Montgomery, AL – The Alabama Legislature's special session has ended. The House and Senate agreed to minor changes the governor made in the two state budgets. The lawmakers also passed appropriations bills that accompany the budget and then ended their two-week special session yesterday.
The budgets will mean that as many as one thousand state employees or more will lose their jobs. Funding to many state agencies was cut by 18 percent.
Birmingham, AL – Alabama is still the nation's economic basement, but at least things aren't getting worse. The Census Bureau estimates that an average of 14-point-six percent of Alabama's four-point-four (M) million residents lived in poverty from 2000 through last year. That's higher than the national average of 11-point-seven percent over the same period and among the nation's worst poverty rates.
Montgomery, AL – Three Auburn University trustees whose terms have expired will get to serve a few more months. That's because the state Senate ended its special session yesterday without considering replacements for the three trustees.
Montgomery, AL – Alabamians' access to financial information about campaigns in the state got an "F" in a new national study. The study called "Grading State Disclosure" gave an "F" to 17 states and ranked Alabama 47th among the 50 states. According to the study, Alabama "has significant room to improve."
Only North Dakota, South Carolina and Wyoming rated worse than Alabama. Washington ranked first, followed by Illinois and Massachusetts.
Washington, DC – President Bush has chosen Alabama businessman William Cabaniss to be U-S ambassador to the Czech Republic.
Cabaniss currently is president and chief executive officer of Precision Grinding Incorporated of Birmingham. Before that, he served in Alabama's Senate and House of Representatives. He earned a bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University.
Cabaniss' nomination must be approved by the Senate.