Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

governor.alabama.gov

Governor Robert Bentley has announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing Alabama with $1.8 million in grants help fund emergency housing initiatives.

Bentley says that the grants will "prevent homelessness by giving a helping hand to Alabamians at a time of critical need."

The money is being provided by the Emergency Solutions Grant program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funding is meant to help agencies provide shelter, legal and health services and financial consulting.

The Associated Press

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he used his trip to Japan to strengthen existing relationships with Japanese companies.

Bentley told reporters Monday that his five-day trip focused mostly on relationship building, but also included some economic development and recruitment opportunities.

Bentley says he met with top executives from Honda and Toyota, both of which have operations in Alabama. He also met with executives at Hayashi Telempu, an automotive parts supplier.

governor.alabama.gov

Alabama's governor says the president is realizing that the federal health care law is unworkable.

The president announced Thursday that consumers should be allowed to renew individual plans that are slated to end because they don't meet the requirements of the federal law.

Gov. Robert Bentley said that's an acknowledgement that the complexities of the law are making implementation practically impossible.

The governor said he would like to see the law repealed and a bipartisan group brought together to create an accessible and affordable health care plan.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley and other state officials are traveling to Japan on a trade mission.

The governor's office says the delegation will depart Sunday for a five-day visit in hopes of bringing more jobs to the state and strengthening ties with Japanese companies already operating in Alabama.

In Japan the group will meet with executives from companies including Honda and Toyota, which have large factories that employ thousands in Alabama.

The Javorac / Flickr

Alabama public health officials say they're aware of statistics in a report saying Alabama's prescription drug overdose rate has nearly tripled since 1999 and they are working with other agencies to confront the problem.

The Montgomery Advertiser reported Tuesday that a national report by Trust for America's Health says Alabama's fatal prescription drug overdose rate has jumped from 3.9 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 11.8 per 100,000 people.

Pharmacy Director for the Alabama Department of Public Health, Charles Thomas, says state officials are working to address the issue.

National Weather Service

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has declared a state of emergency across the state as Tropical Storm Karen approaches the coast.

In a statement Friday afternoon, the governor said the emergency was being declared in anticipation of heavy rains and high winds from the storm. Bentley added that tornadoes will also be possible.

Alabama's coast faces a possible 5-foot storm surge, high winds and dangerous rip currents as Tropical Storm Karen is expected to arrive over the weekend.

yellowhammernews.com

Alabama's Republican governor says opponents of the Affordable Care Act need to let it crumble from its own design flaws rather than risk shutting down the federal government to stop funding the law.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday the Affordable Care Act is unworkable, and that's been proven by the delay of some provisions and the difficulty in getting some health insurance marketplaces ready for their debut Tuesday.

istockphoto

Gov. Robert Bentley says the state is about to repay the majority of a big debt it owes.

He said Friday the state will repay $260 million to the Rainy Day Fund for public schools in the next few days. He says the repayment is a sign the economy is picking up in Alabama, including the collection of more income and sales taxes.

The state's Rainy Day Fund was empty when Bentley came into office because $437 million had been removed to shore up the state education budget during the recession in 2009. State law required the repayment of the money by Sept. 30, 2015.

governor.alabama.gov

Governor Robert Bentley announced a new consumer protection measure today aimed at helping people avoid excessive amounts of debt from payday loans.

The measure will also help lenders by providing a method to ensure they are complying with state law. Under the Alabama Deferred Presentment Services Act, payday lenders are not to issue loans to customers who currently have more than 500 dollars in existing payday loan debt.

State of Alabama

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is scheduled to continue his Road to Economic Recovery Tour with stops in Fayette County.

Bentley's tour of Fayette County will begin at noon Tuesday with a lunch stop at Sam's Smokehouse Restaurant in Fayette. At 1:30 p.m. the governor will participate in a round table discussion sponsored by the Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce at the Fayette Civic Center.

At 2:40 p.m. the governor will tour the Ox Bodies' facility in Fayette. Ox Bodies is a locally based company that designs and manufactures truck bodies, trailers, parts and accessories.

Alabama National Guard

Most, but not all, full-time staff of the Alabama National Guard is covered by a new Pentagon policy providing benefits for same-sex couples.

Capt. Andrew Richardson of the Alabama National Guard says there are about 2,500 full-time Guardsmen in Alabama who are considered federal employees and are eligible for federal benefits. They are covered by the Pentagon's new policy.

He says the Guard has fewer than 300 full-time employees who are considered state employees, and they continue to receive state benefits. Those benefits don't cover same-sex marriages.

meetmycollege.com

State lawmakers have approved another $50,000 for the company conducting a forensic audit at Alabama State University.

   A panel of lawmakers on Thursday approved the latest request for money for the independent audit. The Montgomery Advertiser reports (http://on.mgmadv.com/1dM10Ag) that the increase could take the total cost for review up to $650,000.

   Jennifer Ardis, a spokeswoman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, said the auditing process is taking longer because of difficulty in gaining access to needed information.

Judge Bill Cole's Facebook profile

A former Jefferson County judge who lost re-election last year will be returning to the bench to fill the seat opened by retiring Circuit Judge Alfred Bahakel.

Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday appointed former Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge J. William "Bill" Cole to fill the vacant seat.

Bentley's spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis tells al.com that Cole "brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position and he is well qualified to serve on the court."

yellowhammernews.com

Gov. Robert Bentley says the Alabama Accountability Act is designed to help students in all public schools.

The governor spoke out Monday after the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal court suit seeking to block the law. The suit says some impoverished students can't access part of the law providing tax credits for families that move their children from failing public schools to private schools.

Bentley says another portion of the law gives those failing schools the flexibility to make changes and improve.

The Associated Press

Alabama's unemployment rate declined to 6.3 percent in July, which is the lowest rate in nearly five years.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Alabama has not had a rate that low since October 2008. July's rate was down from 6.5 percent in June and was well below the 7.6 percent rate recorded a year ago.

The state Department of Labor said the July rate represents about 135,000 people looking for work. That's down by nearly 5,000 people from the previous month.

Gov. Robert Bentley has changed the date of a special primary election for the vacant seat in House District 104 in Mobile County because of a conflict with a local election in Mobile County.

Bentley said Friday the special primary election in District 104 will be Tuesday Oct. 15 instead of Oct. 8 as originally scheduled.

A runoff election, if needed, will be Tuesday, Dec. 3.

If a runoff election is not needed, the general election will be Tuesday, Dec. 10. If a runoff is needed, the general election will be Tuesday, Jan. 28.

istockphoto

State officials are issuing $33 million in bonds to keep promises to new and expanding industries and refinancing nearly $140 million in old bonds to save $12 million.

Two state boards headed by the governor voted unanimously Wednesday to refinance $1.9 million in bonds sold in 2001 for improvements at state parks and $137.7 million in bonds sold between 2001 and 2005 to pay for incentives the state promised new and expanding industries.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will hold a ceremonial signing of bills aimed at reducing the abuse of prescription drugs.

   Bentley's office said the governor will be joined by officials with the Medical Association of Alabama and other leaders at the ceremonial signing ceremony. The governor officially signed the legislation earlier this year.

   The ceremony will be at 1 p.m. Monday in the Old House chamber at the Alabama Capitol.

The Associated Press

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley has raised more than $1 million in two months for his re-election campaign.
   Bentley filed a campaign finance report Thursday showing he has raised $1,009,270 since fundraising began in early June. He began with nearly $237,000 left over from his 2010 victory. After spending nearly $180,000, he has almost $1.1 million in his campaign chest.

   Campaign spokeswoman Rebekah Mason said receiving more than $1 million in two months amounts to a vote of confidence from Alabama citizens.

The Associated Press

Residents in eight Alabama counties will have an opportunity to safeguard their homes from severe weather.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Wednesday that more than $900,000 in hazard mitigation funds is available in Baldwin, Covington, Dallas, Geneva, Mobile, Monroe, Perry and Pickens counties.

The funds are a result of the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Isaac in 2012. People interested in applying should contact their county Emergency Management Agency office.

yellowhammerpolitics.com

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley takes his Road to Economic Recovery Tour back on the road with a visit to Monroeville in Monroe County.

   A release from the governor's office says Bentley will begin the tour at about 11 a.m. Tuesday with a visit to the Monroeville town square on the West Claiborne Street side.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced another $372 million in road and bridge projects for 45 counties in Alabama.

The announcement Wednesday alongside a $10 million bridge widening project in Calera will bring Bentley's Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program to nearly $1 billion in projects. The Republican governor says that will culminate the program for now because that's all the state should borrow at this time. Bentley wouldn't speculate on whether he would bring the program back if he's elected to a second term next year.

debate.org

Alabama is getting 73 cents per person to help residents understand the Affordable Care Act and decide if they want coverage through a health insurance exchange.

Federal funding figures show Alabama's amount is lower than many states because Gov. Robert Bentley decided not to create a state-run health insurance exchange and is leaving it to the federal government. That meant Alabama's state government didn't seek any of the millions available for outreach and advertising.

governor.alabama.gov

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will hold a ceremonial signing ceremony for a bill that allows qualified emergency workers to vote by absentee ballot if they are called away from their homes to respond to an emergency immediately before an election.

   Bentley has scheduled the ceremony for 10 a.m. Monday at the Circler of Flags at the Alabama Capitol. The bill passed the Legislature during the past session that ended in May.

The Associated Press

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will take his road to economic recovery tour back on the highway to visit Geneva in southeast Alabama.

governor.alabama.gov / Office of Governor Robert Bentley

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says a newly-formed task force is having success in combating rural crime, such as the theft of farm animals and equipment.

Bentley joined officials with the Agriculture Rural Crime Unit Thursday at a news conference at a cattle farm near Montgomery. Since June, agents with the newly-formed unit have made 14 felony arrests and have recovered more than a half million dollars in stolen property.

Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier says the new unit is part of an initiative to consolidate state law enforcement efforts.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley's office spent $621,712 on travel in state-owned airplanes in his first 21 months in office.

The Decatur Daily and TimesDaily obtained the figures by filing an open records request with the Bentley administration.

Most of the travel was on a six-passenger jet owned by the state Department of Transportation. That agency billed the governor's office $598,610. The remaining $23,102 was for using aircraft operated by two other state agencies.

governor.alabama.gov

Former Secretary of State Jim Bennett is returning to the office.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Tuesday that he's chosen Bennett to replace Beth Chapman. She's resigning at the end of the month to become a political consultant with the Alabama Farmers Federation.

Bennett served as secretary of state from 1993 to 2003. Then he served in Gov. Bob Riley's Cabinet and in Bentley's Cabinet as labor commissioner. He retired last year when the departments of Labor and Industrial Relations were merged.

dyn.politico.com

The state Department of Commerce estimates Gov. Robert Bentley's industry-hunting trip to France last month will cost the state between $88,000 and $97,000.

The department says that estimate includes seven people: Bentley; his wife, Dianne; two security staff members; Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield; and two other department employees. The Department of Commerce leads the state government's industrial recruitment effort.

Department spokeswoman Gerri Miller said the goal of the trip to the Paris Air Show in mid-June was to bring home jobs.

wikipedia.org

Robert Bentley is finding that raising campaign money as an incumbent governor is much easier than doing it as a state representative seeking statewide office for the first time.

Bentley filed a campaign finance report Tuesday night showing he took in $422,500 in contributions in his first month of fundraising for his re-election campaign. He had raised about $15,500 at the same point four years ago, when he was a little-known state representative from Tuscaloosa running in the Republican primary with six other candidates.

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