After waiving a Thursday arraignment that would have been his first courtroom appearance, Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard has entered a not guilty plea in a court filing Friday. He was indicted last month on 23 ethics charges accusing him of using his public office to obtain business for his companies and for other financial rewards. His lawyer, Mark White, has asked for the December trial date to be delayed citing the complexity of the case. White is also asking the attorney general's office to produce a wide range of material, including witness statements.
Alabama is leading the South in providing health insurance to children, so says a study by Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute. The study found that Alabama had nearly 11,000 fewer uninsured children in 2013 than in 2011. The main sources of coverages are the All Kids program, Medicaid and private health insurance. Alabama ranked 10th Best among the states. The director of the Georgetown study said Alabama is the star of the south when it comes to providing health care to its children.
Republicans have strengthened their grip on Alabama Statehouse. The GOP, which already held a supermajority in Montgomery, picked up additional seats in Tuesday's election. Republicans defeated several Democratic incumbents and will hold 72 of 105 seats in the House of Representatives, according to unofficial returns.
It is election day in Alabama and across the nation. The race between Governor Robert Bentley and Democrat Parker Griffith has received the most attention. But today's ballot also includes contested elections for constitutional offices, county and municipal offices and five statewide constitutional amendments. Governor Bentley crisscrossed the state Monday to rally support for his re-election bid. Parker Griffith campaigned in Birmingham Monday.
Without an infusion of new revenue, Alabama's public transportation system will soon face a crisis in funding. That's one of the conclusions from a new study by Alabama State University's Center for Leadership and Public Policy. The report blames the lack of investment from the state for isolating state residents both in and outside major cities. Arise Citizens Policy Project Stephen Stetson says increased funding for transportation infrastructure could be gained with toll roads or a raise in the state's portion of the gasoline tax. For more of the study, go to arisecitizens.org.
Tomorrow's mid-term elections will determine winners in dozens of Alabama House and Senate races. Republicans enter Tuesday's vote confident that they will retain a supermajority in both houses of the legislature. Two of the key statewide votes to watch involve the race for governor between incumbent Robert Bentley and Democrat Parker Griffith. Another is the contest for state attorney general between incumbent Luther Strange and Democrat Joe Hubbard. Alabama State University Professor, Dr. D'Linell Finely, says Hubbard has the attention of voters.
A freeze warning has been issued for much of Alabama as cold air begins to push into the state. The freeze warning issued by the National Weather Service goes into effect Saturday night, it includes some parts of central Alabama, including areas just north of Montgomery. Forecasters say temperatures are expected to plunge into the early 20s and 30s in some parts of the state, including Mobile area, by early Sunday morning. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 60s by Monday.
Jurors found Republican Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise not guilty of charges of perjury and giving false information. Prosecutors had accused Moore of lying to a grand jury about comments he made to his 2014 primary opponent. Acting Attorney General W.Van Davis said Moore told his opponent that the house speaker would withhold economic development funds unless he withdrew from the race. Moore later denied relaying the threat when he testified to a grand jury. However, defense lawyers contended that Moore told the truth to the grand jury.
An Enterprise lawmaker accused of perjury says he was truthful when he testified before a grand jury investigating public corruption. Rep. Barry Moore Wednesday took the witness stand in his own defense. Prosecutors say Moore lied when he denied telling his primary opponent, Josh Pipkin, that the speaker of the house would hold up economic development funds if Pipkin jumped in the race. Moore says he never said the funds were in danger. He also wondered whether he was being set up because of frequent calls he got from Pipkin.
Montgomery police are investigating a shooting overnight. Officers say the unnamed individual was shot around 8 p.m. in the 100 block of East Park Avenue. The victim's injury was not life threatening and no arrests were made. Meanwhile, the investigation continues into Monday night's fatal shooting of 21-year-old Brandon Harris. The victim was found dead of a gunshot wound at the Liberty Square Apartments off Troy Highway. Montgomery has recorded 29th homicides this year.