September 2018 Group Watch: Tweet of the Month

Aug 26
Retweet from @DrABHosey
Happy 100th Birthday to Ms. Katherine Johnson, NASA human computer who calculated trajectories for the Apollo space missions by hand!

September 2018 Group Watch: Kavanaugh Confirmation Good for AL

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall believes Alabamians have much to gain if Kavanaugh is confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. He points out that legal scholars from the left and right agree that Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications are impeccable. Having him on the bench would be a significant step toward restoring the kind of restraint, limited government the Founders of this nation envisioned. Marshall calls for the swift confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.

September 2018 Group Watch: Education Dept. Seeks Additional Funds

The Alabama Department of Education will request more funding for school safety, reading and math programs and transportation when the legislature returns next year. State Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey announced his department would also seek a $30 million increase for nurses and a $16.8 million increase for pre-K special education, in part to relieve financial pressure from local districts. Dr. Mackey proposes to hire 243 new teachers for grades 4 through 6.

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

School’s back in session, and there is some notable education news this month.
  • Gov Ivey Announces Bicentennial Schools: Alabama became a state on December 14, 1819. As part of the state’s preparation for next year’s bicentennial, Governor Kay Ivey announced the 200 schools that have been selected as official Alabama Bicentennial Schools. Ivey was joined at the announcement by superintendents, principals, teachers, students and administrators from the selected schools, along with legislators and other dignitaries from across the state. The Bicentennial Schools Initiative was launched by Governor Ivey in 2017. The initiative encourages all public, private and homeschool students and teachers to participate in the celebration of statehood in 2019.
  • First Integrated School in Sumter County: When school started at the University Charter School (UCS) in Livingston, in west Alabama’s Sumter County, students in K-8 began a new era. For the first time, black students and white students are learning side-by-side in integrated public school classrooms. More than half of the school’s 300-plus students are black, while just under half are white. While not fully representative of the county’s split — 76 percent black, 24 percent white — no public school in the county has come close to reaching the percentage at UCS. The development of the program was done in conjunction with the University of West Alabama in Livingston.
  • Republican Policies Working: Congresswoman Martha Roby recently said that recent economic growth numbers are, “proof that our pro-growth policies are working.” According to Roby, our economy grew by 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, marking the fastest economic expansion in the country in nearly four years. Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District and is seeking her fifth term. She faces Democrat Tabitha Isner in the November general election.
    Congressman Robert Aderholt shares Roby’s sentiment, noting that in July, unemployment dropped to 3.9 percent. Aderholt cites this as proof that tax cuts and the Jobs Act are working. According to Aderholt, the economy is on pace to hit 3 percent annual growth, and workers’ wages are growing faster than they have in more than a decade.

August 2018 Group Watch: Gulf State Park is AL Tourism Dept’s Attraction of the Year

Gulf State Park has been named the Alabama Tourism Department’s 2018 Attraction of the year. The park includes three miles of white sandy beaches and draws visitors from around the world. Alabama Tourism praised the park’s staff and volunteers who provide hospitality, educational and recreational offerings. A new lodge at the park is scheduled to open in November. Connectivity to the outdoors is the central focus of the environmentally friendly coastal development. The new lodge will have 350 rooms.

August 2018 Group Watch: Tweet of the Month

Aug 5

Alabama school encourages students to ‘be the nice kid,’ and people love the message.

August 2018 Group Watch: Chief Justice Candidate at White House

Alabama Supreme Court Justice (and GOP candidate for Chief Justice) Tom Parker recently traveled to Washington, D.C. with a group of local leaders from Alabama to meet with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and key members of President Trump’s staff in order to discuss issues critical to the future of our state and nation. Among the issues discussed were infrastructure investment and the growing opioid epidemic, as well as local issues throughout the state of Alabama. Parker faces an extremely well-financed Democratic challenger in Birmingham, Circuit Judge Robert Vance Jr.

August 2018 Group Watch: Ethics Commission Rules on Speaker’s Chief of Staff

Retiring Republican Rep. Mark Tuggle is in line for the position of Chief of Staff to Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon. A recently released opinion from the state Ethics Commission concluded that Tuggle’s duties as Chief of Staff would not violate the state’s revolving door provision, which prohibits elected officials from lobbying their former office for two years. The Commission voted 4-0 in favor of the opinion.

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

The primary runoff elections earlier this week yielded some interesting results.
  • Attorney General: Appointed incumbent Steve Marshall won the Republican nomination for attorney general and now faces Democrat Joseph Siegelman in the November general election.
  • Commissioner of Agriculture: Small-town mayor and farmer Rick Pate defeated longtime state Senator Gerald Dial for the Republican nomination for Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Industries.
  • 2nd Congressional District: Congresswoman Martha Roby defeated former Montgomery mayor and Congressman Bobby Bright to win the Republican primary runoff for her seat. Roby faces a Democratic challenger in the November general elections.
  • Lt. Governor: State Representative Will Ainsworth defeated Public Service President Twinkle Cavanaugh in the Republican runoff for Alabama Lt. Governor.

July 2018 Group Watch: Gov Ivey Receives Distinguished Service Award

Governor Kay Ivey was awarded a Distinguished Service Award from the Alabama Agribusiness Council during its annual meeting. Ivey, who was born on a cattle farm in rural Wilcox County, said in her acceptance remarks that farming is a part of her heritage and part of who she is. She went on to comment that agribusiness is a driving force for the economy and expressed gratitude to the people who make farming a thriving industry.

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