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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Montgomery Update

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  This is the weekly date from the Reckon newsletter.  Just keeping you informed on what's going on down there.

Well, for some reason the graphics aren't posting.

Reckon Report Card

A glance at the Reckon Report Card — which you can see first if you join our Reckon Policy & Politics group on Facebook — will reveal that the so-called ‘ethics’ reform bill is on life support as of last week. But columnist Kyle Whitmire says the bill — which would have removed many of the restrictions on Montgomery lawmakers — is still “twitching”.

Also likely dead is Sen. President Pro Tem Del Marsh’s bill to repeal Common Core, which education reporter Trisha Crain said is “going nowhere fast.”

What else is on tap this week in Montgomery? Statehouse reporter Mike Cason reporters there are four key issues expected to come up:
  • The House Health Committee will hold a public hearing on Wednesday on a bill that would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion in Alabama. Anti-abortion advocates in Alabama said this is the year to seek an outright abortion ban in hopes of getting a Roe v. Wade challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court. The public hearing will be the first-time lawmakers have discussed the bill.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee will have a public hearing Wednesday on a bill to repeal the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed handgun.
  • The committee will also consider a bill to reduce the penalty for marijuana possession. Several efforts to do that have failed in the last few years.
  • The House State Government Committee will have a public hearing Wednesday on a bill to legalize sports fantasy contests in Alabama. Fantasy contest operators would have to register and pay a tax on their revenues.
And in other news:

We have a new member on the Alabama Ethics Commission. Gov. Kay Ivey has appointed former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Lyn Stuart to a seat on the commission formerly held by Frank C. “Butch” Ellis Jr., whose term expired.   Let's hope she stays busy.

Alabama’s WBRC Fox6 News obtained a cache of images taken inside St. Clair Correctional Facility reportedly from a former corrections officer. The horrific images depict the brutal, bloody violence of the prison from inside its walls.
And if you're wondering just what smell is.....

Poop Train
“Alabama has become a dumping ground for the country as waste from all over the US ends up in its landfill sites,” British newspaper The Guardian wrote Monday about Alabama’s landfills. The story focuses on dumps in Jefferson County and Alabama’s Black Belt, and last year’s ‘poop train’ debacle.

“The flies were so bad that you couldn’t walk outside without being inundated by them,” one West Jefferson resident told The Guardian about the poop train. “You’d be covered in all sorts of insects. People started getting headaches, they couldn’t breathe. You wouldn’t even go outside to put meat on the barbecue.”

Meanwhile, the University of Alabama is researching another poop problem: the use of “straight pipe” systems to dispose of wastewater and sewage into the woods or even backyards in Alabama’s impoverished Black Belt.

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