Alabama Republican lawmakers are getting ready for a major push for the establishment of charter schools.
A charter school bill will be a top priority for the GOP when the legislative session kicks off next week.
Charter schools are publicly funded schools that operate outside the rules and regulations of regular public schools.
The bill, if passed, would allow up to 10 new charter schools to be established in Alabama each year. It would also allow school systems to convert an unlimited number of existing schools to charter status.
The Alabama Republican Party has a new leader. Voters elected Terry Lathan of Mobile as chairwoman of the state party.
Lathan is a former schoolteacher and has worked 35 years in various leadership positions in the Mobile County GOP and the state executive committee. She defeated former state representative Mary Sue McClurkin.
Lathan is entering the leadership role with Alabama's Republican party at a historical high point. The GOP holds every statewide office, supermajorities in the legislature and controls the state appeals courts.
A bitter war is erupting for control of the Alabama Statehouse and this time it is Republican versus Republican.
Republicans won a majority in the Alabama Legislature in 2010, but in 2014 many incumbents are facing primary party challenges.
Republican Senate leader Del Marsh called many of the challengers RINOs, or Republicans in name only. He said many were funded by the Alabama Education Association, which has often been at odds with current legislators.
Republican lawmakers are pushing a plan that would move up the voter registration deadline before each election.
Current law allows registration until 10 days before an election. A Republican bill would change the deadline to 17 days. The measure passed a Senate committee Wednesday on a party line vote. It now goes to the full Senate.
Republicans say local registrars need more time to prepare accurate voting lists for poll workers to use on election day. Democrats say the move will make it harder for people to vote.
Alabama's Republican Party chairman is traveling across the state to announce that the party will send volunteers to battleground states because Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is expected to carry Alabama by a wide margin.
Party Chairman Bill Armistead is calling the effort Alabama Battleground Patriots.
A party spokeswoman says Armistead plans stops Monday in Huntsville, Montgomery, Mobile and Dothan. He will be in Hoover on Tuesday.
The Republican nominee for president has carried Alabama in every election since 1980.