September 28, 2016 •

Alabama Ban on PAC-to-PAC Transfers Upheld

On September 27, 2016, a federal appeals court upheld the ban on transfers between political action committees, or PAC-to-PAC transfers. The Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) sued to overturn the ban arguing the prohibition of PAC-to-PAC transfers was a violation of […]

Seal of AlabamaOn September 27, 2016, a federal appeals court upheld the ban on transfers between political action committees, or PAC-to-PAC transfers.

The Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) sued to overturn the ban arguing the prohibition of PAC-to-PAC transfers was a violation of freedom of speech and due process.

In the opinion, written by U.S. Circuit Judge Beverly Martin, the court found the ban to be closely drawn “to meet Alabama’s interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption (or its appearance) as applied to the ADC here.” In turn, the ban survives constitutional scrutiny.

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September 15, 2016 •

Alabama House District 79 Special General Election

The special general election for House District 79, former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s seat, will be on November 29, 2016. Alabama Republicans selected Joe Lovvorn as their candidate in the September 13 special primary. Because Lovvorn won a majority of […]

AlabamaThe special general election for House District 79, former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s seat, will be on November 29, 2016.

Alabama Republicans selected Joe Lovvorn as their candidate in the September 13 special primary. Because Lovvorn won a majority of votes, no special runoff election is needed.

Lovvorn will face Libertarian candidate Gage Fenwick in November.

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September 12, 2016 •

Alabama Special Session Adjourns Sine Die

The first special session of 2016 adjourned sine die on September 7, 2016. Gov. Robert Bentley’s lottery proposal failed in the Senate. Instead, the Legislature approved House Bill 36 to use part of the BP oil settlement to provide funds […]

Alabama_Capitol_BuildingThe first special session of 2016 adjourned sine die on September 7, 2016. Gov. Robert Bentley’s lottery proposal failed in the Senate. Instead, the Legislature approved House Bill 36 to use part of the BP oil settlement to provide funds for the Alabama Medicaid Agency.

Despite legislators attempts to use the special session to revamp the ethics laws, House Bills 10, 11, and 32 were not passed.

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September 12, 2016 •

Alabama Ethics Commission Approves Advisory Opinion

On September 1, 2016, the Alabama Ethics Commission unanimously approved an opinion clarifying when a state employee may seek private employment. The opinion stated no public employee may ask a lobbyist for a job or a job interview, but may […]

Seal of AlabamaOn September 1, 2016, the Alabama Ethics Commission unanimously approved an opinion clarifying when a state employee may seek private employment.

The opinion stated no public employee may ask a lobbyist for a job or a job interview, but may seek employment from principals without quitting their current jobs. As always, state employees must be aware of any conflicts of interest that may emerge in the pursuit of private sector employment.

The opinion will be effective following a 30-day public comment period on October 1, 2016.

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September 2, 2016 •

Group Files First Amendment Challenge Over Alabama Ethics Class

The Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit advocate for reforming marijuana laws, and the Institute for Justice filed a First Amendment challenge in federal court to Alabama’s training requirement for lobbyists. The training class is mandatory and held […]

MPPThe Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit advocate for reforming marijuana laws, and the Institute for Justice filed a First Amendment challenge in federal court to Alabama’s training requirement for lobbyists.

The training class is mandatory and held four times a year in Montgomery.

The Marijuana Policy Project is asking the court to block the burdensome requirement as it infringes on the right to talk to government officials about matters of public policy.

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August 17, 2016 •

Ethics Bills Hit Alabama Special Session

The primary focus of the current special session is to pass a constitutional amendment allowing a statewide lottery (Senate Bill 11). If the constitutional amendment passes, members of the Alabama Lottery Commission would be subject to the Ethics Law. Legislators […]

Alabama_Capitol_BuildingThe primary focus of the current special session is to pass a constitutional amendment allowing a statewide lottery (Senate Bill 11).

If the constitutional amendment passes, members of the Alabama Lottery Commission would be subject to the Ethics Law. Legislators are using the special session to introduce several ethics bills.

If all of the bills pass, any individual convicted of a felony would be prohibited from registering as a lobbyist (House Bill 32), any legislator indicted on a felony would be automatically suspended from any leadership position (House Bill 11), and public school employees would be allowed to accept gifts from students (House Bill 10).

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August 16, 2016 •

Alabama Ethics Commission Sets Special Meeting

Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton called a special meeting to be held on September 1, 2016. The meeting will address the backlog of requests for advisory opinions in the wake of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics conviction. Hubbard […]

AlabamaEthics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton called a special meeting to be held on September 1, 2016. The meeting will address the backlog of requests for advisory opinions in the wake of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics conviction.

Hubbard was convicted despite claiming reliance on informal advice provided by the commission. The commission recommends individuals file requests for formal advisory opinions, as informal advice does not provide protection from prosecution if followed.

The September meeting will allow for a timely response to the influx of requests for guidance and lessen the load for the October meeting.

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August 1, 2016 •

Alabama Special Session set for August 15

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced a special legislative session will convene August 15, 2016. The primary focus of the session will be a constitutional amendment allowing a statewide lottery. Bentley believes the lottery will solve the state’s financial problems.

Alabama_Capitol_BuildingGov. Robert Bentley has announced a special legislative session will convene August 15, 2016.

The primary focus of the session will be a constitutional amendment allowing a statewide lottery.

Bentley believes the lottery will solve the state’s financial problems.

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July 29, 2016 •

Alabama Calls Special Election for Vacant House Seat

A special primary election will be held to fill Mike Hill’s vacant seat in the House of Representatives for District 41. The vacancy is a result of Hill’s resignation in order to accept an appointment by Gov. Robert Bentley as […]

Alabama_Capitol_BuildingA special primary election will be held to fill Mike Hill’s vacant seat in the House of Representatives for District 41.

The vacancy is a result of Hill’s resignation in order to accept an appointment by Gov. Robert Bentley as the commissioner of the state Banking Department.

The special primary will be held October 18, 2016, and the special general will be held January 10, 2017, provided a runoff is not required.

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July 27, 2016 •

Gov. Bentley Announces Alabama Special Legislative Session

Gov. Bentley will call a special session. The session will focus on a constitutional amendment allowing a statewide lottery. Alabama is one of six states without a lottery, and Bentley believes it will solve the state’s funding problem. The dates […]

Gov. Robert BentleyGov. Bentley will call a special session. The session will focus on a constitutional amendment allowing a statewide lottery.

Alabama is one of six states without a lottery, and Bentley believes it will solve the state’s funding problem.

The dates of the special session have not been determined.

Photo of Gov. Bentley by Sutherland Boswell on Wikimedia Commons.

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July 8, 2016 •

Former Alabama House Speaker Sentenced

On July 8, 2016, former House Speaker Mike Hubbard was sentenced to four years in prison following his conviction on 12 felony ethics charges. Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker denied prosecutors’ request for Hubbard to pay $1.6 million in […]

Mike HubbardOn July 8, 2016, former House Speaker Mike Hubbard was sentenced to four years in prison following his conviction on 12 felony ethics charges.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker denied prosecutors’ request for Hubbard to pay $1.6 million in restitution and fines. Instead, Hubbard is ordered to pay $210,000 in fines.

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June 20, 2016 •

Alabama Special Election Called to Fill Hubbard Vacancy

Gov. Robert Bentley called a special election to fill the vacant seat in the House of Representatives for District 79. The vacancy is a result of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s conviction on 12 felony ethics charges, which stripped Hubbard […]

Seal of AlabamaGov. Robert Bentley called a special election to fill the vacant seat in the House of Representatives for District 79.

The vacancy is a result of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s conviction on 12 felony ethics charges, which stripped Hubbard of his position as a member of the Legislature.

The special primary is set for September 13, 2016, and the special general election will take place on November 29, 2016.

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June 13, 2016 •

Alabama House Speaker Convicted on 12 Ethics Charges

On June 10, House Speaker Mike Hubbard was found guilty on 12 counts of public corruption. The charges were premised on Hubbard’s solicitation of several consulting contracts while he was in office. Hubbard’s conviction will automatically remove him from both […]

Seal of AlabamaOn June 10, House Speaker Mike Hubbard was found guilty on 12 counts of public corruption.

The charges were premised on Hubbard’s solicitation of several consulting contracts while he was in office. Hubbard’s conviction will automatically remove him from both the Legislature and the speaker’s office.

Hubbard faces up to 20 years in prison for each count at his sentencing hearing on July 8, 2016.

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May 20, 2016 •

Alabama Launches Voter Registration App

On May 19, Secretary of State John Merrill launched a Vote for Alabama app, available to all iPhones and Androids. The app enables all Alabamians to register to vote and locate relevant election information. Voters now have the ability to […]

Seal of AlabamaOn May 19, Secretary of State John Merrill launched a Vote for Alabama app, available to all iPhones and Androids.

The app enables all Alabamians to register to vote and locate relevant election information. Voters now have the ability to register to vote on the Secretary of State’s website and via the new app, along with traditional registration methods.

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