MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A bill that has passed the Alabama House and is pending in the Senate poses an old dilemma for lawmakers — jobs versus the environment. The bill would drastically lower taxes for businesses that use the hazardous waste disposal facility at Emelle, in Sumter County near the Alabama-Mississippi line. The fees for disposing waste were raised in the early 1990s to help spur activity in the economically depressed county in Alabama's Black Belt. But bill sponsor Rep. A.J.
Alabama's common core standards for public schools have survived another challenge.
It appears a bill to abolish the standards is unlikely to pass the Legislature. The Common Core standards for learning in math and English were recommended by the National Governors Association.
Bills were introduced in the House and Senate to prevent adoption of the standards. The Senate bill has been indefinitely postponed. A subcommittee of the House Education Policy Committee voted Wednesday to kill the bill.
The state's utility regulatory board has scheduled three meetings focusing on the rates for Alabama Power Co.
The Public Service Commission says the public meetings will be May 8, June 18 and July 17 in Montgomery. Each meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. at the PSC's headquarters. The PSC says the structure of each meeting will be announced later.
The PSC's rate stabilization plan for Alabama Power has provided the state's largest electric utility with a rate of return on common equity of 13 percent to 14.5 percent since 1982.
One of the longest serving members of the Legislature, Democratic Rep. Richard Lindsey of Centre, says he's never seen state services cut to their current level.
Lindsey says cuts began in 2008, and they have continued each year since then. Lindsey says prison guards are at a bare minimum, schools don't have enough supplies, and fewer state troopers are patrolling the highways.
A Macon County judge has refused to step aside from deciding what to do about gambling machines and cash seized from VictoryLand casino in Shorter.
State Attorney General Luther Strange had asked Circuit Judge Tom Young Jr. to recuse himself on grounds that he is prejudiced against the state's evidence. Young ruled at a hearing Tuesday that he is not prejudiced and will remain on the case rather than sending it to another judge. A spokesman for the attorney general says he is evaluating the next move.
Nearly 100,000 customers were without power across Alabama early Tuesday after storms with the force of hurricane winds toppled trees and utility lines.
Alabama Power said early Tuesday morning that 98,200 customers were without power as of 6 a.m., down from more than 222,000 customers after the Monday storms.
Most of the customers who remained without power -- about 50,000 -- were east of Birmingham in communities such as Gadsden, Oneonta, Anniston and Pell City. Dozens of communities around the state experienced significant damage, authorities said.