Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

A new national study says Alabama ranks 14th in the nation for money spent so far on television advertising during the 2014 elections.

The study by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity says candidates in Alabama had aired more than 30,000 TV ads through Oct. 6 that cost an estimated $10 million. That's about $2.80 per eligible voter.

The report says $2.6 million has been spent in the governor's race, with Republican incumbent Robert Bentley accounting for $2.1 million of that.

The state teachers' lobby has given Democratic candidate for governor Parker Griffith another financial boost.

The Alabama Education Association contributed $300,000 to Griffith's campaign on Friday. AEA also gave Griffith $300,000 in September.

The teachers' lobby is by far Griffith's largest cash contributor. Campaign finance reports show AEA's contributions make up $600,000 of the $647,000 in contributions raised by Griffith. The former congressman has also loaned his campaign $391,000.

Griffith and Republican Gov. Robert Bentley face off Nov. 4.

Democratic candidate for governor Parker Griffith says that if elected, he would open discussions with the Poarch Creek Indians about a gambling compact that would allow them to operate casinos with more types of games.

Griffith said Thursday in Huntsville that the tribe has done a great job in Alabama, and he'd talk with them about expanding their gambling operations in some areas to generate more tax revenue for the state.

The tribe has casinos in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka, but they have only electronic games. They do not have table games.

Alabama voters aren't likely to see debates between Alabama's two candidates for governor.

Representatives of Republican incumbent Robert Bentley and Democratic challenger Parker Griffith had been talking about scheduling debates, but those talks failed.

Bentley says he welcomed a spirited exchange, but Griffith was only interested in negative campaigning and name-calling.

Griffith says Bentley is unmanly and arrogant for not being willing to debate his policies.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley has asked two of the top trustees at Alabama State University to resign.

Bentley sent letters Tuesday to Chairman Elton Dean and Vice Chairman Marvin Wiggins asking them to resign by Thursday afternoon. Bentley says their resignations would be in the best interest of the university. Bentley serves as president of the Alabama State board by virtue of his office.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says that a science and engineering firm plans to add 450 jobs in Huntsville during the next five years.

Bentley said in a Tuesday statement that the move by Columbia, Maryland-based Science and Engineering Services LLC is part of a nearly $70 million expansion of its Alabama manufacturing operations.

The company already has 750 employees in Huntsville.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

  Alabama's $1.8 billion General Fund budget for the next fiscal year has become law with only small changes from the governor.

Gov. Robert Bentley sent a line item veto the House of Representatives late Thursday making some alterations to the budget. Those changes became law when representatives adjourned for the night without taking action.

House budget committee chairman Rep. Steve Clouse of Ozark says the governor's changes to the operating budget were minor.

State of Alabama

Gov. Robert Bentley is giving state workers extra holidays on the Friday after Thanksgiving and on Christmas Eve.

Bentley announced the days off on Tuesday in a letter to state department directors and a video message to state employees that was posted on YouTube.

Alabama governors have traditionally granted the extra days in addition to the 13 holidays set by state law. Bentley says he's giving the extra days off to show state employees how much he values their service and to allow them to celebrate with family and friends during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Alabama's governor is brushing off criticism that he's trying to run Alabama State University and says he will continue a financial review of university spending.

Gov. Robert Bentley released preliminary findings from a forensic audit last week. It questioned $2.5 million in spending and accused the university of hindering the audit.

Bentley is president of the university board of trustees by virtue of his office, and he's called a special board meeting Oct. 28 to discuss the findings.

Some critics have accused him of trying to run the university.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says construction of the Northern Beltline is expected to begin in 2014.

Bentley said Tuesday that after construction starts, the first portion of the project is expected to take between five and six years. Officials say the first phase of the project is a 1.34 mile stretch between Alabama Highway 75 and Highway 79 in northwest Jefferson County.

The Northern Beltline is a 52-mile highway that extends from Interstate 59 in Jefferson County to the Interstate 459 junction with Interstate 20/59 in southwest Jefferson County.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will be in Birmingham and Mobile Monday to discuss an amendment on Tuesday's ballot to allow the state to refinance bonds.

Bentley says the savings will free up funds to provide incentives for companies considering moving their facilities to Alabama. The incentives can also be used to encourage companies to expand facilities already in Alabama. Bentley said he believes passage of the amendment will create new jobs in Alabama.