Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘legislature’

A Better Argument For Alabama #ALpolitics To Legalize, Regulate & Tax Marijuana

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 27, 2016

Recently, on February 23, 2016, AL.com published an OpEd entitled “Would legalizing cannabis solve Alabama’s budget problems?” written by Reggie C. Pulliam, whom was identified as “a resident of Gulf Shores who has worked on public policy and criminal justice reform in Washington, D.C.”

I found his Op-Ed unconvincing because it’s poorly written.

The Colorado Department of Revenue reported that for December 2015 (State of Colorado Marijuana Taxes, Licenses, and Fees Transfers and Distribution December 2015 Sales Reported in January 2016), Total All Marijuana Taxes, Licenses, and Fees was $13,247,434.

The year-to-date increase was $4,689,293.

Based upon the December figure, on an annualized basis, that’s $158,969,208… which is not exactly chump change.
(See “Alabama Senate Approves Shifting $100 Million Away From Schools” published September 15, 2015.)

Linked here is the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Colorado Marijuana Tax Data.

Figuring into the state cost : benefit analysis & calculations also is a decrease in costs associated with Read the rest of this entry »

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UPDATED: If #ALpolitics Would #ExpandMedicaidNow, They Could CUT Medicaid Co$t$ More Than 50%

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 6, 2015

UPDATE: Tuesday, 11 August 2015
CORRECTION ADDENDUM

In my first & earlier calculations, I inadvertently overlooked multiplying the Annual Medicaid Spending in Alabama figure (which is a TOTAL of $5,241,269,869) by 70%, which would represent the portion paid for by the Federal government. Alabama’s 30% share of that figure (the share paid for by the state) would be $1,572,380,960.70. It would also be reasonable to expect that Expanding Medicaid in Alabama to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level would increase total economic activity (through Medicaid spending) in the state at least 38%. So to Expand Medicaid, the baseline figure for TOTAL Medicaid spending (combined Federal and State funds) would approximate $7,232,952,419. According to the provisions of the law, Alabama’s sharing portion (if Governor Bentley chose to Expand Medicaid) would still be 2016-100%; 2017-5%; 2018-6%; 2019-7%; 2020 and beyond-10%. The corrections to the figures herein are dollar amounts only (based on the $7,232,952,419 total expanded figure), not the %ages. Data & figures are now also shown in table format.

Folks, it may (or may not) surprise you to know a sampling of the collective thoughts of our wrong-wing friends, and relatives on matters political in Alabama, especially as they pertain to Medicaid.

Here’s a verbatim excerpted sampling of what I came across today.

• No one want increased entitlements. Too much waste and abuse. get a job folks. no to medicaid
• Medicaid is a lifestyle
• scare tactic. nursing homes overcharge. working people of Alabama are tired of taking care of lazy people
• ask any hospital administrator or physician in private practice. Medicaid devalues services. Reject medicaid

I dare say, MOST are clueless about the genuinely tangible economic and public health benefits Medicaid provides to this state, and the revenue and jobs it creates. All they hear are the wails and moans of representatives and/or senators – mostly of whom, if not exclusively, are Republican.

Where does Alabama's Medicaid money come from? Where does it go?

Where does Alabama’s Medicaid money come from?
Where does it go?
Source: Alabama Medicaid Agency Annual Report – FY 2012

Medicaid is a Federal/State matching/sharing program which provides (pays for) healthcare services for the impoverished wherein states pay a minority matching portion, while the Federal Government through CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) pays the majority portion. Within reasonable guidelines, the states have broad discretion and liberty to operate Medicaid according to the way they see fit, and the needs of the residents they serve. There are, however, certain minimums standards to which every state must adhere.

Under the provisions of the OLD law, the states that do NOT Expand Medicaid pay a higher %age rate for their services than they would if they were to Expand Medicaid to provide services to those whom are at 138% of the Federal Poverty guidelines – which is what the PPACA provides. The PPACA is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act- though it’s more often called the ACA “Affordable Care Act,” and colloquially referred to as “ObamaCare.”

Under the provisions of the PPACA, states that choose to Expand Medicaid will have 100% of those costs paid-for by the CMS beginning 2014, until 2016. The incentive for expansion is based upon Read the rest of this entry »

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How Much Could Alabama Save By Not Paying Legislators?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 30, 2015

UPDATE: Sunday, 14 June 2015 – Found following main body

Today (Thursday, 30 April 2015) the Alabama State Senate knocked off at 11:30, and reconvened 1PM. It’s also the final day of the Legislative Session for the week – they only work three days each week – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

An hour and a half – that’s a nice, long lunch break for a wealthy man, a powerful man – not a working man. It’s pretty cushy for someone who works three days a week, only 30 days a year. Reckon how your boss would respond if you asked for a three-day work week and a 30-day work year?

How long do you get for lunch?

Most folks get 30 minutes.

The Alabama Senate gets THREE times longer than most working folks.

But then, excesses in Alabama state politics is nothing new.

Recall that – by law – the Alabama Legislature is limited to work <30 days/year (in a 105 day period) & for that privilege, citizens & taxpayers fork over $50K+/yr in pay & compensation to them – 35 in the Senate, and 105 in the House.
TOTAL=140 men (mostly) & women.

In stark contrast, New Mexico’s State Legislators are a Volunteer Legislature (they’re elected, yes, but unpaid), and during Session, by State Law receive a Daily Federal Per Diem, and Two-Way Mileage once during a session EXCLUSIVELY.

Legislative pay in Alabama has been a hot-button issue, particularly in recent years – and, it’s unnecessarily complicated. By State Constitutional Law, their “official” pay is Read the rest of this entry »

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How Inefficient Is The Alabama Legislature?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What’s wrong with Alabama?

How much time do you have?

That’d be an entirely accurate response, of course.

How much bad does it take before the sweet turns sour?

How much bad does it take before the sweet turns sour?

To be certain, criticizing the machinations and politics of Alabama is somewhat like criticizing one’s family – only family members can do it with complete immunity. Outsiders stand the risk of getting punched out.

Here’s one well-known complaint: The Legislature.

Sure, even Washington politicians get lambasted, as, I suppose, does every other politician in our union, at every level – federal, state, county, and local.

But here’s the rub: In Alabama, the legislature takes great pride in calling themselves “part-time” legislators, and boast of having full-time jobs “back home” in the community of their residence. Sure, that sounds nice, but what does it really look like?

By law, in Alabama, the Legislature can meet for NO MORE than 30 days Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Is Alabama Gasoline So Expensive?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 2, 2015

In a word, because of the state legislature.

Here’s an explanation.

In Alabama, an anti-competitive law prevents motorists from enjoying low gas prices.

In Alabama, an anti-competitive law prevents motorists from enjoying low gas prices. This is the price per gallon of a gallon of regular gas purchased at a Kroger Fuel Center in Texas, after using Kroger Fuel Discounts.

In Alabama, a law called the “Motor Fuel Marketing Act” (Code of Alabama §8-22) prevents retailers from selling gasoline (or any other motor fuel, such as diesel) for less than what it costs them to purchase it.

Specifically, the law reads in part, that:

Section 8-22-6

Certain below cost fuel sales prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commerce in this state to sell or offer to sell motor fuel below cost or to sell or offer to sell it at a price lower than the seller charges other persons…”

In other words, it’s illegal to do that.

The marketing technique of retailing something for less than it costs to purchase it wholesale is called “low-price, or loss leader” and Read the rest of this entry »

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#DontDoubleMyRate: How a Passive Aggressive GOP Congress Damages Our Nation

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Twitter hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate has been trending, off and on, for the past several weeks.

Naturally, the GOP faction, led by Speaker of the House, John Boehner, claims they “appreciate” college students, and “sympathize” with their predicament – which is a crippling blow to our nation, to students, and to universities, public and private, throughout the union.

However, their inaction – more accurately described as passive aggressive behavior – their actions are neither stalwart nor honorable, for they steadfastly refuse to collaborate to do the Good and Right Thing by the people. By claiming they desire to help, and then through their inaction, they actually damage the entire nation.

That type behavior, formerly formally diagnosed by the mental health professionals as “Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder,” is a chronic, long-term condition in which a person seems to actively comply with the desires and needs of others, but actually passively resists them.

People with this disorder resent responsibility and show it through their behaviors, rather than by openly expressing their feelings. They often use procrastination, inefficiency, and forgetfulness to avoid doing what they need to do or have been requested by others to do.

Common characteristics of Passive-Aggressive personality disorder include:

  • Acting sullen
  • Avoiding responsibility by claiming forgetfulness
  • Being inefficient on purpose
  • Blaming others
  • Complaining
  • Feeling resentment
  • Having a fear of authority
  • Having unexpressed anger or hostility
  • Procrastinating
  • Resisting other people’s suggestions

A person with this disorder may appear to comply with another’s wishes and may even demonstrate enthusiasm for those wishes. However, they:

  • Perform the requested action too late to be helpful
  • Perform it in a way that is useless
  • Sabotage the action to show anger that they cannot express in words

The nut of the whole ordeal is that people who exhibit such behavior are inherently selfish, non-communicative, manipulative, and greedy.

And there you have it, Passive Aggressive Behavior.

It’s the perfect definition of the Republican Congress.

Oregon Explores Novel Way to Fund College

By DOUGLAS BELKIN Updated July 3, 2013, 12:25 a.m. ET

As lawmakers in Washington remain at loggerheads over the student-debt crisis, Oregon’s legislature is moving ahead with a plan to enable students to attend state schools with no money down. In return, under one proposal, the students would Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Legislature OK’d tax money for private schools. Now Governor Bentley backpedals.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 20, 2013

The Texas State Legislature doesn’t think public tax dollar$ should go to private schools.

But Alabama’s State Legislature just OK’d & Governor Bentley signed the Alabama Accountability Act of 2013 (HB 84), aka the School Flexibility Bill, aka the Private School Voucher Act.

http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2013/04/house-votes-to-bar-state-funding-for-private-school-vouchers.html/

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Alabama’s Republican Legislators take over State’s Schools… even though they’re not failing.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 10, 2013

The lack of news outlets in the states three major newspapers all which publish only three editions weekly (Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register, and the Huntsville Times, now known as “Alabama Media Group” which newspapers are all owned by the same privately held mega-firm that owns Sports Illustrated & Conde Nast – Advance Publications, aka Newhouse News) has – in my estimation – contributed to the demise of public involvement in governance, and to a great degree, influenced voters from participating in their own governance by keeping them ignorant.

However, that does NOT mean that there is no news, nor does it mean that there is a news blackout. What it means is that in those three major cities in the state, there is a dearth of reporting of state events.

For example, the Montgomery Advertiser reported recently that in an email message to his staff, Governor Robert Bentley “demanded that his cabinet members and the state employees who work for them not discuss with state legislators any concerns they might have with a proposed overhaul to state law enforcement agencies.

““I do not want any cabinet head or any member of their department to lobby against this. Tell your employees to contact ONLY Blaine Galliher if they have any questions or concerns. NO ONE is to talk to members of the House or Senate in opposition to this legislation,” Bentley wrote in an email sent to cabinet members by his executive assistant on Feb. 12.””

Governor Bentley is showing his true face… that of a tyrant.

The year Alabama legislators took over schools

by Wayne Flynt
Special to The Star
Mar 10, 2013
Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters in Montgomery last week. Photo: Dave Martin/Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters in Montgomery last week. Photo: Dave Martin/Associated Press

My father grew up poor and never finished high school but was incredibly resourceful. He could “figure things out.” He did his own plumbing, wiring and construction. But on occasion, Dad’s chief asset became a liability. So confident was he in his ability to fix anything that he refused to admit that he didn’t know everything.

That is a good description of the new Republican Legislature. They were elected for good reasons: The hubris, arrogance, excesses, patronage abuse, corruption and demagoguery of Democrats. But the 2013 Legislature reminds me lots of the Democrats they replaced.

Republicans, who hold all state offices and a veto-proof majority in the Legislature, have decided that they know better than anyone how to do everything.

Take education, for instance. Three successive reform-minded state school superintendents — supported by a business community concerned about the loss of one-third of Alabama manufacturing jobs since 2000 and fearful that schools were not producing a labor force skilled enough to compete in the global economy — began reforming education.

They introduced model early childhood programs, world-class math and science curricula, a reading initiative widely copied nationwide, tougher graduation standards, and took over failing schools and malfunctioning systems characterized by patronage politics and financial profligacy (think Birmingham).

Education reformers organized A+ Education Partnership and joined this battle. Their hugely successful “best practices” center and life-changing college-readiness program that enrolls record numbers of students in demanding advanced placement courses constitute instances where Alabama set national standards rather than followed them.

So what does the new Republican Legislature do? Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama’s useless anti-texting while driving law

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 27, 2012

Alabama‘s politician’s have demonstrated, once again, their individual & collective incompetence.

In an effort that could only be described as hopeful, the fools on Montgomery’s Goat Hill passed Read the rest of this entry »

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Gerald Dial, Alabama State Senator, Wa$te$ Taxpayers’ Time & Money Writing Religious Law, Readying Federal Fight

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 11, 2012

Some folks just want to “out-Jesus” each other.

It’s as if they attempt to demonstrate by their actions that they love Jesus more than someone else… especially and particularly if they make efforts in the public square.

Christ called such behavior a type of hypocrisy, warning that such prayers were already answered – but not by the Almighty, but rather by humans – because that’s who they chose to pray to. “And when you pray, be not like the pretenders who like to stand in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets to pray, that they may be seen by the children of men, and truly I say to you, they have received their reward.

Truly, I say to you, dear reader, this type behavior disgusts me more than I have words adequate to describe.

Not only that, but the ninnies and nincompoops demonstrate that they have absolutely nothing better to do, and are not about the people’s business, but rather are about their own private agenda. They’re wasting time and money on worthless things. They’re neither visionary, nor reactionary.

They’re just plain, old, STUPID.

Every damn one of ’em.

Besides, if I wanted live under some religious law, I’d move to a country where that crap went on.

Idiots all.

It’s time Alabama voters had a recall law, because many of ’em would be. At the very least, we should place term limitations upon them, just like we did upon the office of the governor.

Supporters say proposal could allow Ten Commandments to be displayed on state property

Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2012, 5:35 PM     Updated: Tuesday, March 06, 2012, 6:12 PM

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Some state senators said a bill passed by a Senate committee today would change Alabama’s constitution to say, in effect, that Read the rest of this entry »

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Study: Half of all Pregnant Moms may not need hospital birth

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 24, 2011

For many years I’ve remarked sarcastically that, it’s amazing the human race has existed this far.

According to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, “High-risk complications occur in only 6 percent to 8 percent of all pregnancies.” The University of California Ervine Medical Center says that, “As many as 10 percent of pregnancies are considered high risk, but with expert care, 95 percent of these special cases result in the birth of healthy babies.

Some states – like Alabama – forbid home birth. Yes, that’s true.

How many obstetricians have you ever heard of whom delivered a child anywhere else other than a hospital? We hear about taxicab drivers, police officers, EMTs, and others delivering babies in backseats of cars, at homes, and in a variety of locations other than hospitals. But NONE of them are obstetricians. And good luck getting a doctor to come to your house… for any reason.

In stark contrast, Nurse Midwives, traditionally the providers of choice for pregnancies and birth, are non-existent in Alabama, while in Tennessee – Alabama’s northern neighbor (for the geographically challenged) – state law allows midwives to perform birthing services, and at midwife owned birthing centers.

Let’s put this in perspective, and cut to the chase, shall we?

The site AlabamaMidwives.com provides the best explanation of any.

“”Lay midwifery” was formally recognized by Alabama law in 1919, under the old Alabama Code, Title 46, Section 168. That statute was repealed, however, in 1976, and replaced with the current law, Alabama Code Section 34-19-1, et. seq. The current law allowed for “lay midwives” to continue practicing as long as they had a license from the Department of Health, but our understanding is that the Department of Health issued its last “lay midwife” license in 1984. The Department’s position is that it will not issue licenses to “lay midwives”; that to receive a license one must have a formal nursing degree; and that the repeal of the old statute recognizing lay midwifery means the Legislature intended to phase out lay midwives in favor of nurse midwives. Of course, this is the Department’s opinion, not necessarily the law. No court of law has ever ruled upon whether the Department of Public Health retains authority under the current law to issue licenses to “lay midwives.” It is our opinion that it does.

   No one knows at this time if there has ever been a “midwifery program” in the State of Alabama, but we do know that the Alabama Code specifically recognized lay midwifery from 1919 – 1976. In 1976, when the new law was enacted, the Alabama Department of Public Health renewed licenses to those lay midwives then practicing, but refused to grant NEW licenses unless the individual had a formal nursing degree.”

There you have it. The practice of midwifery in Alabama was made illegal in 1976.

But more importantly, this is the state telling you that you do NOT have the freedom to choose. Does that make you happy?

Is it any wonder that Alabama’s state slogan is “Thank God for Mississippi!”?

England study: Low-risk births don’t need hospital

By MARIA CHENG | AP – 2011-11-25T00:02:23Z

LONDON (AP) — A new study in England shows little difference in complications among the babies of women with low-risk pregnancies who delivered in hospitals versus those who gave birth with midwives at home or in birthing centers.

Based on the findings, researchers said women with uncomplicated pregnancies in England should be able to choose where they want to give birth — and one expert said about half of all pregnant women here could potentially safely give birth outside a hospital. Read the rest of this entry »

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Prediction: Obama will be re-elected

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 3, 2011

Does history repeat itself?

If history is any indicator, then President Obama will be re-elected.

The astute political observer will note that political events are playing out much like they did during President Clinton‘s first term. There is an angry Republican party whipped up by a vitriolic Speaker of the House, a government shutdown, allegations of a federal government that is too large, a domestic debt that is unmanageable, foreign turmoil, involvement in international armed conflict in the Middle East, anger by Republicans over health care reform, and a mid-term loss to Republicans… it’s uncanny.

Previously, I had written in an entry entitled “House Republicans move to repeal Obama health insurance reforms” that Read the rest of this entry »

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Tornado Damaged Albertville Schools Forced to Reopen

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 29, 2010

It’s ridiculous you can’t do that in Alabama; but we’ll do what they tell us to do.”

– Ric Ayer, Albertville City Schools Superintendent

In shocking news, Albertville City Schools – devastated by a recent tornado – will be forced to reopen next week, and WILL NOT be able to obtain a student attendance waiver for the five days they were closed this week because of the damage.

Albertville City School Superintendent Ric Ayer said that Alabama state law neither allows for any process – however extraordinary circumstances may be – to waive the 180 day scholastic year, which is mandated by law. Superintendent Ayer said …Continue…

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Is there a Doctor (of Nursing) in the house?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 17, 2010

I recollect one day, several years ago, at a then-small, rural community/junior college where I began my higher education, while walking across a parking lot, that I greeted an administrator whom I saw.

Hello, Dr. Gudger!,” I cheerily greeted him.

Good morning!,” came his reply.

Just then, another student, unknown to me or Dr. Gudger, called out, “Doctor! Oh, doctor! I have a question about my mama’s ...”

I’m sorry I can’t help you. I’m not that kind of doctor,” replied Dr. Gudger, as he turned and looked the student in the eye.

At the time, I thought it rather odd, then quickly considered that the fellow – likely from a very rural and poor background – was there to obtain an education. And so in part, he was schooled that day.

However, interesting stories aside, as healthcare goes, our nation is experiencing a significantly decreasing interest in rural healthcare practice, as well as family practice, followed by internal medicine.

Now, I realize that some would pooh-pooh lawyers and blame law suits (everybody hates lawyers… until they need one), claiming that sue-happy folk are to blame for the problems. However, while law suits may have a role – albeit an insignificant one – insurance companies are probably more to blame for increased costs of healthcare and rationing the delivery of health related services.

It’s really rather easy to understand: Anytime anyone gets in between you and the checkout stand, you’re gonna’ pay more. From a fiscal perspective, that’s essentially what happens.

Now, while I could drone on and on about the hows and whys that the insurance industry is (in my opinion) corrupt (the federal government has also bailed them out, along with banks – which, along with stock brokerage houses enjoy an incestuous fiscal orgy), and has corrupted whatever thing their hand touches, I shall confine my remarks toward the more germane and problematic topic at hand, which is the shortage of healthcare delivery to rural areas, and among the poor. …Continue…

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♫B – I – N, G, O… B – I – N, G, O was his name, oh!♫

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 25, 2010

There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name, oh! B – I – N, G, O… B – I – N, G, O… B – I – N, G, O and Bingo was his name, oh!

Hi kiddies!

Today your Uncle Bob is gonna’ tell you all about his dog!

And what’s his name?

(children yell out name)

Yes! That’s right! Bingo!

And I’m gonna’ kill my dog!

Probably the only thing anyone can do in Alabama is laugh at …Continue…

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