Senate gun bill stalls amid sheriffs’ concerns, legislative maneuvering

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A bill allowing drivers to carry loaded pistols in their cars without a permit Thursday trapped the Alabama Senate in a crossfire between issues of gun rights and local revenue. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, would allow individuals to carry a pistol in their car without a concealed carry permit. Individuals would [...]

Senate approves $5.9 billion Education Trust Fund budget

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The Alabama Senate Thursday voted 21 to 10 to approve a $5.9 billion Education Trust Fund budget that includes funding to hire 250 new middle school teachers, give teachers a one percent bonus and cut $10.8 million from Alabama State University’s budget. The budget now goes to the House of Representatives. In the local delegation, [...]

Senate committee approves bill to phase out state sales tax on groceries

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The Senate Finance and Taxation Education committee Wednesday approved legislation that would phase out the state’s sales tax on groceries over the next three years, replacing the lost revenue with a one percent increase in the state’s general rate. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, now goes to the full Senate for consideration. [...]

Bill to phase out state sales tax on groceries goes before Senate committee

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Virtually everyone at a Senate hearing Wednesday morning agreed that the state sales tax on groceries should be eliminated. But the question in 2014, as it has been for many years, is how to do it. For Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, the most practical approach is eliminating the state’s four percent sales tax on food [...]

Alabama redistricting trial: Gerald Dial says maintaining minority districts was priority

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A state senator testified in a lawsuit over the state’s new legislative lines Thursday morning that his chief goal was maintaining majority-minority districts, but suggested that he was not involved in all the details of drawing the boundaries. In just over two hours of testimony, Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, who co-chaired the Legislature’s redistricting committee, [...]