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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.