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Is tax increase best we can do for Alabama’s taxpayers?

By Slade Blackwell With the next legislative session about a month away, discussions have focused heavily on the budgetary challenges facing our state. One of our two major state budgets, the general fund, faces a shortfall that could reach as much as $265 million for the upcoming fiscal year. Medicaid, transportation infrastructure needs and Alabama’s overcrowded prisons are just a few of the significant s ...

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Inside the Statehouse: The issue of consolidating general fund, education budgets

By Steve Flowers The most pressing problem facing the governor and legislature as they enter this new quadrennium is the financial shortfall in the general fund budget. Last year Gov. Robert Bentley floated a trial balloon to see if there was any traction to combine the two state budgets in order to give more wiggle room in the budgeting of limited state dollars. It was quickly shot down. We are one of only ...

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Inside the Statehouse: An early lookahead to 2018 governor race

By Steve Flowers Robert Bentley was inaugurated last Monday as our governor for the second time. He and his lovely wife, Diane, are good people. When you get to be my age, four years goes by in a hurry. It seems like only yesterday that Gov. Bentley was enjoying his first inauguration. I recall walking down Dexter Avenue toward my perch as a commentator for one of the Montgomery television stations, when I ...

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Be careful about what you read about the economy

By David Guttery Recently, I vented my opinion upon my professional Facebook page, regarding articles written by those to whom I refer as “end timers,” who repeatedly call for the collapse of the global economy and the crash of markets. They haven’t been right yet. I’m sure that you have seen the articles written by authors wanting you to believe that we’re in some new “end of times” epoch, prophesied by Sc ...

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Inside the Statehouse: Tuscaloosa County’s political representation unparalleled

By Steve Flowers Throughout Alabama political history, certain cities, counties and enclaves have had a proclivity for having an inordinate number of their citizenry serve in Alabama politics. The most dominant example is the unbelievable number of governors produced by Barbour County. It is referred to as the Home of Governors. However, currently we have a remarkable occurrence that will probably never hap ...

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A new year means a new market

By Dave Parrish It has become a tradition of sorts to open up each year with examination of the state of the real estate market. This year is no different except in what I have to report. For the past couple years we have experienced some tentative signs of recovery. Last year was indeed a very different year, the kind that should put at least a hint of a smile on the face of homeowners. The bulk of the hou ...

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Tough choices await lawmakers when session begins

By Danny Garrett Happy New Year. By the time you read this article, the State Legislature will have held its organizational session Jan. 13-14. When my fellow lawmakers and I gather in Montgomery for the 2015 regular legislative session that convenes in March, we will be greeted by one of the most severe budget shortfalls in the history of the state. And because the Alabama Constitution requires each year’s ...

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Looking ahead to Alabama Legislature regular session

By Slade Blackwell On March 3, the Alabama Legislature will meet for the first regular session of the new four-year quadrennium. While many Alabamians may be familiar with some of the bigger issues that will be considered by the Alabama Legislature, they may not know exactly how some of the political implications of the last election will impact the next four years. Here are a couple of relevant political r ...

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Inside the Statehouse: Gov. Robert Bentley has made me eat my words

By Steve Flowers During the 2010 governor’s race, I continuously made the statement that whomever won would be a one-term governor. My prophecy was based on the fact that the state was flat broke and it would take a lot of tough decisions and probably tax increases to fix the mess. Former Gov. Bob Riley was not helping his successor any either in a concerted mission to spend every cent in an already barren ...

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Getting a survey generally a good idea

By Chesley Payne I am almost always asked if a survey is required when buying real property. Generally, my response is that yes, it’s usually a good idea to obtain a survey prior to buying any real property. However, in some instances, it’s more important than others. If you’re buying acreage, a survey can provide a detailed drawing of your property and identify many problems prior to closing. Among these p ...

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