Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

A bill to establish charter schools in Alabama was signed into law yesterday by Governor Bentley.

The Alabama Legislature gave its final approval to the bill on Wednesday after several hours of contentious debate in the House of Representatives.

Republicans call the bill a session priority, saying that the schools will spark innovation and provide education choices for families.

Opponents argue the new schools will drain education resources and criticize the potential involvement of for-profit companies in certain school operations.

The Alabama Legislature has passed a bill to establish charter schools in the state.

The House of Representatives voted 58 to 41 to pass the bill after making a few changes. State senators voted 24 to 11 to adopt those changes. The bill now heads to Governor Bentley, who is expected to sign the measure into law after a legal review.

State Democrats have been especially critical of the bill. Nick Rose is the President of the Tuscaloosa Democratic Party. He outlined the party’s three main complaints with the charter school measure.

Lawmakers could give final approval very soon to legislation establishing charter schools in the state of Alabama.

The Alabama House of Representatives will debate a bill that would allow charter schools in the state this afternoon. That bill is expected to spark a filibuster from Democrats and other opposed lawmakers.

Charter schools are public schools that have freedom from the curriculum and regulation requirements placed on other public schools. Alabama is one of eight states without charter school legislation currently in place.

Experts on rare childhood diseases will be meeting in Birmingham today.

UAB and Children’s of Alabama are hosting a symposium on diseases that hit two hundred thousand or fewer patients a year. Those illnesses are considered rare. The symposium will be in commemoration of last month’s Rare Disease Day to raise awareness for rare diseases.

Dr. Bruce Korf is the chairman of the Department of Genetics at UAB. He says part of their mission is public outreach.

The City of Selma remembered the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” over the weekend. But today marks another milestone in the civil rights movement.

Saturday was the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in 1965. Today marks 50 years since the second march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge called Turnaround Tuesday. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led that protest himself, but turned back before state troopers could attack like they did just two days prior.

Selma city councilman Benny Lee Tucker was a teenager in 1965. He says he had a specific job during King’s march…

Governor Robert Bentley recently awarded several grants to help fund programs providing assistance to survivors of domestic abuse in Alabama.

The Department of Economic and Community Affairs says Bentley awarded nearly $40,000 to the Marion County Commission. That grant supports a program that helps prosecute domestic violence cases in both Marion and Winston Counties.

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Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has declared a state of emergency ahead of a weather system that's expected to bring freezing rain to part of the state.The National Weather Service says rain will change to freezing rain and sleet in northwest Alabama early Thursday morning.

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There’s been a new twist in Alabama’s same sex marriage controversy. No new marriage licenses for same-sex couples will be issued, at least for now.

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The 2015 legislative session starts tomorrow. All eyes are on Governor Robert Bentley and what’s expected to be a politically unpopular tax increase proposal. 

The big issue is likely a half billion dollar tax hike. Bentley announced his plan on Friday and his annual speech is likely his first big opportunity to sell it to what may be a skeptical Republican majority in the state house and senate.

Governor Robert Bentley will deliver his state of the state address tomorrow.

The big issue is will likely be a half billion dollar tax hike. Bentley announced his plan on Friday and his annual speech will be his first big opportunity to sell it to what may be a skeptical Republican majority in the state house and senate.

Four hundred million dollars of the proposed tax hike would come from raising taxes on cigarettes and new car purchases. A pack of cigarettes would go up by eighty two cents. Buying a new car would be taxed by two to four percent.

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Saying Alabama is in a budget crisis, Gov. Robert Bentley is asking legislators to approve $541 million tax increase.

Bentley on Friday unveiled proposals that include an 82.5-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase and raising the sales taxes on automobile purchases from 2 to 4 percent.

Bentley said he has been opposed to tax increases most of his life. However, he said "there is nothing more conservative" than the state getting its fiscal house in order.

The world is getting ready to remember the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma early next month. But another bit of Selma history is being remembered now.

100 years before the voting rights march and Bloody Sunday, the Battle of Selma took place during the Civil War. A historic marker was just unveiled at the corner of Highland and Summerfield Road.

In April of 1965, Union general James H. Wilson defeated the troops under Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. Wilson’s biographer, Edward Longacre, says Wilson was only 27 at the time.

Governor Robert Bentley is declaring a state of emergency ahead of a winter storm expected to bring snow, ice, and freezing rain to the region.

Thirty Alabama counties stretching from the Tennessee border to Birmingham and Tuscaloosa are under a winter storm warning from 9 AM until midnight today.

Tim Troutman is the lead forecaster at Huntsville’s National Weather Service. He says everyone in the warning area should prepare for a lot of snow.

Governor Robert Bentley will ask lawmakers to approve a $700 million tax and revenue package in the upcoming legislative session.

Bentley said Thursday he wasn't going to sugarcoat the state's budget situation. He said Alabama needs additional revenue to maintain services. Bentley also joked that it must be true if a Deep South Republican says raising taxes is the only option.

Bentley is expected to discuss the specifics of those new tax proposals in his State of the State address on the opening day of the legislative session, March 3.

Lawyers for House Speaker Mike Hubbard are now asking prosecutors to disclose any conversations they had with legislators. They are also looking for conversations with members of the executive branch about the case.

Defense lawyers filed a discovery motion Wednesday asking a judge to force prosecutors to disclose any calls with legislators or executive branch members. They also asked for any copies of conversations that might have been recorded.

Hubbard's lawyers had already asked prosecutors to disclose any media calls.

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