Senate Democrats say their priority for the 2013 legislative session is getting Alabama to expand its Medicaid program.
The Senate Democratic Caucus announced at a news conference Tuesday that it hopes to get Republican Gov. Robert Bentley to reverse his decision not to expand the program under the federal Affordable Care Act. Bentley, a physician, is opposed to enlarging the Medicaid program under the current structure.
The Coast Guard says a second tug boat has reached a disabled cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico and is helping tow it to Mobile, Ala.
More than 3,000 passengers and a crew of more than 1,000 aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Carnival Triumph have had limited services since a fire in an engine room Sunday. The original plan was to tow it to Progreso, Mexico, but currents pushed it north.
An Alabama woman has struck a deal with a Hollywood filmmaker to make a movie about her long battle for women to receive equal pay as men.
Lilly Ledbetter's long struggle to receive equal pay for the time she worked as a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Gadsden led to the first bill Barack Obama signed into law as president.
Financial experts say the fiscal cliff agreement in Washington will cut funding for Alabama's public schools and colleges by at least $70 million annually.
The fiscal cliff settlement affects Alabama differently than most other states. That's because Alabama is one of the few states that provides its citizens with a state income tax deduction for the federal taxes paid. The federal settlement allowed a temporary reduction in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare to expire. It also raised the tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.
A crew from the National Weather Service plans to inspect storm damage in southwestern Alabama to determine whether damage to homes in the area was caused for a tornado or high winds.
Preliminary reports from the weather service indicate that homes were damaged near the small community of St. Stephens, a few miles outside Jackson. Survey crews were planning to assess the damage on Monday.
Forecasters say more than 4 inches of rain has fallen in parts of the Alabama -- and the totals are continuing to climb.
State environmental officials are investigating the recent release of industrial sludge into two Opelika waterways.
Alabama Department of Environmental Management spokesman Scott Hughes says the agency received a call Friday from the city of Opelika regarding some material that had been found in the Pepperell Branch and Saugahatchee Creek.
Hughes tells the Opelika-Auburn News (http://bit.ly/V9RInR) that the release likely started sometime Thursday afternoon.
The federal Small Business Administration says March 11 is the deadline for disaster loan applications from people and businesses in 10 Alabama counties and three Mississippi counties affected by severe storms on Dec. 25-26.
SBA field director Frank Skaggs said low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Loans of up to $40,000 are available to homeowners and renters to replace personal property. Businesses and nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million.
The Alabama Legislature is considering a bill that would give local school systems more flexibility in determining their rules and regulations.
The bill is opposed by the Alabama Education Association. AEA officials are concerned it could allow some local systems to strip rights away from teachers. They see it as a possible back-door approach to creating public/private charter schools in Alabama.
A north Alabama lawmaker is suggesting possible legislation that he said would streamline the state's election process by eliminating some party primary runoffs.
Republican state Rep. Mike Ball of Madison told the Florence Times-Daily the primary runoffs are costly. He said sometimes in special elections the runoff could cause a district to go through most of a legislative session without representation.
Ball said he's researching the idea and hopes to file a bill by the end of March to discontinue most primary runoffs.