Volume 18 Number 3 – February 24, 2017
5th & 6th legislative days
Senate Approves Changes to Alabama Accountability Act
The Senate voted 17 – 15 on Thursday to approve SB 123 by Sen. Del Marsh (R – Anniston). The bill expands options for tax credits for donors to the Alabama Accountability Act (AAA).
Last year, donors claimed $19.9 million in income tax credits for donations to the scholarship granting organizations. That was down from $25.8 million in… Continue reading
Volume 18 Number 2 – February 17, 2017
3rd & 4th legislative days
House Works Late on Two Agenda Items
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives debated for three hours before finally approving a resolution encouraging Congress to “support President Donald Trump’s ambitious government reform agenda.”
The resolution is part of the House Republican’s “Alabama Proud” legislative agenda.
During the debate, Democrats criticized President’s Trump’s policies and asserted that the resolution was useless and unneeded. The resolution ultimately… Continue reading
Volume 18 Number 1 – February 10, 2017
1st & 2nd legislative days
2017 Legislative Session Begins
The 2017 legislative session began on Tuesday. As always, the budgets will be a top priority, but new prisons and redistricting will also play a major role throughout the session.
In January, the federal courts ruled that 12 legislative districts were unconstitutional and must be redrawn. The districts must be redrawn prior to the 2018 election, and legislators plan to tackle… Continue reading
Legislature Approves BP bill, Adjourns Sine Die
On Tuesday, the Senate spent all day debating the BP bill. The House-passed bill by Rep. Steve Clouse (R – Ozark) would have paid off the Rainy Day Fund debt of $161 million, paid $287 million toward the $437 million Alabama Trust Fund debt, and sent $191 million to Baldwin and Mobile counties for road projects. It would have also freed up $70 million to be sent to Medicaid. When the bill… Continue reading
Lottery Dead, BP Bill on Life Support
On Friday, the Senate voted against the lottery bill that came from the House by a vote of 7 – 23. The Senate leadership decided against sending it to a conference committee to hash out differences because they deemed it a lost cause.
The House passed the lottery bill late Thursday night after approximately 8 – 10 hours of debate. Initially, they voted 61 – 37 for the bill, failing to garner… Continue reading
Lotto Shocks the State House, BP Fight Looms
The Alabama Legislature convened on Monday for a Special Session to address increased Medicaid funding and a state lottery. By Friday, they had addressed two bills that would accomplish those objectives.
In what many considered a surprise, the Senate passed Governor Bentley’s lottery proposal Friday evening after approximately four hours of debate. Passed by a margin of 21 – 12, the bill sends a proposed constitutional amendment establishing a state lottery before… Continue reading
Volume 17 Number 13 – May 9, 2016
29th & 30th legislative days
Prison Construction Plan Dies on Final Legislative Day
The Senate voted 23 – 12 late Wednesday night on a compromise plan to build new, state of the art prisons to replace some of the old ones.
Originally the legislation, which was proposed by Governor Bentley and the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, would have allowed the state to issue $800 million in bonds to build… Continue reading
Volume 17 Number 12 – April 29, 2016
26th, 27th, & 28th legislative days
House Approves BP Settlement Distribution Plan
The House of Representatives passed compromise legislation late Thursday night to distribute the $1 billion oil spill settlement from BP.
The plan, sponsored by Rep. Steve Clouse (R – Ozark), was just introduced last week and approved by the House Ways and Means – General Fund committee on Wednesday.
The legislation would authorize a bond issue of approximately $640… Continue reading
Volume 17 Number 11 – April 22, 2016
23rd, 24th, & 25th legislative days
Education Budget, Teacher Pay Raise Receive Final Passage
On Thursday, the 2017 Education Trust Fund budget and teacher pay raise were sent to the Governor for his signature. The budget calls for $6.3 billion in spending, a 5.6 percent increase over last year’s budget.
The budget includes a four percent pay raise for K – 12 teachers and community college employees. Educators have not received… Continue reading
Volume 17 Number 10 – April 14, 2016
21st & 22nd legislative days
Senate Approves Education Trust Fund Budget
On Wednesday, the Senate voted 32 – 1 to approved the $6.3 billion Education Trust Fund (ETF). The 2017 budget is the largest since 2008 and is approximately $336 million higher than the current year’s budget.
The budget includes a four percent raise for teachers making $75,000 a year or less and principals and assistant principals. Teachers making more than… Continue reading