The Legislature's top financial expert is forecasting lawmakers will have more money to appropriate for education programs, but less for other state operations.
The director of the Legislative Fiscal Office, Norris Green, gave legislators a forecast Tuesday showing that revenue for the education budget should grow by $238 million in the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1. That means the budget could grow from $5.55 billion this fiscal year to $5.79 billion in the new year.
Officials say law enforcement officers stormed an underground bunker in southeastern Alabama, freeing a 5-year-old boy and shooting his captor to death after they became convinced the child was in imminent danger.
Authorities said 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes had taken the child off a school bus after fatally shooting the driver on Jan 29. Dykes had remained holed up in the bunker with the child.
Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said late Monday that Dykes was armed when officers entered the bunker to rescue the child.
A handful of Republican Alabama lawmakers are pushing a bill to make it legal to display the Ten Commandments in any public building in the state.
WAFF-TV reports a pre-filed bill sponsored by Republican state Sen. Gerald Dial and has gained support from Sen. Shadrack McGill and Sen. Clay Scofield.
Dial says the bill — titled the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment — could act as a safeguard for constituents who have expressed concerns over being sued for displaying the Ten Commandments in public places.
Alabama legislators will get an overview of the state's financial situation before they begin their 2013 legislative session at noon.
The director of the Legislative Fiscal Office, Norris Green, and the state finance director, Marquita Davis, are scheduled to address legislators at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Capitol. The financial overview is the traditional kickoff for each year's session.
The week-long hostage ordeal of a 5-year-old Alabama boy is over. Officials say the man who killed a bus driver and took the boy from a school bus last Tuesday is dead. The drama played out in an underground bunker where retired truck driver Jim Dykes had held the boy.
Authorities say a decision was made to storm the bunker because the child was in imminent danger.
Steve Richardson with the FBI's office in Mobile said at a news conference Monday afternoon that negotiations deteriorated and that 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes had been seen with a gun.
Gov. Robert Bentley has announced 302 more road and bridge projects that the state will finance with bond sales.
The 302 projects announced Monday total $398 million. That boosts his Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program to 439 projects totaling $613 million.
The largest projects include $18.7 million in Tuscaloosa to extend Fifth Avenue to Hackberry Lane at the University of Alabama campus and $16.6 million in Foley to extend Pride Drive from Alabama Highway 59 to County Road 20.
The city council in Tuscaloosa is expected to vote Tuesday on a contract that would secure a $10 million line of credit to help fund storm recovery efforts.
The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/URA3B4) that if approved, it would mark the first money the city would borrow to pay for the millions of dollars in costs associated with rebuilding and cleaning up Tuscaloosa following the tornado of April 27, 2011.
The Alabama Legislature will face several gun rights bills when it convenes Tuesday for its 2013 session.
Republican Rep. Mike Jones of Andalusia is offering a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Second Amendment rights the benefit of "strict scrutiny." That would require a compelling interest before regulating gun rights and would require that any limits on guns be narrowly tailored. The legislation is patterned after a bill the National Rifle Association got passed in Louisiana.
A new report by Alabama health officials says the rate of traffic deaths has fallen drastically since the state established a trauma network in 2007.
The numbers released by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association show deaths from vehicle crashes dropped from 27.64 per 100,000 people in 2006 to a rate of 18.05 per 100,000 people in 2011.
Dr. John Campbell, the retired state emergency services medical director, says the results show spending on trauma care has paid off for Alabama.