True or False: ALDOT and local governments can use Rebuild Alabama tax to hire employees, increase salaries?
Rebuild Alabama funds received by the state, county and city governments are lawfully earmarked for the use of maintenance, preservation and construction of roads and bridges only. Learn the facts. #fixALroads
7 Things: Trump demands Democrats stop investigations, Pelosi can’t hold off the far-left, more jobs for Alabama and more …
7. Creepy porn inmate
Michael Avenatti, who became famous for supporting porn star Stormy Daniels, is now looking at the potential of going to jail for 404 years for ripping her off.
The federal prosecutors in New York allege that Avenatti stole around $300,000 from Daniels’ book deal and used that money for personal and business expenses. He already faces charges for trying to defraud Nike and not paying his taxes.
Democrats at the State House decided to take turns at the podium declaring their disdain for free speech, calling their colleagues white supremacists and declaring that unpopular speech should not be free.
Regardless of this embarrassing and anti-American display, HB 498 passed the House 62-27, and now could be taken up by the Senate. The Senate should take up the bill solely because of the comments of elected officials in the Alabama State House prove it is necessary.
5. The State Board of Education is about to get fired
The House Education Policy Committee gave a favorable report to the constitutional amendment introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston).
The amendment would replace the State Board of Education with the Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education, replace the state superintendent with a secretary of elementary and secondary education and it would mandate that Common Core be replaced.
4. Alabama is still open for business
Governor Kay Ivey has announced that the largest supplier for the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA plant is coming to Limestone County; the plant will bring 650 new jobs.
While Birmingham’s mayor continues to claim, without evidence, Alabama’s abortion ban is hurting the state, Ivey commented, “Alabama business is on a roll and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.”
3. OK, now the lottery is dead
The lottery bill failed on a procedural vote on Tuesday in the House, where three Democrats voted for the bill. Issues of codifying illegal behavior, education funding and earmarks all played a role, but it is totally dead now.
At an Alabama House Democrat Caucus press conference, House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) said that the three Democrats who voted “yay” will be prepared to vote “nay” if the bill comes back this session because the Democrats don’t want this lottery bill for Alabama since it doesn’t deliver on their issues including college scholarships.
2. Pelosi caves to her extremist caucus
On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) claimed that President Donald Trump may have committed an impeachable offense by ignoring subpoenas from Congress, calling reference to Article 3 of Nixon’s impeachment.
Pelosi also accused the president and Republicans of not being committed to protecting the Constitution.
1. Trump rages against the impeachment machine
For now, it appears legislating is all but done as both sides prepare to fight about investigations, investigations into investigations and claims of cover-ups, but it seems unlikely that anything gets accomplished moving forward.
In a meeting that was to be about infrastructure, Trump demanded that Democrats put an end to their “phony investigations.” Only after that will he negotiate with them on issues and when they said “no,” he took to a podium in the Rose Garden and declared, “I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it … but you know what, you can’t do it under these circumstances. So get these phony investigations over with.”
Mooney requests to ‘formally censure and condemn’ John Rogers over ‘vile remarks’
MONTGOMERY — A shouting match broke out on the floor of the Alabama House of Representatives on Wednesday night after State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) surprised the chamber by introducing a request to “formally censure and condemn” State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) for his comments that went viral in recent weeks regarding abortion.
Mooney’s action came immediately after Rogers killed two non-controversial bills on a consent calendar and threatened to continue that trend until midnight. Rogers did this seemingly as a measure of spite, attempting to get revenge because a bill of his has not been moved by the House.
Mooney rose to the podium, saying he wanted to object to Rogers’ bill-killing rampage.
However, Mooney then really kicked things up a notch by introducing his formal complaint against Rogers.
Before Mooney could read much of the complaint, shouting ensued by members of the House Democratic Caucus.
Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) called the spectacle inappropriate, and House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) quickly moved to adjourn as the chaos continued.
The House did immediately adjourn for the night, prematurely ending their legislative day without accomplishing any of its consent calendar, which had some 40 bills on the agenda.
The future fate of Mooney’s request was not immediately clear.
Mooney calling on Rogers to apologize publicly for all of it. Rogers has previously apologized for saying “retarded” (even though he’s done it again since on the floor) but doubled down on everything else.
The complaint from Mooney states that Rogers’ “vile remarks” served to “denigrate, embarrass and demean the institution that is the Alabama House of Representatives.” Mooney said the comments brought “national shame and ridicule upon the House.”
This came the same day that Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) ducked a question again from a Republican tracker regarding Rogers.
Mooney is a Republican candidate for Jones’ seat in the 2020 race, along with Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) and former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville thus far.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn
“From our side, it is way too early to tell,” Battle said.
Battle instead warned of the threat the pending trade dispute between China and the United States could have on the local economy.
Both China and the United States have levied tariffs on one another’s imports, which Battle said would be a topic on his upcoming visit to Japan set to take place next week.
“You know, we’ve got a couple of issues that are up there right now,” Battle continued. “The tariffs are an issue. Looking at the national security side of foreign automobiles coming in and facing a tariff situation is going to be something we’re going to have to have a conversation about while we’re over in Japan because, of course, Toyota and Mazda are going to be producing cars soon. And the tariffs hit them, and the national security side hits them both. I think this is a good time to probably go over and see our industries, and try to make sure we can help them in the ways they need to be helped.”
On Wednesday, nearly a week after Ivey had signed the bill, both Battle and Ivey participated in a groundbreaking ceremony to welcome Y-tec Keylex Toyotetsu Alabama (YKTA) to Alabama, which is a $220 million investment that will bring 650 jobs to Huntsville.
Alabama House passes legislation to combat human trafficking
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously passed two bills aimed at combatting human trafficking: HB 262 and HB 264.
The bills are co-sponsored by State Rep. Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham) and State Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur). Coleman the assistant minority leader, on the House floor stressed that combatting human trafficking is a nonpartisan issue. She praised Collins and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) for their efforts on the issue.
“Human trafficking is one of the most pressing issues facing our nation. There are more slaves today, an estimated 27 million, than at any point in our nation’s history,” Coleman explained in a statement. “This startling fact shows why the Alabama Legislature must act to combat human trafficking and educate the public about the harsh realities of this growing business.”
Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world, estimated at $150 billion annually. This “modern-day slavery,” as END IT Alabama monikers human trafficking, is happening here in the Yellowhammer State. This is evidenced by the recent trafficking busts at multiple massage parlors in Madison and Morgan Counties by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.
“I used to purchase gift certificates for my own mother to get foot massages at the very same spas that were shut down,” Collins advised. “HB264 would have required those same owners to display a human trafficking poster with hotline information, which could have led to a quicker rescue. I think the impact of human trafficking is larger than we realize.”
HB 262 clarifies existing law to prohibit publishing photos of those charged with the act of prostitution while allowing for publishing photos of those charged with soliciting or procuring prostitution. This bill is aimed at deterring “John’s” from purchasing sex and supporting human trafficking while protecting potential victims of human trafficking from public identification.
HB 264 clarifies existing state regulations related to the posting of the Human Trafficking Hotline and awareness posters in public places and entertainment establishments by assigning a regulator and increasing fees for non-compliance.
The two bills now head to the Senate, where they face a time crunch to pass before the regular session ends next week.
HB 261, which would require all new commercial driver licensees to undergo industry-specific human trafficking training, was also slated to be passed by the House Wednesday night before the chamber abruptly adjourned over State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) intentionally killing non-controversial legislation on a consent calendar. HB 261 has the backing of the Alabama Trucking Association and Truckers Against Trafficking.
Coleman and Collins will also introduce a pair of resolutions aimed at combatting human trafficking. The first resolution encourages ALEA to continue developing curriculum to ensure that every officer in the state is trained regarding human trafficking.
The second resolution creates the Alabama Healthcare Human Trafficking Training Program Commission, which is tasked with developing a training module for all healthcare related employees to readily identify and provide trauma-centered care for human trafficking victims.
Key rural broadband initiative receives final passage from Alabama legislature
With the support of a broad coalition of legislators and stakeholders behind it, a key rural broadband initiative received final passage in the Alabama legislature on Wednesday.
The bill, carried by State Rep. Randall Shedd (R-Cullman) and State Sen. Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) in their respective chambers, will allow electricity providers to run broadband using their existing easements.
This is expected to encourage electric providers to invest in broadband deployment and accelerate the cost-effective expansion of broadband access in rural Alabama, in many cases using existing infrastructure.
This was one of two bills legislative leadership prioritized to grow the state’s broadband infrastructure. The other, a bill sponsored by State Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville), would increase the amount of resources devoted to building out broadband in unserved, rural areas. Scofield’s bill awaits final approval from the House of Representatives.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) previously noted the importance of both pieces of legislation.
“These are the two bills that will help us… provide for our citizens, who I believe consider the broadband infrastructure a ‘number one issue’ for the state of Alabama,” he said. “It will have great impact on all of our education… as well as economic development.”
The intent of the ongoing effort is to spur economic development and enhance quality of life for rural areas through greater access to high-speed broadband.
HB 400 now goes to the governor for her signature.
Tim Howe is an owner and editor of Yellowhammer News