Gov. Robert Bentley may have no way to give education employees the 2 percent pay raise he has recommended.
Bentley recommended a 2 percent raise at the start of the legislative session. The Senate reduced Bentley's pay raise bill to a one-time bonus of 1 percent. That bill stalled in the House budget committee Wednesday. Bentley said Thursday he needs a pay raise bill of some type to amend the amount to 2 percent. He said he can't enact a raise by adding language to the state education budget.
Three candidates for governor are running on state lottery platforms.
Both Democratic candidates for governor, former U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith of Huntsville and Fayette businessman Kevin Bass, are proposing a lottery to pay for college scholarships. One of the Republican candidates, former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George, is advocating a lottery to pay for scholarships and several other programs.
Alabama's Scenic River Trail will be getting signs alerting boaters to navigation obstacles, takeout points, and locations for food, gas and lodging.
Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded $80,000 in federal recreation funds for signs along the 2,500-mile trail of navigable rivers, streams and lakes.
The Scenic River Trail Association estimates the grant will help provide at least 200 signs. The association says the signs will encourage more recreational use of Alabama's waterways and increase opportunities for outfitters and merchants along the trail.
Former U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith kicked off his Democratic campaign for governor by calling for the creation of a state lottery to fund college scholarships and an expansion of the state Medicaid program under the federal health care law. Griffith says a healthier, better educated Alabama will lead to more jobs. Griffith outlined his campaign agenda of jobs, education and health care in a letter posted on his new campaign website Wednesday. In interviews, he called Republican incumbent Robert Bentley timid for not expanding Medicaid. Griffith was elected to Congress as a Democrat.
Gov. Robert Bentley says two National Guard wreckers have been dispatched to Interstate 65 near Cullman to help clear jackknifed 18-wheelers that blocked northbound traffic.
The governor says one lesson learned from the Jan. 28 ice storm was to get National Guard wreckers organized early to pull stalled vehicles to the side of the road until the weather clears and the owners can reclaim them.
Alabama Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Harris says the state has brought in contractor crews to assist with snow removal across north Alabama counties.
Former U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith of Huntsville is running for governor as a Democrat. Griffith turned in his qualifying papers at state party headquarters in Montgomery shortly before the deadline on Friday. Griffith served as a Democrat in the Alabama Senate and then was elected to Congress to represent part of north Alabama. After his election he switched to the Republican Party and lost a GOP primary bid to Mo Brooks, who now represents the 5th District. Griffith recently rejoined the Democratic Party.
Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.1 percent.
Gov. Robert Bentley says that's a five-year low. The last time Alabama has a rate at or below 6.1 percent was October 2008, when the rate was 5.9 percent.
The state Labor Department says December's rate of 6.1 percent compares to 6.2 percent in November and 6.8 percent a year ago. Alabama's rate is below the national average of 6.7 percent. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby at 3.8 percent, Lee at 4.7 percent and St. Clair and Cullman at 4.8 percent.
Alabama is launching a program called "State of Champions" to try to reduce the state's high infant mortality rate.
State Health Officer Don Williamson and Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday it will take time to reduce Alabama's rate, which is traditionally in the top three among states, but they are determined to do it.
A longshot Republican candidate for governor is campaigning again after being sidelined by illness.
Former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George said Thursday that he was diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic on Oct. 2. The illness involves a low blood platelet count. It required lots of treatments to get his platelet count back to normal and end his fatigue. But George says he's back to running.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says Boeing used the state for leverage when it was shopping for potential plant sites during labor negotiations.
But Bentley said Wednesday that he believes the aircraft manufacturer really was interested in the Huntsville area as a new home for jetliner production. Bentley says putting together a proposal for the plant will help Alabama eventually.
Bentley made his remarks after a luncheon speech in Birmingham where he talked about the upcoming legislative session.
Advocates of early childhood education are expecting another expansion of the state's pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds, and they are waiting to see how much the governor will propose when the Legislature convenes Jan. 14.
Gov. Robert Bentley says he will recommend an increase, but he's not saying how much yet.
The Alabama School Readiness Alliance, the Alabama Partnership for Children and others are seeking an increase of $12.8 million for the upcoming school year.