Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

Alabamians will soon find out which of the state’s drivers' license offices, National Guard armories and state parks will shut down due to budget cuts.

The governor's office says state agencies will announce their plans for dealing with funding reductions later today.

Governor Robert Bentley says state agencies have to work with the amount of money appropriated to them by lawmakers for the new fiscal year beginning tomorrow.

Prosecutors continue to trade barbs with House Speaker Mike Hubbard over details connected to his ethics case.

Hubbard's defense is working to force prosecutors to release conversations with legislators and the media. The Attorney General’s office is objecting to that tactic and they made their displeasure known through court filings. Prosecutors say Hubbard is seeking a fishing expedition in search of any information in to a claim of prosecutorial misconduct.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley wants Alabama colleges to identify students or instructors returning from Ebola-ravaged countries in West Africa.

Bentley wrote in a letter to college officials that students and instructors from West Africa may return home for the holidays to visit family and friends.

The governor asked that schools provide the names of anyone planning travel to West Africa, their contact information and return dates. The Decatur Daily reports state public health officials should be notified when travelers return to Alabama.

Alabama's race for governor is heating up with Republican incumbent Robert Bentley releasing his first ad that focuses on his opponent.

Bentley's campaign posted an ad on social media Monday describing how Parker Griffith was elected to Congress as a Democrat, switched to the Republican Party and lost, and then switched back to the Democratic Party to run for governor.

The 30-second ad asks, "If Parker Griffith doesn't know who he is or what he stands for, how can we trust him to lead Alabama?"

Center for Public Integrity

A national report says Alabama ranks 11th among the states in spending on TV ads for the 2104 state campaigns.

The report by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity found that candidates for state level offices in Alabama had spent $6.9 million on TV ads that had aired through Sept. 8.

Nearly half of that came in legislative races. Many larger states didn't come close to that level of spending in legislative races. One of the study's authors says low TV ad rates in Alabama make the advertising available in lower-level races.

Democrat Parker Griffith says he will give up his salary if elected governor and redirect the money to public education.

Griffith said Monday that he'd also sell the state plane and helicopter used by Republican incumbent Robert Bentley. Griffith says Bentley has made 480 flights since becoming governor and he's wasting taxpayer dollars.

Wikimedia Commons

Alabama is leading the nation in improvements on Advanced Placement tests used to qualify high school students for college credits.

Gov. Robert Bentley and State School Superintendent Tommy Bice announced the results of a study in Montgomery on Wednesday.

Over the last six years Alabama students shown an increase of 136 percent in the number of Advanced Placement exams passed in mathematics, science and English. The national increase over the same period time was 49 percent. / Office of the Governor

Alabama's unemployment rate is on the rise.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Friday the state's unemployment rate for July was 7 percent. That's two-tenths of a percent higher than the June rate of 6.8 percent.

Last month's rate also is higher than the July 2013 jobless rate of 6.3 percent.

Bentley's office says the state added 19,400 jobs in a year. Many of those new positions are in manufacturing.

But unemployment can still rise as more people enter or re-enter the job market.

The Montgomery Advertiser

Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins is threatening to sue Gov. Robert Bentley for removing him as a trustee of Alabama State University.

Wiggins sent an email to the governor saying the removal violates his due process rights and is in violation of the standards of the university's accrediting agency.

A spokeswoman for the governor says he's reviewing the letter.

Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will swing through the south as part of another jam-packed month of travel boosting Republican candidates.

Christie is planning visits to more than half a dozen states in August, including Mississippi and Alabama. He has been traveling the country in his role as chair of the Republican Governors Association.

On August 12, Christie will return to Maine to campaign for incumbent Gov. Paul LePage.

The next day he'll head to Birmingham, Alabama to boost Gov. Robert Bentley, then to Biloxi, Mississippi for Gov. Phil Bryant.

 Alabama residents have split opinions on whether immigrant children crossing into the United States should be housed at Maxwell Air Force Base.

Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency notified Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's office this week that Maxwell is under consideration for housing the influx of immigrant minors arriving in the country.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley has removed Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins as a trustee of Alabama State University.

Bentley, who is president of the Alabama State board of trustees, had given Chairman Elton Dean and Vice Chairman Wiggins until Thursday afternoon to resign. Dean did, but Wiggins refused because he said he had done nothing wrong.

The Governor's Office

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to call a special session of the Legislature to use money from the state's education budget to pay for economic incentives to lure new businesses. reports Bentley made the remarks Wednesday at a workforce development summit in Washington County. He said the special session would come after the election in November.

Office of the Governor of Alabama

Longtime state fiscal expert Kelly Butler is Alabama's new state budget officer.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Butler's appointment on Tuesday.

The state budget officer leads the Executive Budget Office and advises the administration on the state's General Fund and education budgets.

Butler has been assistant state budget officer for two years. He previously worked for 19 years with the Legislative Fiscal Office, most recently serving as the state Senate's fiscal officer.

Bentley says Butler brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the job.

The Governor's Office

Alabama's unemployment rate for June is unchanged at 6.8 percent.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday the seasonally adjusted rate represents nearly 145,000 people looking for work. June's rate is higher than the 6.5 percent recorded a year ago.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby at 5.0 percent, Baldwin and Cullman at 5.7 percent, and Lee and Cherokee at 5.9 percent.

The counties with the highest rates are Wilcox at 17.2 percent, Perry at 14.8 percent and Dallas at 14.3 percent.

Shelton State Community College

Governor Robert Bentley has appointed Fitzgerald Washington to be the next Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Labor.

Washington has spent the last 15 years working for The Buffalo Rock Company. While there he served as Corporate Marketing and Sales Director handling the company’s multicultural marketing initiatives before being promoted to General Sales Manager in 2002.

Governor Bentley also appointed Washington to the Alabama Workforce Council. Washington replaces Tom Surtees who stepped down as labor commissioner late last month.

Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Robert Bentley says Alabama state waters will be open to fishing for red snapper and gray triggerfish every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in July.

Bentley said Thursday that the extra fishing days will be good for the Gulf coast economy.

The federal red snapper season was only nine days. Alabama's director of marine resources, Chris Blankenship, says state officials believe there are still enough red snapper in Alabama waters to open an additional season. The minimum size for snapper will be 16 inches total length.

Governor Robert Bentley is taking his Road to Economic Recovery Tour to Dothan.

The governor announced he will visit Blue Plate West around lunch time Monday. Then he tours Dothan High School and Panhandle Converters.

He is scheduled to participate in a small business discussion at 3:30 p.m.

Bentley's tour of Alabama towns usually involves visit to a restaurant and businesses, as well as a discussion with civic leaders and business people.

The Governor's Office

Gov. Robert Bentley says he's against switching back to the electric chair to resume executions in Alabama.

Speaking in Shelby County on Monday, Bentley said he's personally opposed to the idea of resuming electrocutions.

A key legislator on prison issues, state Sen. Cam Ward, says giving up the state's current method of lethal injection involves too many legal hurdles.

The state attorney general's office says executions are at a standstill because the prison system has run out of one of the three drugs used in its lethal injection system.

ryanjreilly / Flickr

Alabama's governor says he's always believed someone should get their voting rights restored after serving their full sentences.

Gov. Robert Bentley reacted Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder calling on Alabama and 10 other states to do a better job of restoring voting rights to ex-felons.

Bentley says he's willing to look at a reasonable request for restoration of voting rights for people who are trying to become productive citizens again.

In Alabama, people convicted of felonies, except driving under the influence and drug possession, lose voting rights.

Boeing Co.

State and local leaders are working to lure a Boeing Co. aircraft assembly plant to the Huntsville area.

Gov. Robert Bentley, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and economic developers met Tuesday in Birmingham with representatives of the aircraft manufacturer.

Battle says Huntsville is one of several cities being considered for a 777x assembly site, and Bentley says the company likes Alabama.

Boeing said it would look for a new location to build the airplane after union members rejected a proposed contract in Seattle last week.

State of Alabama

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's first day in Japan included a meeting with a trade official.

A spokesman for the governor said he talked with Hiroyuki Ishige, the chairman and CEO of the Japan External Trade Organization. The group works to promote trade and investment. Bentley gave him a pen crafted from a dogwood tree downed by the April 2011 tornado in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has scheduled a special election to fill a seat in the state House left vacant by former Republican Rep. Barry Mask.

A special primary election for the District 31 seat is scheduled for Dec. 3. The special general election is scheduled for Jan. 28.

If a candidate doesn't receive a majority of votes in the special primary, a special primary runoff will be held Jan. 28, 2014 and the special general election will be held March 25.

The Alabama House has rejected Gov. Robert Bentley's proposal to delay private school tax credits for two years.

The House voted 57-10 Monday to reject the governor's proposal. Now the proposal goes to the Senate on the last meeting day of the legislative session.

Hannah Rosen / Flickr

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has announced plans for bridge and road improvement projects across the state.

Bentley announced the improvement plans Monday and the governor's staff members say bridge safety is a top priority. Many of the 22 counties receiving money for improvement projects through the Rural Assistance Match Program have deteriorated bridges that must be replaced or rehabbed.

The rural assistance program is providing money for some of this year's projects so rural counties that may not have been able to fund the improvements would be included this year.

Governor Robert Bentley has announced his support for changes to Alabama's Medicaid system that would impact one out of every five Alabamians.

The Medicaid Advisory Commission advocates changing the basic operating model from a fee-for-service system to a managed care program. Under the proposal, private-sector contractors would develop care networks in eight newly-created regions across the state.

The new framework would aim to offer better service to patients through regional operations that are responsive to local needs, according to the governor.

Legislation that would allow city and county school systems to opt out of state education laws could come up for a final vote in the Senate next week.

A school flexibility bill cleared the House on Feb. 14 and was approved by the Senate Education Committee in a 5-3 vote Wednesday, with Republicans voting yes and Democrats voting no. A spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says the bill is a priority and could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday.

Gov. Robert Bentley says he's ready to sign whatever version of the bill the Legislature passes.

State of Alabama

Alabama's governor isn't changing his mind about not operating a health insurance exchange even though President Barack Obama's administration has given states an extra month to decide.

Friday was supposed to the deadline for states to decide if they would run an exchange under the Affordable Care Act or let the federal government do it. The Obama administration announced Thursday night it was extending the deadline to Dec. 14. The extension came at the request of some Republican governors.

State of Alabama

Alabama's governor says the state won't create a health insurance exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act or use the law to expand Medicaid to cover more low-income Alabamians.

Gov. Robert Bentley made the announced Tuesday while speaking to the Birmingham Business Alliance. Friday is the deadline for states to notify President Barack Obama's administration whether they will create a state exchange or let the federal government implement one for them.

Gov. Robert Bentley says he doesn't plan to propose the legalization of charter schools again in the 2013 session of the Legislature.

The Republican governor proposed charter school legislation in the 2012 session, but the state teachers' organization, the Alabama Education Association, secured enough votes to stop it.