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Off The Record: The latest rumors and rumblings in North Alabama

 

 

Rebates, tax breaks or none?

Legislators are apparently frustrated in Montgomery. The governor’s push for $400 tax rebates to qualified individuals seems to be losing more support daily, while the effort to remove the grocery tax has been muddled with various proposals, including one to add another tax in its place. We’re hearing there’s a chance neither option will make it to the finish line.

More Montgomery

It’s not just rebates versus taxes causing discord in Montgomery. North Alabama Sens. Arthur Orr and Sam Givhan are on notice after no-votes on the “Game Plan”/Jobs Act renewal. And there’s additional animosity brewing over Ivey’s budget proposal, it’s likely to look very different in a few weeks, while at the same time supporters of the governor are questioning her willingness or ability to fight for her agenda. Many Alabama lawmakers say they have serious concerns over use of education funds.

 

Odious opposition in Madison

As the vote for city manager nears in Madison, the behavior of those opposed to a council-manager form of government is reportedly taking a turn for the worse. In addition to online attacks on private citizens, there’s also been rumors of “Vote Yes” signs missing. One city leader shares, “It’s a vote, it’s up to the people. There’s no need for this kind of behavior in Madison.” At a recent informational session on the topic, anxious organizers included a police presence should rowdy disrupters get out of hand. Voters head to the polls May 9.

Connectivity push

Will the gorgeous Richard Martin Rails to Trails in Limestone County and the Swan Creek Greenway in Athens be connected? Some North Alabama leaders are taking more notice of the economic benefits of trail connectivity and enhancement and are looking to make it happen. One leader tells me, “An Athens city to the Tennessee state line would be showing off the best we have.”
Smaller voices aim to get louder
Look for this discussion to gain traction in the coming months – rural communities are often left in the cold when it comes to support from the state. However, there’s a growing call to make it easier for rural communities to apply for state grants using in-kind efforts and less direct funds as matching. Apparently, leaders in small towns are ready to get to work but often lack the funds or support to apply for state grants.

 

Have a rumor or rumbling to share? Email [email protected].

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