Volume 18 Number 9 – April 21, 2017
18th & 19th legislative days
Governor Moves U.S. Senate Election to August
Earlier this year, former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions vacated his Senate seat to become U.S. Attorney General. Following his resignation, former Governor Robert Bentley appointed then-Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate seat. When Strange was appointed, Governor Bentley said the election for the Senate seat would coincide with the next state general election in November 2018.… Continue reading
Volume 18 Number 8 – April 14, 2017
16th & 17th legislative days
Kay Ivey Sworn in as 54th Governor
On Monday, Lt. Governor Kay Ivey was sworn in as Alabama’s 54th Governor following Governor Robert Bentley’s resignation.
Ivey becomes Alabama’s second female governor. The first, Lurleen Wallace, was elected in 1966 and died of cancer in 1968.
Ivey is now in position to complete Bentley’s term, which ends in January 2019.
Gas Tax Legislation Dead
Plans… Continue reading
Volume 18 Number 7 – April 7, 2017
14th & 15th legislative days
Senate Approves Education Trust Fund Budget
On Tuesday, the Senate voted 29 – 2 to approve the $6.4 billion Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget for fiscal year 2018. The approval came after an extended filibuster from Sen. Paul Bussman (R – Cullman) who tried to move funding from higher education to K-12.
The budget provides a $15 million increase to the state’s pre-kindergarten programs, a major goal… Continue reading
Volume 18 Number 6 – March 17, 2017
11th, 12th, & 13th legislative days
House Passes General Fund Budget
After more than three hours of debate, the House of Representatives passed the General Fund Budget by a vote of 72 – 28.
Much of the debate came over the lack of a pay raise for state employees. Governor Bentley proposed a four percent raise in his budget, but the House-passed version did not include the raise. The raise… Continue reading
Volume 18 Number 5 – March 10, 2017
9th & 10th legislative days
House Committee Approves General Fund Budget
The House Ways and Means – General Fund Committee approved the $1.8 billion General Fund budget on Wednesday.
The budget level funds most state agencies and does not include a raise for state employees.
Rep. Steve Clouse (R – Ozark), Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said the budget sets aside $97 million to carry into 2019 or… Continue reading
Volume 18 Number 4 – March 3, 2017
7th & 8th legislative days
Committee Approves Bill to Repeal Pistol Permit Requirement
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6 – 3 to approve SB 24 by Sen. Gerald Allen (R – Tuscaloosa) after a public hearing.
The bill would repeal the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed handgun.
Gun rights advocates spoke in favor of the bill saying that permits are an infringement upon their Second Amendment… Continue reading
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