School Bill Would Mandate Later Start Date

school boy and bus

Rep. Jim Barton (R – Mobile) has introduced a bill that would prevent schools from starting until August 22nd and mandate that they finish by Memorial Day – for the benefit of south Alabama’s tourism industry. Barton asserts in the release [.pdf] that earlier start dates provide no benefit to our students, but [...]

As expected, AEA files federal court challenge

From Courthouse News Service, the Alabama Education Association and others have filed suit challenging the constitutionality of legislation banning payroll deductions (pdf) of dues used for political purposes.  Stated in their filing that the act inhibits their First Amendment right of free speech and association and Fourteenth amendment right of equal protection [...]

Population change by county

Courtesy of the US Census and our tax dollars:

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More details from the Census press release

Some will find this Census table breaking down the counties and Congressional districts by race and Hispanic, Latino and neither by race useful (or an exercise in how to use the [...]

Headline of the day

From the Selma Times-Journal, A classless act committed at Auburn and its sequel.  The inevitable reparations bill introduced in next month’s Legislative session could be an interesting read.

Clawbacks

Starting with clawbacks or getting public money back when expected jobs don’t materialize.   Good jobs first, the web site for a watch dog group “promoting corporate and government accountability in economic development and smart growth” has some interesting information in its Alabama pages.   Again, as always with wayward children and government,  [...]

How not to do things

The Alabama Ethics Commission is  “closing all files related to the complaint” filed against state Sen. Tripp Trip Pittman by Fairhope resident Paul Ripp.  The proximate cause is a complaint filed by Ripp against the commission itself.  As you read the correspondence between the Commission and Mr Ripp at Baldwin Watchdog, it [...]

Like a box of chocolates

Best summation of the recent testimony of confessed influence peddler, Jarrod Massey, I can think of.  During a recent hearing, Massey admitted to paying then state Rep. Terry Spicer, from about 2002/2003 to 2009 for assistance in obtaining business.  Some of the business included contracts from the junior college where Spicer was assistant [...]

Campaign finance – a maze of twisty passages

Thanks to the hard work of Eric Velasco of the Birmingham News, we are to solve at least one mystery of the recent campaign season and get a glimpse of how much gambling interests contributed.

In Alabama gambling money network dissolves, Velasco reports the Poarch donated $2.7M thru various PACS, Milton McGregor, $1.9M, [...]

And we wonder why the voters are so mistrustful

A few things in the headlines today that can only reinforce it:

New Brockton town officials elect to use payroll withholding tax to pay bills, the IRS is not too understanding of employers who such things.

The Limestone County Commission appears willing to receive its share of the $1.75 the sheriff receives [...]

A few pointers

For those on either side of the gambling war in Alabama, the National Indian Gaming Commission is taking public comments on a revamp of its regulations. Of particular interest to Alabamians, would be Technical Standards for Class II gaming equipment. This is your chance to to influence the federal regulations on how [...]

Things make you nod, shake or scratch your head

Update: will add a link to the complaint filed in Pittman matter on the bottom.

In Andalusia, a restaurant follows the rural  tradition of setting out collection jars to cover the medical expenses of an employee injured in a car accident.

On Weiss Lake, a local citizens group is conducting tests to [...]

Trying to keep things in proportion

Two items have appeared in the news lately that make the other dramas of Alabama politics lean more to the seriocomic.

First are the deaths of 3-year-old Chase and 4-year-old Natalie DeBlase, second the death of six year old Kenyatta Kendrick in small town Eclectic Alabama.   Court documents allege a history [...]

Guilty Plea in Vote-Buying Scheme

Jarrod Massey, the lobbyist for Ronnie Gilley’s Country Crossing entertainment complex, has indicated he will plead guilty to six counts in the bribery case that resulted in federal indictments against 11 individuals including four state Senators. In return for Massey’s plea on these charges, prosecutors are recommending that 11 other counts [...]

A little light winter reading

These are links to pdf documents but worthwhile reading for those concerned about state services, taxes and how things work (or at least supposed to work).

The current fiscal year state general fund and education budgets as proposed and passed.

Joyce Bigee of the Legislative Fiscal Office, gave a speech at [...]

Who stretched the truth the most in 2010?

Bama Fact Check wants to know so they can award the Rubber Band Award.  This is a web page assembled by the state’s newspapers as a way of helping us citizens grade the what we here.  Based on what I see here, there many candidates for the ward and folk willing to [...]

Legislative Dispatch

A Look from the Rearview Mirror

This Thursday will mark the last day of the legislative Session.  For some, it was a Session that seemed would never end.  For others, it was one that ended much too quickly.  It may be early, yet, to write an obit on this Session, but as we approach the finish line, some perspective may be in order.

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Putting Students First

As you know, a very important piece of legislation will be presented for our consideration in the House tomorrow in Montgomery – Senate Bill 310 – the “Students First” tenure and fair dismissal reform bill. Like me, many House members have been inundated with phone calls and emails from opponents of this bill, and some have been [...]

Legislative Transparency

There are a lot of issues to debate before we begin the final days of this session. In fact, I am quite certain there will be some comments on this post debating many of them. Before we get into the last seven day of the session I wanted to bring up a topic that [...]


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