Alabama Senate

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Republican leader of the Alabama Senate said Wednesday that the state’s coronavirus relief funds will not be used to build a new Statehouse, putting to rest the idea that drew an immediate backlash. 

Alabama State Legislature

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers will not vote on controversial proposals that would limit the state health officer’s powers to order closures and give immunity to companies for coronavirus-related lawsuits. 

The bills are expected to return in the next legislative session after this one was cut short because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Associated Press

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have advanced pared down state budgets because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The House Ways and Means Education Committee advanced a $7.2 billion education budget that skips a 3% pay raise lawmakers had hoped to give teachers and public school employees.

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. 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers approved additional money for coronavirus testing and response to increase the number of people being screened for the rapidly spreading illness.

The Alabama Senate approved a $5 million supplemental appropriation for the Alabama Department of Public Health to fund coronavirus preparations Thursday.

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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.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama voters will decide next week whether to do away with the elected state school board and replace it with an appointed commission.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has championed the change, called Amendment 1 on Tuesday's ballot.

Supports say it will put education experts in charge of education policy. Opponents say it would strip citizens' of the ability to directly choose whose in charge.

Fayette Animal Shelter
WIAT-TV

(MONTGOMERY, AL)-- A new Senate bill would put the regulations of animal enterprises and working animals in the hands of the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Industries.

The Working Animal Protection and Animal Enterprise Freedom Act, introduced on Tuesday, would also alter cruelty reporting, impoundment procedures, and penalties for frivolous complaints. 

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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.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Republican state Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster announced Monday that he's running for Alabama Supreme Court.

Ward said he will run for associate justice in 2020. This is his first run for statewide office. The seat is currently held by Justice Greg Shaw.

A prominent member of the Alabama Senate, Ward is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is best known for spearheading prison and criminal justice reform efforts and advocating for the autism community.

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) — Alabama could soon end its status as one of two states without an equal pay for equal work law.

The Alabama Senate voted 29-0 Wednesday to approve the bill by Rep. Adline Clarke of Mobile.

The bill now returns to the Alabama House of Representatives where lawmakers will decide whether to accept a Senate change to the bill.

Clarke says she hopes to get final passage in the closing days of the session.

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.

abortion protest
Mickey Welsh / Montgomery Advertiser via AP

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's Senate passed a near-total ban on abortion Tuesday, sending what would be the nation's most stringent abortion law to the state's Republican governor.

The GOP-dominated Senate voted 25-6 to make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison for the abortion provider. The only exception would be when the woman's health is at serious risk.

Senators rejected an attempt to add an exception for rape and incest. The amendment was voted down 21-11, with four Republicans joining Democrats.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers are expected to vote Tuesday evening on a proposal to outlaw almost all abortions in the state, a hardline measure that has splintered Republicans over its lack of an exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

The bill before the GOP-dominated Alabama Senate would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony. The only exception would be for when the woman's health is at serious risk.

"Our bill says that baby in the womb is a person," said Republican Rep. Terri Collins, the bill's sponsor.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers postponed a vote on a proposed abortion ban after anger erupted in the state Senate when some Republicans stripped exceptions for rape and incest from the bill.

The Alabama Senate on Thursday delayed debate until next week. Democrats and some Republicans objected to the exceptions being removed without a roll call vote. Upset senators began shouting in the chamber.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh suggested lawmakers go home for the weekend and resume debate Tuesday.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Senate has approved a bill authorizing the use of medical marijuana for some medical conditions.

Senators swiftly approved the bill Thursday morning on a 17-6 vote. It now moves to the House of Representatives.

Republican Sen. Tim Melson of Florence said research shows medical marijuana can offer relief to patients with certain chronic medical conditions without the addiction of opioids.

Pixabay

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An effort to prohibit cities from banning plastic grocery bags and other single-use containers has stalled in the Alabama Senate.

The bill on Tuesday narrowly failed a procedural vote after netting opposition from major cities and coastal areas.

The bill by Republican Sen. Steve Livingston of Scottsboro would prohibit local governments from banning the use of plastic bags, foam cups and other single-use bags and containers. It would also prohibit local governments from charging a fee for use of the single-use containers.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have voted to end a practice that allowed some sheriffs to pocket leftover jail food funds.

The Alabama Senate gave final approval Thursday to a bill that changes the flow of jail food funds. The bill now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.

An old state law allowed sheriffs to retain any leftover jail food funds. The practice led to several scandals. A federal judge in 2009 briefly jailed a sheriff nicknamed "Sheriff Corndog" for feeding inmates corndogs and little else.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Senate on Thursday approved a 4 percent pay increase for teachers and other public school employees as part of a record $7 billion education spending plan.

Senators on Thursday approved the pay raise and education trust fund budget, sending both bills to the House of Representatives. The education budget, which is fueled by sales and income taxes, rebounded past pre-recession levels of 2008 to hit a record high.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Lawmakers are headed to a vote on lottery legislation next week, as supporters aim to change Alabama's status as one of the few states without the games.

The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on one of two rival lottery proposals introduced this session. Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh said his hope is to get a bill before the full Senate on Thursday. If a bill is approved by both chambers, the proposal would go before Alabama voters.

St. Clair Prison
Equal Justice Initiative

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama representatives on Tuesday approved a budget that provides money for 500 additional corrections officers as the state seeks to stave off a lawsuit from the Department of Justice over prison violence.

The House of Representatives voted 103-0 for a general fund budget that includes funding for more officers as well as money to boost officer pay. The spending plan now moves to the Alabama Senate.

Sanders, Sanders-Fortier
Kim Chandler / AP

For nearly 40 years, state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma was a fixture of the Alabama Statehouse.

Sanders, 76, did not seek re-election last year after nine terms in office. When lawmakers convene next month, Senate District 23 will be represented by another member of the Sanders family. His daughter, Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier, won election to her father's longtime Senate seat last November.

The long-serving Democrat said he has no regrets about leaving state politics, because he says he is leaving the district in good hands.

Race for Lieutenant Governor in Alabama

Oct 31, 2018

The race for Alabama’s governor has commanded much of the media attention heading into next week’s midterm elections. But there’s also a heated race for the currently-vacant position of lieutenant governor.

The two candidates seeking to fill that office say they want to use the position — which has limited official powers — to drive the political conversation in Alabama.

Republican state Rep. Will Ainsworth and Democratic minister Will Boyd are both vying for the position.

One candidate in Alabama’s Lieutenant Governor’s race just got a big name endorsement. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is endorsing Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh in the Republican runoff.

Cavanaugh's campaign announced Huckabee's endorsement Monday. Cavanaugh was the state chairwoman of Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign in Alabama.

Lawmakers Stretch Session Into Thursday

Mar 29, 2018

Alabama lawmakers are stretching out this year's legislative session as tensions and disagreements on Wednesday derailed what they hoped would be their final meeting day.

Legislators abandoned a plan to conclude the session Wednesday as a number of measures had not reached final passage by late evening. They are returning to the State House Thursday morning.

"I think everybody — with clearer heads, at nine in the morning, making reasonable decisions— we'll still end up with a good session," said Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh.

Alabama lawmakers are expected to conclude the legislative session this week.

Legislators plan to adjourn Wednesday after a flurry of last-minute work. Lawmakers will put the final touches on the education budget. They could also vote on an ethics law exemption, juvenile justice reform and other bills.

State Lawmakers Advocate Permanent DST

Mar 17, 2018

Alabama lawmakers are advocating to keep daylight saving time year-round and stop changing clocks.

The Alabama Senate approved a resolution Thursday by Republican Sen. Rusty Glover to "forever put an end to the deadly, energy-wasting, productivity-killing, twice-yearly changing of time." It was co-sponsored by 24 of 35 members and now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives for a final vote.

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