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

3/11/2019 Group Watch: Congrats!

The Bloom Group would like to congratulate Representative Parker Moore and his wife Allyson on the birth of a beautiful baby girl.

3/11/2019 Group Watch: Tweet of the Week

@GovernorKayIvey
March 1

This evening, I’m releasing details
of the #RebuildAlabamabill, which is being filed in the Alabama Legislature by Rep. Bill Poole ahead of the 2019 Regular Session.

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