingham businessman Dom Gentile, 51, has qualified to run for the US Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. Gentile is kicking off his campaign by traveling the State and talking to business owners, first responders, veterans, active military and citizens. Gentile says that he believes that it is time to rid our state of its nefarious politicians and vote in a fresh and untainted non-politician who will lead the charge towards building tomorrow’s Alabama, the right way.
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Sewell applauds UAB for America’s Promise Job Driven Grant

December 3, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, November 29, 2016, US Representative Terri Sewell (D-Selma) congratulated UAB for receiving an America’s promise grant. The grant will fund the Innovate Birmingham Consortium, a regional workforce partnership to establish a sustainable pipeline of talent for Birmingham’s growing IT sector.

Congresswoman Sewell “Innovate Birmingham’s consortium partners are among the most successful corporate, academic, and non-profit citizens in Alabama, all of whom realize that our national and global competitiveness is only as strong as our local workforce pipeline.”
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New Program Could Award College Degrees to Thousands in Alabama

November 11, 2016

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

College students in Alabama can now reverse transfer credits from a four-year college or university to a two-year school in order to obtain an Associates degree, thanks to a new partnership among State colleges signed on Wednesday.

The change could immediately affect thousands of students in Alabama, allowing them to apply for Associates degrees that they’ve already earned.

“It’s a significant change that really benefits all of the parties involved,” said Glenda Colagross, the interim president at Southern Union Community College. “For the students, it allows them a credential to go on their resume that they’ve rightly earned. For the schools, it increases the graduation rates. For the State, it shows an increase in the number of degreed citizens we have in the workforce.”
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Regional Care Organizations Collapsing

October 27, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The promised dream of Regional Care Organizations (RCOs) saving the State’s underfunded and overburdened Medicaid system continues to unravel.

Just recently, the University of Birmingham Medical Systems and Viva Heath Inc., abandoned their programs indefinitely, citing the instability of State funding.

Last month, The Alabama Political Reporter obtained a letter from Mike Warren, President and CEO of Children of Alabama, to Medicaid Agency Commissioner Stephanie Azar in which he detailed the failure of the RCO plan adopted by Gov. Robert Bentley (which was approved by the State Legislature). In it, Warren offers a withering critique of the programs including the false promise of cost savings under the RCO model. “The numbers are frightening,” Warren writes. “RCOs will actually cost the State’s General Fund a substantial amount more than keeping the current program funded.”
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Senator Dial Takes Action

October 11, 2016

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

Unbelievable as it may seem, according to Alabama law, the requirements for someone to be the superintendent of a local school system are much tougher than those to be state superintendent, which is about like saying an operating room nurse needs more training than the surgeon she is assisting.

Alabama Code Section 16-9-2 spells out the requirements for a local superintendent. for example: The county superintendent of education shall be chosen for his general fitness and character and shall be a person of recognized ability as a school administrator. No person shall be eligible for appointment by any county board of education or for any political party nomination, or for election to the office of county superintendent of education unless such person:
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UNA Complains That RSA Hurts Their Faculty Recruiting Efforts

March 7, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, March 2, a public hearing was held by the Senate Finance and Taxation Education committee on allowing the University of North Alabama to give new hires the option of opting out of the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) pension plan, and instead putting their pension contributions and the University match into a 401k type investment product.

Senate Bill 247 is sponsored by State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence). Sen. Melson said that with SB247, “I am going against RSA on this one. I represent UNA on a bill today. RSA’s argument is going to be based on they need the money; but if this passes it would cost RSA just 75 cents for everybody in the program to pay. UNA is a great school. This bill allows UNA to go hire employees. This would only affect 20 to 25 employees a year. It takes ten years to vest in RSA. The problem is that UNA, while a great school, is not seen as a final career destination. Qualified faculty applicants don’t see themselves staying at UNA for ten years to get vested in the RSA system.”
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