April 1, 2020 •

Alabama Legislature Suspends Legislative Session

Alabama State Capitol Building

After reconvening from the scheduled spring break, the Alabama Legislature has decided to suspend the legislative session. The session is suspended as of March 31, due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon reconvening on April 28, the Legislature will […]

After reconvening from the scheduled spring break, the Alabama Legislature has decided to suspend the legislative session.

The session is suspended as of March 31, due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon reconvening on April 28, the Legislature will have until May 18 to complete any pending legislation.

Legislation includes the constitutionally mandated budget bill for the fiscal year starting on October 1.

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March 18, 2020 •

Alabama Postpones Runoff Elections

Alabama State Capitol Building

Alabama officials held a press conference announcing the March 31 runoff election will be postponed until July 14. The press conference was held by Gov. Kay Ivey, Secretary of State John H. Merrill, and Attorney General Steve Marshall. Merrill believes […]

Alabama officials held a press conference announcing the March 31 runoff election will be postponed until July 14.

The press conference was held by Gov. Kay Ivey, Secretary of State John H. Merrill, and Attorney General Steve Marshall.

Merrill believes this new date will allow for the electoral process to continue in a normal manner.

He also says the delay will allow all local election officials the time to assess and evaluate the changes needed to ensure the runoff election is administered according to plan.

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March 16, 2020 •

Alabama Ethics Commission to Operate with Minimal Staff

Alabama State Capitol Building

The Ethics Commission has announced only minimal essential personnel will be in office from March 16 through April 6. This will likely cause delays in precertification processing. Accordingly, the Commission has requested that precertification requests be submitted well ahead of […]

The Ethics Commission has announced only minimal essential personnel will be in office from March 16 through April 6.

This will likely cause delays in precertification processing.

Accordingly, the Commission has requested that precertification requests be submitted well ahead of time to ensure timely processing.

A drop box has been placed in the front office to accommodate hand delivery during this period.

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March 16, 2020 •

Alabama Secretary of State Seeks Postponement of March 31 Runoffs

Alabama State Capitol Building

Citing concern for the health and well-being of the citizens, Secretary of State John Merrill is urging the state’s March 31 runoff elections be postponed. In a statement over the weekend, Merrill requested an emergency opinion on whether the Governor’s […]

Citing concern for the health and well-being of the citizens, Secretary of State John Merrill is urging the state’s March 31 runoff elections be postponed.

In a statement over the weekend, Merrill requested an emergency opinion on whether the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency would authorize this postponement.

Merrill also stated there is no provision or process in Alabama’s Code or Constitution allowing changes to election dates after being set.

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August 12, 2019 •

Ethics Commission Says Airport Authority Workers are Public Employees

Flag of the State of Alabama

The Alabama Ethics Commission issued an advisory opinion finding employees of airport authorities are public employees and therefore subject to the state ethics law. Attorneys for the Birmingham and Huntsville airport authorities argued airport employees are private because they are […]

The Alabama Ethics Commission issued an advisory opinion finding employees of airport authorities are public employees and therefore subject to the state ethics law.

Attorneys for the Birmingham and Huntsville airport authorities argued airport employees are private because they are paid with funds generated by the airport.

However, the commission ruled the airport’s revenue is considered “state, county, or municipal funds” because the Legislature grants the airport authority the ability to collect those fees for a specific purpose.

Airport employees are criminally liable for ethics violations and, if they meet specific income thresholds, are required to file annual statements with the commission.

The Birmingham Airport Authority intends to appeal to the Montgomery County Circuit Court.

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June 12, 2019 •

Alabama Announces Special Election for House District 42

A special election will take place on August 20 followed by a runoff election on November 5. The elections will fill a vacancy in House District 42. Former Rep. Jimmy Martin held the seat until his passing in May.

A special election will take place on August 20 followed by a runoff election on November 5.

The elections will fill a vacancy in House District 42.

Former Rep. Jimmy Martin held the seat until his passing in May.

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May 8, 2019 •

Special Elections announced for Birmingham City Council

A special election will take place on October 8 for City Council Districts 1, 6, and 7. The seats were filled through appointments following vacancies late last year and early January. The council appointed Clinton Woods to the District 1 […]

A special election will take place on October 8 for City Council Districts 1, 6, and 7.

The seats were filled through appointments following vacancies late last year and early January.

The council appointed Clinton Woods to the District 1 seat formerly held by current Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales.

Crystal Smitherman was appointed to the District 6 seat previously held by current Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson.

Following the resignation of Jay Roberson, who left the council after moving to Alabaster, the council appointed Wardine Alexander to the District 7 seat.

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April 5, 2019 •

Alabama Legislators Introduce Bill Exempting Economic Development Professionals from Lobbyist Registration

The Alabama House has introduced a bill to revive an expired exemption to lobbyist registration. House Bill 289, similar to last year’s House Bill 317, will exempt economic development professionals from registering as a lobbyist. Under the new bill, the […]

The Alabama House has introduced a bill to revive an expired exemption to lobbyist registration.

House Bill 289, similar to last year’s House Bill 317, will exempt economic development professionals from registering as a lobbyist.

Under the new bill, the economic development professional lobbyist registration exemption does not apply if a person seeks incentives or funds through legislative action outside of incentives already available.

If passed, the law will not contain an expiration date like last year’s bill and will be effective immediately.

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April 5, 2019 •

Alabama Special Election Called for State House District 74

A special election has been called for Alabama House of Representatives in District 74. Gov. Kay Ivey called the special election to fill the vacancy left by the tragic passing of State Rep. Dimitri Polizos. A special primary election will […]

A special election has been called for Alabama House of Representatives in District 74.

Gov. Kay Ivey called the special election to fill the vacancy left by the tragic passing of State Rep. Dimitri Polizos.

A special primary election will be held on June 11, 2019, and the special general election will be held on August 27, 2019, provided a runoff is not required.

If a runoff is required, the special runoff election will be held on August 27, 2019, and the special general election will be held on November 12, 2019.

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March 6, 2019 •

Alabama Gov. Calls Special Session

Gov. Kay Ivey has called a special session to begin March 6, 2019. The special session will focus on legislation related to a gas and diesel fuel tax. Calling the special session suspends the regular session and allows the gas […]

Gov. Kay Ivey has called a special session to begin March 6, 2019.

The special session will focus on legislation related to a gas and diesel fuel tax.

Calling the special session suspends the regular session and allows the gas tax bill to pass with a majority vote, as opposed to the three-fifths vote required during a regular session.

The regular session is expected to re-convene on March 19.

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November 9, 2018 •

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Elected for First Full Term

Incumbent Republican Governor Kay Ivey won her first full term as Alabama governor defeating Democratic challenger and Tuscaloosa mayor Walt Maddox 59.6 percent to 40.4 percent. Ivey, who was elected lieutenant governor in 2014, was sworn in as governor last […]

Incumbent Republican Governor Kay Ivey won her first full term as Alabama governor defeating Democratic challenger and Tuscaloosa mayor Walt Maddox 59.6 percent to 40.4 percent.

Ivey, who was elected lieutenant governor in 2014, was sworn in as governor last year when her predecessor Robert J. Bentley resigned on April 10, 2017.

Ivey is Alabama’s first Republican female governor and second female governor.

Alabama, a Republican stronghold state, has not elected a Democratic governor since 1998.

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August 30, 2018 •

Alabama Commission Considers Revisions to Ethics

The Alabama Code of Ethics Clarification and Reform Commission (Commission), a joint committee of the Alabama Legislature, met on August 28, 2018, to examine potential revisions to the ethics laws. The meeting was timely as the Alabama Court of Criminal […]

The Alabama Code of Ethics Clarification and Reform Commission (Commission), a joint committee of the Alabama Legislature, met on August 28, 2018, to examine potential revisions to the ethics laws.

The meeting was timely as the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s conviction on 12 felony ethics charges the day before and requested the Legislature clarify provisions of the ethics law. The Commission is considering recommending altering the definition of principal to include a person with the authority to fire or direct the lobbyist.

Other changes discussed included a tiered penalty system for violations of the law and provisions allowing public officials to maintain certain business relationships during their time as a public official.

The Commission is scheduled to meet again on September 20, 2018.

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August 20, 2018 •

Birmingham City Council President Submits Resignation

Birmingham, Alabama City Council President Jay Roberson announced he is resigning on September 10. Roberson’s wife received a promotion at Alabaster City Schools to be a career coach, so the family will be moving to live in the school district. […]

Birmingham, Alabama City Council President Jay Roberson announced he is resigning on September 10.

Roberson’s wife received a promotion at Alabaster City Schools to be a career coach, so the family will be moving to live in the school district.

Due to a lack of funds to hold a special election, Council will make an appointment to fill the remainder of Roberson’s term.

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April 11, 2018 •

Alabama Gov. Signs House Bill 317

Gov. Kay Ivey signed House Bill 317 into law on April 6, 2018. House Bill 317, exempts economic development professionals from registering as a lobbyist. Under the bill, the economic development professional lobbyist registration exemption does not apply if a […]

Gov. Kay Ivey signed House Bill 317 into law on April 6, 2018.

House Bill 317, exempts economic development professionals from registering as a lobbyist.

Under the bill, the economic development professional lobbyist registration exemption does not apply if a person seeks incentives or funds through legislative action outside of incentives already available.

The provision has a sunset of one year as the Legislature is expected to revise the Alabama Ethics Code during the next legislative session.

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