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

 

The taxpayer wins 

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels will be on the Mount Rushmore of Alabama tax cuts. They both brought bold, bipartisan proposals to the table this legislative session and got them done. Next time you’re buying groceries or logging overtime at work — keep these 256 heroes in mind.  

School’s out for lawmakers 

Tuesday, state legislators will close the book on the first session of the quadrennium. Between $2.3 billion in federal dollars invested, $15 billion in state budgets allocated, pay raises for teachers and state employees, tax cuts, rebates, support for law enforcement, active duty service members, veterans, foster families, business owners — everyone will be unpacking the past three months of accomplishments by the legislature for a long time. 

Apartments hit the brakes 

According to a study by David Wilson of Berkadia, there were 62 apartment projects with more than 14,000 doors under construction in the Huntsville area at the end of 2022. He also reported that another 30 apartment projects with more than 9,000 doors were in the development pipeline. It seems many of those projects are now on an indefinite hold. Local market watchers are concerned that the supply of new apartments may exceed the demand. Apartment developers believe that strong job growth and relocations to Huntsville will cover that demand so they are not cancelling projects but several have been put on indefinite holds. 

Weather wars 

Weather coverage is serious business in Alabama. An average of 69 tornadoes a year strike the Yellowhammer state, many in North Alabama.  As you might expect, severe weather coverage is high stakes among local tv stations – each competing to have the latest and greatest in weather technology. We hear some local meteorologists are casting an envious eye toward WAAY 31, whose team boasts three Doppler radars across the Tennessee Valley, the largest private radar network in the country. Rather understandable, as at least two of the local stations reportedly do not have their own functioning radars.  

A merry cheers 

Leading lawmakers gathered Thursday night to toast the end of the session at the annual Power of Service event hosted by Yellowhammer News. Legislators have logged 29 of their 30 regular session days constitutionally allowed within a period of 105 calendar days. Gov. Kay Ivey, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, Attorney General Steve Marshall, Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter, Rep. Rex Reynolds, Sen. Clay Scofield, Sen. Arthur Orr, PSC President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and many, many others were on hand to celebrate the wins and put aside any lingering legislative differences … until next year, at least.

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