Alabama Senate

Senate Chamber Update
4:16 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Alabama Senate Chamber Getting New Look

The new Alabama Senate elected in November will get to serve in a redesigned Senate chamber in Montgomery.
Credit Alabama State Legislature

The new Alabama Senate elected in November will get to serve in a redesigned Senate chamber in Montgomery.

Senate Secretary Pat Harris says his staff is gutting the Senate chamber, including the removal of gray laminate desks and podiums that have been there since 1985. He's asked the state's two-year college system to build hickory desks and podiums that will be stained dark. The walls are also being redone and the audio system reconfigured to provide more evenly distributed sound.

Harris says the project should be finished by Nov. 15 and cost less than $200,000.

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Lethal Injection Drugs
3:34 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Committee Approves Secrecy For Execution Drugs

Alabama lawmakers are getting close to approving a bill that would keep secret the identities of manufacturers and suppliers of lethal injection drugs used in state executions.
Credit Trance Mist / Flickr

Alabama lawmakers are getting close to approving a bill that would keep secret the identities of manufacturers and suppliers of lethal injection drugs used in state executions.

The Senate Health Committee approved the legislation Wednesday in a 7-0 vote. It now moves to the Alabama Senate floor.

Rep. Lynn Greer, a Rogersville Republican, says states are struggling to get execution drugs because pharmacies and companies fear lawsuits and backlash from death penalty opponents.

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Common Core
4:15 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Common Core Sides Spar Over 'Opt Out' Bill

Opposing sides in the Common Core standards debate sparred over an "opt-out" bill in the Senate.
Credit iew.com

A state senator says letting local school systems opt out of Common Core would let policy makers compare outcomes between the new and old curriculum standards.

The Senate Education Committee is holding a public hearing Tuesday on the Common Core opt out bill. Schools could revert to the previous standards for math and English.

The latest bill brought out familiar arguments in the long-running Common Core debate.

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Medical Marijuana
4:38 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Ala. Senate Committee Approves Cannabis Oil Bill

Alabama lawmakers took a step toward effectively legalizing a marijuana extract that doesn't get people high, but can be used to treat certain medical conditions
Credit Laurie Avocado / Wikimedia Commons

Alabama lawmakers took a step toward effectively legalizing a marijuana extract that doesn't get people high, but can be used to treat certain medical conditions.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a bill aimed at allowing people with certain illnesses to possess the oil called cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil.

Sen. Paul Sanford says the oil does not make people feel high, because it is low in marijuana's psychoactive compound.

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Alabama Legislature
5:10 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

State Senate Works Despite Icy Weather

The Alabama Senate was able to get some work done today despite the icy conditions.
Credit fox10tv.com

The Alabama House was unable to meet Tuesday because many members couldn't make the icy trip to Montgomery. But the Senate got enough members to Montgomery to meet.

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Crowd Funding
4:16 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Ala. Senate Seeks Crowd Funding For Small Business

The Alabama Senate is trying to give people a new way to raise money to start small businesses.

The Alabama Senate is trying to give people a new way to raise money to start small businesses.

The Senate voted 31-0 Thursday for a "crowd funding" bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur.

The legislation is backed by the Alabama Securities Commission. It would allow someone trying to start a small business in Alabama to use social media and advertising to find small investors who live in the state. It is limited to raising $1 million, and it is restricted to Alabama businesses and investors because of federal regulations.

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Hurricanes-Voting
4:12 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Emergency Voting During Storms

The Alabama Legislature may make it easier for voters to cast absentee ballots when there is a hurricane or other weather emergency.

The Alabama Legislature may make it easier for voters to cast absentee ballots when there is a hurricane or other weather emergency.

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Senate-McGill
4:14 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Alabama Sen. Shadrack McGill Won't Run Again

Republican state Sen. Shadrack McGill of Woodville has decided one term in the Senate is enough.
Credit thedailysentinel.com

Republican state Sen. Shadrack McGill of Woodville has decided one term in the Senate is enough.

McGill pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2010 election when he beat Democratic Senate leader Lowell Barron of Fyffe.

McGill told the Times-Journal in Fort Payne that serving in Montgomery puts a strain on a family, and that contributed to his decision not to run in 2014.

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Redistricting Lawsuits
5:13 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Lawmaker Denies Republican Slant In Redistricting

Republican Sen. Gerald Dial, during testimony in federal court, denied that the senate redistricting process was intended to create more Republican districts.
Credit blog.al.com

A state senator who was in charge of a committee that drew Alabama's senate districts has denied that the process was intended to create more Republican districts.

Republican Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville testified in federal court Thursday that his only goals going into the redistricting process were to prevent incumbents from facing each other, to avoid reducing the percentage of minorities in majority black districts, and to protect communities of interest.

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Beach Convention Hotel
8:15 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Ala. Senate Panel Delays Voting On Gulf Hotel Bill

An Ala. Senate panel has delayed a vote on efforts to help build a hotel and conference center on the beach at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.
Credit picture by Brett Tannehill

  An Alabama Senate committee has delayed consideration of a bill to support efforts by Gov. Robert Bentley's administration to build a hotel and conference center on the beach at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.

The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee meeting was postponed Wednesday because there were not enough members present to have a quorum and conduct business. Committee Chairman Republican Sen. Paul Scofield of Guntersville says he will call another meeting either later this week or next week to consider the bill.

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School Flexibility
4:22 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Alabama School Flexibility Bill Divided By Tenure

The Alabama House and Senate remain divided on school flexibility bill.
Credit Jay Williams / Flickr

The Alabama House and Senate are divided over whether a school flexibility bill should include flexibility with teacher tenure laws.


The House passed a bill Feb. 14 to allow city and county school systems to have flexibility in complying with state education laws, including tenure. The Senate rewrote the bill Thursday to exclude tenure. The House refused to go along with the Senate's changes and sent the bill to a six-member conference committee to try working out the differences.

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Scottsboro Boys
4:45 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Alabama Senate Votes For Scottsboro Boys Pardon

The Alabama Senate votes to allow posthumous pardons for the Scottsboro Boys.
Credit en.wikipedia.org

The Alabama Senate has approved legislation to allow posthumous pardons for the Scottsboro Boys.


The Senate voted 29-0 Thursday for the legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur. The bill now goes to the House for what Orr predicts will be a similar vote.

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Government Consolidation
5:56 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Alabama Senate Votes For State IT Consolidation

Republican Sen. Phil Williams sponsored the bill to consolidate the information technology operations of all state agencies.
Credit blog.al.com

The Alabama Senate has voted to consolidate the information technology operations of all state agencies under a board that could outsource services.

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2013 Legislative Session
6:52 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Alabama Senate Poised for Government Consolidation

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh
facebook.com/senatordelmarsh

Government consolidation and efficiency in on the agenda for the Alabama Senate.


Senate leaders said the Senate's work agenda Thursday will include a bill to consolidate and reorganize the more than 20 law enforcement programs in state government. The Senate also plans to take up bills cutting the number of legislative service agencies and reorganizing the state's information technology services, including creating a Cabinet-level secretary for information technology.

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Politics & Government
7:17 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Ala. Lieutenant Governor to Meet Senate Leaders

Alabama Lt. Governor Kay Ivey
ltgov.state.al.us

Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey is to meet with Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston and with Senate Minority Leader Vivian Figures of Mobile in preparation for the 2013 session of the Legislature.


The meeting with Ivey will be at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the lieutenant governor's office at the Capitol. The session begins Tuesday.


Ivey said each of the Senate leaders will answer questions from the news media and deliver brief remarks,

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