Governor Robert Bentley hopes the incoming Trump administration will allow states to charge Medicaid premiums and set enrollment requirements. The Republican governor wrote House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy the day before Trump's inauguration, as Congress works on a repeal and possible replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Bentley says states need flexibility to set Medicaid enrollment requirements, reduce benefits and impose premiums on recipients. Bentley cautioned repealing the Affordable Care Act without a "clear replacement" could cause some insurers to withdraw from the market.

"Fly Me To The Moon..."

Jan 21, 2017

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is aiming for the moon. The School is making a quarter billion dollar proposal to NASA to launch a satellite to lunar orbit. The mission is called the Lunar Occultation Explorer astrophysics mission. It would put a satellite with gamma-ray sensors in orbit around the moon to study exploding stars known as supernovae. Earth's atmosphere screens out most gamma rays, making a vantage point around the airless moon better for scientific study.

Train Your Dog Month

Jan 21, 2017
andreaarden (Andrea Arden) [Flickr]

Training a dog is all about communication between you and your furry friend.  It gives your pet an understanding about what you expect.  Because a dog has a desire to please its pack leader (you), knowing the rules and boundaries makes for a happy dog and a happy owner!

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policymaker.alabama.gov

Federal judges have struck down 12 Alabama legislative districts, saying Republicans relied too heavily on race when drawing the lines. 

A three-judge panel ruled Friday in the long-running lawsuit over the legislative districts.

    The judges say 12 districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered, and they blocked the Alabama Legislature from using them in future elections. The panel upheld 24 more challenged districts.  

Women's March in Birmingham Tomorrow

Jan 20, 2017
Trump protestors
Spencer Platt / Getty

A new civil rights march will be taking place at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in downtown Birmingham this weekend.

Activists from across Alabama will join together at Kelly Ingram Park to march in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday. There is also a group of Alabama women attending the national march in D.C. The marches are designed to be rallies for women across the country who want to “proactively preserve” their rights.

Over his eight years in office, President Obama commuted the sentences of nearly 1400 federal prisoners, the most in history, and issued over 200 pardons.

But one of those pardons did not come for former Democratic Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. The Department of Justice informed Siegelman’s attorneys yesterday that his application for clemency had been denied.

This week marks the beginning of a new political era – and the end of another.

Not just in Washington, either. A new administration also brings turnover at the state level. U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance joins us today, on her final day as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. She announced her intent to retire last week, and spoke with us about her eight years serving as the head law enforcement official for Alabama's northern district.

Federal authorities say they're investigating threats made to Jewish centers both in Alabama and across the country.

A brief statement released by the FBI yesterday says they and the Justice Department's civil rights division are investigating "possible civil rights violations in connection with threats." The statement from the agency's Washington headquarters doesn't characterize the threats.

But the Anti-Defamation League also issued a statement yesterday citing "a series of bomb threats to Jewish community centers in at least 18 states."

The lone Democrat and black person in Alabama's congressional delegation says she is skipping the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump.  

Representative Terri Sewell of Selma tweeted Wednesday that she can't accept the disrespect shown to Representative John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights veteran who grew up in Alabama.

Trump criticized Lewis after the congressman questioned the legitimacy of the election and said he isn't attending the inaugural. Dozens of other congressional Democrats have since said they won't go, either.

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