Senate Judiciary Committee


This is national Small Business Week, which recognizes the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.  More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business.  Many military veterans use the skills learned during their service time when they return home and find jobs or start a business.  Jim Salmon is the head of business lending for Navy Federal Credit Union and he says there are plenty of ways veterans can get help starting a new business …

After voters rejected a tax hike proposal last month, the Baldwin County Commission and Baldwin County School Board are looking for more input.

There will be a joint public meeting this evening to begin the process of moving forward from the referendum that would have helped pay for a 10 year, $350 million capital construction project.

Charles Gruber is the chairman of the Baldwin County Commission. He believes the referendum was shot down by voters because the public was not able to voice any concerns about the tax.

Blue Bell Creameries announced Thursday it will be closing all its facilities including a plant in Sylacauga, Alabama for cleaning and retraining in response to a listeria outbreak linked to Blue Bell ice cream.

The company says the program comes after a thorough review of all its internal operations and discussions with expert microbiologists.

Alabama’s Senate could be debating allowing medical marijuana in the state soon, since a Senate committee approved a comprehensive medical marijuana bill yesterday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4 to 3 to pass the measure. The bill was likely able to pass committee because three Republican senators failed to attend the meeting.

The legislation, if passed, would allow patients who suffer from 25 specific conditions to purchase a maximum of ten ounces of medical marijuana per month from a state-regulated dispensary.

Lawmakers could give final approval very soon to legislation establishing charter schools in the state of Alabama.

The Alabama House of Representatives will debate a bill that would allow charter schools in the state this afternoon. That bill is expected to spark a filibuster from Democrats and other opposed lawmakers.

Charter schools are public schools that have freedom from the curriculum and regulation requirements placed on other public schools. Alabama is one of eight states without charter school legislation currently in place.

A state Senate committee is expected to vote on a reform bill today aimed at reducing overcrowding issues in Alabama prisons.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 10 AM today. The bill, among other changes, would create a new felony category, Class D, for low-level theft and drug convictions.

People convicted of class D felonies would be sent to community corrections programs instead of prison.

The bill would also mandate a period of supervision after release from prison.

The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee is working on legislation to shift some Alabama judgeships to areas with heavy caseloads and backlogs in the court system.

Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster said Friday he will offer his bill when the Legislature convenes Feb. 5. It would set up a system to shift judicial positions when a circuit judge retires in a county with a low caseload.