Alabama

Alabama
6:11 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Ala. Legislative Lines Could Face Litigious Future

Montgomery, AL – Alabama lawmakers are still working on drawing new legislative districts after the 2010 U.S. Census, but some are already prepared to challenge those maps in court.

Democrats and a Republican lawyer say they're keeping a close eye on the remapping process, which is supposed to redraw districts to reflect population change after each census.

Republican attorney Mark Montiel says he has been disappointed with Republicans' efforts at redrawing congressional and school board districts.

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Alabama
6:14 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Police Identify Man Who Fell Overboard At Party

Tuscaloosa, AL – Police have recovered the body of the University of Alabama student who fell into the Black Warrior River during a sorority party aboard a riverboat.

Police identified the student as 20-year-old Charles Edward Jones III of Demopolis, Ala.

Dive teams made several attempts to dive into water between 30 and 40 feet deep in the search for Jones.

Authorities in Tuscaloosa say Delta Sigma Theta sorority was holding its annual formal party aboard the Bama Belle when Jones fell overboard on Thursday night.

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Alabama
6:12 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Construction To Resume On New Bryce Hospital

Tuscaloosa, AL – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is ordering construction to resume on a new Bryce mental hospital in Tuscaloosa and revising plans to close other mental health facilities.

Bentley announced a new plan for the state mental health agency on Friday.

He says work will resume on the new, 268-bed Bryce after a temporary stoppage a month ago.

Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility and North Alabama Regional Hospital will remain open, contrary to an earlier plan. But Searcy Hospital in Mt. Vernon and Greil Memorial Hospital in Montgomery will still close.

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Alabama
6:11 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Committee Named In Univ. Of Alabama President Search

Tuscaloosa, AL – An advisory committee has been named to help search for the next president of one of Alabama's largest public universities.

University of Alabama System Chancellor Robert Witt announced Friday that a 23-member committee has been named to help with the search for the presidency of the Tuscaloosa campus - a position Witt held until March.

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Alabama
6:18 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Ala. Immigration Law Author Offers Revisions

Montgomery, AL – The sponsor of Alabama's tough immigration law has introduced legislation that he says revises some provisions, but doesn't weaken the bill.

Republican Rep. Micky Hammon of Decatur offered the bill Thursday in the House. He said the revisions will ``make the law more workable for local governments, more enforceable for state and local police, and less burdensome for law-abiding citizens and businesses.''

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Alabama
6:17 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Ala. Lawmakers Pass Tax Break For Aircraft

Montgomery, AL – The Alabama Legislature has given final approval to legislation to boost aircraft maintenance businesses by exempting some of the parts they use from the state sales tax.

The Senate voted 34-0 for the bill Thursday. It passed the House earlier 92-0. The
next step is signing by Gov. Robert Bentley, who pushed the legislation.

The bill waives the 4 percent state sales tax on parts that aircraft maintenance firms use on commercial and military planes and helicopters that are brought to Alabama from other states for maintenance or renovation.

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Alabama
6:15 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Ala. House Approves Prepaid Tuition Plan Bill

Montgomery, AL – The Alabama House has passed a bill to restore a settlement aimed at saving Alabama's financially troubled prepaid college tuition plan.

The bill passed the House 73-16 Thursday and now goes to the Senate for debate.

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Alabama
6:14 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Ala. House Votes To Change Way Lawmakers Are Paid

Montgomery, AL – A proposed constitutional amendment that is aimed at lowering compensation for legislators has been approved by the Alabama House.

The House voted 91-2 Thursday for a constitutional amendment that would change the way lawmakers are paid beginning when new legislators take office in 2014.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Mike Ball of Huntsville, said the system of legislative compensation approved by the House would save the state about half a million dollars a year.

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Alabama
6:12 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Ala. House Panel Approves Charter School Bill

Montgomery, AL – The Alabama Legislature has taken the first step toward passing legislation that would authorize 20 charter schools in Alabama.

These would be taxpayer-funded schools that would operate outside the regulations most public schools must follow.

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Alabama
6:11 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Study Says Alabama Has Highest Tax At Poverty Line

Montgomery, AL – A study by a nonprofit research group finds Alabama families living at the federal poverty line paid more in state income taxes in 2011 than families living in any other state.

The study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said a family of four making $23,018 owed $548 in Alabama income taxes. Only 15 states levy state income taxes on families making less than the federal poverty level. A similar family in Georgia would pay $273 and a Mississippi family would pay $103.

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Alabama
6:25 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Ala. House Panel OKs Deep State Government Cuts

Montgomery, AL – An Alabama House budget writing committee has approved a $1.39 billion budget that's $430 million less than the spending plan for the current fiscal year.

It could mean layoffs for hundreds of state employees and cuts of key services such as medicine for Medicaid patient and elimination of a Department of Human Resources program that provides assistance to poor children.

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Alabama
6:23 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Gov. Bentley Signs Tax Credits For Hiring Vets Bill

Montgomery, AL – Alabama's governor has signed into law a bill offering new tax credits to companies that hire unemployed veterans.

Gov. Robert Bentley signed the bill Wednesday morning providing a tax credit of $1,000 for a business that hires an unemployed veteran who was deployed overseas and is now within two years of discharge.

The law also offers a credit of up to $2,000 to help and unemployed veteran cover the costs of starting a small business.

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Alabama
6:21 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Vote On Scaled Down Charter School Bill Delayed

Montgomery, AL – A bill to authorize charter schools in Alabama has been scaled down to create just 20 of the schools in the state. That's down from the original plan for 50.

A new version of the bill to authorize the schools that operate with public money but without many of the rules of public education was revealed Wednesday by a House committee considering the controversial proposal.

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Alabama
6:19 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Most Ala. Firms Miss Immigration Goal

Pelham, AL – Tens of thousands of Alabama businesses have missed a deadline set by the state's strict immigration law to register with a federal database that lets employers verify the citizenship status of would-be workers.

The federal government says 18,137 Alabama companies had enrolled in the E-Verify system by Monday, the day after the deadline.

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Alabama
6:17 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

County Running Out Of Room For Storm Debris

Huntsville, AL – An Alabama county is running out of room in a landfill as crews continue cleaning up debris after the March 2 tornadoes.

Madison County Commissioner Roger Jones says mountains of debris were dumped in the landfill after April 27 tornadoes. He said more debris from the recent storms have filled it almost to capacity.

Jones said a statewide moratorium on new landfills is complicating storm cleanup efforts. With no more space, Jones says that crews can't remove any more debris for homeowners that are insured.

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