December 2022 Group Watch: AL Taxes Per Capita Lower Than All But 1 Other State

Alabama collects fewer dollars in state and local taxes per capita than every other state but Tennessee, the Public Affairs Research Council said in a new report. State and local taxes in Alabama were $3,756 per capita. Tennessee, at $3,719, was the only state lower. That does not include revenue Tennessee collects from a state lottery, which would raise it above Alabama. Nationally, the median state and local tax collections for states was $5,210. The average among southeast states was $4,091. The Alabama information is based upon revenue date for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019.

December 2022 Group Watch: Merry Christmas!

From The Bloom Group team, Merry Christmas! And we also wish you a happy and healthy new year. To our colleagues, we look forward to working with you in 2023. And to our clients, thank you for entrusting us with your governmental relations efforts. We’re excited to continue to represent you and your interests in the coming year. 

November 2022 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

As we near Thanksgiving, Alabama Republicans have a lot to be grateful for. The GOP swept elections for offices at multiple levels across the state, which while anticipated, was surely still a fact that candidates, their teams and party leaders felt appreciation for. 

While the election results dominated political headlines for this month so far, there’s other news too. The legislature might get a new home. The requirements to graduate high school in Alabama have changed. Many of the state’s rural hospitals just got grant money to fund repairs and improvements to facilities in an effort to close the gap in access to quality care for those who live outside Alabama’s major metro areas. And newly re-elected Governor Ivey was honored with a hall of fame induction. 

Learn more about these topics and #alpolitics activity below.

November 2022 Group Watch: Tweet of the Month

Nov 16
GOP Senator-elect @KatieBrittforAL stresses unity, spreading conservative message to new voters after Alabama Senate victory

November 2022 Group Watch: GOP Candidates Dominate Statewide and Legislative Elections

The recent election proved that the Republican Party has maintained its strong hold on Alabama politics.

  • Governor Kay Ivey bested her Democratic and Libertarian challengers receiving more than 67 percent of the vote.
  • Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth overwhelmed his Libertarian challenger receiving 84 percent of the vote.
  • Attorney General Steve Marshall defeated his Democratic challengers by receiving almost 68 percent of the vote.
  • Treasurer Young Boozer defeated a Libertarian challenger receiving more than 84 percent of the vote
  • Secretary of State-Elect Wes Allen defeated a Democratic opponent receiving almost 66 percent of the vote.
  • State Auditor-Elect Andrew Sorrell defeated a Libertarian challenger receiving 85 percent of the vote.
  • Supreme Court Justice-Elect Greg Cook defeated a Democratic challenger with more than 67 percent of the vote for Place 5.
  • Supreme Court Justice Kelli Wise won without a challenge for Place 6.
  • Agriculture Commissioner Rick Pate defeated a Libertarian challenger receiving almost 85 percent of the vote.

In legislative races, the Alabama Senate will contain 27 Republicans and 8 Democrats and the House will contain 76 Republicans and 28 Democrats. With this outcome, Republicans will continue to have filibuster-proof supermajorities in both legislative chambers. House Republicans met just days after the election to nominate their leadership. At the post-election caucus meeting, the Republican House Caucus chose Nathaniel Ledbetter as the nominee for Speaker, Chris Pringle as Speaker Pro Tem, Scott Stadthagen as House Majority Leader, Wes Kitchens as Caucus Vice Chair and Debbie Wood as Caucus secretary/treasurer. These nominations are tantamount to election since the Republicans have a supermajority and took a loyalty pledge to vote for the caucus nominee. The legislative organizational session will be held in January 2023.

November 2022 Group Watch: AAMA Names Gov. Ivey to Its Hall Of Fame

The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA), a trade group representing companies in the dynamic and fast-growing industry, recently named Governor Kay Ivey to its Hall of Fame. Ron Davis, the AAMA’s president and chairman, praised Governor Ivey for steadfast commitment to facilitating the growth of Alabama’s auto industry and her many contributions to the overall mission of the organization. The AAMA Board of Directors, composed of key industry figures, selects new members for the organization’s Hall of Fame. Launched five years ago, the AAMA Hall of Fame includes Bill Taylor, who led Mercedes-Benz U. S. International; Ed Castille, director of AIDT; and Dr. Bernard Schroer, a UAH professor who served in a leadership role in the organization’s early days

November 2022 Group Watch: New State House?

The Alabama Legislature may soon have a new home. The body was put in the current State House, a building built in 1965, in 1985 in what was supposed to be a temporary move. It’s now outdated and getting crowded and renovations and repairs needed would be costly. So, lawmakers are considering constructing a new State House instead. Read more here.

November 2022 Group Watch: Alabama Adds New High School Graduation Requirement For Class Of 2028

The Alabama Board of Education recently voted 5-2 to add a new requirement that students must complete to eventually earn their Alabama high school diploma. Prior to dropping the graduation exam, the state adopted different types of accomplishments – called college and career readiness (CCR) indicators – that would serve as evidence that a student had what it takes to head to college or start their career, but they did not make it a graduation requirement at the time. The new rule takes effect in 2028 and will give students four years to attain at least one of the 10 indicators, which include a benchmark score on the ACT college entrance exam, earning college credits while in high school and being accepted into a branch of the military before graduation, to name a few. Students who do not earn an indicator before they graduate have two years following when they were supposed to graduate to attain an indicator. 

November 2022 Group Watch: Innovate Alabama Taps Huntsville Biz Owner as Founding CEO

Innovate Alabama named Huntsville businesswoman and Alabama A&M alum Cynthia Crutchfield as its first founding CEO. The Montgomery native brings to the position 40 years of experience in helping innovators grow roots across the state. Crutchfield is chief operating officer of the Crutchfield Company, a Huntsville real estate investment business that provides affordable housing to underprivileged families, veterans and college students. The addition of a new CEO marks the next chapter in Innovate Alabama’s impact and growth, according to Governor Kay Ivey. Crutchfield received her undergraduate degree in computer science from Alabama A&M University and was a civil servant for the Air Force and Navy for 18 years. She also founded Crutchfield Management Consulting in 2021. It is an IT services and consulting company.

November 2022 Group Watch: AL House Gains New Young Member & First Jewish Member in 40 Years

The Alabama House will welcome some new faces in the 2023 session, including the youngest sitting member and one of the youngest state legislators ever. Twenty-seven-year-old Brock Colvin of Albertville was just elected to the seat for District 26. The Republican representative told the press he’s excited to give younger residents in his district a voice and believes he’s bringing the legislature a unique perspective to multiple issues that are important to all, regardless of age. Read more here.

Adding to the incoming diversity is newly elected Representative Philip Ensler, the first Jew to join the legislative ranks in Alabama in more than four decades. He beat out Charlotte Meadows for the District 74 seat. He ran on a platform of community service and has been quoted as saying, “There’s much work to do.” Read more here.

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