Alabama Legislature

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former powerful Alabama House speaker has reported to jail to begin a four-year prison sentence for his 2016 ethics conviction.

Mike Hubbard reported Friday to a county detention center to begin the sentence after an  unsuccessful effort to overturn his conviction. The Alabama Supreme Court this spring overturned five of the counts in Hubbard’s ethics convictions while upholding six others.

AP

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Two of Alabama’s major industrial incentives that the state used to recruit businesses will expire later this year without legislative action, raising the possibility that lawmakers could be called back to Montgomery for a special session. 

The Alabama Jobs Act, which provides tax credits and rebates to new industries,  expires on Dec. 31 and the Growing Alabama Act, which provides tax credits for donations to economic development organizations, expires Sept. 31.

Will Dismukes
ballotpedia.org

 

PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Officials say an Alabama lawmaker who was criticized for participating in a celebration marking the birthday of a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader has resigned from his position as pastor of a Baptist church.

News outlets report that Rep. Will Dismukes resigned as pastor of Prattville's Pleasant Hill Baptist Church on Wednesday after drawing backlash over a Facebook post he shared showing him at a gathering to remember Nathan Bedford Forrest.

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala, (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have agreed to give Gov. Kay Ivey a large amount of control over the state’s $1.8 billion in coronavirus relief funds. 

Lawmakers approved an executive amendment on a spending bill that deposits the money into several broad categories such as $300 million to reimburse state agencies for coronavirus expenses and $250 million to local governments.  

The Associated Press

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala, (AP) — Alabama lawmakers are meeting for the final day of the legislative session amid a continuing dispute with Gov. Kay Ivey over how to use the state’s $1.8 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds. 

Lawmakers will decide whether to accept, or reject, Ivey’s executive amendment on a spending bill to broadly detail how all the COVID-19 funds should be used. The Republican governor and Republican-controlled Legislature have been in a tug-of-war over the funds.

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is asking lawmakers to change a spending bill to detail how the state will spend more than  $1.8 billion in federal coronavirus relief fund. 

The Republican governor and Republican-controlled Legislature have been in a tug-of-war over control of the funds. Ivey wrote to legislators and told them she is returning the spending bill with an executive amendment to detail where the COVID-19 funds should be used.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (The Birmingham News) — The Alabama state legislature has approved nearly half a million dollars to investigate deaths from childbirth and pregnancy complications in the state. 

AL.com reports the money was approved in the state’s budget that awaits Gov. Kay Ivey's signature. It will fund a committee that is reviewing autopsies and medical records of women who died from childbirth complications.

 

Alabama lawmakers began the 2020 legislative session with several big-ticket items before them, including a prison overhaul, a possible state lottery and medical marijuana legislation.

But those issues fell by the wayside as the coronavirus outbreak interrupted the legislative session. 

Lawmakers passed state budgets, a bond issue for school construction and a prohibition on cities enacting occupational taxes without legislative approval.

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers on Thursday approved a $1.25 billion bond issue for school construction in the largest capital improvement project in more than a decade. 

The House of Representatives voted 68-5 for the bond issue to fund capital improvement projects at public schools, universities and two-year colleges. 

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is blasting legislators for seizing control of the state’s coronavirus relief money.  

The governor challenged them to spend it wisely and said she won’t call a needed special session until they disclose their plans.

Alabama House
Associated Press

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have resumed a shortened legislative session focused on state budgets. 

Legislators had taken a nearly two month break during the COVID-19 outbreak but returned to Montgomery to pass state budgets and a few other bills.

Associated Press

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Republican leader of the Alabama Senate on Tuesday said he would like to use a large portion of the state’s coronavirus relief funds to establish broadband through the state. 

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said Tuesday that he hoped to put $800 million from an estimated $1.7 billion in federal relief dollars for broadband access.

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A state senator is expressing concern about plans to resume the legislative session in early May, saying it would put people at risk from coronavirus. 

Sen. Vivian Davis Figures of Mobile on Friday released a letter she wrote to Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh.  Figures said lawmakers should adjourn the session and return later in the year to approve state budgets for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

The Associated Press

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Legislature will not resume the legislative session until early May because of the coronavirus outbreak.  

Legislative leaders announced they will push back the date for restarting legislative business from April 28 to May 4.  

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said lawmakers will prioritize passage of the two state budgets, as well as local bills, when they return.  

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have adjourned the 2020 legislative session until late April as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state neared 1,000. 

Lawmakers met briefly in Montgomery in order to approve the break until April 28. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said lawmakers will likely pass “bare bones” budgets when they return because of the economic uncertainty.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A medical marijuana bill cleared its first floor vote in the Alabama Legislature as advocates hope to make headway after years of setbacks.

Senators voted 22-11 for the bill that now heads to the House of Representatives.

The measure would allow people with a doctor's recommendation to use medical marijuana for 15 conditions — including cancer, anxiety and chronic pain. It also would let them purchase cannabis products at one of 34 licensed dispensaries.

The sponsor of the legislation said he's optimistic about its chances. 

Pixabay

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Senate has passed a bill that would ban gender therapies such as prescription hormones or gender confirmation surgery for minors.

The legislation would make it a felony for medical providers to prescribe puberty-blockers or hormones to anyone under age 19, or perform gender confirmation surgery on them. It passed 22-3 and now heads to the House of Representatives.

Right now in Alabama, people accused with some of the most serious crimes in the state are allowed out on bail. One state senator is working to keep violent offenders who are charged with these crimes locked up longer. But, in this journalism collaboration with the commercial news team at WVUA23-TV, some say there are unintended consequences in what seems like a law and order issue.

Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a bill named for a slain college student that would allow judges to deny bond to people accused of committing violent crimes. 

Representatives unanimously approved the proposed constitutional amendment, and accompanying enabling legislation.  The bills now move to the Alabama Senate. 

Laurie Avocado / Wikimedia Commons

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Medical marijuana legislation that would allow people to be prescribed marijuana for 15 medical conditions, is headed to its first vote in the Alabama Legislature.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on the bill Wednesday and could vote the same day.  

The bill by Republican  Sen. Tim Melson would allow people to be prescribed medical marijuana  for certain conditions, including cancer, anxiety and chronic pain, and to purchase cannabis products at a dispensary licensed by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission.

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A proposal in the Alabama Legislature would prohibit cities from enacting new occupational taxes without approval of lawmakers.

The House of Representatives voted 74-27 Tuesday to approve the bill that now moves to the Alabama Senate. The measure comes as the city of Montgomery explores the possibility of creating a 1% occupational tax.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says she'll wait to decide on legalized gambling as a revenue source until she has the findings of a work group.

She wants lawmakers to hold off as well, even though a tribe is pushing for a compact. Ivey said state officials need more information, and “nobody has the facts.”

The governor announced the work group's creation during her State of the State address, and said she's giving it until year's end to report back.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians have pushed for a compact in television ads and by sending direct mail to voters. 

A state prison crisis and gambling legislation are expected to be top topics when lawmakers return to Montgomery next week.

The Alabama Legislature begins the 2020 legislative session on Tuesday.  

Lawmakers are expected to debate additional funding for state prisons and a package of bills aimed at reducing recidivism and prison crowding.  Lottery legislation is also being introduced this year.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey will give her annual State of the State address Tuesday night to detail her agenda for the year. 

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama commission considering laws about medical marijuana met at the State House to discuss the draft of a medical marijuana bill that'll be introduced to the Legislature next year.

News outlets report the Medical Marijuana Study Commission met Thursday, the last time they'll meet before the Dec. 1 filing deadline.

Sen. Tim Melson, and commission chair, asked commission members to study the proposal and make any recommended changes.

The latest fallout related to Alabama’s new abortion law could occur this week in Tuscaloosa.

The University of Alabama's board of trustees will consider whether to return a record $21.5M gift. The donor encouraged students to boycott the university following passage of Alabama’s controversial abortion law that makes performing an abortion a felony in virtually all cases.

The legal battle over the Alabama’s abortion ban officially got underway last week. Both the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama and Planned Parenthood Southeast filed suit on behalf of the state’s three abortion clinics. They say the new law is blatantly unconstitutional. But lawmakers say that was the plan all along.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon has more on what’s next for Alabama’s controversial abortion ban.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — State Rep. Jimmy Martin, a longtime member of the Alabama Legislature, has died. He was 80.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey's office said the Clanton lawmaker died Friday morning after being diagnosed with cancer.

House members held a moment of silence Friday morning to remember Martin.

House Republicans issued a statement recalling Martin as a reassuring friend who offered encouragement to legislators of both parties. They said Martin was devoted to his district and a valuable source of institutional knowledge.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers could make changes to medical marijuana legislation after the bill hit opposition in the House.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said last week he expects lawmakers to create a study commission instead of legalizing the use of medical marijuana this session.

The Alabama Senate earlier this month voted 17-6 for a bill that would allow patients with certain medical conditions to purchase medical marijuana with a doctor's approval.

The House Health Committee has scheduled a Tuesday morning public hearing on the bill.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A lottery bill is defunct for the legislative session, a key lawmaker said Wednesday.

"It's dead for this session. It won't be coming back this session," said Republican Rep. Steve Clouse, who was shepherding the bill in the House of Representatives.

The bill hit a politically fatal mix of conservative opposition to gambling and longstanding feuds over electronic gambling and how to use lottery revenue. Clouse said they do not have the 63 bipartisan votes needed to pass the measure in the 105-member House of Representatives.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to call a special session as the state attempts to respond to scathing Department of Justice findings regarding state prisons.

Leaders of both parties held a Thursday press conference to discuss legislators' attempts to respond to the Justice Department.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House of Representatives has approved legislation that seeks to end the state's status as one of two states without an equal pay for equal work law.

Representatives voted 98-0 Wednesday for the bill by Rep. Adline Clarke of Mobile. It now moves to the Alabama Senate.

The bill would prohibit businesses from paying workers less than employees of another race or gender without reasons to account for the difference. Those reasons could include seniority, a merit system or productivity measures.

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