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June 2013 Group Watch: New Secretary of IT Aims for Customer Service

Alabama’s new secretary of information technology says state agencies in some ways need to operate more like partners in a giant corporation rather than like independent companies. Brunson White, who retired from Energen Corporation in January, started in April in the new position in the governor’s cabinet. White says the

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June 2013 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Election announcements top the current political news, and the governor is asking questions about the recent collection of blood and saliva samples in several Alabama counties. A Long List: Two legislators are among the long list of people running for the vacant congressional seat in the first district. Both Rep. Randy

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May 23, 2013 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The Alabama Legislature convened on Monday, for the 30th and final day of the regular session. They addressed a number of issues, some more controversial than others, and by the midnight adjournment, both sides had triumphs they touted. The House gave final approval to bills to expand the ability of

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5/23/13 Group Watch: So, What Died?

The end of each session brings joy and disappointment for all of the interested parties. This year the “dearly departed” included bills to require drug testing for welfare applicants who had a drug conviction in the last five years; to reorganize the legislative branch of government; to create the Alabama

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5/23/13 Group Watch: AL Accountability Act Could be Limited

State education officials are looking at how to implement the Alabama Accountability Act. A member of the state board says the board may be able to narrow the scope of the law through non-legislative policy making. The board could use its policy making authority to limit how many students are

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May 10, 2013 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The Alabama Legislature returned to work on Tuesday for the 28th day of the session. Tuesday: The Senate Education Committee approved a House-passed bill to clarify that schools would not be forced to take transfers from failing schools under the Alabama Accountability Act. The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee

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5/10/2013 Group Watch: State Finance Director Resigns

State Finance Director Dr. Marquita Davis is resigning to accept a position as executive director of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, according to the office of Governor Robert Bentley. Dr. Davis will resign at the end of the legislative session and will assume her new position in June.

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5/10/2013 Group Watch: The End is Near

The House and Senate are off next week and return on Monday, May 20 for the 30th and final day of the 2013 regular session. They both will convene at 9:00 am. Look for a 2013 Session Wrap-Up edition of Group Watch on May 22.

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May 3, 2013 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

On Tuesday, House and Senate members returned to work for the 26th day of the 2013 regular session. Tuesday: The House passed bills to change the deadline to register to vote from 10 days to 17 days before an election and to require that any restriction on the right to bear

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5/3/2013 Group Watch: Mercedes-Benz Groundbreaking

Governor Robert Bentley and other state and local officials attended a ceremonial groundbreaking for the latest expansion of the Mercedes-Benz auto plant in Vance. The 900,000-square-foot parts consolidation center will create about 600 jobs, although with plans still being finalized, it is unclear how many of those jobs will be

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