Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

Alabama's Republican governor isn't getting support from key Republicans or Democrats for his proposal to delay private school tax credits for two years.

The Republican architect of the tax credits, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, says a delay isn't needed.

The Senate Democratic Caucus and House Minority Leader Craig Ford say the tax credits should be repealed rather than delayed.

But Bentley is persisting. He sent a letter to legislators Friday and is contacting legislators urging them to support a delay when they wrap up the 2013 legislative session on Monday.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley wants the Legislature to delay Alabama's private school tax credits for two years.

Bentley told chamber of commerce leaders Wednesday that a delay will give schools time to try to get off the failing list and will help the state repay a $423 million debt before the tax credits begin.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate leader Del Marsh says they will discuss Bentley's proposal with their members.

Teacher lobbyist Henry Mabry says the tax credits were a horrible mistake and they won't be any better in two years.

The schools Accountability Act, which will give tuition grants for students to transfer from failing schools, may not be in its final form.

At a chamber of commerce breakfast on Monday, Gov. Robert Bentley indicated that he is reviewing the act and is considering sending it back to the Legislature with executive amendments by mid-week.

The governor's staff confirmed that although no specific approach has been finalized, Bentley is considering some possible amendments that would clarify its intent.

Adoptions involving foster children will be streamlined in Alabama under a new law that Gov. Robert Bentley has signed.

Bentley and legislative leaders say the Best Interest of the Child Act will prevent foster families from having to wait several years before being able to adopt children in their care.

The law shortens from 15 months to 12 months the time that must pass after a child is in state custody before a court can consider a request to terminate parental rights.

Gov. Robert Bentley's state finance director, Marquita Davis, is leaving for a new job in Birmingham.

Bentley's press secretary, Jennifer Ardis, said Davis has accepted a job as executive director of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity. She will move to her new job after the current legislative session ends later this month.

Davis served as director of the state Department of Children's Affairs in Gov. Bob Riley's Cabinet and in Bentley's Cabinet before he made her finance director in August 2011.


Gov. Robert Bentley has filed tax returns showing he made more than $234,000 in 2012, and none of that was from a salary.

Bentley promised in his 2010 campaign that he would not take a salary as governor until Alabama's unemployment dropped to 5.2 percent. He also promised to release his tax returns each year. Press secretary Jennifer Ardis says Bentley makes his tax returns public so people will know he's keeping his promise not to take a salary.

Gov. Robert Bentley has signed legislation to help all counties participate in a program to repair roads and bridges.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced he will seek a second term.

The 70-year-old Republican governor put to rest Tuesday any speculation about his future plans.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard says he has no plans to run against Bentley.

Bradley Byrne, who finished second to Bentley in the GOP race in 2010, says he hasn't decided what he will do in 2014. Tim James, who finished a close third, says he's not running now, but you never say never in politics.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

Lawmakers are trying to ease the financial burden Medicaid places on Alabama by passing a bill designed to streamline the $5.63 billion program's operational system.

The bill under consideration could change the present "fee-for-service" basis of Medicaid payments to a for-profit, managed care plan or a combination of nonprofit and for-profit companies.

The Medicaid Advisory Committee commissioned by Gov. Robert Bentley does not want to use for-profit managed care companies. / U.S. Department of Transportation

A federal agency has struck down an Alabama law aimed at preventing heavy metal coils from falling off trucks and causing wrecks.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found the Alabama law placed "an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce." Passed by state lawmakers in 2009, the law required trucker drivers hauling metal coils on routes that either began or ended in Alabama to be certified in load securement techniques.

Office of the Governor

Alabama's governor has promoted his homeland security director, Spencer Collier, to secretary of law enforcement.

Collier will lead the creation of the new Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency. The agency is the result of a new state law combining many of Alabama's law enforcement programs, including the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Homeland Security.

Alabama's governor says he plans to sign legislation mandating stricter abortion clinic standards like Mississippi has done.

Opponents say Alabama's legislation will be challenged in court like Mississippi's.

The Republican-led House and Senate approved the bill Tuesday night, mostly along party lines. It now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley. He said Thursday he plans to sign it after his lawyers make sure there have been no unanticipated changes from the bill he endorsed early in the legislative session.

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman says she won't seek any position in next year's election and will take a sabbatical from elective office.

Chapman has served two terms in her current office and could not seek a third term. She had been mentioned as a contender for higher office, possibly including governor, but she said Tuesday she wants to take a break to pursue entrepreneurial ideas and business opportunities. She said she will support Republican Gov. Robert Bentley for re-election.

She served one term as state auditor before becoming secretary of state.

Alabama is getting nearly $120 million in federal assistance to help with recovery from the deadly tornadoes in April 2011.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide the state government with $49.2 million to distribute to recovery projects. Tuscaloosa will get $43.9 million, Birmingham $17.5 million, and Jefferson County $9.1 million.

Bentley says the new funding will help several areas of the state that are still suffering long-term effects from the storms.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

  The state conservation department says it may eliminate some services and cut back hours of operation at state parks across Alabama.

The department's state parks director, Gregory Lien, has written a letter to community leaders explaining the circumstances.

Parks officials said the possible cuts stem from pending legislation that would divert $5 million in tax revenue that has been used in prior years to support the parks. Instead, the parks would rely only on the money they generate, which is not sufficient to maintain services. / Office of the Governor

  Gov. Robert Bentley told retired educators that he signed a bill providing private school tax credits because of the flexibility it gives public schools to try new ideas to improve learning.

Bentley said he knew he would be facing an upset audience Tuesday when he addressed the Alabama Education Retirees Association in Montgomery, but he did it because of his respect for teachers.

Bentley told the retired educators, "Y'all are mad at me. I understand that."

A spokeswoman for Gov. Robert Bentley says he expects to appoint a new sheriff for Tuscaloosa County soon.

Sheriff Ted Sexton announced March 8 that he's leaving Tuscaloosa County after 22 years on the job. The Tuscaloosa News reports ( ) Sexton starts work Monday as homeland security division director for the Los Angeles County sheriff in California.

Brian Kelly /

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley joined Baldwin County officials to break ground for an interchange that will tie Interstate 10 with the Foley Beach Express.

Bentley told the audience at the groundbreaking ceremony Friday that the interchange will bring more people to the coastal county and help with evacuations during hurricanes. Former Gov. Fob James, who lives in Baldwin County, also participated.

The $10.6 million interchange is the final of four projects linking the interchange to the beach.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley wasted no time in signing legislation providing tax credits to parents who send their children to private schools instead of failing public schools.

The Alabama Supreme Court decided late Wednesday afternoon to throw out a lower court order that kept the Legislature from sending the bill to the governor for signing. The Legislature delivered the bill Thursday morning and Bentley signed it just before 11 a.m.

Wikimedia Commons

Red state politics may have taken on a new meaning in Alabama.

Alabama's Republican-controlled Legislature passed a resolution honoring Angela Davis, who was a vice presidential nominee for the Communist Party in 1980 and 1984.

The resolution by Democratic Rep. Oliver Robinson of Birmingham won approval in the House Feb. 14 and in the Senate Feb. 19. Republican Gov. Robert Bentley declined to sign it, but it still became an official act of the Legislature.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

The Alabama House has voted to uphold Gov. Robert Bentley's veto of a bill to allow teachers and other school personnel to train as reserve sheriff's deputies.

The bill was a school safety measure by Democratic Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow of Red Bay. After training, the teachers could carry firearms in school as protection against shooting incidents.

Morrow says law enforcement officials and educators in his northwest Alabama county had endorsed the measure.

Al Whitaker / WHNT News 19

A judge is extending is an order preventing the governor from signing a private school tax credit bill. 

  Circuit Court Judge Charles Price ruled Wednesday that a temporary restraining order will remain in effect until a court hearing on March 15.

Spokesmen for Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh and House Speaker Mike Hubbard say they will appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

A judge plans to rule Wednesday on whether the governor can sign into law a bill providing private school tax credits.

Gov. Robert Bentley had planned to sign the bill Tuesday afternoon, but Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Charles Price temporarily put that on hold while he considers a lawsuit filed by the Alabama Education Association.

Price heard arguments Tuesday afternoon on whether the Legislature violated Alabama's open meeting law and its own operating rules in passing the bill in a series of quick votes Thursday night.

State of Alabama

Alabama's governor says he will sign tougher abortion clinic regulations if the state Senate approves them.

Gov. Robert Bentley spoke Tuesday at a rally organized by abortion opponents in Montgomery. Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and House Speaker Mike Hubbard also attended the rally.

The clinic regulatory bill has passed the House and is scheduled for a vote Wednesday in the Senate Health Committee. Committee Chairman Greg Reed says he expects the committee to approve the bill and send it to the Senate.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he believes the ultimate solution to the school safety issue rests with law enforcement.

The governor Monday addressed the opening session of a two-day seminar on school safety at a Montgomery hotel. Bentley, legislators and education officials have been discussing how to keep schools safe since the December shootings at a Connecticut elementary school.

David Antis / Wikimedia Commons

A 277-acre site in Macon County is the first in Alabama chosen as a CSX Select Site.

Officials announced the selection Monday. CSX started the Select Site program last year to work with economic developers to create a list of sites that are ready for development and that have direct rail service by CSX. The railroad screens potential sites with a site selection consulting firm. A senior location consultant with that firm, Jonathan Gemmen of the Austin Co., says the Macon County site near Notasulga is close to Interstate 85, Auburn University and Tuskegee University.

Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to address participants at a school safety summit.

The Virtual Alabama School Safety Summit will kick off Monday morning in Montgomery.

A number of topics will be covered, including new technologies that are now available.

Virtual Alabama is a high-tech information and system that helps first-responders during emergencies as public buildings, such as schools and colleges.

Other topics will include behavioral issues in schools and effective emergency operation plans.

Sutherland Boswell / Wikimedia Commons

A congressional delegation headed to the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma will spend Saturday in Montgomery.

The delegation led by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Civil Rights Memorial at 11:30 a.m. A spokesman said it will honor people slain during the civil rights movement.

The governor says running over his own education allies was worth it to get tax credits to help children in failing public schools transfer to private schools.

Gov. Robert Bentley says he and other Republican leaders didn't tell the state school superintendent and other education leaders that they were planning to expand a school flexibility bill into a tax credit bill because they would have opposed it. School Superintendent Tommy Bice says the final product caught him by surprise and it was not the school flexibility bill that he had endorsed.

Alabama officials are trying to cut down on competition from Mississippi and Florida for Airbus suppliers by limiting lawsuits against commercial aircraft manufacturers and companies that supply them with parts.

The Senate and House committees voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a bill that would limit lawsuits to 12 years after a large plane is delivered. The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster, says there is no limit now. His bill is narrowly tailored for planes exceeding 100 seats.