Montgomery, AL – Governor Bob Riley's health insurance proposals went before the Legislature's four budget committees Tuesday for public hearings. One particular group of public employees is getting some special attention. Smokers would be required to pay more for the insurance under the governor's plan. State finance director Jim Main says smokers cost the state about 100 dollars extra per month in health care costs. The state would require smokers to pay some of that -- an extra 20 dollars per month for health insurance.
Birmingham, AL – Congressman Artur Davis is defending Alabama Democratic Party chairman Redding Pitt. Davis says some Democratic leaders are wrongly blaming Pitt for the party's lackluster showing in last week's election. Davis says the party's problems are with policies, not personalities. Four Democratic leaders have asked Pitt to resign -- Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley, Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, House Speaker Seth Hammett and Senate President Pro Tem Lowell Barron.