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April 2018 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Governor Ivey has been busy since the session ended, and there’s been some positive movement in the search for our next Superintendent of Education.
  • Gov. Ivey opens campaign headquarters in Montgomery: Alabama Governor Ivey recently opened her campaign headquarters in Montgomery. She has been governor for a little less than a year, but expressed confidence that the state is on the right path under her leadership. Ivey said she has righted the ship of state and that a dark cloud is no longer hanging over the state. She also introduced her dog, Bear, to the assembled crowd. She said the dog was three years old when she got him and he was already named, so she didn’t change it. She added that she did get him an Auburn collar though.
  • Gov. Ivey announces funding for new behavioral health services: Governor Ivey announced that the State of Alabama has set aside $11 million in its recently passed budgets for the Alabama Department of Mental Health to expand behavioral health services for Medicaid-eligible children and youth. When combined with federal matching funds, the money is expected to generate more than $36 million in total spending during the 2019 fiscal year. The funding will expand services provided at home or in the community to two groups of young people. One group is children and youth with emotional disturbances, and the other is children and youth with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Gov. Ivey signs bill to boost online sales tax collections: Governor Ivey signed into law a bill expected to increase the taxes Alabama collects for online sales. The state started the Simplified Sellers Use Tax three years ago to help collect taxes owed by Alabama customers on purchases from online vendors. The new law allows the state to collect from third-party vendors that sell products through online marketplaces. The change is estimated to increase state and local revenues by $23 to $39 million a year. The use tax is the sales tax for products bought out of state for use in Alabama.

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