March 25, 2019 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The Alabama Legislature’s 2019 Regular Session resumed last week, and it was a busy one before the body took a week’s break. (Both chambers reconvene on April 2). Here’s a recap:
  • Tuesday, Day 2 of Regular Session: The Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee approved a bill to authorize the hunting of whitetail deer or feral swine by means of bait when the privilege is purchased. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee approved bills to exempt legislative redistricting bills from being read at length prior to final passage; to allow athletic agents to pay certain expenses to a student athlete or the family of the athlete; to provide a an income tax refund check-off for a contribution to We Build the Wall, Inc.; and to add the chairs of the House Ways and Means General Fund and Education and the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund and Education Committees to the Contract Review Permanent Legislative Oversight Committee.
  • Wednesday, Day 3 of Regular Session: The House had no bills in position for final passage. The House Judiciary Committee approved several bills including bills to provide for the appointment by the circuit court of court referees to handle domestic relations child support cases and to allow statements to be entered into evidence in cases if they were made by a child under the age of 12 during a forensic interview and pertain to allegations of abuse against a child. The House Children and Senior Advocacy Committee approved a bill to expand and clarify requirements for membership of child advocacy centers. The House Boards, Agencies and Commissions Committee approved a large number of sunset bills relating to various agencies and boards. The Senate passed one bill relating to county housing authorities and the electronic posting of notices to potential purchasers of bonds. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved several bills including bills to authorize voluntary transfers to pretrial diversion programs by municipal courts and to address the proliferation of telemarketers and telephone solicitation. The Senate Education Policy Committee approved several bills, including one to terminate Common Core Curriculum Standards in K-12 education.
  • Thursday, Day 4 of Regular Session: The House passed a large number of bills of local application only and a large number of bills under the Sunset provision continuing the operation of a number of state boards and commissions including the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. The Senate passed several general bills including bills to provide an income tax refund check-off for a contribution to We Build the Wall and to repeal Common Core Curriculum Standards in education.

3/25/2019 Group Watch: Lottery Plan Announced

State Senator Jim McClendon of Springville announced this week he is introducing legislation to establish a state lottery. McClendon said that people in his district would like to be able to a lottery ticket without leaving the state like people in 45 other states can do. He stated that his proposal requires a vote of the people and is not intended to solve budget problems while dividing the revenue between the Education Trust Fund and the General Fund. McClendon said his preference would be to have the measure on the ballot in the presidential primary in March 2020 because of the large number of voters would be participating.

3/25/2019 Group Watch: Community College System Expanding Programs

Alabama’s community college system has inked a deal to expand students’ access to aerospace, manufacturing and defense industry training. The Alabama Community College System and Huntsville’s Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation’s University Consortium are partnering to advance emerging technology programs. The agreement will lead to the creation of a system engineering technology degree. Students could study aerospace, automotive manufacturing, maritime, digital transformation and engineering technology.

3/25/2019 Group Watch: Tweet of the Week

@GovernorKayIvey
March 22
Happy Birthday @willainsworthAL!!!

March 18, 2019 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The first Special Session of the Alabama Legislature in 2019 resumed and concluded last week, with Governor Ivey and others pushing for infrastructure improvements quickly and decisively reaching their goals. This extraordinary session provided a major policy and legislative achievement for Governor Ivey. Here are the details.
  • Monday, Day 4 of Special Session: The House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee approved two Senate-passed bills relating to the registration, width and weight restrictions of ATVs and providing technical changes to the Department of Transportation long-range planning process. Those measures received a second reading later in the day before the full House, placing them in a position for final passage on the following day. The Senate Transportation and Energy Committee approved House-passed bills to provide technical changes to the Department of Transportation long range planning process, to authorize the issuance of bonds to improve the Mobile Ship Channel, and a 10-cent gas tax increase, electric vehicle fees and accountability measures. The full Senate received the second reading of the bills, thus making them available for final passage on the following day.
  • Tuesday, Day 5 of Special Session: The Senate gave final passage to bills providing a 10-cent gas tax, electric vehicle fees and accountability measures and to authorize the issuance of bonds for improvement to the Mobile Ship Channel. They also passed, with changes, a bill making changes to long-range planning process in the Department of Transportation. The House quickly concurred with the Senate changes, and all three measures went to the governor, who promptly signed them into law.

3/18/2019 Group Watch: Improved Training for School Resource Officers

Governor Kay Ivey awarded a grant to improve training of 40 school resource officers. The training will go to officers in Montgomery, Autauga, Elmore, Butler, Crenshaw, Lowndes, Macon, Pike and Tallapoosa counties. In addition to the training conducted by the National Association of School Resource Officers, Central Alabama Crimestoppers will give instruction on its tip reward and gun deterrent programs, which enable students to report school safety violations to authorities. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available to the state from the U.S. Department of Justice.

3/18/2019 Group Watch: Coming Soon-Session Expectations

The legislature is expected to pass an Education Trust Fund budget, which for the first time ever will exceed $7 billion, and the roughly $2 billion General Fund budget for non-education agencies will remain a top priority. Included in the General Fund budget are major programs like Medicaid, prisons and public safety. Reliable sources say that a constitutional amendment allowing for the creation of a state lottery will be filed, with proceeds being split between the General Fund and Education Trust Fund. Such a proposal, which requires a vote of the people, could provide a revenue stream to address the long-running problems in the prison system as well as the rapidly closing small hospitals across the state.

3/18/2019 Group Watch: Tweet of the Week

@thebloomgroup
March 17
ROLL TIDE!!

March 11, 2019 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The 2019 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature began last Tuesday, March 5, and on that same day was suspended until March 19 to make way for a Special Session called by Governor Ivey. Here’s what happened last week.
  • Tuesday, Day 1 of Regular Session: The Alabama Legislature convened for the start of the 2019 Regular Session. The customary joint session was held on Tuesday evening in the historic original chambers in the capitol. During her address, Governor Kay Ivey discussed the state’s economy, improving education, a gas tax proposal to improve infrastructure, the prison overhaul and her general and education budget proposals. The governor says she is proposing $40 million less for Medicaid, an additional $7 million for mental health programs and funding to add 50 state troopers. She is proposing adding $25 million to expand the First Class Pre-K program, and a four percent raise for education personnel (K-12 through community college). Near the end of her remarks, the governor announced she was calling a special session to start on Wednesday to consider a three bill package relating to her infrastructure initiative. Each chamber reconvened following the address and recessed the regular session until March 19th.
  • Wednesday, Day 1 of Special Session: The legislature convened, and three bills were introduced pursuant to the call of the governor to address infrastructure matters required to advance public safety and the economic vitality of the state.
  • Thursday, Day 2 of Special Session: The House Transportation Utilities and Infrastructure Committee unanimously approved the three bills related to  infrastructure, including a 10-cent gas tax increase, electric vehicle fees and accountability measures. The Senate Transportation and Energy Committee approved three bills dealing with the registration of ATVs with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the prohibition of the use of golf carts and low-speed vehicles on public highways, and technical corrections to the Department of Transportation long-range planning process. The House and Senate committee bills are on the calendar and available for consideration on the 3rdday of the Special Session.
  • Friday, Day 3 of Special Session: The House overwhelmingly passed bills to authorize the issuance of bonds to improve the Mobile Ship Channel, to make technical corrections to the Department of Transportation long-range planning process and, in dramatic fashion, voted 83-20 to pass the 10 cent gasoline tax, which includes fees for electric vehicles. The Senate passed the three bills before them with ease; they related to the registration of ATVs, prohibiting the use of golf carts and low-speed vehicles on public highways and further clarifying the Department of Transportation long-range planning process.

3/11/2019 Group Watch: Alabama’s Infrastructure

Governor Ivey believes the state’s infrastructure needs are issues that the legislature must act upon “for the safety and economic prosperity of the people of Alabama,” as she declared in her proclamation calling for a Special Session. Read the entire proclamation below.

2019-03-05_Special-Session-Proclamation

Page 2 of 56«12345»102030...Last »

The Bloom Group, Inc.

401 Adams Avenue, Suite 710
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
Telephone: (334) 244-8948
Fax: (334) 213-0688

Live Audio Feed

Listen to your senators and representatives at work. Click here to find links to live audio of the House and audio plus video of the Senate.

Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee

Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee

The News You Need

Find the latest information on all things Alabama politics on Alabama Today.