Demetrius Newton, a civil rights attorney who represented icons like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. before becoming the first black person to serve as speaker pro tem of the Alabama House, has died. He was 85.
Rep. John Rogers of Birmingham, a longtime friend of Newton, says he was notified by the lawmaker's family that Newton died Wednesday morning.
Newton was former city attorney for Birmingham and had served in the Legislature since 1986.
Birmingham attorney Mark White says he's been hired by Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard to pursue people accused of libeling him.
Hubbard's business, Auburn Network, recently canceled a consulting contract with Southeast Alabama Gas District, which financed his trip to Paris this year. Hubbard traveled with other state officials, whose trips were financed by the Alabama Department of Commerce.
Republican state Rep. Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa has been named chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Education Committee.
Poole was appointed to the position Wednesday by Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard of Auburn. Effective Aug. 1, he will replace Republican Rep. Jay Love of Montgomery, who last week announced he is resigning his position in the Legislature.
The chairman of the Alabama Republican Party says U.S. Supreme Court decisions favoring gay marriage are an affront to Christian principles and hurt taxpayers.
GOP chair Bill Armistead says Alabama taxpayers will now "be on the hook" for funding federal benefits to homosexual couples even though a decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act only affects states where gay marriage is legal.
Armistead says the United States was founded on Christian values, and he says the Bible is clear that marriage can only between heterosexual couples.
A legislative session that began with a rapid pace five weeks ago has been slowed by hard feelings over the passage of private school tax credits.
Democratic opponents of the tax credits are slowing down action in the House and Senate. House Minority Leader Craig Ford says the slowdown will resume when the Legislature meets Tuesday and will continue for the foreseeable future.
Alabama House Republicans have announced an agenda for the upcoming legislative session of items that could put the state at odds with the Obama administration.
The agenda includes a measure aimed at slowing down Obama administration efforts to stiffen gun control regulations through federal laws or executive orders.
House Speaker Mike Hubbard proposed an amendment that would put the right to gun ownership in the Alabama Constitution. He says the amendment would give Alabama the "strongest gun protection" law in the country.
Members of the House and Senate Education Policy committees will hold a joint hearing to discuss keeping students and teachers safe in the event of a school shooting and preventing such incidents.
The hearing will include House Speaker Mike Hubbard, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, Alabama Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier and state schools Superintendent Tommy Bice. The meeting will also include other law enforcement and education officials.
The meeting is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday in room 617 at the Alabama Statehouse.