Constitutional Convention

Jan 21, 2014

Republican state lawmakers want to be ready in case a state-led constitutional convention is called.  Senators Trip Pittman of Daphne and Arthur Orr of Decatur have introduced bills establishing a process by which delegates would be selected and guidelines for them to follow.  Senator Pittman said even though such a convention is probably a long way away, rules are needed.  20 states have already voted to support a constitutional convention under Article 5 for passing a federal balanced budget amendment, including Alabama.  House Democratic leader Craig Ford said its' a campaign gimmick to appeal to the tea party. 

Democratic Agenda

House Democrats unveiled their legislative agenda Tuesday for the 2014 regular session.  Led by House Minority Leader Craig Fore, various lawmakers offered details of their bills.  Representative Marcel Black of Tuscumbia outlines his plan to give teachers a 6 percent pay raise.  Representative Barbara Boyd will sponsor a bill to sell and assume 20 million dollars in bonds to help fund a Post-Secondary Education workforce development training program.  Repealing and Rolling Reserve Act is the work of Representative Rod Scott of Fairfield.  And Ford himself will sponsor bills to create a state lottery and repeal the Accountability Act. 

Nursing Grant

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has presented a grant to the Alabama Health Action Coalition to help lead efforts to transform nursing in the state.  Dr. Carol Ratcliffe, with the Coalition, said one goal is to greatly improve diversity among the nursing community.  Ratcliffe said a more diverse and well-educated nursing workforce will provide better health care for all. 

Tax Fraud

A former medical records clerk with the Alabama Department of Corrections has been charged with inmates' identifies to people who used them to file false income tax returns that claimed more than $1 million in fraudulent refunds.  Federal prosecutors said Sasha Webb is charged with conspiracy to file false claims, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.  She worked as a medical records clerk for the prison system in Elmore County.