Latest on Alabama Legislative Special Session, New Report Illustrates Alabamians' Heart Risk

Aug 22, 2016

Credit AP

The Alabama House of Representatives will take up debate on a lottery proposal championed by Governor Robert Bentley after it narrowly passed the Senate last week.

The bill would put the establishment of an Alabama lottery to the voters for the first time since 1999. The House Tourism Committee could hear the bill tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Senators have advanced a bill that could help fill an immediate $85 million hole in the state’s Medicaid budget. The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee approved a measure on Friday that would use $450 million of incoming BP settlement money to pay down state debt and nearly $200 million on road projects in coastal Alabama counties.

That bill has already passed the House, but is expected to hit a roadblock on the Senate floor. Senator Paul Sanford of Huntsville says he will push for a substitute bill. He believes the money should go toward state debt and Medicaid, not roads.

Heart disease is considered the number one killer of Alabamians.

A new report from the American Heart Association says more exercise and less sitting can reduce that health risk. The study says thirty minutes of moderate exercise can help prevent heart disease and strokes.

Danielle Deavours is with the Birmingham chapter of the American Heart Association. She says daily exercise only works if people avoid sitting down too much at home or on the job.

“About eighty to ninety percent of employees have more than six hours of sitting each day. And, that’s why our heart disease risk continues to increase year after year. So, we really are encouraging more workplaces to become fit friendly.”

Deavours says about three hundred Birmingham area businesses participate in the American Heart Association’s program called the “fit friendly workplace.” Close to thirteen thousand Alabamians die of heart disease or strokes each year.

The Alabama League of Women Voters is encouraging citizens to get informed and vote in tomorrow’s municipal elections.

The League wants voters to check their designated polling places because municipal voting precincts may be different from locations for national elections.

Kathryn Byrd is the first Vice President of the Alabama League of Women Voters. She says even though the Presidential vote is in November, municipal elections are still very important.

“When you vote for the people running who are close to home, they are the ones who control a lot of the things in your daily life. Things like how much sales tax you pay, or support for the library.”

The elections will be held across the state of Alabama in all but the state’s largest cities. Voters will be choosing some new mayors and also filling city council seats. Polls will be open tomorrow from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.