Alabama taxpayers will foot the bill for Moore's Ten-Commandment stand
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY–The bill has finally come in on former Chief Justice Roy Moore's legal fight to keep the Ten Commandments monument in the Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building. Amount due from the taxpayers: $549,430.
U. S. District Judge Myron Thompson of Montgomery has ordered the state to pay that amount to the lawyers who filed the successful suit to have the monument removed.
It was Moore's refusal to abide by the monument-moving order that resulted in him being removed from the office of chief justice.
Plaintiffs in the case had originally submitted a bill of nearly $850,000, but a settlement was reached for the lower amount.
Alabama Attorney General Troy King called the payment "regrettable but unavoidable."
The bulk of the money for schools comes from two major taxes…sales and income…and both of them are showing healthy increases during the current fiscal year.
One provision of the new school budget which irks Gov. Riley is that the Senate refused his request that teachers be asked to pay more for their health insurance coverage. Presently many of them pay only $2 a month for this coverage and with the powerful AEA looking over their shoulders, the Senate did not increase these premiums.
It is estimated this boost would generate $57 million a year in new revenue. This is by far the biggest tax-raising bill which has passed either chamber of the Legislature during the current session.
A Senate committee has approved Sanders' bill to declare a moratorium on death penalties in Alabama, but he concedes the chances of his proposal being approved by the Legislature are slim and none, but he wants to keep the issue up for debate.
Sanders insists that the death penalty is not fairly applied in Alabama. He says that minorities and the poor are far more likely to end up on Death Row than wealthy defendants.
Sanders' bill would call a halt to all executions for three years to allow time to review cases.
The proposal brought a snort of protest from Miram Shehane, executive director of Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL).
"I think it is ludicrous when we have people who have already waited 20 years for appeals," she said. "How many more years are we going to have to wait?"
The loss results from the fact that under the merger Regions Mortgage, long headquartered in Montgomery, will be moved to Memphis.
Five were inducted posthumously: Winton M. (Red) Blount of Montgomery; S T Bunn Sr., Tuscaloosa; H. C. (Hack) Jordan, Ozark; Michael H. McCartney, Gadsden; and Harold M. Newell, Hope Hull.
The two living inductees were Fuller Kimbrell, Tuscaloosa; and James T. Waitzman Sr., Birmingham.