Alabama Legislature

5:08 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

Consumer Price Index bill passes, Blue Bell agreement with State Health Department

An Alabama House budget committee has approved a bill that would let state agencies increase fees to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index.

The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee today approved one of the few revenue ideas that has gotten traction this session.

The Senate-passed bill would let a state agency increase fees every five years. The change could not exceed an increase of two percent per year.

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4:39 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Legislators work on General Fund Budget, Farmers apply for grants

Time is running out for the Alabama Legislature to work out a general fund budget. 

State agency heads told members of the Senate budget committee yesterday that proposed cuts will close circuit clerk offices, slash Medicaid services and send state prisons into a danger zone of crowding and violence.

Chairman Arthur Orr says there are close to $150 million in revenue generating bills under discussion that could reduce the cuts if they win legislative approval.

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4:37 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

NOAA Opens Tuscaloosa Water Center, State Legislature passes Education Budget

The University of Alabama is teaming up with Washington to study the nation's water. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association just unveiled its newest national center on the Tuscaloosa campus.

The twenty four million dollar National Water Center is a collaboration between several federal agencies. It will become the U.S. center for water forecasting.

NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan says they plan to hit the ground running at the new center with a research project starting this summer.

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4:38 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

House approves Education Budget, Lake Wedowee fishing

The Alabama House has unanimously approved a nearly $6 billion education budget for 2016.  All 105 votes from state representatives went towards approving the Education Trust Fund budget.  A number of House Democrats and Republicans commended education budget committee chairman Bill Poole on an unusually smooth spending plan.

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4:38 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

House to vote on budget, small buisness tax tips

The Alabama House of Representatives will vote on a stripped-down budget that cuts more than $200 million from state agencies.

Representatives are expected to approve the budget today and send it up to the Alabama Senate. There, discussions will continue on how to handle a shortfall for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Governor Robert Bentley has criticized the proposed cuts as "irresponsible." The governor has vowed to veto a budget with deep funding cuts.

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4:38 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Alabama General Fund budget, Hobdy's Bridge

Alabama’s general fund budget is slowly taking shape. APR’s Pat Duggins reports on action in the State House…

The House Ways and Means Committee has approved a budget that makes deep cuts to state agencies. The budget would cut Medicaid, mental health and state prisons corrections by five percent. Other state agencies would be cut by nine percent.

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5:42 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Small Business Week, Prison Reform and Same Sex Marriage Refusal


This is national Small Business Week, which recognizes the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.  More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business.  Many military veterans use the skills learned during their service time when they return home and find jobs or start a business.  Jim Salmon is the head of business lending for Navy Federal Credit Union and he says there are plenty of ways veterans can get help starting a new business …

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Huntsville Officers Honored
4:51 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Two Huntsville Police Officers Honored for Courage

Alabama Legislative Medal of Honor

The Alabama Legislature is honoring two Huntsville police officers for extraordinary courage in the line of duty.

 Lawmakers bestowed the annual Alabama Legislative Medal of Honor for Law Enforcement to officers Jason Moore and Reynard Robinson on Thursday.

   A domestic-violence suspect opened fire on the two officers with a shotgun and rifle last year. Moore was shot in the face, neck, and shoulder and still has dozens of birdshot pellets in his face and body. He stayed on the scene despite his injuries.

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4:38 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Medical Marijuana Bill and Battle of Selma anniversary

Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee passed a comprehensive bill to legalize medical marijuana.

If enacted, the bill would allow patients suffering from any of 25 specified medical conditions to purchase a maximum of ten ounces of marijuana a month from a state-licensed dispensary. Sales would be taxed, with revenue going toward police and sheriff’s departments to combat drug trafficking.

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9:57 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Bentley details cuts, First Lady in Alabama and Earth Day at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

First Lady Michelle Obama
Credit Ben Baker / Redux

Gov. Robert Bentley is giving lawmakers what he calls an "unvarnished" view of the cuts to state government that will occur without new revenue.

The governor sent a memo to each member of the Alabama Legislature last night. That memo describes the emergency operation plans state agencies produced in response to a draft budget lawmakers have already reviewed.

The reductions on the table include the layoff of more than 1,000 state employees, including 600 court employees and 132 law enforcement officers.

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10:26 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Busy day ahead for legislative committees

Alabama's Senate floor

Committee members throughout the Alabama Legislature have a busy day ahead of them.

The Senate Education Committee will hold a public hearing this morning on a bill aiming to repeal the Common Core curriculum standards.

The House Ways and Means Education Committee will also consider changes to the Alabama Accountability Act, a state program that provides scholarships to help some families pay for private school.

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5:04 pm
Sat April 4, 2015

State lawmakers consider cigarette tax increase

Gov. Robert Bentley has proposed a number of ways to raise revenue to heal Alabama's ailing budget.

One possible way is a higher cigarette tax. Alabama lawmakers are considering two proposals that would raise cigarette taxes to fill a major hole in the state's general fund.

Bentley's proposal would raise the tax on a pack from 42.5 cents to $1.25.

A second proposal would raise the tax rate by 32.5 cents per pack.

Experts say higher cigarette taxes can lead to smuggling.

5:44 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Bentley Inaugurated, MLK Day and Scale Back Alabama

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

  Governor Robert Bentley says there are no easy solutions to the state's budget and prison problems. Bentley, in his second inaugural address, said state leaders face tough decisions as they come into office for the next four years. However, Bentley said state leaders will not shrink away from the challenge.

     A budget shortfall and the state's severely overcrowded prisons are expected to be the biggest problems facing the Legislature when it convenes in March. The governor is expected to give his proposals when he gives his State of the State address in March.


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5:47 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Legislators' Orientation, Sugar Plum Shop and Convicted Educators

Alabama Capitol Building


Alabama state lawmakers will gather in Montgomery this week. APR’s Pat Duggins reports on orientation week for the state house and senate…

Alabama’s newly elected senators and representatives will hear presentations about the legislative process, state budgets and the role of a legislator. Members will also take a mandatory training course on the requirements of the state ethics law.

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Special Session
5:13 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Gov. Bentley Says He Plans To Call Special Session

Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to call a special session of the Legislature to use money from the state's education budget to pay for economic incentives to lure new businesses.
Credit The Governor's Office

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to call a special session of the Legislature to use money from the state's education budget to pay for economic incentives to lure new businesses. reports Bentley made the remarks Wednesday at a workforce development summit in Washington County. He said the special session would come after the election in November.

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