Alabama Governor Robert Bentley


Alabama’s Unmanned Aerial System Task Force has submitted a report to Governor Bentley. That report will lay the groundwork for regulating unmanned aerial drones throughout the state. Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan heads that task force. He says the privacy of Alabama’s citizens was a great concern when drafting the report, but compared UAVs to another hot-button privacy topic.

Polaris Industries is planning a manufacturing plant that will bring as many as 2,000 jobs to north Alabama.  Governor Robert Bentley and other leaders announced the factory during an event in Huntsville on Friday.

The 600,000-square-foot plant will construct off-road vehicles in Limestone County west of Huntsville. Production is slated for 2016.The project adds a new twist to Alabama's growing vehicle industry, which mainly involves automobiles.

Alabama's unemployment rate is down to 6 percent.   The preliminary jobless rate announced Friday represents the state's best unemployment numbers in more than six years. But the state is still slightly above the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.

 Governor Robert Bentley's office says the November jobless rate is an improvement from October, when the rate was 6.3 percent. It's also better than the numbers a year ago.


Governor Robert Bentley may be softening his position on expanding Medicaid. APR’s Pat Duggins reports…

Governor Robert Bentley is challenging legislators to be leaders as they address the state's budget crisis next year.

  Bentley says he wants to make significant changes instead of putting a Band-Aid on the state's budget for another year.  The governor has said he will suggest solutions when he submits his proposed budget next year, but has not yet detailed what those will be.

 Legislators heard a grim General Fund presentation on the final day of legislative orientation.

Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 percent, but it remains above the national average.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Friday that Alabama's rate declined from 6.6 percent in September to 6.3 percent in October. That's the same rate Alabama recorded a year ago. The October rate is higher than the national figure of 5.8 percent.

Bentley says Alabama is seeing healthy growth in jobs and is seeing a decline in the amount of unemployment benefits being paid.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley has selected Alabama Power's top executive to serve as chairman of his inaugural committee.

Bentley says Mark Crosswhite of Birmingham will be in charge of planning an inauguration that brings people together regardless of political affiliation and that celebrates the things that make Alabama great.

Crosswhite is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Alabama Power.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to use any leftover campaign funds to benefit the state.

Bentley said Friday he will set up a charitable organization to receive his leftover funds and then distribute them to projects. He said no projects are definite, but one group he would like to help is foster children.

Bentley did something similar with his inaugural fund in 2011. He raised $1.6 million in donations to pay for his inauguration and had more than $300,000 left. He donated that to the state General Fund to support state agencies during a lean budget year.

Alabama's health officer says his staff has monitored three people who traveled to Alabama from west African countries with Ebola outbreaks, and there have been no problems.

Dr. Don Williamson and Gov. Robert Bentley provided an update Thursday on Alabama's preparations for Ebola.


A free program designed to help people after a traffic accident is now available statewide.

Bullock County officials joined Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday to start participating in the Yellow Dot program and complete coverage statewide. The program began in 2009 in Etowah County.

Yellow Dot coordinator Lora Weaver says a Yellow Dot decal is placed in the back window of a vehicle. If a crash occurs, the dot alerts first responders to a yellow information packet in the glove compartment that lists health conditions, medications and emergency contacts. / Office of the Governor

Gov. Robert Bentley has surpassed the $6 million fundraising mark in his quest to win a second term in office.

Bentley has raised $6.1 million over the last two years, according to fundraising reports filed Thursday.

Republican Bentley maintains a lopsided fundraising advantage over Democrat Parker Griffith a month ahead of the November election.

Griffith has raised $347,000 in cash donations since announcing his bid for governor.

The former congressman has also loaned his campaign $391,000.

The Governor's Office

Alabama is whittling down the debt it owes to a state trust fund for money borrowed during the recession.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Thursday that the state will repay $70 million to the Alabama Trust Fund from fiscal 2014 revenue. Half of that was required by state law, and the other half became available because of extra revenue the state received.

Associated Press

The state teachers' organization, the Alabama Education Association, has become the biggest contributor to Democrat Parker Griffith's campaign for governor.

Griffith filed a campaign finance report late Thursday afternoon showing he had received a $300,000 contribution from AEA. Prior to the contribution, he was reporting $25,050 in his campaign account.

The contribution comes after AEA's political action committee reported borrowing $700,000 from a bank on Sept. 4.

A deputy state attorney general is asking for the appointment of an independent investigation into accusations that he interfered with a public corruption investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan sent a letter Monday to his boss, Attorney General Luther Strange, saying he did nothing wrong.

Reagan asked for Strange or Gov. Robert Bentley to appoint an independent person to look into the accusations against him as well as a misconduct complaint Reagan previously filed against Matt Hart, who's a key prosecutor in the corruption probe.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley says anyone with information that leads to a suspect's arrest and conviction in an eight-year-old girl's death will receive a $5,000 reward.

Hiawayi Robinson was reported missing Tuesday, and her body was found on Thursday.

Bentley says in a statement released Friday that he and his wife were heartbroken by Robinson's death. He says state law enforcement agencies have assisted police in the girl's hometown of Prichard, and 10 State Bureau of Investigation agents will remain until an arrest is made.

Associated Press

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley and Democratic challenger Parker Griffith won't be speaking to the same audience at the same time, but they will be speaking on consecutive days.

Bentley is scheduled to address a convention of active and retired public employees Tuesday in Montgomery, and then Griffith talks to the group on Wednesday. Several other candidates for state offices are also on the agenda Wednesday.

The group, known as ARSEA/APEAL, is a combination of the Alabama Retired State Employees' Association and the Alabama Public Employees' Advocacy League.

A newly-created special commission is expected to help small business startups throughout the state and assist existing businesses in their expansion efforts.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to announce the creation of the Alabama Small Business Commission Monday morning at the state Capitol building along with House Speaker Mike Hubbard, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh and National Federation of Independent Business State Director Rosemary Elebash.

The head of Gov. Robert Bentley's security detail made $16,918 in August including overtime. reports the August income pushed Wendell Ray Lewis' salary, including overtime, so far this fiscal year to $153,000. That's with one month to go in the fiscal year. Lewis' salary is almost $50,000 more than the head of the state Department of Public Safety made in the same period. reports that during the last four years on Bentley's security detail, Lewis has made $563,000, or an average of nearly $141,000 per year.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is maintaining a large fundraising lead over Democratic challenger Parker Griffith.

The Republican incumbent has raised more than $5 million in contributions in his quest to win a second term.

Campaign fundraising reports filed Wednesday show that Bentley added more than $400,000 to his campaign war chest in August.


Six schools, including four from Mobile County, have been recognized in Montgomery for having high-achieving students that come mostly from low-income homes.

The governor and state education officials held a ceremony Wednesday to honor six Alabama Torchbearer schools selected by the state Department of Education. The schools have at least 80 percent of their students receiving free or reduced-price lunches and score among the top 20 percent in state educational assessments.

Associated Press

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Parker Griffith is challenging Republican Gov. Robert Bentley to a series of seven debates before the November election.

Griffith says he believes voters want to see the two face off in a debate and explain their visions for Alabama.

Griffith issued his debate challenge last week. On Friday, Griffith hauled a large inflatable duck to Montgomery to accuse Bentley of ducking his debate challenge.

Gov. Robert Bentley says a country was behind the hacking of a state computer network in January.

Bentley told reporters that he knows which country, but he can't say. He says the only reason he knows is because of his top secret security clearance and that's why he can't reveal the name.

He says the hacking was caught and corrected.

State officials announced in January that employees of the state Information Services Division had discovered the breach, and they said they were beginning a criminal investigation. Bentley says he doesn't expect any criminal case now.

Associated Press

Republican Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and his Democratic opponent, Parker Griffith, faced off Thursday in back-to-back campaign speeches.

Griffith took repeated jabs at Bentley as he addressed county commissioners' annual convention in Orange Beach.

Griffith called Bentley a failed governor who hasn't addressed the state's struggles with education, health care, prisons and unemployment. Griffith said Bentley lets fear of the tea party dictate his policy decisions.

Associated Press

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley and his Democratic opponent, former U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, will make dueling campaign speeches in Orange Beach.

Bentley and Griffith are scheduled to address the annual convention of county commissioners Thursday afternoon. Griffith will speak first, followed by Bentley. Organizers say the candidates will not debate and will not be on stage at the same time.

With more budget problems likely ahead for the state, some legislative leaders say they're open to the idea of a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The tribe currently offers bingo games, which resemble slot machines, but would need an agreement with the state to add table games or another location.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says he's not aware of any ongoing discussions but that everything is on the table as the state seeks long-term budget solutions.

Alabama lawmakers will face another grim budget outlook when they return to Montgomery next year and Gov. Robert Bentley says he wants their ideas for long-term solutions instead of a one-year money fix.

Bentley has asked legislative leaders to bring him ideas in advance of the 2015 session.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston says he wants legislators to make bold changes to try to solve the state's long-term problems.

The chairman of the board of trustees at Alabama State University, Elton Dean, says he's resigning.

Dean announced his decision on the campus radio station, WVAS, Thursday afternoon.

Gov. Robert Bentley, who is president of the ASU board, had called for Dean and vice chairman Marvin Wiggins to resign after an accrediting agency gave the university a warning and cited conflicts of interest by Dean and Wiggins.

Wiggins said he's not resigning because he's done nothing wrong.

Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery could house immigrant children.

A spokeswoman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the federal government has notified the governor that Maxwell is being considered. Communications Director Jennifer Ardis says the governor's chief of staff got a call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency late Wednesday afternoon. She said it's not known how many children could be placed or how soon they might be placed

The Governor's Office

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has presented honors to members of the state's National Guard who perform military services during funerals for fallen veterans.

Bentley signed an executive order creating the Alabama Honor Guard Ribbon Monday afternoon and presented honor guard members with the awards at the state Capitol.

The honor guard members are responsible for performing military ceremonies during funerals for eligible veterans. The ceremonies usually include the folding and presentation of an American flag to the veterans' next of kin, and the playing of Taps.