Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard

Elliott Spillers
Pete Pajor / Crimson White

Students at the University of Alabama repeated a list of demands for more diversity on the Tuscaloosa campus.

A student march started at Malone-Hood Plaza and ended at Gorgas Library, where the students' eleven goals were restated. The group “We Are Done UA” wants a safe space for students of color, a diversity class for freshmen, and a way to report hate crimes and sexual abuse on campus, among other things.

St. Clair Prison
Equal Justice Initiative

The U.S. prison system is set to release thousands of inmates nationwide including hundreds in Alabama later this month thanks to new sentencing guidelines.

The Washington Post reports that this one-time release will occur between October 30 and November 2. The change is due to new guidelines shortening drug trafficking sentences that were approved last year.

Alabamians will soon find out which of the state’s drivers' license offices, National Guard armories and state parks will shut down due to budget cuts.

The governor's office says state agencies will announce their plans for dealing with funding reductions later today.

Governor Robert Bentley says state agencies have to work with the amount of money appropriated to them by lawmakers for the new fiscal year beginning tomorrow.

Over 1200 high school students will be watching the Alabama Supreme Court firsthand today.

The state’s highest court will hear cases in Huntsville as part of an effort to take the justices on the road.

Mary Ena Heath is a Huntsville attorney and professor who helped coordinate the visit. She says many people are uninformed about how the Supreme Court does its job, so this is a good opportunity to see the court at work.

Indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard has given a litany of complaints about his case in a recently unsealed document.

Hubbard says the state’s ethics law is unconstitutionally vague, did not apply to him as Republican party chairman and that he had a free speech right to lobby for his clients.

Late last week, a judge unsealed Hubbard's motion to dismiss his ethics case on the grounds that the ethics law is unconstitutional.

Alabama lawmakers are returning to Montgomery today for their third attempt at balancing the state’s general fund budget.

The special session begins at 5 PM this afternoon.

So far, legislators haven’t been able to agree on how to handle a projected funding shortfall of at least $200 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

Hubbard ethics case update, Special Session preview

Sep 7, 2015

A judge says indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard has been given a sufficient summary of the evidence against him.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker rejected a defense request Friday for a more definite statement from prosecutors of how they allege Hubbard broke the law.

Walker says the plain language of the indictment and prosecutors' court filings have provided adequate notice.

Hubbard faces 23 ethics charges accusing him of using his public offices to benefit his businesses.

Indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard has asked a judge to dismiss ethics charges against him because prosecutors disclosed the identities of grand jury witnesses in a court filing.

Hubbard's defense team filed the latest dismissal motion yesterday. Motions for dismissal were also filed in March and in December of last year for alleged prosecutorial misconduct. Defense lawyers are arguing that prosecutors violated grand jury secrecy laws. The Republican speaker has asked the judge to dismiss all charges against him.

The Alabama Senate narrowly passed a budget that slashes millions of dollars from Medicaid, mental health, law enforcement and nearly all other state agencies.

Senators voted 19-15 for the cut-filled budget yesterday after lawmakers failed to agree on how to fix a $200 million budget shortfall during the special session. The new budget is identical to the one passed at the end of the regular session and then vetoed by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley.

A state Senate committee has approved a bill to take Alabama probate judges out of the wedding license business.

APR’s Stan Ingold reports, this comes after many judges refused to follow the U.S Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.

The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee approved the bill to do away with state-issued marriage licenses. Instead, spouses would file a signed marriage contract at probate offices.

Several Alabama probate judges have shut down marriage license operations rather than give licenses to same-sex couples.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is calling legislators into a special session Monday to hammer out a General Fund Budget, but legislators may have other plans.

An e-mail sent from House Speaker Mike Hubbard to members of the House of Representatives hints at plans to circumvent the session. The e-mail describes a plan put forth by Speaker Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh to convene the legislature as asked on Monday, then immediately adjourn until August 3rd.

Members of the Alabama House of Representatives are returning to Montgomery today for what the speaker's office is calling a "legislative workday," despite the legislative session having ended and lawmakers being unable to take any official action.

Representatives plan to convene this morning at 10 a.m. The budget committee and several budget-related task forces plan to meet in the afternoon.

Time has run out on a bill to legalize gambling and a state lottery in Alabama, and efforts to avoid deep state budget cuts may be too little too late as well.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh’s gambling bill didn't get a floor vote on the Senate yesterday, and legislative rules make it extremely difficult to pass controversial Senate bills in the final four days of the 30-day session.

Senators also adjourned yesterday before voting on a bill to transfer $100 million from the Education Trust Fund to the cash-strapped General Fund.

The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a General Fund budget that slashes $200 million from state agencies, after GOP lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on tax increases.

Representatives voted 66-36 for the spending plan yesterday. Most Democrats voted against the budget after criticizing the cuts.

The budget bill now heads to the Alabama Senate. House Speaker Mike Hubbard says his plan is to work with Senators for the rest of the legislative session to avoid some of the state agency cuts.

A judge recently stopped another effort from Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s defense to have his ethics case dismissed.

Lee County Judge Jacob Walker III granted a state motion to kill subpoenas against Governor Robert Bentley and the custodian of records for the Alabama Ethics Commission.

Hubbard’s lawyers say those subpoenas were necessary to learn about possible communication records from Governor Bentley regarding Attorney General Luther Strange recusing himself from the case and appointing chief prosecutor Van Davis.

Republicans in the Alabama House are backing off proposals to furlough state employees for two days and to suspend longevity bonuses for a year.

Both ideas were considered to help the General Fund budget. But Speaker Mike Hubbard says they aren't needed after a change to a cigarette tax bill.

The proposals drew criticisms from Democrats who say they're pleased to see the ideas dropped.

Henry Mabry has officially stepped down as the head of the Alabama Education Association.

His resignation comes after the AEA board voted back in February to terminate Mabry after an audit raised concerns about his financial management of the organization.

Mabry replaced longtime AEA head Paul Hubbert in 2011. It was Hubbert who built the education organization into a massive political powerhouse. Hubbert expressed some grave concerns about the AEA's fiscal health before he passed away last year.

State prosecutors say indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard is once again manufacturing investigation leaks to distract the public from his criminal wrongdoing.

Yesterday, prosecutors asked a judge to reject Hubbard's motion to dismiss their indictment. Hubbard claimed there were violations of the grand jury secrecy act and other problems with the investigation against him.

State prosecutors said Hubbard's claims are baseless, and a “bogus narrative”.

The Alabama Senate approved a measure to establish charter schools in the state in a 22 to 12 vote last night. That bill will now head to the House of Representatives.

The proposal allows the establishment of up to 10 brand new charter schools in the state each year, and allows school districts to convert an unlimited number of existing schools to charter status.

Republicans say charter schools provide education choices to families and encourage innovation. Opponents say they will drain resources from existing public schools.

Residents in much of northern and central Alabama are digging out this morning after a winter storm dumped a substantial amount of snow on the region.

Roads are impassable in more than ten Alabama counties. The heaviest snow fell north of Birmingham – forecasters say some areas received upwards of ten inches of snow accumulation.

Paige Colburn is the emergency management officer for the Huntsville – Madison County EMA. She says they’re hoping to avoid a repeat of last Friday, when stuck and abandoned cars caused major problems for emergency crews.

Prosecutors continue to trade barbs with House Speaker Mike Hubbard over details connected to his ethics case.

Hubbard's defense is working to force prosecutors to release conversations with legislators and the media. The Attorney General’s office is objecting to that tactic and they made their displeasure known through court filings. Prosecutors say Hubbard is seeking a fishing expedition in search of any information in to a claim of prosecutorial misconduct.

The former CEO of two non-profit Alabama health clinics was arrested yesterday on federal charges.

The Birmingham U.S. Attorney's Office says Jonathan Wade Dunning was arrested on multiple counts of fraud, conspiracy, money-laundering and other charges.

Dunning was at one time CEO of both Birmingham Health Care and Central Alabama Comprehensive Health in Tuskegee. Prosecutors say Dunning left those clinics to run a private business, and are accusing him of funneling substantial amounts of government money from the non-profit health operations into his own company.

Teachers and residents in Huntsville will get a chance to speak out today on plans to end a 51-year-old desegregation lawsuit.

All sides will gather at Columbia High School to discuss a federal consent order that’s supposed to ensure fair treatment for all Huntsville City school students. A federal judge mediated the agreement last June. It’s meant to resolve the remaining issues from both sides of the desegregation case.

Lawyers for House Speaker Mike Hubbard are now asking prosecutors to disclose any conversations they had with legislators. They are also looking for conversations with members of the executive branch about the case.

Defense lawyers filed a discovery motion Wednesday asking a judge to force prosecutors to disclose any calls with legislators or executive branch members. They also asked for any copies of conversations that might have been recorded.

Hubbard's lawyers had already asked prosecutors to disclose any media calls.

Lawyers for House Speaker Mike Hubbard are now asking prosecutors to disclose any conversations they had with legislators or members of the executive branch about the case.

Defense lawyers filed a discovery motion today asking a judge to force prosecutors to disclose any calls with legislators or executive branch members. They also asked for any copies of conversations that might have been recorded.

Hubbard's lawyers had already asked prosecutors to disclose any media calls.

The Alabama House has re-elected indicted Representative Mike Hubbard as speaker.   The newly-elected Alabama Legislature convened Tuesday in Montgomery for its organizational session.

House majority leader Micky Hammon nominated Hubbard for a second four-year term as speaker.   Hubbard was unopposed in his effort to maintain the leadership.  Hammon called Hubbard a man of integrity and honesty.

 Prosecutors say indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard is making unfounded accusations about investigation leaks in an attempt to distract the public from the criminal charges against him.    In a Monday court filing, prosecutors fired back at misconduct claims by defense lawyers. Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart says no confidential information was disclosed when he had an off-the-record conversation about the case with a radio talk show host.

council of state governments

A lead prosecutor says ethics charges were brought against House Speaker Mike Hubbard because a grand jury found evidence of crimes and not for political reasons.

Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis issued a statement Tuesday responding to accusations by Hubbard that the case is political.

Davis says he has no political allegiances to anyone, including Attorney General Luther Strange, who appointed him.

A judge has delayed House Speaker Mike Hubbard's trial on ethics charges until 2015.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker pushed back a Dec. 8 trial date at the request of the defense. Walker will meet with prosecutors and defense lawyers on Jan. 7 to discuss a timeline for the case.

A grand jury last month indicted Hubbard on felony ethics charges. The indictment accuses Hubbard of using his public positions to obtain work for his companies and to solicit investments from lobbyists.

Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard has pleaded not guilty to ethics charges that he used his public offices to enrich himself.

Hubbard entered the plea in a Friday court filing. He also waived a Thursday arraignment that would have been his first courtroom appearance.

The defense is asking the attorney general's office to produce a wide range of material, including witness statements. Defense lawyer Mark White said he will also seek hearings regarding the proceedings of the grand jury that indicted Hubbard.