The Alabama Legislature is one step away from passing a bill that would make sure private schools and non-failing public schools don't have to take students who want to transfer from failing public schools.
The bill making transfers optional won approval in the House last week and in the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday. The bill by Republican Rep. Jim Carns of Mountain Brook now goes to the Senate for what could be a final vote.
Six coastal governors have called on Washington to open up more waters to offshore drilling and to make permitting a quicker, more efficient process.
The governors of Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Alaska spoke Monday at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. Officials from Louisiana and Virginia also spoke.
They say a federal moratorium on offshore drilling after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and permitting requirements put in place after that, have made it difficult for companies to develop resources.
Fisherman gathered over the weekend off Alabama's coast for the annual the 64th annual Blessing of the Fleet.
The Press-Register reports (http://bit.ly/18plF8X) that Sunday's event was the largest fund-raiser of the year for St. Margaret Catholic Church. It was also a highlight of the two-day community festival in Bayou La Batre.
Alabama farmers say they're trying to cope with several weeks of cool temperatures and excessive rainfall, which has oversaturated the soil.
Agriculture experts say that has slowed farming across the state, which could threaten yields.
Farmer Keith Bryant tells The Anniston Star (http://bit.ly/13ls16h) that he's being slowed down in his efforts to plant 400 acres of cotton this year. But he said his cotton harvest will be fine as long as he can plant by May 15.
Alabama voters will have a much easier time following campaign donations in the 2014 elections for state offices.
The Alabama secretary of state's office plans to launch a searchable online database of campaign donations by the end of May. It will replace the old system of paper documents and scanned-in documents, and it will premier in time for the start of fundraising for the 2014 elections.
Gov. Robert Bentley's state finance director, Marquita Davis, is leaving for a new job in Birmingham.
Bentley's press secretary, Jennifer Ardis, said Davis has accepted a job as executive director of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity. She will move to her new job after the current legislative session ends later this month.
Davis served as director of the state Department of Children's Affairs in Gov. Bob Riley's Cabinet and in Bentley's Cabinet before he made her finance director in August 2011.
The Alabama legislature has paved the way for a new resort to be built on 29 acres of state-owned land at Gulf Shores State Park.
The bill allows Gov. Robert Bentley flexibility to work with a projects committee to decide the best way to build a major resort that would replace the state-owned lodge that was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
Tuscaloosa County officials could soon adopt a policy guiding decisions on where to place "speed tables" aimed at slowing down drivers.
The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/ZrZybe) that there's policy regulating speed tables in unincorporated areas of Tuscaloosa County.
County commissioners propose placing the tables -- which are similar to speed bumps with flattened tops -- based on requests from their constituents. The requests then must be approved by the full commission.
The Alabama House has begun debate on a bill that allows gun owners to carry a pistol in their vehicle.
Hartselle Republican Ed Henry says the bill's purpose is to protect the rights of citizens to carry arms.
Some of the supporters expressed concern that President Obama is using recent shootings at schools and other public shootings as a reason to pass legislation reducing the rights of Americans to bear arms.
Plans to address the education budget Thursday in the state Senate got postponed.
Senate Rules Committee Chairman Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills says the budget was being delayed until next week because of disagreements over a pay raise for K-12 employees and other issues.
Senate budget committee Chairman Trip Pittman of Daphne favors a 1 percent raise with the possibility of a 1 percent bonus. The House approved a 2 percent raise. Pittman says he may come around to the House's view if he sees the raise is sustainable in future years.