Democrats in the Alabama Senate are having trouble pressing their top issue.
Senate Minority Leader Vivian Davis Figures of Mobile offered a resolution Thursday urging the Republican governor to reconsider his decision not to expand Medicaid. The Senate's Republican leader, President Pro Tem Del Marsh, cut off debate on the resolution by getting it sent to the Senate Rules Committee.
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby says he will vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, a major boost for President Barack Obama's nominee.
The Alabama lawmaker tells the Decatur Daily he has concerns about his fellow Republican but plans to support him. Shelby spokesman Jonathan Graffeo said Thursday that, barring unforeseen surprises, the senator will vote for confirmation.
Alabama's governor said the state stands to lose 24,000 jobs if automatic government spending cuts kick in on March 1.
Gov. Robert Bentley said the impact was calculated by the National Governors Association. It forecast the biggest impact in Alabama would be on defense-related jobs. Bentley said the Huntsville area would be the hardest hit.
Alabama residents buying supplies they need to make it through times of severe weather will not have to pay sales tax for certain items this weekend.
Gov. Robert Bentley said Wednesday people need to take advantage of the break from Alabama's sales tax to stock up on supplies such as battery-powered radios, weather radios, first aid kits, portable generators and plywood.
The holiday from sales tax will begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday and will run through the end of the day on Sunday.
State Health Officer Don Williamson told Alabama lawmakers that money will be available to fund Alabama's Medicaid program at a minimal level through 2014.
But Williamson told a joint meeting of the House and Senate General Fund budget committees Wednesday he did not know where the money would come from after 2014 to run the health insurance program for the economically disadvantaged.
Williamson is also the interim director of the Alabama Medicaid Program.
Gov. Robert Bentley and legislative leaders kept a promise Wednesday to enact legislation requiring the repayment of $437 million taken from a state trust fund to bolster state budgets.
Bentley signed a bill passed by the Legislature that mandates the repayment to the trust fund through annual appropriations concluding in 2026. The bill was the first passed by the Legislature in the current session.
Legislation that would allow city and county school systems to opt out of state education laws could come up for a final vote in the Senate next week.
A school flexibility bill cleared the House on Feb. 14 and was approved by the Senate Education Committee in a 5-3 vote Wednesday, with Republicans voting yes and Democrats voting no. A spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says the bill is a priority and could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday.
Gov. Robert Bentley says he's ready to sign whatever version of the bill the Legislature passes.
A House committee has approved a bill that would provide tax credits for rehabilitating historic structures or non-historic buildings that were built before 1936.
The House education budget committee approved the bill unanimously. The sponsor, Republican Sen. Victor Gaston of Mobile, told committee members it would encourage home and business owners to make improvements to historic structures.
Credit AP Photo/Alabama Governor's Office, Jamie Martin
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says he'll make good on his promise to voters and sign legislation that requires full repayment of money transferred from the Alabama Trust Fund to the General Fund Budget.