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Politics & Government
3:40 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Bentley's Budgets Would Increase Education Funding

Gov. Robert Bentley is proposing state budgets that would require most state agencies to get by next year with about the same amount they are receiving this year.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

Gov. Robert Bentley is proposing state budgets that would require most state agencies to get by next year with about the same amount they are receiving this year.

Bentley's proposals include increases for all levels of public education.

Bentley's office released his recommended budgets Tuesday, which is the second day of the Legislature's 2014 session.

Bentley's state General Fund budget for the next fiscal year would spend $1.8 billion. The biggest increase is $70 million is for Medicaid. Courts would get a small increase.

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Forever Wild
3:34 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Trust To Hold 3 Public Meetings On Forever Wild

Leaders of Alabama's Forever Wild Land Trust are holding a series of meetings to help plan the future of the program.
Credit http://alabamaforeverwild.com/ / Alabama Forever Wild

Leaders of Alabama's Forever Wild Land Trust are holding a series of meetings to help plan the future of the program.

Officials are announcing plans for three public sessions to aid in the development of a long-range plan for the program, which purchases and preserves unspoiled acreage all over the state.

The first session will be held Jan. 23 in Huntsville, followed by a meeting on Feb. 20 in Spanish Fort and a final one in Birmingham on Feb. 27.

The main goal is to plan and discuss future land acquisitions by the program.

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Obit-William Weaver
4:05 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Founding President Of Ala. University Dead At 95

University of Mobile officials say they're mourning the loss of the school's founding president, William K. Weaver.
Credit University of Mobile

University of Mobile officials say they're mourning the loss of the school's founding president, William K. Weaver.

In a statement Tuesday, university officials said 95-year-old Weaver died Jan. 13. A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 16 at the First Baptist Church of Mobile. His cause of death is unclear.

Weaver retired as the university's president in 1984 and served as chancellor until his death.

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College President-Cohabitation
3:58 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

University Bars President From Campus Cohabitation

Alabama State University is barring its new president from living with any romantic interest in the campus home provided her as long as she remains unmarried.
Credit meetmycollege.com

An Alabama university is barring its new president from living with any romantic interest in the campus home provided her as long as she remains unmarried.

A contract signed by Gwendolyn Boyd to become head of Alabama State University in Montgomery prohibits her from sharing her presidential home with any partner. The contract notes Boyd is single and requires her to live in the house. It says the no-cohabitation clause is in effect as long as Boyd isn't married.

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New Legislators
3:45 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

New Lawmakers Join Legislature For Annual Session

Two new lawmakers have taken their seats for the first time as the Alabama Legislature opens its 2014 session.

Two new lawmakers have taken their seats for the first time as the Alabama Legislature opens its 2014 session.

In the House, Rep. Adline Clarke of Mobile County and Rep. Dimitri Polizos of Montgomery County took oaths of office Tuesday from Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Clarke, a Democrat, won a special election to fill the seat vacated by the death of Yvonne Kennedy, who served in the House for more than 30 years. Polizos, a Republican, won a special election for a seat that opened when Jay Love resigned. There are still three vacancies in the 105-seat House.

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Huntsville Mayor-Governor
3:42 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Huntsville Mayor Battle Not Running For Governor

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says he's not running for governor of Alabama.
Credit blog.al.com

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says he's not running for governor of Alabama.

Battle announced on his website Tuesday he has decided against seeking the state's highest office. He calls being mayor of Huntsville a "dream job" he doesn't want to give up.

Battle is in his sixth year as mayor of the city of 184,000 residents.

Bentley's only announced GOP opponent is former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George. Among Democrats, former minor league baseball player and Fayette businessman Kevin Bass is running.

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Health Overhaul-Alabama
3:58 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

More Alabamians Signing Up For Health Insurance

The number of Alabamians signing up for the federally operated health insurance marketplace jumped significantly in the last month.
Credit U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

The number of Alabamians signing up for the federally operated health insurance marketplace jumped significantly in the last month, with more than 28,600 signed up through late December.

Enrollment under the federal health care law started Oct. 1, and about 3,450 in Alabama had signed up through the end of November.

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Luther Strange-Campaign
3:38 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Strange Opening Re-Election Campaign For Ala. AG

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is kicking off his re-election campaign.
Credit LutherStrange.com

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is kicking off his re-election campaign.

Strange will begin his re-election bid by filing his qualifying materials Monday morning at state Republican Party headquarters in Hoover.

It's not a surprise: Strange announced a year ago that he would seek a second term in 2014.

The attorney and former lobbyist defeated incumbent Troy King in the GOP primary in 2010, and then he went on to win the general election.

Strange has no announced opposition this year among either Republicans or Democrats.

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Politics & Government
7:22 am
Mon January 13, 2014

State economists foresee tight budget year

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama legislators are set to get a look at state government's current financial picture and what's forecast for the next fiscal year. The information will come in a day and a half of budget hearings that begin Monday morning in Montgomery. The Legislature's chief financial expert, Norris Green, and state Finance Director Bill Newton will give their outlooks. The lawmakers will also have presentations Monday from the two biggest agencies in the General Fund budget: Medicaid and Corrections.

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School Funding Suit
3:58 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Alabama Property Tax System Survives Challenge

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta as rejected a suit challenging Alabama's property tax structure.
Credit globaltradelawyer.net

A federal appeals court has rejected a suit challenging Alabama's property tax structure.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled against black and white plaintiffs from Sumter and Lawrence counties who contended that Alabama's property tax system is rooted in racial discrimination and cripples the ability of rural, predominantly black school systems to raise revenue.

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit rejected their challenges to Alabama's cap on property tax rates and the state's system of classifying property.

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Healthy Babies
3:53 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Alabama Program Seeks To Lower Infant Death Rate

State Health Officer Don Williamson says it will take some time to lower Alabama's infant mortality rate which is usually amongst the highest in the nation,
Credit blog.al.com

Alabama is launching a program called "State of Champions" to try to reduce the state's high infant mortality rate.

State Health Officer Don Williamson and Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday it will take time to reduce Alabama's rate, which is traditionally in the top three among states, but they are determined to do it.

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Rehabilitation Tax Credits
3:44 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

10 Landmarks Selected For Alabama Tax Credits

The Redmont Hotel in Birmingham is one of ten landmarks that have been selected for Alabama's new tax credits for rehabilitation projects.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Ten landmarks have been selected for Alabama's new tax credits for rehabilitation projects.

The Alabama Historical Commission says more applications were submitted than the $20 million in tax credits that are available annually. The commission says 10 projects have qualified for 2014 tax credits and 10 more are on a wait list.

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Governor-George
3:38 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Longshot Republican For Governor Campaigning Again

A longshot Republican candidate for governor is campaigning again after being sidelined by illness.
Credit RNC

A longshot Republican candidate for governor is campaigning again after being sidelined by illness.

Former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George said Thursday that he was diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic on Oct. 2. The illness involves a low blood platelet count. It required lots of treatments to get his platelet count back to normal and end his fatigue. But George says he's back to running.

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Congress-Committees
3:33 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Alabama's New Congressman Gets 2 Committees

Alabama's newest member of Congress has landed seats on committees that he says will be important to his south Alabama district.
Credit Anniston Star

Alabama's newest member of Congress has landed seats on committees that he says will be important to his south Alabama district.

Republican Bradley Byrne was sworn in Wednesday in Washington to represent the 1st Congressional District. The House Republican Steering Committee has placed him on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee.

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Wren-Retiring
3:28 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Alabama Rep. Greg Wren Won't Seek Re-Election

A four-term state representative, Republican Greg Wren of Montgomery, has decided not to seek re-election this year.
Credit blog.al.com

A four-term state representative, Republican Greg Wren of Montgomery, has decided not to seek re-election this year.

Wren issued a statement Thursday saying he has enjoyed his 16 years of public service but after much prayer, he had decided it is time to retire when his term ends in November.

Wren represents the 75th District, which covers parts of Montgomery and Elmore counties. He has served as chairman of the Joint Legislative Medicaid Committee and the Joint Energy Committee.

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