2014 Legislature

Dual Enrollment
3:53 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Ala. House GOP Pushes Worker Training Program

Alabama House Republicans are pushing for the expansion of a program that lets high school students take job training classes at two-year colleges.
Credit Alabama.gov

Alabama House Republicans are pushing for the expansion of a program that lets high school students take job training classes at two-year colleges.

Students already can enroll in classes like welding and aviation mechanics while completing their high school studies.

Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard says expanding the program will boost the number of skilled workers in the state.

The proposed legislation would create a $10 million scholarship program to expand the state's current dual enrollment program.

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Alabama Legislature
5:10 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

State Senate Works Despite Icy Weather

The Alabama Senate was able to get some work done today despite the icy conditions.
Credit fox10tv.com

The Alabama House was unable to meet Tuesday because many members couldn't make the icy trip to Montgomery. But the Senate got enough members to Montgomery to meet.

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Phone Complaints
12:39 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Complaining To State About Phones Could End

Customers might no longer be able to call the state's utility regulatory board to complain about phone service on their landlines.
Credit pixabay.com

  Customers might no longer be able to call the state's utility regulatory board to complain about phone service.

A bill moving through the Alabama Legislature would complete the deregulation of home and business phone service by ending the Public Service Commission's ability to handle customer complaints about landlines.

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Hurricanes-Voting
4:12 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Emergency Voting During Storms

The Alabama Legislature may make it easier for voters to cast absentee ballots when there is a hurricane or other weather emergency.

The Alabama Legislature may make it easier for voters to cast absentee ballots when there is a hurricane or other weather emergency.

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Death Penalty
4:31 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Legislators Work To Speed Up Alabama Executions

Alabama legislators are showing their support for expanding Alabama's death penalty law to cover more crimes and to expedite executions by shortening appeals.
Credit Alabama.gov

Alabama legislators are showing their support for expanding Alabama's death penalty law to cover more crimes and to expedite executions by shortening appeals.

The House and Senate Judiciary Committees voted Wednesday to approve bills being pushed by Attorney General Luther Strange and the Alabama District Attorneys Association.

One bill expands Alabama's death penalty law to cover several additional crimes, including killing someone on a school campus or in a child-care center.

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Welfare Benefits
3:42 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Alabama Legislators Seek Tougher Welfare Rules

Arthur Orr is one of two state senators seeking tougher welfare rules in Alabama.
Credit arthurorr.com

Two Alabama senators are finding support for bills aimed at toughening the rules for welfare benefits, including requiring drug testing of some welfare applicants.

The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Committee overwhelmingly approved four bills Wednesday that are sponsored by Republican Sens. Trip Pittman of Daphne and Arthur Orr of Decatur.

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Alabama Legislature
4:45 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Alabama House Reacts To IRS-Tea Party Issues

The Alabama House has voted to make it a misdemeanor crime for state or local tax officials to audit an individual or group because of their political views.

The Alabama House has voted to make it a misdemeanor crime for state or local tax officials to audit an individual or group because of their political views.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Wayne Johnson of Ryland, says it is the result of how the Internal Revenue Service handled tea party groups and similar organizations.

The bill cleared the House 74-22 Tuesday, with support coming primarily from Republicans and opposition from Democrats. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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Constitutional Convention
4:42 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Legislators Push For US Constitutional Convention

Republican legislators concerned about the federal debt are trying to set up the guidelines for Alabama to participate in a state-led constitutional convention.
Credit fox10tv.com

Republican legislators concerned about the federal debt are trying to set up the guidelines for Alabama to participate in a state-led constitutional convention.

Sens. Trip Pittman of Daphne and Arthur Orr of Decatur have introduced bills setting up how Alabama's delegates would be chosen and the limits they would operate under if there is ever a state-led constitutional convention called under Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution.

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Democrat's Agenda
4:39 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Alabama House Democrats Push Lottery, Tobacco Tax

Minority Leader Craig Ford is calling for another statewide vote for a state lottery as part of the House Democratic Caucus' legislative agenda.
Credit AP Photo/Dave Martin

Democrats in the Alabama House have announced their support for a state lottery referendum, 6 percent raise for public employees and a tobacco tax increase.

The House Democratic Caucus unveiled its agenda Tuesday. House Minority Leader Craig Ford of Gadsden says it's been 15 years since Alabama voters turned down a state lottery, and it's time for another statewide vote.

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Tax Bills
3:53 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Alabama House Passes Republican Tax Bills

The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a slate of tax bills that are part of Republicans' election-year agenda.
Credit Alabama.gov

The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a slate of tax bills that are part of Republicans' election-year agenda.

One proposal approved Thursday would create an independent body to oversee taxpayer disputes. Current law allows the Department of Revenue to appoint administrative judges to settle disagreements. Lawmakers say that system gives the agency too much power.

Another bill would let the Revenue Department suspend tax collections if the collection cost exceeds the revenue generated.

Two other bills are aimed at small businesses.

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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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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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Attorney General
4:09 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Alabama AG Seeks Shorter Appeals In Capital Cases

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says one of his goals for the legislative session starting Tuesday is to shorten the appeal time in death penalty cases.
Credit LutherStrange.com

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says one of his goals for the legislative session starting Tuesday is to shorten the appeal time in death penalty cases.

At news conferences across the state, the Republican attorney general said going through a capital murder trial and all the appeals can take nearly two decades.

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Crowd Funding
10:53 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Ala. Could Legalize New Avenue For Small Business

The director of the Alabama Securities Commission, Joe Borg, says crowd sourcing for small businesses is an idea whose time has come.
Credit Alabama Securities Commission

Alabamians trying to start small businesses in a tough credit market may soon have a new method that will allow them to raise small amounts of capital from many Alabama investors.

Republican state Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur says he will sponsor a bill in the upcoming legislative session to allow "crowd funding." It would cap investors at $5,000 each and would limit crowd funding to $1 million per business.

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Pre-Kindergarten Funding
3:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Alabama Looking At Another Expansion Of Pre-K

Alabama is looking at another expansion for the state's Pre-Kindergarten program.
Credit Alabama School Readiness Alliance

Advocates of early childhood education are expecting another expansion of the state's pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds, and they are waiting to see how much the governor will propose when the Legislature convenes Jan. 14.

Gov. Robert Bentley says he will recommend an increase, but he's not saying how much yet.

The Alabama School Readiness Alliance, the Alabama Partnership for Children and others are seeking an increase of $12.8 million for the upcoming school year.

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