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May 3, 2021 Group Watch: Kenneth Paschal Wins Special GOP Primary Runoff in House District 73

On Tuesday, U.S. Army veteran Kenneth Paschal won the special Republican primary runoff   election in House District 73. Paschal defeated Helena City Councilwoman Leigh Hulsey by 64 votes. The safely Republican seat was left vacant by Rep. Matt Fridy’s election to the Court of Civil Appeals. Paschal served 21

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May 3, 2021 Group Watch: Lawmakers Considering Delay of AL Literacy Act

The Alabama Legislature passed the Literacy Act in 2019 to emphasize the importance of making sure children learn to read in the earliest grades. The House Education Policy Committee held a public hearing on a Senate-passed bill that would delay its implementation until the 2023-2024 school year. The bill’s sponsor, Senator

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April 26, 2021 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Last week’s political and issue-based announcements were a mixed bag of good news on some fronts and setbacks on others. A bright spot: the state’s education efforts got some positive recognition. This session’s big-headline bills — gambling and medical marijuana —  are both staying alive, but now waiting for a vote in the House, which, according to

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April 26, 2021 Group Watch: Tweet of the Week

@JaniceDean April 26 This is @tylerperry’s incredible speech which most of Hollywood don’t want you to hear. God bless him.

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April 26, 2021 Group Watch: Gambling & Medical Marijuana Votes Likely Weeks Away

Recently, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said bills authorizing medical marijuana and establishing a lottery and gambling won’t come up for a vote in the chamber for a few weeks. The medical marijuana bill may not go to the floor until the last week of the session, expected in mid-May. Neither

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April 26, 2021 Group Watch: Sports Betting Component of Gambling Legislation

The package of bills related to expanding gambling in the state includes provisions for legalized sports betting. If the legislation makes it on the 2022 ballot and Alabamians vote it in, sports betting could be operating as early as 2023. The prospect of sports betting in Alabama has gotten the attention of outlets like “Gaming

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April 26, 2021 Group Watch: AL Prison Project Loses Two Financiers

Two financiers have withdrawn from underwriting bonds for two prisons planned by Tennessee-based CoreCivic. One, London-based Barclays, stepped out amid criticism that the bank was breaking a promise to stop supporting for-profit prison companies. The bank reported that its objective was to enable the state to improve its facilities, but realized the

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April 26, 2021 Group Watch: Alabama’s First Class Pre-K Ranks No. 1

Governor Kay Ivey announced that the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) ranks Alabama First Class Pre-K as the nation’s highest quality state pre-kindergarten program for the 15th consecutive year. Each year since 2017, Alabama First Class Pre-K has received increased support from the Education Trust Fund as recommended by

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April 26, 2021 Group Watch: Federal Funds Set for Childcare Facilities in AL

Childcare providers across Alabama are among the many hit hard by the pandemic and as such, are set to receive much needed assistance from the American Rescue Plan. More than $730 million in federal funding will help childcare providers open safely, keep workers on the payroll and lower childcare costs

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April 26, 2021 Group Watch: Curbside Voting Ban Faces Scrutiny in Senate

Alabama Democrats stalled a bill on the Senate floor that would ban curbside voting in the state. Curbside voting allows someone to vote without going inside a polling location. Renewed efforts for the bill came after the coronavirus pandemic sparked an increased interest in curbside voting in Alabama. Democrats believe

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