Personnel Boards were created in response to a perceived “spoils system” within local government whereby newly elected officials were regularly replacing experienced employees with their political friends.

Today, these boards are described as dysfunctional, inefficient, ineffective, and expensive by those who have had to work within their guidelines.

The laws mandating personnel boards eroded the authority of Alabama’s largest local governments over employment-related matters to the detriment of these localities.



The Shared Foundation of Liberals and Conservatives

Political discussion in the United States is often framed by party allegiance. When people are asked to explain the rationale behind their choice to identify with a specific party, however, they often cannot give an answer beyond listing particular positions that they support or oppose. While an understanding of specific policies is important, limiting debate […]

Alabama can do more for its military families

According to a recent survey, a majority of military family members do not feel that they belong in their local civilian communities. This means that less than half of military families that live in our neighborhoods, shop at our malls, and attend our places of worship feel at home with us. Why is this the […]

Taylor’s Top 4: Legislative Review for Week 8

Our prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to Representative Allen Treadaway and his family after the loss of his daughter Kelsey Treadaway earlier this week.  If you want to receive daily news hits from across the state and nation straight to your inbox each morning, click here to subscribe to API’s Daily Clips. 1. Changes to ethics […]

MORE ON Good Governance

Increased Polarization in Politics: Bad for Alabama and the country

Our politics is increasingly polarized. Yelling matches on cable news are the norm, and those with opposite viewpoints are labeled as bigoted or anti-American. The division has gotten to the point that, according to the Pew Research Center, most Republicans and Democrats have few or no friends in the opposing party. The question, therefore, is […]

What do you want to hear from your candidates?

Most of the talk I’ve heard this legislative session has been preceded with “well, you know it’s an election year. . .” as if to indicate that we shouldn’t expect too much from our lawmakers in 2018. Rather, our expectations for our elected officials in 2018 should be just as high as usual, if not […]

It’s Time for New Year’s Resolutions

Ah, January, the make-or-break month for New Year’s resolutions. Don’t you think that our elected officials—members of the legislature, state school board, executive branch, and others—should adopt some resolutions? I’ve got a few ideas for them.       1. Commit to protecting taxpayers. Want to raise taxes? Meet them with an offset elsewhere. Want […]

MORE FROM The Alabama Policy Institute

Our Evaluation of Michael Sentance

The Alabama State Board of Education will meet tomorrow in Montgomery for a special meeting abruptly called last week. The stated purpose is to evaluate Superintendent Michael Sentance. The rumored purpose is to fire him. We trust that the latter is just that—a rumor—as there is absolutely no justification for firing Mr. Sentance. Indeed, allow […]

API Joins National Coalition of Education Choice Advocates and Releases Letter Applauding Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Letter Encourages Trump Administration to Champion Constitutionally Focused Education Choice Agenda Yesterday, Alabama Policy Institute (API) joined 12 other leading state and national organizations in sending a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos praising her outspoken commitment to parental choice in education. The letter outlines the importance of state-led efforts on education choice, emphasizing […]

Statement on the Alabama Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act

The Alabama Pro-Life Coalition (APLC) commends Governor Kay Ivey for signing the Alabama Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act into law on May 3, 2017. By her signature, the rights of religion based adoption agencies are protected. APLC also commends the sponsors of the legislation, Senator Bill Hightower (R-Mobile) and Representative Rich Wingo (R-Tuscaloosa). Their understanding, […]