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8/14/15 Group Watch: No Budget by October?

The Legislature just adjourned a special session without passing a General Fund budget and with no known plan to address the budget shortfall. This is eerily similar to 1975, when then Governor Wallace called three special sessions to get General Fund and Education budgets without success. In mid-September of that

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8/14/15 Group Watch: Governor Defunds Planned Parenthood

Governor Robert Bentley announced he was terminating an agreement between the Alabama Medicaid Agency and Planned Parenthood. Records from the Alabama Medicaid Agency show it has paid Planned Parenthood’s two clinics in Alabama $4,351 over the last two years. Bentley said that as a doctor, the issue of human life, from

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July 2015 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The Special Session has begun, and legislators are working to solve the state’s budget woes, but that’s not the only thing happening in Alabama. Special Session Called. With very little notice and in an unexpected move, Governor Robert Bentley called the Alabama Legislature into a special session starting this past Monday. A special session

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7/15/2015 Group Watch: Tuscaloosa Mayor Bans Tobacco

In six months, the citizens and visitors of Tuscaloosa will no longer be allowed to use any tobacco products on property owned by the city. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox recently issued an executive order banning the use of tobacco, including smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes, at all City of Tuscaloosa facilities

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7/15/2015 Group Watch: State Income & Sales Tax Receipts Rise

Alabamians have paid more state income tax and sales tax this fiscal year than last, which points to a growing economy. Through June, net income tax receipts for the Education Trust Fund rose 7 percent over last year. Individuals have paid $3.05 billion in income taxes, an increase of 5

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June 12, 2015 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Last week, the Alabama Legislature passed bills to further empower local governments to address matters unique to each, to empower our military service personnel, and to protect our citizens from unwanted and unneeded products entering the marketplace. Tuesday (27th Day of Regular Session): The House passed Senate-passed bills to allow local school systems more

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6/12/2015 Group Watch: Another Session Ends

Last week, the Senate adjourned sine die, and the House met for the final allowed day of the regular session this week, bringing the 2015 regular session of the Alabama Legislature to a close. Notable bills that died this session included ones to permit limited operation of golf carts public streets

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6/12/2105 Group Watch: Education Budget Becomes Law

Governor Robert Bentley signed into law a nearly $6 billion Education Trust Fund Budget. The budget provides $13 million more for textbooks; $3 million more for classroom materials; $5.2 million more for Dual Enrollment Programs; $4.5 million more for transportation operations; and $10 million more First-Class Pre-Kindergarten. The Legislature is

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June 1, 2015 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

This past week, as the regular session winds down, the Alabama Legislature passed bills to further streamline government, moved the House-passed general fund budget out of Senate committee and more. Tuesday (25th Day of Regular Session): The House passed bills that would not provide unemployment compensation to certain individuals; to remove the provision of

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6/1/2015 Group Watch: Dire Predictions & Possible Solutions

The House-passed general fund budget includes cuts to Alabama’s Medicaid Agency that, according to Dr. Don Williamson, Chair of the Medicaid Transition Task force, could prove disastrous. Click on the link below to read more of his predictions. But while the regular session of the legislature is drawing to a close,

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